Here we revisit the history of Mercury's spin since the planet was formed, including the effect of planetary perturbations on both the orbit and spin. We explore a large variety of initial conditions to cover the possible formation and evolutionary scenarios. We test several dissipation models and parameters to evaluate their contribution to the planet's spin history. We confirm that despite the variations in the models, the 3/2 spin-orbit resonance remains the most probable outcome of planetary evolution (Correia and Laskar, Nature, 429, 2004). Our study is presented in a very general setting and should apply to any terrestrial planet (or satellite) whose eccentricity is excited by external forces.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #37
- Pub Date:
- December 2005