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A Possible Alignment Between the Orbits of Planetary Systems and their Visual Binary Companions

Christian, Sam and Vanderburg, Andrew and Becker, Juliette and Yahalomi, Daniel A. and Pearce, Logan and Zhou, George and Collins, Karen A. and Kraus, Adam L. and Stassun, Keivan G. and de Beurs, Zoe and Ricker, George R. and Vanderspek, Roland K. and Latham, David W. and Winn, Joshua N. and Seager, S. and Jenkins, Jon M. and Abe, Lyu and Agabi, Karim and Amado, Pedro J. and Baker, David and Barkaoui, Khalid and Benkhaldoun, Zouhair and Benni, Paul and Berberian, John and Berlind, Perry and Bieryla, Allyson and Esparza-Borges, Emma and Bowen, Michael and Brown, Peyton and Buchhave, Lars A. and Burke, Christopher J. and Buttu, Marco and Cadieux, Charles and Caldwell, Douglas A. and Charbonneau, David and Chazov, Nikita and Chimaladinne, Sudhish and Collins, Kevin I. and Combs, Deven and Conti, Dennis M. and Crouzet, Nicolas and de Leon, Jerome P. and Deljookorani, Shila and Diamond, Brendan and Doyon, René and Dragomir, Diana and Dransfield, Georgina and Essack, Zahra and Evans, Phil and Fukui, Akihiko and Gan, Tianjun and Esquerdo, Gilbert A. and Gillon, Michaël and Girardin, Eric and Guerra, Pere and Guillot, Tristan and Habich, Eleanor Kate K. and Henriksen, Andreea and Hoch, Nora and Isogai, Keisuke I. and Jehin, Emmanuël and Jensen, Eric L. N. and Johnson, Marshall C. and Livingston, John H. and Kielkopf, John F. and Kim, Kingsley and Kawauchi, Kiyoe and Krushinsky, Vadim and Kunzle, Veronica and Laloum, Didier and Leger, Dominic and Lewin, Pablo and Mallia, Franco and Massey, Bob and Mori, Mayuko and McLeod, Kim K. and Mékarnia, Djamel and Mireles, Ismael and Mishevskiy, Nikolay and Tamura, Motohide and Murgas, Felipe and Narita, Norio and Naves, Ramon and Nelson, Peter and Osborn, Hugh P. and Palle, Enric and Parviainen, Hannu and Plavchan, Peter and Pozuelos, Francisco J. and Rabus, Markus and Relles, Howard M. and Rodríguez López, Cristina and Quinn, Samuel N. and Schmider, François-Xavier and Schlieder, Joshua E. and Schwarz, Richard P. and Shporer, Avi and Sibbald, Laurie and Srdoc, Gregor and Stibbards, Caitlin and Stickler, Hannah and Suarez, Olga and Stockdale, Chris and Tan, Thiam-Guan and Terada, Yuka and Triaud, Amaury and Tronsgaard, Rene and Waalkes, William C. and Wang, Gavin and Watanabe, Noriharu and Wenceslas, Marie-Sainte and Wingham, Geof and Wittrock, Justin and Ziegler, Carl (2022) A Possible Alignment Between the Orbits of Planetary Systems and their Visual Binary Companions. Astronomical Journal, 163 (5). Art. No. 207. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ac517f.

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Astronomers do not have a complete picture of the effects of wide-binary companions (semimajor axes greater than 100 au) on the formation and evolution of exoplanets. We investigate these effects using new data from Gaia Early Data Release 3 and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission to characterize wide-binary systems with transiting exoplanets. We identify a sample of 67 systems of transiting exoplanet candidates (with well-determined, edge-on orbital inclinations) that reside in wide visual binary systems. We derive limits on orbital parameters for the wide-binary systems and measure the minimum difference in orbital inclination between the binary and planet orbits. We determine that there is statistically significant difference in the inclination distribution of wide-binary systems with transiting planets compared to a control sample, with the probability that the two distributions are the same being 0.0037. This implies that there is an overabundance of planets in binary systems whose orbits are aligned with those of the binary. The overabundance of aligned systems appears to primarily have semimajor axes less than 700 au. We investigate some effects that could cause the alignment and conclude that a torque caused by a misaligned binary companion on the protoplanetary disk is the most promising explanation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Christian, Sam0000-0003-0046-2494
Vanderburg, Andrew0000-0001-7246-5438
Becker, Juliette0000-0002-7733-4522
Yahalomi, Daniel A.0000-0003-4755-584X
Pearce, Logan0000-0003-3904-7378
Zhou, George0000-0002-4891-3517
Collins, Karen A.0000-0001-6588-9574
Kraus, Adam L.0000-0001-9811-568X
Stassun, Keivan G.0000-0002-3481-9052
de Beurs, Zoe0000-0002-7564-6047
Ricker, George R.0000-0003-2058-6662
Vanderspek, Roland K.0000-0001-6763-6562
Latham, David W.0000-0001-9911-7388
Winn, Joshua N.0000-0002-4265-047X
Seager, S.0000-0002-6892-6948
Jenkins, Jon M.0000-0002-4715-9460
Abe, Lyu0000-0002-0856-4527
Amado, Pedro J.0000-0001-8012-3788
Baker, David0000-0002-2970-0532
Barkaoui, Khalid0000-0003-1464-9276
Benkhaldoun, Zouhair0000-0001-6285-9847
Berberian, John0000-0003-1466-8389
Bieryla, Allyson0000-0001-6637-5401
Esparza-Borges, Emma0000-0002-2341-3233
Brown, Peyton0000-0002-2546-9708
Buchhave, Lars A.0000-0003-1605-5666
Burke, Christopher J.0000-0002-7754-9486
Cadieux, Charles0000-0001-9291-5555
Caldwell, Douglas A.0000-0003-1963-9616
Charbonneau, David0000-0002-9003-484X
Chazov, Nikita0000-0002-4070-7831
Collins, Kevin I.0000-0003-2781-3207
Conti, Dennis M.0000-0003-2239-0567
Crouzet, Nicolas0000-0001-7866-8738
de Leon, Jerome P.0000-0002-6424-3410
Deljookorani, Shila0000-0003-3548-0676
Doyon, René0000-0001-5485-4675
Dragomir, Diana0000-0003-2313-467X
Dransfield, Georgina0000-0002-3937-630X
Essack, Zahra0000-0002-2482-0180
Evans, Phil0000-0002-5674-2404
Fukui, Akihiko0000-0002-4909-5763
Gan, Tianjun0000-0002-4503-9705
Esquerdo, Gilbert A.0000-0002-9789-5474
Gillon, Michaël0000-0003-1462-7739
Girardin, Eric0000-0002-5443-3640
Guerra, Pere0000-0002-4308-2339
Guillot, Tristan0000-0002-7188-8428
Henriksen, Andreea0000-0001-8817-6817
Jehin, Emmanuël0000-0001-8923-488X
Jensen, Eric L. N.0000-0002-4625-7333
Johnson, Marshall C.0000-0002-5099-8185
Livingston, John H.0000-0002-4881-3620
Kielkopf, John F.0000-0003-0497-2651
Kawauchi, Kiyoe0000-0003-1205-5108
Krushinsky, Vadim0000-0001-9388-691X
Lewin, Pablo0000-0003-0828-6368
Massey, Bob0000-0001-8879-7138
Mori, Mayuko0000-0003-1368-6593
McLeod, Kim K.0000-0001-9504-1486
Mékarnia, Djamel0000-0001-5000-7292
Mireles, Ismael0000-0002-4510-2268
Mishevskiy, Nikolay0000-0001-8860-5861
Tamura, Motohide0000-0002-6510-0681
Murgas, Felipe0000-0001-9087-1245
Narita, Norio0000-0001-8511-2981
Osborn, Hugh P.0000-0002-4047-4724
Palle, Enric0000-0003-0987-1593
Parviainen, Hannu0000-0001-5519-1391
Plavchan, Peter0000-0002-8864-1667
Pozuelos, Francisco J.0000-0003-1572-7707
Rabus, Markus0000-0003-2935-7196
Quinn, Samuel N.0000-0002-8964-8377
Schmider, François-Xavier0000-0003-3914-3546
Schlieder, Joshua E.0000-0001-5347-7062
Schwarz, Richard P.0000-0001-8227-1020
Shporer, Avi0000-0002-1836-3120
Stibbards, Caitlin0000-0003-0091-3769
Suarez, Olga0000-0002-3503-3617
Stockdale, Chris0000-0003-2163-1437
Tan, Thiam-Guan0000-0001-5603-6895
Terada, Yuka0000-0003-2887-6381
Triaud, Amaury0000-0002-5510-8751
Tronsgaard, Rene0000-0003-1001-0707
Waalkes, William C.0000-0002-8961-0352
Wang, Gavin0000-0003-3092-4418
Watanabe, Noriharu0000-0002-7522-8195
Wittrock, Justin0000-0002-7424-9891
Ziegler, Carl0000-0002-0619-7639
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2021 June 22; revised 2021 December 21; accepted 2022 January 30; published 2022 April 11. We thank the anonymous referee and Eric Feigelson (the AAS Journals statistics editor) for valuable comments that strengthened our manuscript. We acknowledge the members of Dave Latham's Coffee Club for their helpful feedback and insights. We thank Coco Zhang, Konstantin Batygin, and Darryl Seligman for useful conversations. The authors acknowledge the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin for providing high-performance computing resources that have contributed to the research results reported within this paper ( This paper includes data collected by the TESS mission, which are publicly available from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). Funding for the TESS mission is provided by NASA's Science Mission directorate. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC; Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. This work makes use of observations from the LCOGT network. Part of the LCOGT telescope time was granted by NOIRLab through the Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP). MSIP is funded by the NSF. This article is based on observations made with the MuSCAT2 instrument, developed by ABC, at Telescopio Carlos Sánchez operated on the island of Tenerife by the IAC in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide. This paper is based on observations made with the MuSCAT3 instrument, developed by the Astrobiology Center and under financial supports by JSPS KAKENHI (JP18H05439) and JST PRESTO (JPMJPR1775), at Faulkes Telescope North on Maui, HI, operated by the Las Cumbres Observatory. The IRSF project is a collaboration between Nagoya University and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) supported by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas (A) (grant Nos. 10147207 and 10147214) and Optical & Near-Infrared Astronomy Inter-University Cooperation Program, from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. This work is partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP18H05439, and JST PRESTO grant No. JPMJPR1775, and a University Research Support Grant from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). This work is partly supported by Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows, grant No. JP20J21872. This work is partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP17H04574. This work is partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP20K14518, and by Astrobiology Center SATELLITE Research project AB022006. M.T. is supported by MEXT/JSPS KAKENHI grant Nos. 18H05442, 15H02063, and 22000005. This work is partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP21K13955. This work is partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant No. 20K14521. C.R.-L. acknowledges financial support from the State Agency for Research of the Spanish MCIU through the Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa award for the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (SEV-2017-0709). M.R. acknowledges support from the Universidad Católica de lo Santísima Concepción grant DI-FIAI 03/2021. P.J.A. acknowledges support from grant AYA2016-79425-C3-3-P of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and the Centre of Excellence "Severo Ochoa" award to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (SEV-2017-0709). This paper is based on observations made with the T150 telescope at the Sierra Nevada Observatory (Granada, Spain), operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA—CSIC). The research leading to these results has received funding from the ARC grant for Concerted Research Actions, financed by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. TRAPPIST is funded by the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique, FNRS) under the grant FRFC 2.5.594.09.F. TRAPPIST-North is a project funded by the University of Liège (Belgium), in collaboration with Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech (Morocco). D.D. acknowledges support from the TESS Guest Investigator Program grant No. 80NSSC19K1727 and NASA Exoplanet Research Program grant No. 18-2XRP18_2-0136. M.G. and E.J. are F.R.S.-FNRS Senior Research Associates. K.K.M. acknowledges support from the New York Community Trust's Fund for Astrophysical Research. This work has been carried out within the framework of the NCCR PlanetS supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This work makes use of observations from the ASTEP telescope. ASTEP benefited from the support of the French and Italian polar agencies IPEV and PNRA in the framework of the Concordia station program and from Idex UCAJEDI (ANR-15-IDEX-01). Facilities: Gaia, TESS, FLWO:1.5 m (TRES), CTIO:1.5 m (CHIRON), UKST (RAVE), LCOGT (NRES), FIES, LAMOST, APOGEE, GALAH, ASTEP (Guillot et al. 2015), MuSCAT (Narita et al. 2015), MuSCAT2 (Narita et al. 2019), MuSCAT3 (Narita et al. 2020), SIRIUS (Nagayama et al. 2003). Software: LOFTI (Pearce et al. 2020), Astropy (Price-Whelan et al. 2018), Pystan (Riddell et al. 2018), Isochrones (Morton 2015), TOPCAT (Taylor 2006), AstroImageJ (Collins et al. 2017), TAPIR (Jensen 2013).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP18H05439
Japan Science and Technology AgencyJPMJPR1775
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)10147207
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)10147214
National Research Foundation (South Africa)UNSPECIFIED
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP18H05439
National Astronomical Observatory of JapanUNSPECIFIED
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP20J21872
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP17H04574
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP20K14518
National Institutes of Natural Sciences of JapanAB022006
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)18H05442
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)15H02063
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)22000005
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP21K13955
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)20K14521
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (MCIU)SEV-2017-0709
Universidad Católica de la Santísima ConcepciónDI-FIAI 03/2021
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)AYA2016-79425-C3-3-P
Wallonia-Brussels FederationUNSPECIFIED
Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS)FRFC 2.5.594.09.F
University of LiègeUNSPECIFIED
Cadi Ayyad University of MarrakechUNSPECIFIED
New York Community TrustUNSPECIFIED
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)UNSPECIFIED
Institut polaire français Paul-Émile Victor (IPEV)UNSPECIFIED
Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-15-IDEX-01
Subject Keywords:Star-planet interactions; Circumstellar disks; Exoplanet evolution; Wide binary stars; Visual binary stars
Issue or Number:5
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Star-planet interactions (2177); Circumstellar disks (235); Exoplanet evolution (491); Wide binary stars (1801); Visual binary stars (1777)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220414-26208000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Sam Christian et al 2022 AJ 163 207
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114302
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:19 Apr 2022 20:24
Last Modified:19 Apr 2022 20:24

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