Journal Article

Determination of the mass of Ceres based on the most gravitationally efficient close encounters

Andjelka B. Kovačević

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 419, issue 3, pages 2725-2736
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19919.x
Determination of the mass of Ceres based on the most gravitationally efficient close encounters

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In this paper, a recalculated value of the mass of Ceres is presented, based on the explicit tracking of its gravitational influence on the orbital evolution of 21 selected asteroids during their mutual close encounters. A new modified method was used for the mass determination, which is based on connecting pre-encounter observations to the orbit determined from post-encounter observations. The calculated weighted mean value of the mass of Ceres, based on the modified method, is (4.54 ± 0.07) 10−10 M. The standard procedure provides a result of (4.70 ± 0.04) 10−10 M. It is found that the correlation between individual estimated masses, based on the modified and standard methods, is 0.78. This confirms that the modified method is reliable.

Keywords: methods: numerical; minor planets, asteroids: general

Journal Article.  8785 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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