Journal Article

Dynamics of two planets in co-orbital motion

C. A. Giuppone, C. Beaugé, T. A. Michtchenko and S. Ferraz-Mello

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 1, pages 390-398
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Dynamics of two planets in co-orbital motion

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We study the stability regions and families of periodic orbits of two planets locked in a co-orbital configuration. We consider different ratios of planetary masses and orbital eccentricities; we also assume that both planets share the same orbital plane. Initially, we perform numerical simulations over a grid of osculating initial conditions to map the regions of stable/chaotic motion and identify equilibrium solutions. These results are later analysed in more detail using a semi-analytical model.

Apart from the well-known quasi-satellite orbits and the classical equilibrium Lagrangian points L4 and L5, we also find a new regime of asymmetric periodic solutions. For low eccentricities these are located at (Δλ, Δϖ) = (±60°, ∓120°), where Δλ is the difference in mean longitudes and Δϖ is the difference in longitudes of pericentre. The position of these anti-Lagrangian solutions changes with the mass ratio and the orbital eccentricities and are found for eccentricities as high as ∼0.7.

Finally, we also applied a slow mass variation to one of the planets and analysed its effect on an initially asymmetric periodic orbit. We found that the resonant solution is preserved as long as the mass variation is adiabatic, with practically no change in the equilibrium values of the angles.

Keywords: methods: analytical; methods: numerical; celestial mechanics; planets and satellites: general; planetary systems

Journal Article.  5573 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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