An orbital stability study of the proposed companions of SW Lyncis

Hinse, T. C. and Horner, Jonathan and Wittenmyer, Robert A. (2014) An orbital stability study of the proposed companions of SW Lyncis. Journal of Astronomy and Space Science, 31 (3). pp. 187-197. ISSN 2093-5587

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Abstract

We have investigated the dynamical stability of the proposed companions orbiting the Algol type short-period eclipsing binary SW Lyncis (Kim et al. 2010). The two candidate companions are of stellar to substellar nature, and were inferred from timing measurements of the system's primary and secondary eclipses. We applied well-tested numerical techniques to accurately integrate the orbits of the two companions and to test for chaotic dynamical behavior. We carried out the stability analysis within a systematic parameter survey varying both the geometries and orientation of the orbits of the companions, as well as their masses. In all our numerical integrations we found that the proposed SW Lyn multi-body system is highly unstable on time-scales on the order of 1000 years. Our results cast doubt on the interpretation that the timing variations are caused by two companions. This work demonstrates that a straightforward dynamical analysis can help to test whether a best-fit companion-based model is a physically viable explanation for measured eclipse timing variations. We conclude that dynamical considerations reveal that the proposed SW Lyncis multi-body system most likely does not exist or the companions have significantly different orbital properties from those conjectured in Kim et al. (2010).


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2015 22:44
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015 04:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: celestial mechanics; N-body; binaries; stars; SW Lyncis
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020109 Space and Solar Physics
01 Mathematical Sciences > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010204 Dynamical Systems in Applications
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5140/JASS.2014.31.3.187
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26647

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