Vol 15, No 3

A survey of weak stability boundaries in the Sun-Mars system

Jian Li, Yi-Sui Sun


Abstract We investigate the weak stability boundary (WSB) for a new primary, Mars, in the framework of the planar circular restricted 3-body problem, and also in the planar bicircular restricted 4-body problem by including a perturbation due to Jupiter. For the sake of a simple stability/instability criterion, our computations have been done using the equations of motion in polar coordinates. It is found that the relative size of the weakly stable sets around Mars is much larger than that of the Earth-Moon and the Sun-Jupiter systems, as the mass ratio of the Sun-Mars system is significantly smaller. We propose that this difference could be scaled by the Hill radius. In an enlarged view of the domain close to Mars, the geometry of the WSB has been presented for various parameters and compared to previous works. Our results also show that Jupiter’s gravitational force would strongly affect the Martian stable regions and should be taken into account to design a ballistic capture trajectory.


Keywords celestial mechanics

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