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Astron. Astrophys. 339, 615-622 (1998)

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Semi-analytical model of librations of a rigid moon orbiting an oblate planet

K. Gozdziewski and A.J. Maciejewski

Zoru Centre for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 11, PL-87 100 Toru, Poland (chris@astri.uni.torun.pl)

Received 10 March 1998 / Accepted 31 July 1998


In this paper we study the rotational motion of a rigid satellite moving in the gravitational field of an oblate planet. The librations of the moon around the equilibrium state of synchronous stable rotation are analyzed by the application of the normal forms theory. We construct a general, semi-analytical theory of librations and we show its application to a few small moons of Saturn and Jupiter.

Key words: celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics – planets and satellites: general

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: October 21, 1998