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Title: Origins of Hot Jupiters from the Stellar Obliquity Distribution

The obliquity of a star, or the angle between its spin axis and the average orbit normal of its companion planets, provides a unique constraint on that system’s evolutionary history. Unlike the solar system, where the Sun’s equator is nearly aligned with its companion planets, many hot-Jupiter systems have been discovered with large spin–orbit misalignments, hosting planets on polar or retrograde orbits. We demonstrate that, in contrast to stars harboring hot Jupiters on circular orbits, those with eccentric companions follow no population-wide obliquity trend with stellar temperature. This finding can be naturally explained through a combination of high-eccentricity migration and tidal damping. Furthermore, we show that the joint obliquity and eccentricity distributions observed today are consistent with the outcomes of high-eccentricity migration, with no strict requirement to invoke the other hot-Jupiter formation mechanisms of disk migration or in situ formation. At a population-wide level, high-eccentricity migration can consistently shape the dynamical evolution of hot-Jupiter systems.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. L17
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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