Dynamical environments of MU69: A state of chaotic clearing

José Lages, Ivan I. Shevchenko, Bruce G. Elmegreen, L. Viktor Tóth, Manuel Güdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The second (after Pluto) plausible target object for the New Horizons mission is 2014 MU69. It is a classical TNO, a primordial contact binary. Identifying any material in the vicinities of a target object is of an especial concern for planning cosmic fly-byes, as it is hazardous for a space probe. Luckily, no such material has been reported for MU69 up to now. The point of our report is that this lucky absence is just a dynamical consequence of the physical nature of MU69. Spinning gravitating dumbbells create zones of dynamical chaos around them, and this has a clearing effect: Any material put in orbits around a rotating dumbbell (e.g., any material ejected from its surface) cannot be long-lived in such zones; it either escapes into space, or returns to the parent body's surface. As the orbiting matter is removed in this way, a spinning gravitating dumbbell clears its vicinities. We show that MU69 is able to create such a clearing, making itself a safe and hospitable target for a space mission. Therefore, the guest probe is expected to be safe on arrival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-229
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Pluto
clearing
Orbit
Diptera
metal spinning
New Horizons mission
space probes
trans-Neptunian objects
Pluto (planet)
probe
space missions
escape
arrivals
planning
chaos
parent body
chaotic dynamics
orbits
probes
material

Keywords

  • asteroids
  • Celestial mechanics
  • Kuiper Belt
  • minor planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Dynamical environments of MU69 : A state of chaotic clearing. / Lages, José; Shevchenko, Ivan I.; Elmegreen, Bruce G.; Tóth, L. Viktor; Güdel, Manuel.

In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 01.01.2019, p. 227-229.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lages, José ; Shevchenko, Ivan I. ; Elmegreen, Bruce G. ; Tóth, L. Viktor ; Güdel, Manuel. / Dynamical environments of MU69 : A state of chaotic clearing. In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 2019 ; pp. 227-229.
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