Change in General Relativistic Precession Rates due to Lidov-Kozai oscillations in Solar System [EPA]

Both General Relativistic (GR) precession and the Lidov-Kozai mechanism, separately, are known to play an important role in the orbital evolution of solar system bodies. Previous works have studied these two mechanisms independently in great detail. However, both these phenomena occurring at the same time in real solar system bodies have rarely been explored. In this work, we find a continuum connecting the GR precession dominant and Lidov-Kozai like mechanism dominant regimes, i.e. an intermediate regime where the competing effects of GR precession and Lidov-Kozai like oscillations co-exist simultaneously. We find some real examples in the solar system in this intermediate regime. Moreover we identify a rare example amongst them, comet 96P/Machholz 1, which shows significant changes in the rates of GR precession (an order of magnitude higher than Mercury’s GR precession rate) due to sungrazing and sun colliding phases induced by Lidov-Kozai like oscillations. This comet’s combination of orbital elements and initial conditions (at the present epoch) favour this measurable rapid change in GR precession (at some points peaking up to 60 times Mercury’s GR precession rate) along with prograde-retrograde inclination flip (due to Lidov-Kozai like oscillations). Similar tests are performed for hundreds of bodies lying in the moderately low perihelion distance and moderately low semi-major axis phase space in the solar system, the present lowest perihelion distance asteroid 322P/SOHO 1, and further examples connected with 96P/Machholz 1 namely, the Marsden and Kracht families of sungrazing comets plus low perihelion meteoroid streams like Daytime Arietids (ARI) and Southern Delta Aquariids (SDA).

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A. Sekhar, D. Asher, S. Werner, et. al.
Mon, 6 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 5 tables, 12 figures; Accepted in MNRAS Main Journal