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Is Bode's Law just a series of remarkable coincidences,or would it hold good for other solar systems where the star is similar to our sun?

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    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia says No solid theoretical explanation underlies the Titius–Bode law, but it is possible that given a combination of orbital resonance and shortage of degrees of freedom, any stable planetary system has a high probability of satisfying a Titius–Bode-type relationship. Since it may be a mathematical coincidence rather than a "law of nature", it is sometimes referred to as a rule instead of "law". $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Jun 5, 2019 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ Related: space.stackexchange.com/q/20938/58 $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Jun 5, 2019 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ I think it would have a better chance of being true for other solar systems if we limit our initial investigations to sun-like stars,but we will have to wait a while before hat becomes possible. The way exoplanet research is going,we may not have to wait very long. It would be even more interesting if Bodes rule were found to work for other types of star,but I think that is unlikely. $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2019 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ I've edited the tag on this: Bode's law is no law of physics, but an outcome of planetary system dynamics, and not universally seen in exoplanetary systems. $\endgroup$ Jun 6, 2019 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ @AtmosphericPrisonEscape We can see exactly those exoplanets the least, where the law (rule) is the strongest in our solar system. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Dec 26, 2020 at 20:57

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A recent article examines if exoplanetary systems follow the Titus-Bode rule. They find that among the systems with three or more confirmed planets that they studied, the planetary distances follow a logarithmic law roughly 53% of the time. So it is possible that the Titus-Bode rule is more than a simple coincidence.

There is no solid explanation for this, but from Wikipedia:

it is possible that, given a combination of orbital resonance and shortage of degrees of freedom, any stable planetary system has a high probability of satisfying a Titius–Bode-type relationship.

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The Titius-Bode Law as originally conceived has too much mathematical cheating to be meaningful (e.g. the exponent must be negative infinity for Mercury, then switch to N - 2 for the other planets). What does seem to be true is that the planets are roughly proportionally spaced, each one being, on average, 1.7 times further out than the one before it. That may be true for exoplanet systems, as well. On the other hand, some exoplanet systems may be "tightly packed" due to resonances and have linear, rather than geometric, spacing.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 This. The Bode rule ist just a feeble attempt to find simple structure in complex mechanics, and then bend its own rules to make reality match it. $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2021 at 22:03

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