Simulations explain giant exoplanets with eccentric, close-in orbits

As planetary systems evolve, gravitational interactions between planets can fling some of them into eccentric elliptical orbits around the host star. Smaller planets should be more susceptible to this gravitational scattering, yet many gas giant exoplanets have been observed with eccentric orbits. In fact, the planets with the highest masses tend to be those with the most eccentric orbits. A new study explains these counter-intuitive observations.
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