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Astrophysics > Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

Title: On existence of out-of-plane equilibrium points in restricted three-body problem with oblateness

Abstract: We analyze in this paper the existence of the "out-of-plane" equilibrium points in the restricted three-body problem with oblateness. From the series expansion of the potential function of an oblate asteroid, we show analytically all equilibrium points locate on the orbital plane of primaries and how artificial equilibrium points may arise due to an inappropriate application of the potential function. Using the closed form of the potential of a triaxial ellipsoid, we analytically demonstrate that the gravitational acceleration in $z$-direction is always pointing toward the equatorial plane, thus it could not be balanced out at any value of $z\neq 0$ and the out-of-plane equilibrium points cannot exist. The out-of-plane equilibrium points appear only when additional acceleration other than the gravitation from primaries is taken into account. We suggest that special attention must be paid to the application of the spherical harmonics expansion of potential to find the equilibrium points, especially when these points may be very close to the celestial body.
Comments: Some results in Section 2.3 will appear in A&A as a comment paper (DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201832575). 11 papges
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201832575
Cite as: arXiv:1803.06614 [astro-ph.EP]
  (or arXiv:1803.06614v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Li-Yong Zhou [view email]
[v1] Sun, 18 Mar 2018 07:01:23 GMT (181kb)