|The factual accuracy of parts of this article (those related to article) may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (April 2013)|
A circumbinary planet is a planet that orbits two stars instead of one. Because of the close proximity and orbit of some binary stars, the only way for planets to form is by forming outside the orbit of the two stars. As of December 5, 2013, there are seventeen confirmed systems of circumbinary planets.
Observations and discoveries
The first confirmed circumbinary extrasolar planet was found orbiting the system PSR B1620-26, which contains a millisecond pulsar and a white dwarf and is located in the globular cluster M4. The existence of the third body was first reported in 1993, and was suggested to be a planet based on 5 years of observational data. In 2003 the planet was characterised as being 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter in a low eccentricity orbit with a semimajor axis of 23 AU.
The first circumbinary extrasolar planet around a main sequence star was found in 2005 in the system HD 202206: a Jupiter-size planet orbiting a system composed of a Sun-like star and a brown dwarf. A dynamical analysis of the system further shows a 5:1 mean motion resonance between the planet and the brown dwarf. These observations raise the question of how this system was formed, but numerical simulations show that a planet formed in a circumbinary disk can migrate inward until it is captured in resonance.
Announced in 2008, the eclipsing binary system HW Virginis, comprising a subdwarf B star and a red dwarf, was announced to also host a planetary system. The inner and outer planets have masses at least 8.47 and 19.23 times that of Jupiter respectively, and have orbital periods of 9 and 16 years. The outer planet is sufficiently massive that it may be considered to be a brown dwarf under some definitions of the term, but the discoverers argue that the orbital configuration implies it formed like a planet from a circumbinary disc. Both planets may have accreted additional mass when the primary star lost material during its red giant phase.
On 15 September 2011, astronomers announced the first partial-eclipse-based discovery of a circumbinary planet. The planet, called Kepler-16b, is about 200 light years from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, and is believed to be a frozen world of rock and gas, about the mass of Saturn. It orbits two stars that are also circling each other, one about two-thirds the size of our sun, the other about a fifth the size of our sun. Each orbit of the stars by the planet takes 229 days, while the planet orbits the system's center of mass every 225 days; the stars eclipse each other every three weeks or so. Scientists made the finding through NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which launched in 2009 and has been a driving force in the recent explosion in the discovery of distant planets.
Claims of a planet discovered via microlensing, orbiting the close binary pair MACHO-1997-BLG-41, were announced in 1999. The planet was said to be in a wide orbit around the two red dwarf companions, but the claims were later retracted, as it turned out the detection could be better explained by the orbital motion of the binary stars themselves.
Several attempts have been made to detect planets around the eclipsing binary system CM Draconis, itself part of the triple system GJ 630.1. The eclipsing binary has been surveyed for transiting planets, but no conclusive detections were made and eventually the existence of all the candidate planets was ruled out. More recently, efforts have been made to detect variations in the timing of the eclipses of the stars caused by the reflex motion associated with an orbiting planet, but at present no discovery has been confirmed. The orbit of the binary stars is eccentric, which is unexpected for such a close binary as tidal forces ought to have circularised the orbit. This may indicate the presence of a massive planet or brown dwarf in orbit around the pair whose gravitational effects maintain the eccentricity of the binary.
Circumbinary discs that may indicate processes of planet formation have been found around several stars, and are in fact common around binaries with separations less than 3 AU. One notable example is in the HD 98800 system, which comprises two pairs of binary stars separated by around 34 AU. The binary subsystem HD 98800 B, which consists of two stars of 0.70 and 0.58 solar masses in a highly eccentric orbit with semimajor axis 0.983 AU, is surrounded by a complex dust disc that is being warped by the gravitational effects of the mutually-inclined and eccentric stellar orbits. The other binary subsystem, HD 98800 A, is not associated with significant amounts of dust.
List of circumbinary planets
|PSR B1620-26||b||2.5||23||100||2003||Pulsar timing|
|HD 202206||c||≥2.44||2.55||3.79||2005||||Radial velocity|
|DP Leonis||b||6.28 ± 0.58||8.6||23.8||2009||Eclipsing binary timing|
|NN Serpentis||c||6.91 ± 0.54||5.38 ± 0.20||15.50 ± 0.45||2010||Eclipsing binary timing|
|NN Serpentis||d||2.28 ± 0.38||3.39 ± 0.10||7.75 ± 0.35||2010||||Eclipsing binary timing|
|DT Virginis||c||8.5 ± 2.5||1168||33081||2010||Imaging|
|Kepler-16||b||0.333 ± 0.016||0.7048 ± 0.0011||0.6266 ± 0.0001||2011||||Transit|
|NY Virginis||b||2.3 ± 0.3||3.3||7.9||2011||||Eclipsing binary timing|
|RR Caeli||b||4.2 ± 0.4||5.3 ± 0.6||11.9||2012||||Eclipsing binary timing|
|Kepler-34||b||0.220 ± 0.0011||1.0896 ± 0.0009||0.7908 ± 0.0002||2012||||Transit|
|Kepler-35||b||0.127 ± 0.02||0.603 ± 0.001||0.3600 ± 0.1||2012||||Transit|
|Kepler-38||b||0.38||0.4644 ± 0.0082||0.289||2012||||Transit|
|Kepler-47||b||unknown||0.2956 ± 0.0047||0.136||2012||||Transit|
|Kepler-47||c||unknown||0.989 ± 0.016||0.83||2012||||Transit|
|Kepler 64||PH1||0.11 ± 0.3||0.634 ± 0.011||0.379||2012||Transit|
|ROXs 42B||ROXs 42B b||10±4||140||2013||Imaging|
|FW Tauri||FW Tauri b||10±4||330||2013||Imaging|
Unconfirmed or doubtful
|Star system||Planetary object||Mass
- In the Trigun series, the planet orbits a binary star system.
- In the Star Wars series, planet Tatooine orbits in a close binary system.
- In the Doctor Who series, planet Gallifrey orbits a binary star system.
- In the Star Fox series, the planets orbit Lylat and Solar (an M-class red dwarf)
- Megan L. A. Almeida, F. Jablonski and C. V. Rodrigues (2012). circumbinary planets: Two circumbinary planets in the eclipsing post-common envelope system NSVS 14256825. arXiv:1210.3055. Bibcode:2013ApJ...766...11A. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/11.
- Megan E. Schwamb, Jerome A. Orosz, Joshua A. Carter, William F. Welsh, Debra A. Fischer, Guillermo Torres, Andrew W. Howard, Justin R. Crepp, William C. Keel, Chris J. Lintott, Nathan A. Kaib, Dirk Terrell, Robert Gagliano, Kian J. Jek, Michael Parrish, Arfon M. Smith, Stuart Lynn, Robert J. Simpson, Matthew J. Giguere, Kevin Schawinski (2012). Planet Hunters: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet in a Quadruple Star System. arXiv:1210.3612. Bibcode:2001ApJ...549..590P. doi:10.1086/319061.
- Backer, D.C. (1993). "A pulsar timing tutorial and NRAO Green Bank observations of PSR 1257+12". Planets around Pulsars. Pasadena: California Institute of Technology. pp. 11–18. Bibcode:1993ASPC...36...11B.
- Thorsett, S. E.; Arzoumanian, Z.; Taylor, J. H. (1993). "PSR B1620-26 - A binary radio pulsar with a planetary companion?". Astrophysical Journal Part 2. Letters 412 (1): L33–L36. Bibcode:1993ApJ...412L..33T. doi:10.1086/186933.
- Sigurðsson, Steinn; Richer, Harvey B.; Hansen, Brad M.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Thorsett, Stephen E. (2003). "A Young White Dwarf Companion to Pulsar B1620-26: Evidence for Early Planet Formation". Science 301 (5630): 193–196. arXiv:astro-ph/0307339. Bibcode:2003Sci...301..193S. doi:10.1126/science.1086326. PMID 12855802.
- Correia, A. C. M.; Udry, S.; Mayor, M.; Laskar, J.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C. (2005). "The CORALIE survey for southern extra-solar planets. XIII. A pair of planets around HD 202206 or a circumbinary planet?". Astronomy and Astrophysics 440 (2): 751–758. arXiv:astro-ph/0411512. Bibcode:2005A&A...440..751C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20042376.
- Couetdic, J.; Laskar, J.; Correia, A. C. M.; Mayor, M.; Udry, S. (2010). "Dynamical stability analysis of the HD 202206 system and constraints to the planetary orbits". Astronomy and Astrophysics 519 (A10): 14. arXiv:astro-ph/0911.1963. Bibcode:2010A&A...519A..10C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200913635.
- Nelson, Richard P. (2003). "On the evolution of giant protoplanets forming in circumbinary discs". Astronomy and Astrophysics 345 (1): 233–242. Bibcode:2003MNRAS.345..233N. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06929.x.
- "Definition of a "Planet"". Working Group on Extrasolar Planets (WGESP) of the International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- Lee, Jae Woo; Kim, Seung-Lee; Kim, Chun-Hwey; Koch, Robert H.; Lee, Chung-Uk; Kim, Ho-Il; Park, Jang-Ho (2009). "The sdB+M Eclipsing System HW Virginis and its Circumbinary Planets". The Astronomical Journal 137 (2): 3181–3190. arXiv:0811.3807. Bibcode:2009AJ....137.3181L. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/137/2/3181.
- Doyle, Laurance, et al. Science, 16 September 2011.
- "Kepler uncovers planet orbiting two stars", Astronomy, January 2012, p. 23.
- Bennett, D. P.; Rhie, S. H.; Becker, A. C.; Butler, N.; Dann, J.; Kaspi, S.; Leibowitz, E. M.; Lipkin, Y.; Maoz, D.; Mendelson, H.; Peterson, B. A.; Quinn, J.; Shemmer, O.; Thomson, S.; Turner, S. E. (1999). "Discovery of a planet orbiting a binary star system from gravitational microlensing". Nature 402 (6757): 57–59. arXiv:astro-ph/9908038. Bibcode:1999Natur.402...57B. doi:10.1038/46990.
- Albrow, M. D.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Caldwell, J. A. R.; Dominik, M.; Gaudi, B. S.; Gould, A.; Greenhill, J.; Hill, K.; Kane, S.; Martin, R.; Menzies, J.; Naber, R. M.; Pollard, K. R.; Sackett, P. D.; Sahu, K. C.; Vermaak, P.; Watson, R.; Williams, A.; Bond, H. E.; van Bemmel, I. M. (2000). "Detection of Rotation in a Binary Microlens: PLANET Photometry of MACHO 97-BLG-41". The Astrophysical Journal 534 (2): 894–906. arXiv:astro-ph/9910307. Bibcode:2000ApJ...534..894A. doi:10.1086/308798.
- "The TEP network".
- Doyle, Laurance R.; Deeg, Hans J.; Kozhevnikov, Valerij P.; Oetiker, Brian; Martín, Eduardo L.; Blue, J. Ellen; Rottler, Lee; Stone, Remington P. S.; Ninkov, Zoran; Jenkins, Jon M.; Schneider, Jean; Dunham, Edward W.; Doyle, Moira F.; Paleologou, Efthimious (2000). "Observational Limits on Terrestrial-sized Inner Planets around the CM Draconis System Using the Photometric Transit Method with a Matched-Filter Algorithm". The Astrophysical Journal 535 (1): 338–349. arXiv:astro-ph/0001177. Bibcode:2000ApJ...535..338D. doi:10.1086/308830.
- Morales, Juan Carlos; Ribas, Ignasi; Jordi, Carme; Torres, Guillermo; Gallardo, José; Guinan, Edward F.; Charbonneau, David; Wolf, Marek; Latham, David W.; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Bradstreet, David H.; Everett, Mark E.; O'Donovan, Francis T.; Mandushev, Georgi; Mathieu, Robert D. (2009). "Absolute Properties of the Low-Mass Eclipsing Binary CM Draconis". The Astrophysical Journal 691 (2): 1400–1411. arXiv:0810.1541. Bibcode:2009ApJ...691.1400M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/691/2/1400.
- Ker Than (2007-03-07). "Worlds with Double Sunsets Common". Space.com.
- Trilling, D. E.; Stansberry, J. A.; Stapelfeldt, K. R.; Rieke, G. H.; Su, K. Y. L.; Gray, R. O.; Corbally, C. J.; Bryden, G.; Chen, C. H.; Boden, A.; Beichman, C. A. (2007). "Debris disks in main-sequence binary systems.". The Astrophysical Journal 658 (2): 1264–1288. arXiv:astro-ph/0612029. Bibcode:2007ApJ...658.1289T. doi:10.1086/511668.
- Akeson, R. L.; Rice, W. K. M.; Boden, A. F.; Sargent, A. I.; Carpenter, J. M.; Bryden, G. (2007). "The Circumbinary Disk of HD 98800B: Evidence for Disk Warping". The Astrophysical Journal 670 (2): 1240–1246. arXiv:0708.2390. Bibcode:2007ApJ...670.1240A. doi:10.1086/522579.
- Verrier, P. E.; Evans, N. W. (2008). "HD 98800: a most unusual debris disc". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 390 (4): 1377–1387. arXiv:0807.5105. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.390.1377V. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13854.x.
- Prato, L.; Ghez, A. M.; Piña, R. K.; Telesco, C. M.; Fisher, R. S.; Wizinowich, P.; Lai, O.; Acton, D. S.; Stomski, P. (2001). "Keck Diffraction-limited Imaging of the Young Quadruple Star System HD 98800". The Astrophysical Journal 549 (1): 590–598. arXiv:astro-ph/0011135. Bibcode:2001ApJ...549..590P. doi:10.1086/319061.
- Schneider, J. "Notes for star NN Ser". The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- Laurance R. Doyle et al. "Kepler-16: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet".
- S.-B. Qian, L.-Y. Zhu, Z.-B. Dai, E. Fernández Lajús, F.-Y. Xiang, J.-J. He. "Kepler-16: Circumbinary Planets Orbiting the Rapidly Pulsating Subdwarf B-type binary NY Vir".
- QIAN S.-B., LIU L., ZHU L.-Y., DAI Z.-B., FERNANDEZ LAJUS E. & BAUME G. MNRAS, 422, 24. "Kepler-16: A Circumbinary Planet in Orbit Around the Short-Period White-Dwarf Eclipsing Binary RR Cae".
- Welsh, William F.; et al (2012). "Transiting circumbinary planets Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b". Nature. arXiv:1204.3955. Bibcode:2012Natur.481..475W. doi:10.1038/nature10768. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- OROSZ J., WELSH W., CARTER J., BRUGMYER E., BUCHHAVE L. & 27 additional authors ApJ, 758, 87 (2012). The Neptune-Sized Circumbinary Planet Kepler-38b. arXiv:1208.3712. Bibcode:2012ApJ...758...87O. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/758/2/87.