Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Dynamics of Tidal Locking Effects in the Formation of Binary Asteroid Systems Public Deposited

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  • This study investigates the dynamics of binary asteroid system formation under the framework of the rotational breakup theory. We demonstrate the reshaping effect of dust accretion on seeds outside of the fluid Roche limit. We found that the eccentricity of an attractor accreting materials from a dust ring decreases rapidly as the inverse of the total mass of the attractor, which is faster than the tidal locking mechanism observed in planet-moon binaries. We also established that for a typical secondary in a binary asteroid system with elongated loose granular aggregate structure, its rotation period must be less than around three to seven times that of the orbital period for the binary system to remain stable in circular orbit configurations. Furthermore, we explored and ruled out the possibility of a secondary forming a synchronous orbit from the accretion of slowly approaching seeds and concluded that a sparse dust ring environment during formation is necessary to align observations within the rotational fission framework. Finally, we discussed seed migration and proposed a tidal-locking mechanism of a net torque created by asymmetric impact material velocities viewed in the secondary’s rotating frame in dust-sparse environments. 

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-18
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Last Modified
  • 2023-09-05
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