DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 41. Asteroids Posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Friday, November 30, 2001, 9:00-10:30am, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[41.01] Orbital Dynamics about a Slowly Rotating Asteroid

J. E. Howard (LASP, University of Colorado)

We analyze orbital stability of satellites (moon, spacecraft) about a slowly rotating axisymmetric asteroid. We consider both orbits lying in and transverse to the plane of rotation. Using simple point mass models as a guide, we discover an unstable region near the equatorial plane of an indented body. The existence of stable/unstable regions is confirmed numerically for a realistic ``peanut" model asteroid. The stable region is found to survive modest asteroid rotation about an axis of maximum moment of inertia.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jhoward@colorado.edu

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