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Title: Laplace plane modifications arising from solar radiation pressure

The dynamical effects of solar radiation pressure (SRP) in the solar system have been rigorously studied since the early 1900s. This non-gravitational perturbation plays a significant role in the evolution of dust particles in circumplanetary orbits, as well as in the orbital motion about asteroids and comets. For gravitationally dominated orbits, SRP is negligible and the resulting motion is largely governed by the oblateness of the primary and the attraction of the Sun. The interplay between these gravitational perturbations gives rise to three mutually perpendicular planes of equilibrium for circular satellite orbits. The classical Laplace plane lies between the equatorial and orbital planes of the primary, and is the mean reference plane about whose axis the pole of a satellite's orbit precesses. From a previously derived solution for the secular motion of an orbiter about a small body in a SRP dominated environment, we find that SRP acting alone will cause an initially circular orbit to precess around the pole of the primary's heliocentric orbital plane. When the gravitational and non-gravitational perturbations act in concert, the resulting equilibrium planes turn out to be qualitatively different, in some cases, from those obtained without considering the radiation pressure. The warping of themore » surfaces swept out by the modified equilibria as the semi-major axis varies depends critically on the cross-sectional area of the body exposed. These results, together with an adiabatic invariance argument on Poynting-Robertson drag, provide a natural qualitative explanation for the initial albedo dichotomy of Saturn's moon, Iapetus.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. ADepartment of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357016
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 786; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ADIABATIC INVARIANCE; ASTEROIDS; COMETS; DISTURBANCES; DRAG; DUSTS; EQUILIBRIUM; MODIFICATIONS; MOON; ORBITS; PERTURBATION THEORY; RADIATION PRESSURE; SATURN PLANET; SOLAR RADIATION; SOLAR SYSTEM; STABILITY; SUN; SURFACES