Debris Disks in Multiplanet Systems: Are Our Inferences Compromised by Unseen Planets'

Research paper by Jiayin Dong, Rebekah I. Dawson, Andrew Shannon, Sarah Morrison

Indexed on: 29 Jan '20Published on: 24 Jan '20Published in: The Astrophysical journal


Resolved debris disk features (e.g., warps, offsets, edges and gaps, azimuthal asymmetries, radially thickened rings, scale heights) contain valuable information about the underlying planetary systems, such as the posited planet’s mass, semimajor axis, and other orbital parameters. Most existing models assume a single planet is sculpting the disk feature, but recent observations of mature planetary systems (e.g., by radial velocity surveys or Kepler ) have revealed that many planets reside in multiplanet systems. Here we investigate if/how planet properties inferred from single-planet models are compromised when multiple planets reside in the system. For each disk feature, we build a two-planet model that includes a planet b with fixed parameters and a planet c with a full range of possible parameters. We investigate these two-planet systems and summarize the configurations for which assuming a single planet (i.e., planet b) leads to significantly flawed inferences of that...