Dynamics of Mars Trojans
Abstract
In this paper we explore the dynamical stability of the Mars Trojan region applying mainly Laskar's Frequency Map Analysis. This method yields the chaotic diffusion rate of orbits and allows to determine the most stable regions. It also gives the frequencies which are responsible for the instability of orbits. The most stable regions are found for inclinations between about 15° and 30°. For inclinations smaller than 15°, we confirm, by applying a synthetic secular theory, that the secular resonances ν, ν, ν, ν rapidly excite asteroid orbits within a few Myrs, or even faster. The asteroids are removed from the Trojan region after a close encounter with Mars. For large inclinations, the secular resonance ν clears a small region around 30° while the Kozai resonance rapidly removes bodies for inclinations larger than 35°. The dynamical lifetimes of the three L5 Trojans, (5261) Eureka, 1998 VF31, 2001 DH47, and the only L4 Trojan 1999 UJ7 are determined by numerically integrating clouds of corresponding clones over the age of the Solar System. All four Trojans reside in the most stable region with smallest diffusion coefficients. Their dynamical halflifetime is of the order of the age of the Solar System. The Yarkovsky force has little effect on the known Trojans but for bodies smaller than about 15 m the drag is strong enough to destabilize Trojans on a timescale shorter than 4.5 Gyr.
 Publication:

Icarus
 Pub Date:
 June 2005
 DOI:
 10.1016/j.icarus.2005.01.018
 Bibcode:
 2005Icar..175..397S