Secular chaos and its application to Mercury, hot Jupiters, and the organization of planetary systems

  title={Secular chaos and its application to Mercury, hot Jupiters, and the organization of planetary systems},
  author={Yoram Lithwick and Yanqin Wu},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={12610 - 12615}
  • Y. Lithwick, Yanqin Wu
  • Published 5 November 2013
  • Physics, Geology
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Significance Planets perturb one another as they orbit their star. These perturbations can build up over a long time, leading to instability and chaos, and, ultimately, to dramatic events such as interplanetary collisions. We focus here on “secular chaos,” which is the chaos that arises in the orbit-averaged equations. We explain how secular chaos works and show that it explains the chaos of Mercury's orbit. We also show that secular chaos could be responsible for the formation of “hot Jupiters… 

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