Commensurability (astronomy)

Commensurability (astronomy)

Two orbital periods, whose ratio is equal to a small integer, are defined commensurate or in resonance. Therefore, the commensurability It is a particular relationship between the orbital periods of two or more celestial bodies.

The dynamic consequences that manifest between two bodies with commensurable orbital periods are actually remarkable: in fact, they will periodically occupy the same relative position along their own orbits, influencing each other from the gravitational point of view.

Situations of this type have been found in the Asteroid belt, where all those bodies that had commensurate orbital periods with Jupiter have been expelled, leading to gaps called "Kirkwood lagoons" by the name of the astronomer who studied them. Cassini's division is also due to commensurability between the particles that make up the rings and the planet.

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Conjunction (astronomy)Hubble constant