Secular resonances between bodies on close orbits: a case study of the Himalia prograde group of jovian irregular satellites

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The gravitational interaction between two objects on similar orbits can effect noticeable changes in the orbital evolution even if the ratio of their masses to that of the central body is vanishingly small. Christou (Icarus 174:215–229, 2005) observed an occasional resonant lock in the differential node ΔΩ between two members in the Himalia irregular satellite group of Jupiter in the N-body simulations (corresponding mass ratio ∼ 10 - 9). Using a semianalytical approach, we have reproduced this phenomenon. We also demonstrate the existence of two additional types of resonance, involving angle differences Δω and Δ(Ω+ ϖ) between two group members. These resonances cause secular oscillations in eccentricity and/or inclination on timescales ∼ 1 Myr. We locate these resonances in (a, e, i) space and analyse their topological structure. In subsequent N-body simulations, we confirm these three resonances and find a fourth one involving Δϖ. In addition, we study the occurrence rates and the stability of the four resonances from a statistical perspective by integrating 1000 test particles for 100 Myr. We find ∼ 10 to 30 librators for each of the resonances. Particularly, the nodal resonance found by Christou is the most stable: 2 particles are observed to stay in libration for the entire integration.


Externa organisationer
  • Armagh Observatory
  • Queen's University Belfast

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi


Sidor (från-till)133-160
Antal sidor28
TidskriftCelestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2016 jun 1
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa