Constraints on Bounded Motion and Mutual Escape for the Full 3-Body Problem [EPA]

When gravitational aggregates are spun to fission they can undergo complex dynamical evolution, including escape and reconfiguration. Previous work has shown that a simple analysis of the full 2-body problem provides physically relevant insights for whether a fissioned system can lead to escape of the components and the creation of asteroid pairs. In this paper we extend the analysis to the full 3-body problem, utilizing recent advances in the understanding of fission mechanics of these systems. Specifically, we find that the full 3-body problem can eject a body with as much as 0.31 of the total system mass, significantly larger than the 0.17 mass limit previously calculated for the full 2-body problem. This paper derives rigorous limits on a fissioned 3-body system with regards to whether fissioned system components can physically escape from each other and what other stable relative equilibria they could settle in. We explore this question with a narrow focus on the Spherical Full Three Body Problem studied in detail earlier.

Read this paper on arXiv…

D. Scheeres
Thu, 1 Dec 16

Comments: Accepted for publication in Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy