Title

The Influence of Reactive Torques on Comet Nucleus Rotation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2003

Journal

Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy

Volume

86

Issue

3

First Page

249

Last Page

275

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024217631576

Abstract

Reactive torques, due to anisotropic sublimation on a comet nucleus surface, produce slow variations of its rotation. In this paper the secular effects of this sublimation are studied. The general rotational equations of motion are averaged over unperturbed fast rotation around the mass center (Euler-Poinsot motion) and over the orbital comet motion. We discuss the parameters that define typical properties of the rotational evolution and discover different classifications of the rotational evolution. As an example we discuss some possible scenarios of rotational evolution for the nuclei of the comets Halley and Borrelly.