3 years ago

How long will asteroids on retrograde orbits survive?

Ireneusz Włodarczyk, Paweł Kankiewicz
Generally, a common scenario for the origin of minor planets with high orbital inclinations does not exist. This applies especially to objects whose orbital inclinations are much greater than 90° (retrograde asteroids). Since the discovery of Dioretsa in 1999, approximately 100 small bodies now are classified as retrograde asteroids. A small number of them were reclassified as comets, due to cometary activity. There are only 25 multi-opposition retrograde asteroids, with a relatively large number of observations and well-determined orbits. We studied the orbital evolution of numbered and multi-opposition retrograde asteroids by numerical integration up to 1 Gy forward and backward in time. Additionally, we analyzed the propagation of orbital elements with the observational errors, determined dynamical lifetimes and studied their chaotic properties. Conclusively, we obtained quantitative parameters describing the long-term stability of orbits relating to the past and the future. In turn, we were able to estimate their lifetimes and how long these objects will survive in the Solar System.
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