On the divergence of first order resonance widths at low eccentricities

Renu Malhotra, Nan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orbital resonances play an important role in the dynamics of planetary systems. Classical theoretical analyses found in textbooks report that libration widths of first order mean motion resonances diverge for nearly circular orbits. Here we examine the nature of this divergence with a non-perturbative analysis of a few first order resonances interior to a Jupiter-mass planet. We show that a first order resonance has two branches, the pericentric and the apocentric resonance zone. As the eccentricity approaches zero, the centers of these zones diverge away from the nominal resonance location but their widths shrink. We also report a novel finding of "bridges" between adjacent first order resonances: at low eccentricities, the apocentric libration zone of a first order resonance smoothly connects with the pericentric libration zone of the neighboring first order resonance. These bridges may facilitate resonant migration across large radial distances in planetary systems, entirely in the low eccentricity regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jun 16 2020


  • (stars:) planetary systems
  • Celestial mechanics
  • Planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
  • Solar system: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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