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Title: Limits on orbit crossing planetesimals in the resonant multiple planet system, KOI-730
Authors: Alexander Moore, Imran Hasan, Alice Quillen

A fraction of multiple planet candidate systems discovered from transits by the Kepler mission contain pairs of planet candidates that are in orbital resonance or are spaced slightly too far apart to be in resonance. We focus here on the four planet system, KOI 730, that has planet periods satisfying the ratios 8:6:4:3. By numerically integrating four planets initially in this resonant configuration in proximity to an initially exterior cold planetesimal disk, we find that of the order of a Mars mass of planet-orbit-crossing planetesimals is sufficient to pull this system out of resonance. Approximately one Earth mass of planet-orbit-crossing planetesimals increases the interplanetary spacings sufficiently to resemble the multiple planet candidate Kepler systems that lie just outside of resonance. This suggests that the closely spaced multiple planet Kepler systems, host only low mass debris disks or their debris disks have been extremely stable. We find that the planetary inclinations increase as a function of the mass in planetesimals that have crossed the orbits of the planets. If systems are left at zero inclination and in resonant chains after depletion of the gas disk then we would expect a correlation between distance to resonance and mutual planetary inclinations. This may make it possible to differentiate between dynamical mechanisms that account for the fraction of multiple planet systems just outside of resonance.

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Two planets found sharing one orbit

Buried in the flood of data from the Kepler telescope is a planetary system unlike any seen before. Two of its apparent planets share the same orbit around their star. If the discovery is confirmed, it would bolster a theory that Earth once shared its orbit with a Mars-sized body that later crashed into it, resulting in the moon's formation.
The two planets are part of a four-planet system dubbed KOI-730. They circle their sun-like parent star every 9.8 days at exactly the same orbital distance, one permanently about 60 degrees ahead of the other.



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