Dynamical Evolution of the Solar System

  • Bruno Bertotti
  • Paolo Farinella
  • David Vokrouhlický
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 293)


The solar system is like a large natural laboratory, where many highly structured and complex dynamical processes are simultaneously taking place. They include: slow orbital evolution by tiny, accumulating changes due to gravitational perturbations acting over thousands to billions of revolutions (for satellites, even thousands of billions); locking phenomena and protection mechanisms caused by gravitational resonances; drastic and essentially unpredictable orbital changes associated again with resonances and with close orbital encounters; and steady evolution driven by non-gravitational interactions (e.g., tidal friction and radiation forces), continuing until the bodies are disrupted, removed from the system, or locked into a stable end state. In this chapter we describe in some detail the most important of these mechanisms, although skipping over rigorous mathematical derivations and technicalities of many, already well established, methods of celestial mechanics and dynamical astronomy.


Orbital Period Solar System Radiation Force Planetary System Semimajor Axis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Bertotti
    • 1
  • Paolo Farinella
    • 2
  • David Vokrouhlický
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear and Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of PaviaItaly
  2. 2.Department of AstronomyUniversity of TriesteItaly
  3. 3.Institute of AstronomyCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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