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Astron. Astrophys. 360, 411-416 (2000)

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An analytical approximation for the MOID and its consequences

C. Bonanno

Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Pisa, via Buonarroti 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy (bonanno@mail.dm.unipi.it)

Received 13 March 2000 / Accepted 29 May 2000


We give an analytical formulation for the approximation of the Minimum Orbital Intersection Distance (MOID) between two elliptical orbits, and we apply it to the case of the Earth and of an asteroid. With this formulation we are able to find an algorithm to compute the variance of the MOID for a given asteroid and we make the computation in the case of the asteroids whose orbit has been determined, even if with a great uncertainty, to find cases of asteroids that have a good probability of having a small MOID even if their nominal orbit gives a relatively large MOID.

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

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: July 27, 2000