Dynamical Friction and Orbit Circularization
Abstract
The authors study the change in shape of the orbit of a satellite sinking (because of dynamical friction) towards the center of a larger galaxy. The galaxy is assumed spherically symmetric with distribution function either isotropic or predominantly radial. The satellite is a softened point mass. The orbit evolution is studied analytically using the Chandrasekhar (1943) approximation for the dynamical friction drag and the epicyclic approximation for the orbit of the satellite, and numerically, by direct integration of an Nbody system. Fully selfconsistent spherical models have been used for the galaxy.
 Publication:

Structure and Dynamics of Elliptical Galaxies
 Pub Date:
 1987
 DOI:
 10.1007/9789400939714_79
 Bibcode:
 1987IAUS..127..475C