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Astron. Astrophys. 356, L71-L74 (2000)

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Letter to the Editor

Co-orbital objects in the main asteroid belt

A.A. Christou

Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, United Kingdom *

Received 28 February 2000 / Accepted 18 March 2000


We have investigated the possibility of main belt asteroids being trapped in the 1:1 resonance with other asteroids. Using contemporary mass estimates for the large asteroids (1) Ceres, (2) Pallas and (4) Vesta, it is found that four asteroids are temporarily trapped in such resonances with Ceres and Vesta during numerical integrations spanning [FORMULA] yr. In particular, the asteroid (1372) Haremari is likely to be co-orbiting with Ceres at the present time. The corresponding libration period is found to be [FORMULA] yr. The implications of our results for the general dynamical evolution of minor bodies and these asteroids in particular is discussed.

Key words: celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics – minor planets, asteroids

* Present address: Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guilford GU2 7XH, United Kingdom (a.christou@eim.surrey.ac.uk)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 17, 2000