Volume 541, May 2012
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||11 May 2012|
The orbit of 2010 TK7: possible regions of stability for other Earth Trojan asteroids
1 Universitätssternwarte Wien, Türkenschanzstr. 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
2 Namur Center for Complex Systems, Départment de Mathématique, 8, Rempart de la Vierge, 5000 Namur, Belgium
3 Department of Astronomy & Key Laboratory of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics in Ministry of Education, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, PR China
Received: 1 November 2011
Accepted: 1 February 2012
The first Earth Trojan has been observed and found to be on an interesting orbit close to the Lagrange point L4. In the present study, we therefore perform a detailed investigation of the stability of its orbit and moreover extend the study to give an idea of the probability of finding additional Earth Trojans. Our results are derived using three different approaches. In the first, we derive an analytical mapping in the spatial elliptic restricted three-body problem to find the phase space structure of the dynamical problem. We then explore the stability of the asteroid in the context of the phase space geometry, including the indirect influence of the additional planets of our Solar system. In the second approach, we use precise numerical methods to integrate the orbit forward and backward in time in different dynamical models. On the basis of a set of 400 clone orbits, we derive the probability of capture and escape of the Earth Trojan asteroid 2010 TK7. To this end, in the third approach we perform an extensive numerical investigation of the stability region of the Earth’s Lagrangian points. We present a detailed parameter study of possible stable tadpole and horseshoe orbits of additional Earth Trojans, i.e. with respect to the semi-major axes and inclinations of thousands of fictitious Trojans. All three approaches lead to the conclusion that the Earth Trojan asteroid 2010 TK7 finds itself in an unstable region on the edge of a stable zone; additional Earth Trojan asteroids may be found in this regime of stability.
Key words: celestial mechanics / chaos / minor planets, asteroids: individual: 2010 TK7 / methods: analytical / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2012
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.