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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

Abstract

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 [FORMULA]. 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

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

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