Slow diffusion and effective stability of dust particles orbiting asteroids

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This paper presents quantitative estimates of orbital lifetimes for small dust particles in the vicinity of a spherical asteroid orbiting the Sun on a circular orbit. In particular, the modeling accounts for gravitational interactions with the asteroid and the Sun and radiation pressure from the Sun. The analysis focuses on slow drift of particles in a state-space neighborhood of weakly unstable periodic orbits corresponding to the most tightly bound orbits about the asteroid. Through a Hamiltonian normal-form computation, Nekhoroshev-type estimates are derived that yield regions in state space of effective stability, that is, regions in which the grains would remain over significant periods of time in the absence of other depletion and replenishment mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Effective stability
  • Normal-form transformations
  • Persistent periodic orbits
  • Radiation pressure
  • Restricted three-body problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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