Celestial mechanics

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 29–52

Almost rectilinear halo orbits

  • K. C. Howell
  • J. V. Breakwell

DOI: 10.1007/BF01358402

Cite this article as:
Howell, K.C. & Breakwell, J.V. Celestial Mechanics (1984) 32: 29. doi:10.1007/BF01358402


Numerical studies over the entire range of mass-ratios in the circular restricted 3-body problem have revealed the existence of families of three-dimensional ‘halo’ periodic orbits emanating from the general vicinity of any of the 3 collinear Lagrangian libration points. Following a family towards the nearer primary leads, in 2 different cases, to thin, almost rectilinear, orbits aligned essentially perpendicular to the plane of motion of the primaries. (i) If the nearer primary is much more massive than the further, these thin L3-family halo orbits are analyzed by looking at the in-plane components of the small osculating angular momentum relative to the larger primary and at the small in-plane components of the osculating Laplace eccentricity vector. The analysis is carried either to 1st or 2nd order in these 4 small quantities, and the resulting orbits and their stability are compared with those obtained by a regularized numerical integration. (ii) If the nearer primary is much less massive than the further, the thin L1-family and L2-family halo orbits are analyzed to 1st order in these same 4 small quantities with an independent variable related to the one-dimensional approximate motion. The resulting orbits and their stability are again compared with those obtained by numerical integration.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. C. Howell
    • 1
  • J. V. Breakwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Aeronautics and AstronauticsStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.School of Aeronautics and AstronauticsPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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