Paul Wiegert: other research topics

I'm interested in most aspects of the motions of planets and other bodies around their stars. A selection of some older research is listed below, though not all have detailed information. Email me at pwiegert[remove this and put the @ symbol here] for more info.

Asteroid and comet searches

Asteroid and comet studies

Telescopic studies of asteroids and comets continue to reveal new information about the nature of our Solar System. Click on the image for a larger view and more information.

View of Cruithne's orbit

The Earth companion asteroid 3753 Cruithne

I have been involved in an a study, in collaboration with Kim Innanen (York) and Seppo Mikkola (Turku), of near-Earth asteroids. During this research, we discovered that the Earth has a companion asteroid. If you would like to know more about asteroid 3753 Cruithne, you can visit its home page here.

2002 AA29 in quasi-satellite mode

Asteroid 2002 AA29: Quasi-satellite to horseshoe and back again....

Most near-Earth asteroids have no consistent dynamical connection to our planet. However, those that go around the Sun in precisely the same amount of time as our planet fall into 1:1 mean-motion resonance with our planet (which just means that both go around the Sun once in the same average (mean) amount of time). These rare bodies are called Earth coorbital or companion asteroids; they in some sense share the Earth's orbit with it. With a highly circular orbit that is the most Earth-like seen so far, and able to transit between two distinct types of resonant motion, is the near-Earth asteroid designated 2002 AA29.

Hypothetical Earth Retrograde Satellite

Retrograde Satellites (Quasi-satellites)

What goes round and round a planet but isn't (technically) a moon? There is a class of orbits called "retrograde satellites" or "quasisatellites" which are in orbit around the Sun but coincidentally also seem to go around a planet. You can find more about these strange and only recently discovered objects here.

Earth Lagrange point asteroids

Earth Lagrange point asteroids (Earth Trojan asteroids)

If you put an asteroid exactly on the same orbit as the Earth, what would happen? Would it stay on the orbit? Drift away? Or crash into our planet? The answer depends on exactly where you place the asteroid. There are five points on or near the Earth's orbit, known as the Lagrange points, where an asteroid will remain stationary with respect to the Earth. Click here for more information.

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