Stability of the Euler resting N-body relative equilibria
The stability of a system of N equal-sized mutually gravitating spheres resting on each other in a straight line and rotating in inertial space is considered. This is a generalization of the “Euler Resting” configurations previously analyzed in the finite density 3 and 4 body problems. Specific questions for the general case are how rapidly the system must spin for the configuration to stabilize, how rapidly it can spin before the components separate from each other, and how these results change as a function of N. This paper shows that the Euler Resting configuration can only be stable for up to 5 bodies and that for 6 or more bodies the configuration can never be stable. This places an ideal limit of 5:1 on the aspect ratio of a rubble pile body’s shape.
KeywordsFull body problem Resting relative equilibria Rubble pile asteroids
This research was supported by NASA grant NNX14AL16G.
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Conflict of interest
The author declares no conflict of interest.
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