Celestial mechanics

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 145–187

The restricted 3-body problem with radiation pressure


  • J. F. L. Simmons
    • Department of Astronomy, The University
  • A. J. C. McDonald
    • Department of Astronomy, The University
  • J. C. Brown
    • Department of Astronomy, The University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01227667

Cite this article as:
Simmons, J.F.L., McDonald, A.J.C. & Brown, J.C. Celestial Mechanics (1985) 35: 145. doi:10.1007/BF01227667


The restricted 3-body problem is generalised to include the effects of an inverse square distance radiation pressure force on the infinitesimal mass due to the large masses, which are both arbitrarily luminous. A complete solution of the problems of existence and linear stability of the equilibrium points is given for all values of radiation pressures of both liminous bodies, and all values of mass ratios. It is shown that the inner Lagrange point, L1, can be stable, but only when both large masses are luminous. Four equilibrium points, L6, L7, L8, and L9 can exist out of the orbital plane when the radiation pressure of the smaller mass is very high. Although L8 and L9 are always linearly unstable, L6 and L7 are stable for a small range of radiation pressures provided that both large masses are luminous.

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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985