We have calculated the obliquity evolution of Ceres and Vesta, two objects of prime interest to the DAWN mission, over a period of 10 million years. We use direct N-body methods which solves for the orbital and rotational evolution as a function of time. We consider three cases, one with all the planets and the Sun, one with Jupiter and the Sun, and one with the Sun only. We find significant obliquity fluctuations for both objects over a period of about 100,000 years. We find the dominant perturber of both Ceres and Vesta to be Jupiter. We find the changes in obliquity are due to changes in the orientation of the spin angular momentum vector and not due to changes in inclination. Finally, we discuss possible applications of our work to the understanding of the physical properties of Ceres and Vesta.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #39
- Pub Date:
- October 2007