The stability of the suggested planet in the ν Octantis system: a numerical and statistical study


E-mail: (BQ); (MC); (ZEM)


We provide a detailed theoretical study aimed at the observational finding about the ν Octantis binary system that indicates the possible existence of a Jupiter-type planet in this system. If a prograde planetary orbit is assumed, it has earlier been argued that the planet, if existing, should be located outside the zone of orbital stability. However, a previous study by Eberle & Cuntz concludes that the planet is most likely stable if assumed to be in a retrograde orbit with respect to the secondary system component. In the present work, we significantly augment this study by taking into account the observationally deduced uncertainty ranges of the orbital parameters for the stellar components and the suggested planet. Furthermore, our study employs additional mathematical methods, which include monitoring the Jacobi constant, the zero velocity function and the maximum Lyapunov exponent. We again find that the suggested planet is indeed possible if assumed to be in a retrograde orbit, but it is virtually impossible if assumed in a prograde orbit. Its existence is found to be consistent with the deduced system parameters of the binary components and of the suggested planet, including the associated uncertainty bars given by observations.