Periodic Orbits in the Isosceles Three-Body Problem

  • Cristina Chiralt Monleón
  • José Martínez Alfaro
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 272)


The Saturn’s satellites Janus and Epimetheus are the first known bodies in the Solar System that has horseshoe orbits in a frame that rotates with uniform angular velocity. Both satellites have similar masses and orbital elements when they are far from one another. Moreover, their orbits are nearly symmetric. In fact, in the past, they have been identify as a unique satellite and afterwards, some mathematical theories about their orbits has been necessaries to understand why they do not collide. In particular, the interest in planar three-body problem with two small masses has increased6. We assume that the two small masses have similar symmetric initial conditions. The aim of this paper is to find what kind of motion, can present these bodies. We find an infinity of different types. To prove that we analyze the limit case, when both small masses are equal and in symmetric opposite positions, i.e, the isosceles three- body problem.
$$\frac{{\text{d}^2 \text{x}}}{{\text{dt}^2 }} = - \frac{{\text{Gm}_0 \text{x}}}{{(\text{x}^2 + \text{y}^2 )^{3/2} }} - \frac{{\text{Gm}_1 }}{{4 \times ^2 }}$$
$$\frac{{\text{d}^2 \text{y}}}{{\text{dt}^2 }} = - \text{GM}\frac{\text{y}}{{(\text{x}^2 + \text{y}^2 )^{3/2} }}$$
where M is the total mass m0 + m1 + m2.


Periodic Orbit Triple Collision Symmetric Periodic Orbit Collision Orbit Hyperbolic Periodic Orbit 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Chiralt Monleón
    • 1
  • José Martínez Alfaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament de Matemàtica Aplicada i Astronomia Facultat de MatemàtiquesUniversitat de ValènciaSpain

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