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Title: Multi-layer hydrostatic equilibrium of planets and synchronous moons: theory and application to Ceres and to solar system moons

The hydrostatic equilibrium of multi-layer bodies lacks a satisfactory theoretical treatment despite its wide range of applicability. Here we show that by using the exact analytical potential of homogeneous ellipsoids we can obtain recursive analytical solutions and an exact numerical method for the hydrostatic equilibrium shape problem of multi-layer planets and synchronous moons. The recursive solutions rely on the series expansion of the potential in terms of the polar and equatorial shape eccentricities, while the numerical method uses the exact potential expression. These solutions can be used to infer the interior structure of planets and synchronous moons from their observed shape, rotation, and gravity. When applied to the dwarf planet Ceres, we show that it is most likely a differentiated body with an icy crust of equatorial thickness 30-90 km and a rocky core of density 2.4-3.1 g cm{sup –3}. For synchronous moons, we show that the J {sub 2}/C {sub 22} ≅ 10/3 and the (b – c)/(a – c) ≅ 1/4 ratios have significant corrections of order Ω{sup 2}/(πGρ), with important implications for how their gravitational coefficients are determined from fly-by radio science data and for how we assess their hydrostatic equilibrium state.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351420
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 782; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANALYTICAL SOLUTION; CORRECTIONS; DENSITY; DWARF STARS; EQUILIBRIUM; GRAVITATION; LAYERS; MOON; PLANETS; ROTATION; SERIES EXPANSION; SIMULATION; SOLAR SYSTEM; THICKNESS