Dynamical Evolution of the Solar System
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.
KeywordsOrbital Period Solar System Radiation Force Planetary System Semimajor Axis
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