Collisions with the Earth: the Moon's contribution
Data de publicação2004-01-01
Direito de acesso
MetadadosExibir registro completo
In the present work is analyzed the contribution of the Moon on the collisional process of the Earth with asteroids (NEOs). The dynamical system adopted is the restricted four-body problem Sun-Earth-Moon-particle. Using a simple analytical approach one can verify that, the orbit of an object can be significantly affected by the Moon's gravitational field when their relative velocity is smaller than 5 km/s. Therefore, the present work is based on hypothetical asteroids whose velocities relative to Moon are of the order of 1 km/s. In fact, there are several real objects (NEOs) with such velocities at the point they cross the Earth's orbit. The net results obtained indicate that the Moon helps to avoid collisions (2.6%) more than it contributes to extra collisions (0.6%). (C) 2003 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.