Rotational Behaviour of Comet Nuclei
Numerical experiments of the rotational behaviour of comet nuclei have been performed, including the Sun and Jupiter’s disturbing torques in the models. In a stable configuration, the solar torque induces great librations that remain unchanged along the orbit. A close approach with Jupiter can result in great changes on the rotational pattern because of the motion sensitivity to initial conditions. The unstable configuration is characterized by great librations of the nutation angle, and the existence of a possibly large chaotic zone in the phase space.
KeywordsClose Approach Orbital Motion Comet Nucleus Rotational Behaviour Close Encounter
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