On the Spin-axis Dynamics of Planets

Event Details
Event Date
Speaker Name/Affiliation
Gongjie Li / Georgia Tech
Seminar Type/Subject
Event Details & Abstracts

The variation of a planet's obliquity plays an important role in determining its climate, and the existence of massive satellites can influence such variations. For instance, the Earth's obliquity is stabilized by the Moon, and would undergo chaotic variations without the Moon. In this talk, I will present a simplified perturbative approach, and demonstrate that without the Moon, the stochastic change in the Earth's obliquity is sufficiently slow to not reach high values (>40 degrees) in billion-year timescales. In addition, I will apply similar techniques to exoplanetary systems and discuss the obliquity variations of planets around binaries.