Stability and evolution of primeval lunar satellite orbits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are several independent sources of evidence which suggest that the multiring basins of the lunar surface were created by the impact of natural satellites of the Moon, early in solar system history. If this hypothesis is correct the orbits of these primeval satellites would need to be stable for significant periods, to account for the known age differences of these basins. The stability of these primeval satellite orbits is considered. We find constraints on the satellite masses and initial orbits for long-term and short-term orbit stability. Dissipation due to lunar tidal friction may contribute significantly to the stability of close orbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-329
Number of pages6
JournalIcarus
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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