THE EFFECTS OF TIDAL FRICTION ON THE EVOLUTION OF THE MARTIAN MOON, PHOBOS.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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The equations of motion, perturbed by tidal forces, are derived based on the mathematical model used by G. J. F. MacDonald corrected to include the higher order zonal harmonics of the potential function. These equations are averaged by the Fourier analysis and integrated by the 4th Order Runge-Kutta method to obtain the past history and future evolution of the orbital parameters of Phobos, Deimos, the Moon and Triton. It was found that Phobos evolved to its present state from a nearly synchronous orbit a 5.9 Martian radii having an inclination of about 1.7 deg. to the Martian equator. It was also determined that the future lifetime of Phobos is limited to about 47 million years. The evolutions of Deimos, the Moon and Triton are included for comparison purposes. Author
- Celestial Mechanics