High-resolution resonant portraits of a single-planet white dwarf system

Dimitri Veras, Nikolaos Georgakarakos, Ian Dobbs-Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamical excitation of asteroids due to mean motion resonant interactions with planets is enhanced when their parent star leaves the main sequence. However, numerical investigation of resonant outcomes within post-main-sequence simulations is computationally expensive, limiting the extent to which detailed resonant analyses have been performed. Here, we combine the use of a high-performance computer cluster and the general semi-analytical libration width formulation of Gallardo, Beaugé & Giuppone in order to quantify resonant stability, strength, and variation instigated by stellar evolution for a single-planet system containing asteroids on both crossing and non-crossing orbits. We find that resonant instability can be accurately bound with only main-sequence values by computing a maximum libration width as a function of asteroid longitude of pericentre. We also quantify the relative efficiency of mean motion resonances of different orders to stabilize versus destabilize asteroid orbits during both the giant branch and white dwarf phases. The 4:1, 3:1, and 2:1 resonances represent efficient polluters of white dwarfs, and even when in the orbit-crossing regime, both the 4:3 and 3:2 resonances can retain small reservoirs of asteroids in stable orbits throughout giant branch and white dwarf evolution. This investigation represents a preliminary step in characterizing how simplified extrasolar Kirkwood gap structures evolve beyond the main sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4537-4550
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Kuiper belt: general
  • celestial mechanics
  • minor planets, asteroids: general
  • planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
  • stars: evolution
  • white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'High-resolution resonant portraits of a single-planet white dwarf system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this