Journal Article

Ceres’ rotation solution under the gravitational torque of the Sun

M. Lara, T. Fukushima and S. Ferrer

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 415, issue 1, pages 461-469
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18717.x
Ceres’ rotation solution under the gravitational torque of the Sun

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Available observations of the shape of Ceres show it as a rotationally symmetric oblate spheroid. However, deviations from axisymmetry even at the level of observational accuracy may show significant effects on its rotational dynamics. These presumed deviations can be accounted for in a purely analytical way by means of perturbation theory. In our approach, the spherical rotor is taken as the unperturbed part of the motion instead of the more common torque-free motion or uniaxial body approaches. This alternative allows us to compute an analytical solution for the rotation of Ceres under the gravitational pull of the Sun by proceeding with a successive elimination of the different angles, which only involves quadratures of straightforward computation.

Keywords: methods: analytical; celestial mechanics; minor planets, asteroids: individual: Ceres

Journal Article.  5286 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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