Three-dimensional disc-satellite interaction: Torques, migration, and observational signatures

Lev Arzamasskiy, Zhaohuan Zhu, James M. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The interaction of a satellite with a gaseous disc results in the excitation of spiral density waves, which remove angular momentum from the orbit. In addition, if the orbit is not coplanar with the disc, three-dimensional effects will excite bending and eccentricity waves. We perform three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations to study nonlinear disc-satellite interaction in inviscid protoplanetary discs for a variety of orbital inclinations from 0° to 180°. It is well known that three-dimensional effects are important even for zero inclination. In this work, we (1) show that for planets with small inclinations (as in the Solar system), effects such as the total torque and migration rate strongly depend on the inclination and are significantly different (about 2.5 times smaller) from the two-dimensional case, (2) give formulae for the migration rate, inclination damping, and precession rate of planets with different inclination angles in disc with different scale heights, and (3) present the observational signatures of a planet on an inclined orbit with respect to the protoplanetary disc. For misaligned planets, we find good agreement with linear theory in the limit of small inclinations, and with dynamical friction estimates for intermediate inclinations. We find that in the latter case, the dynamical friction force is not parallel to the relative planetary velocity. Overall, the derived formulae will be important for studying exoplanets with obliquity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3201-3212
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • protoplanetary discs


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