Stones in the Sky: From the Main Belt to Earth-Crossing Orbits
It is now well known that impacts play a great role in the formation of planetary bodies, and have some influence during their evolution -- particularly on the biosphere. The story begins officially in the early 19th century, with the discovery of the first asteroids and the recognition that stones can fall from the skies. Through the findings of the Kirkwood gaps, of Hirayama families and finally the importance of the 3:1 and other resonances, the processes that send Main Belt asteroids on trajectories crossing Earth’s orbit have been gradually understood. A little paradox remained: computations show that the resonances become completely empty in less than a billion years, but observations reveal that celestial bodies orbiting in such Earth-crossing trajectories still exist; this has been explained by collisions in the Main Belt, the products of which are sometimes injected into nearby resonances and then continue to supply the population of possible Earth-crossers; non-gravitational forces may also inject bodies into resonances. Besides, hazards due to collisions between such Earth-crossers and our planet have been recognized. The example of asteroid 4179 Toutatis, discovered in 1989 (at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur), very near the 3:1 resonance, is presented.
KeywordsOrbital Period Celestial Body Orbital Element Giant Planet Minor Planet
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Benest D, Froeschlé C, Gonczi R (1994) Stochasticity of the Apollo asteroid 4179 Toutatis. In: Kozai Y, Binzel R, Hirayama T (eds) Seventy-five years of Hirayama asteroid families: The role of collisions in the Solar System history. Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference Series vol. 63, pp 7–14Google Scholar
- Benest D, Froeschlé C (eds) (1992) Interrelations between physics and dynamics for minor bodies in the Solar System. Editions Frontières vol. C49, 651 ppGoogle Scholar
- Benest D, Froeschlé C (eds) (1998) Impacts on Earth. Springer, Heidelberg, Lecture Notes in Physics vol. 505, 223 ppGoogle Scholar
- Froeschlé Chr (1999) Les “géocroiseurs” (astéroïdes qui frôlent la Terre) et l’origine des météorites. In: Benest D, Froeschlé C (eds) Astéroïdes, météorites et poussières interplanétaires. Editions ESKA, pp 81–116Google Scholar
- Gronchi GF (2002) Generalized averaging principle and Proper Elements for NEAs. In: Benest D, Froeschlé C (eds) Singularities in gravitational systems-Applications to chaotic transport in the Solar System. Springer, Heidelberg, Lecture Notes in Physics vol. 590, pp 179–211Google Scholar
- Kozai Y, Binzel R, Hirayama T (eds) (1994) Seventy-five years of Hirayama asteroid families: The role of collisions in the Solar System history. Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference Series vol. 63, 303 ppGoogle Scholar
- Morbidelli A (2002) Modern Celestial Mechanics-Aspects of Solar System dynamics. Taylor and Francis-Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics vol. 5, 368 ppGoogle Scholar
- Morbidelli A, Benest D (1999) Ordre et chaos dans le Système Solaire. In: Benest D, Froeschlé C (eds) Invitation aux planètes. Editions ESKA, pp 65–87Google Scholar
- Morbidelli A, Froeschlé C (1998) Origin and dynamical transport of near-earth asteroids and meteorites. In: Benest D, Froeschlé C (eds) Impacts on Earth. Lecture Notes in Physics, vol. 505, Springer, Heidelberg, pp 31–53Google Scholar