Box orbit

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In stellar dynamics a box orbit refers to a particular type of orbit which can be seen in triaxial systems, that is, systems which do not possess a symmetry around any of its axes. They contrast with the loop orbits which are observed in spherically symmetric or axisymmetric systems.

In a box orbit, the star oscillates independently along the three different axes as it moves through the system. As a result of this motion, it fills in a (roughly) box-shaped region of space. Unlike loop orbits, the stars on box orbits can come arbitrarily close to the center of the system. As a special case, if the frequencies of oscillation in different directions are commensurate, the orbit will lie on a one- or two-dimensional manifold and can avoid the center.[1] Such orbits are sometimes called "boxlets".

Examples of box orbits (in 2 dimensions)
Beginning of a box orbit Many cycles of a box orbit A closed box orbit
Beginning of a box orbit Many cycles of a box orbit A closed box orbit

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merritt, D.; Valluri, M. (September 1999), "Resonant Orbits in Triaxial Galaxies", The Astronomical Journal 118: 1177–1189, arXiv:astro-ph/9903452, Bibcode:1999AJ....118.1177M, doi:10.1086/301012 

See also[edit]