Heteroclinic connections between periodic orbits and resonance transitions in celestial mechanics
Koon, WS; Lo, MW; Marsden, JE; Ross, SD;
Wang Sang Koon Martin Lo Jerrold Marsden Shane Ross
10(2), 427-469, JUN 2000

In this paper we apply dynamical systems techniques to the problem of heteroclinic connections and resonance transitions in the planar circular restricted three-body problem. These related phenomena have been of concern for some time in topics such as the capture of comets and asteroids and with the design of trajectories for space missions such as the Genesis Discovery Mission. The main new technical result in this paper is the numerical demonstration of the existence of a heteroclinic connection between pairs of periodic orbits: one around the libration point L1 and the other around L2, with the two periodic orbits having the same energy. This result is applied to the resonance transition problem and to the explicit numerical construction of interesting orbits with prescribed itineraries. The point of view developed in this paper is that the invariant manifold structures associated to L1 and L2 as well as the aforementioned heteroclinic connection are fundamental tools that can aid in understanding dynamical channels throughout the solar system as well as transport between the "interior" and "exterior" Hill's regions and other resonant phenomena.

back to papers page
back to front page