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M.J.Holman, The stability of planets in the Alpha Centauri system, Astron

By Paul A. Wiegert and Matt Holman


This paper investigates the long-term orbital stability of small bodies near the central binary of the Alpha Centauri system. Test particles on circular orbits are integrated in the field of this binary for 32 000 binary periods or approximately 2.5 Myr. In the region exterior to the binary, particles with semi-major axes less than roughly three times the binary’s semi-major axis ab are unstable. Inside the binary, particles are unstable if further than 0.2 ab from the primary, with stablility closer in a strong function of inclination: orbits inclined near 90 ◦ are unstable in as close as 0.01 ab from either star. 1

Year: 1997
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