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Co-orbital transition of 2016 HO3


In this paper, we investigate the orbital behavior of the transition between the quasisatellite (QS) and horseshoe (HS) motions of 2016 HO3. Based on the phase space structure in the Sun–Earth circular restricted three-body problem, we find that the surface of 2016 HO3 in the torus space is a compound surface formed by QS and HS portions. Its co-orbital motion is therefore a QS–HS transition. 2016 HO3 is currently located in a QS state, and its locus clings to the QS portion in the isosurface in agreement with the semi-analytical results. We provide a criterion to separate the QS and HS stages in the transition and obtain accurate incoming and outgoing epochs of the QS motion. We then propose an approximate curve to describe the locus of 2016 HO3 in the ω − e projection. Virtual asteroids (VAs) near 2016 HO3 in the isosurface were created to study the influence of the initial state of the QS–HS transition. We find that the duration of the QS state is mainly influenced by the loci in the ω − e projection. The VAs with large QS durations usually have longer loci across the QS region than those with shorter durations. In addition, although some VAs are close to 2016 HO3 in the ωe projection, their co-orbital behaviors are significantly different from that of the latter. This indicates that the QS–HS transition of 2016 HO3 is sensitive to the (ω, e) position.

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This work was supported by the Beijing Institute of Technology Research Fund Program for Young Scholars.

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Correspondence to Dong Qiao.

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The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Yi Qi received his Ph.D. degree in aeronautical and astronautical science and technology from Beihang University, China, in 2017. After as a postdoctoral researcher for three years in Ryerson University, he joined Beijing Institute of Technology as an associate professor in 2020. His research area includes orbital dynamics and control for deep space exploration. E-mail:

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Qi, Y., Qiao, D. Co-orbital transition of 2016 HO3. Astrodyn (2022).

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  • Asteroid 469219 Kamo‘oalewa (2016 HO3)
  • co-orbital motion
  • transition
  • torus space
  • semi-analytical method