Science and Exploration

Asteroid 2014 OL339: Yet Another Earth Quasi-satellite

By Keith Cowing
September 21, 2014
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Asteroid 2014 OL339: Yet Another Earth Quasi-satellite
Asteroid 2014 OL339

Our planet has one permanently bound satellite -the Moon-, a likely large number of mini-moons or transient irregular natural satellites, and three temporary natural retrograde satellites or quasi-satellites.
These quasi-moons -(164207) 2004 GU9, (277810) 2006 FV35 and 2013 LX28- are unbound companions to the Earth. The orbital evolution of quasi-satellites may transform them into temporarily bound satellites of our planet. Here, we study the dynamical evolution of the recently discovered Aten asteroid 2014 OL339 to show that it is currently following a quasi-satellite orbit with respect to the Earth. This episode started at least about 775 yr ago and it will end 165 yr from now. The orbit of this object is quite chaotic and together with 164207 are the most unstable of the known Earth quasi-satellites.

This group of minor bodies is, dynamically speaking, very heterogeneous but three of them exhibit Kozai-like dynamics: the argument of perihelion of 164207 oscillates around -90 degrees, the one of 277810 librates around 180 degrees and that of 2013 LX28 remains around 0 degrees. Asteroid 2014 OL339 is not currently engaged in any Kozai-like dynamics.

C. de la Fuente Marcos, R. de la Fuente Marcos (Submitted on 19 Sep 2014) Our planet has one permanentl

Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1401.5013

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1409.5588 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1409.5588v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Raul de la Fuente Marcos [v1] Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:35:33 GMT (718kb)

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