Asteroids in Jupiter Resonance


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Large mov format - 42MB

This video was created by Scott Manley. He describes it as follows.

Scott Manley

Scott Manley

This video highlights 2 groups of asteroids that have orbits in resonance with Jupiter. To highlight the motion we rotate the view at the same speed as an idealized version of Jupiter, that is, we keep the rotation constant as if the planet was on a circular orbit.

The first group highlighted is in the 3:2 resonance, Objects in this group complete 3 orbits in the time that Jupiter takes to complete 2. The periodic interaction with Jupiter's gravity creates the 3 lobed pattern you see where they never come close to the giant planet. This makes their orbits more stable by protecting them from strong interactions with the planet.

The second group consists of those which have orbital periods identical to Jupiter, these are primarily found in 2 clusters around the Jovian Lagrange points. These points are 60 degrees ahead and behind Jupiter in its orbit.

There are many other mean-motion resonances that influence the dynamics of the asteroid belt, some are very unstable, for example there are almost no asteroids in the 3:1 resonance, also known as the Kirkwood gap. Asteroids which are in this resonance have their orbital eccentricities increase quickly until their orbits cross those of other planets and they suffer a close encounter.

See also;

Discovery of the asteroids 1980-2010

An edge-on view of the asteroids

The discovery of asteroids from 1800 to 2000

Today's map of the inner solar system

Near Earth Object Impact Hazard

Other asteroid and comet animations by Scott Manley

Other videos on this web site

Last Revised: 2011 February 14th