205 research outputs found

    Cartography for Martian Trojans

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    The last few months have seen the discovery of a second Martian Trojan (1998 VF31), as well as two further possible candidates (1998 QH56 and 1998 SD4). Together with the previously discovered Martian satellite 5261 Eureka, these are the only known possible solar system Trojan asteroids not associated with Jupiter. Here, maps of the locations of the stable Trojan trajectories of Mars are presented. These are constructed by integrating an ensemble of in-plane and inclined orbits in the vicinity of the Martian Lagrange points for between 25 million and 60 million years. The survivors occupy a band of inclinations between 15 degrees and 40 degrees and longitudes between 240 degrees and 330 degrees at the L5 Lagrange point. Around the L4 point, stable Trojans inhabit two bands of inclinations (15 degrees < i < 30 degrees and 32 degrees < i < 40 degrees) with longitudes restricted between 25 degrees and 120 degrees. Both 5261 Eureka and 1998 VF31 lie deep within one of the stable zones, which suggests they may be of primordial origin. Around Mars, the number of such undiscovered primordial objects with sizes greater than 1 km may be as high as 50. The two candidates 1998 QH56 and 1998 SD4 are not presently on Trojan orbits and will enter the sphere of influence of Mars within half a million years.Comment: 14 pages, 3 figures, in press at the Astrophysical Journal (Letters

    The Capture of Centaurs as Trojans

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    Large scale simulations of Centaurs have yielded vast amounts of data, the analysis of which allows interesting but uncommon scenarios to be studied. One such rare phenomenon is the temporary capture of Centaurs as Trojans of the giant planets. Such captures are generally short (10 kyr to 100 kyr), but occur with sufficient frequency (about 40 objects larger than 1 km in diameter every Myr) that they may well contribute to the present-day populations. Uranus and Neptune seem to have great difficulty capturing Centaurs into the 1:1 resonance, while Jupiter captures some, and Saturn the most (80 %). We conjecture that such temporary capture from the Centaur population may be the dominant delivery route into the Saturnian Trojans. Photometric studies of the Jovian Trojans may reveal outliers with Centaur-like as opposed to asteroidal characteristics, and these would be prime candidates for captured Centaurs.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures, submitted to MNRAS (Letters

    Linear multistep methods for integrating reversible differential equations

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    This paper studies multistep methods for the integration of reversible dynamical systems, with particular emphasis on the planar Kepler problem. It has previously been shown by Cano & Sanz-Serna that reversible linear multisteps for first-order differential equations are generally unstable. Here, we report on a subset of these methods -- the zero-growth methods -- that evade these instabilities. We provide an algorithm for identifying these rare methods. We find and study all zero-growth, reversible multisteps with six or fewer steps. This select group includes two well-known second-order multisteps (the trapezoidal and explicit midpoint methods), as well as three new fourth-order multisteps -- one of which is explicit. Variable timesteps can be readily implemented without spoiling the reversibility. Tests on Keplerian orbits show that these new reversible multisteps work well on orbits with low or moderate eccentricity, although at least 100 steps/radian are required for stability.Comment: 31 pages, 9 figures, in press at The Astronomical Journa

    Comptonisation of Cosmic Microwave Background Photons in Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

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    We present theoretical modelling of the electron distribution produced by annihilating neutralino dark matter in dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). In particular, we follow up the idea of Colafrancesco (2004) and find that such electrons distort the cosmic microwave background (CMB) by the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect. For an assumed neutralino mass of 10 GeV and beam size of 1'', the SZ temperature decrement is of the order of nano-Kelvin for dSph models with a soft core. By contrast, it is of the order of micro-Kelvin for the strongly cusped dSph models favoured by some cosmological simulations. Although this is out of reach of current instruments, it may well be detectable by future mm telescopes, such as ALMA. We also show that the upscattered CMB photons have energies within reach of upcoming X-ray observatories, but that the flux of such photons is too small to be detectable soon. Nonetheless, we conclude that searching for the dark matter induced Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect is a promising way of constraining the dark distribution in dSphs, especially if the particles are light.Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures, MNRAS, in pres

    Microlensing Halo Models with Abundant Brown Dwarfs

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    All previous attempts to understand the microlensing results towards the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) have assumed homogeneous present day mass functions (PDMFs) for the lensing populations. Here, we present an investigation into the microlensing characteristics of haloes with spatially varying PDMFs and anisotropic velocity dispersion tensors. One attractive possibility -- suggested by baryonic dark cluster formation in pregalactic and protogalactic cooling flows -- is that the inner halo is dominated by stellar mass objects, whereas low mass brown dwarfs become more prevalent on moving outwards. The contribution to the microlensing rate must be dominated by dark remnants (of about 0.5 solar masses) to recover the observed timescales of the microlensing experiments. But, even though stellar remnants control the rate, they do not dominate the mass of the baryonic halo, and so the well-known enrichment and mass budget problems are much less severe. Using a simple ansatz for the spatial variation of the PDMF, models are constructed in which the contribution of brown dwarfs to the mass of the baryonic halo is 55 % and to the total halo is 30 %. An unusual property of the models is that they predict that the average timescale of events towards M31 is shorter than the average timescale towards the LMC. This is because the longer line of sight towards M31 probes more of the far halo where brown dwarfs are the most common constituent.Comment: 17 pages, 1 figure, in press at The Astrophysical Journal (Letters

    A Dynamical Model of the Inner Galaxy

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    An extension of Schwarzschild's galaxy-building technique is presented that, for the first time, enables one to build Schwarzschild models with known distribution functions (DFs). The new extension makes it possible to combine a DF that depends only on classical integrals with orbits that respect non-classical integrals. With such a combination, Schwarzschild's orbits are used only to represent the difference between the true galaxy DF and an approximating classical DF. The new method is used to construct a dynamical model of the inner Galaxy. The model is based on an orbit library that contains 22168 regular orbits. The model aims to reproduce the three-dimensional mass density of Binney, Gerhard & Spergel (1997), which was obtained through deprojection of the COBE surface photometry, and to reproduce the observed kinematics in three windows - namely Baade's Window and two off-axis fields. The model fits essentially all the available data within the innermost 3 kpc. The axis ratio and the morphology of the projected density contours of the COBE bar are recovered to good accuracy within corotation. The kinematic quantities - the line-of-sight streaming velocity and velocity dispersion, as well as the proper motions when available - are recovered, not merely for the fitted fields, but also for three new fields. The dynamical model deviates most from the input density close to the Galactic plane just outside corotation, where the deprojection of the surface photometry is suspect. The dynamical model does not reproduce the kinematics at the most distant window, where disk contamination may be severe.Comment: 20 pages, 5 gif figures, 11 postscript figures, submitted to MNRAS. Zipped postscript available at http://www-thphys.physics.ox.ac.uk/users/RalfHafner/paper.ps.g
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