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Astron. Astrophys. 317, 254-261 (1997)

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On the stability of the Trojan asteroids *

Antonio Giorgilli 1 and Charalambos Skokos 2

1 Dipartimento di Matematica dell'Università di Milano, Via Saldini 50, I-20133 Milano, Italy
2 Department of Physics, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis 15784 - Zografos, Athens, Greece

Received 8 February 1996 / Accepted 11 March 1996


We reconsider the problem of stability of the triangular Lagrangian equilibria of the restricted problem of three bodies. We consider in particular the Sun-Jupiter model and the Trojan asteroids in the neighbourhood of the point L4. In the spirit of Nekhoroshev's theory on stability over exponentially large times, we are able to prove that stability over the age of the universe is guaranteed on a region big enough to include a few known asteroids. This significantly improves previous works on the same subject.

Key words: celestial mechanics — instabilities — minor planets, asteroids

* Work supported by grant CE n. CHRX-CT93-0330/DG

Send offprint requests to: A. Giorgilli

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997