The CIDMA Young Doctor Award is a prize for a researcher within 5 years after the PhD, who has made important contributions to his or her research field. The 2018 award is granted to Gr@v member Tjarda Boekholt for his recent achievements in the field of dynamical chaos in astronomical systems. During the annual meeting of CIDMA 2018, Tjarda presented his new numerical N-body code and the ability to obtain reversible solutions to highly chaotic systems.
Celestial mechanics is a branch of mathematics and astronomy that deals with the motions of celestial objects. The field applies principles of physics, gravitation, historically classical mechanics, to astronomical objects such as stars and planets to produce ephemeris data. Orbital mechanics (astrodynamics) is a subfield which focuses on the orbits of artificial satellites. Lunar theory is another subfield focusing on the orbit of the Moon.
For our latest developments/activities in this area, please see the listing at the end of this article.
Modern analytic celestial mechanics started over 300 years ago with Isaac Newton's Principia of 1687. The name "celestial mechanics" is more recent than that. Newton wrote that the field should be called "rational mechanics." The term "dynamics" came in a little later with Gottfried Leibniz, and over a century after Newton, Pierre-Simon Laplace introduced the term "celestial mechanics." Prior to Kepler there was little connection between exact, quantitative prediction of planetary positions, using geometrical or arithmetical techniques, and contemporary discussions of the physical causes of the planets' motion.
Solar system dynamics
The gravity force acting over eons has provided the solar system with an intricate dynamical structure, much of it revealed by recent space missions. Mathematical tools and physical models are needed for a complete understanding of the subject.
This is a multi-disciplinary subject that combines expertises from Geophysics, Dynamical Systems, and Numerical Simulations. We study the geophysical effects that modify the spin and the orbits of planets and satellites, in particular tidal effects and core-mantle friction.
See here a movie made by the NASA Science "Understanding orbits and Kepler's laws", for a brief historical review on the dynamics of the solar system.
Latest Celestial Mechanics News & Events
Gr@v member T. Boekholt visited Tokyo University in Tokyo, Japan. His visit was hosted by Prof. Michiko Fujii, head of the computational astrophysics group at the Astronomy Department. T. Boekholt started a new collaboration on studying planetary dynamics and he presented his recent publication on the Slingshot mechanism in Orion.
The X Black Holes workshop took place at Aveiro University on 18-19 December 2017. It gathered almost 100 scientists discussing black holes from many different perspectives. Besides 63 oral communications, the workshop also included the fourth General Assembley of the Portuguese Relativity and Gravitation Society (SPRG) and a special session celebrating the 60th anniversary of Prof. J. S. Lemos.
The mean-motion resonance is one of the most interesting phenomena in celestial mechanics. Its importance lies on the comprehension of the formation and long-term stability of planetary systems in close orbits.