Mercury rigid rotation: long periods effects

  • Sandrine D'Hoedt

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


In the aim to describe the Mercury’s rigid resonant rotation, different 3: 2 spin-orbit resonant rotation models with two and three dimensions , averaged on the short periods and expressed in Hamiltonian formalism is proposed. In the first model, Mercury’s rotation axis and its smallest axis of inertia aren’t distinct and no force except the gravitation one acts on the planet. The coupling between these 2 degrees of freedom is underlined. A 3 degrees of freedom model taking into account the dissociation of the angular momentum axis from the figure axis is aftewards presented. In these two models, the potential devellopment is limited to the second order in eccentricity. In order to estimate the error due to this troncature choice, the Hamiltonians are devellopped up to higher orders; the new terms so obtained are considered as perturbations et treated thanks to Lie theory. The influence of the other planets of the Solar System is finally studied by including, in a first time, a constant precession of the ascending node and of the pericenter in our basis model and, in a second time, by considering that the inclination and the excentricity are slow functions of time allowing the use of the adiabatique invariant extended to 2 degrees of freedom. A study of the equilibria and of the proper periods of each model is realized.
Date of Award26 Sep 2007
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorAnne LEMAITRE (Supervisor), Timoteo Carletti (Jury), Jacques HENRARD (Jury), Ugo Locatelli (Jury) & Jean SOUCHAY (Jury)


  • Rotation
  • Mercury
  • Long periods
  • Hamiltonian formalism
  • Spin-orbit resonance

Cite this

Mercury rigid rotation: long periods effects
D'Hoedt, S. (Author). 26 Sep 2007

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences