Solar System Research

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 404–409 | Cite as

Features of encounters of small bodies with planets

  • N. Yu. Emel’yanenko


A kinematic approach is developed to qualitative analysis of characteristics of a low-speed encounter of a small body with a planet. A classification of encounters of small bodies with planets based on the magnitude of planetocentric speed is proposed. The concept of the points of low-speed quasi-tangency of orbits of small bodies and planets is introduced. Based on this concept, the definitions of the point of minimum planetocentric speed, a quasi-tangent low-velocity segment on the orbit of a small body, low-velocity and high-velocity encounters are formulated. A classification of encounters of small bodies with planets according to the global minimum of the function of planetocentric distance is also proposed. The classification is based on the concepts of the gravity sphere of action and the Hill sphere of the planet. The definitions of an area and duration of low-speed and high-speed encounters are given.


small body low-speed encounter quasi-tangency point Hill’s sphere sphere of gravity action 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of AstronomyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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