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Strong chaos induced by close encounters with Ceres and Vesta

By Jacques Laskar, Mickael Gastineau, J.-B. Delisle, Ariadna Farrés and Agnès Fienga

Abstract

Published in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Reproduced with permission. Copyright ESO.International audienceWe consider the full Solar System including (1) Ceres and some of the main asteroids, (2) Pallas, (4) Vesta, (7) Iris, and (324) Bamberga. We show that close encounters among these small bodies induce strong chaotic behavior in their orbits and in those of many asteroids that are much more chaotic than previously thought. Even if space missions will allow very precise measurements of the positions of Ceres and Vesta, their motion will be unpredictable over 400 kyr. As a result, it will never be possible to recover the precise evolution of the Earth's eccentricity beyond 60 Myr. Ceres and Vesta thus appear to be the main limiting factors for any precise reconstruction of the Earth orbit, which is fundamental for the astronomical calibration of geological timescales. Moreover, collisions of Ceres and Vesta are possible, with a collision probability of 0.2% per Gyr

Topics: chaos, methods: numerical, celestial mechanics, planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability, minor planets asteroids: individual: Ceres, minor planets asteroids: individual: Vesta, [SDU.ASTR.EP]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph]/Earth and Planetary Astrophysics [astro-ph.EP], [PHYS.ASTR.EP]Physics [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph]/Earth and Planetary Astrophysics [astro-ph.EP]
Publisher: 'EDP Sciences'
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1051/0004-6361/201117504
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-00620783v1
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