Secular dynamics of a planar model of the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus system; effective stability into the light of Kolmogorov and Nekhoroshev theories

Research paper by Antonio Giorgilli, Ugo Locatelli, Marco Sansottera

Indexed on: 16 Feb '17Published on: 16 Feb '17Published in: arXiv - Mathematical Physics


We investigate the long-time stability of the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus system by considering a planar secular model, that can be regarded as a major refinement of the approach first introduced by Lagrange. Indeed, concerning the planetary orbital revolutions, we improve the classical circular approximation by replacing it with a solution that is invariant up to order two in the masses; therefore, we investigate the stability of the secular system for rather small values of the eccentricities. First, we explicitly construct a Kolmogorov normal form, so as to find an invariant KAM torus which approximates very well the secular orbits. Finally, we adapt the approach that is at basis of the analytic part of the Nekhoroshev's theorem, so as to show that there is a neighborhood of that torus for which the estimated stability time is larger than the lifetime of the Solar System. The size of such a neighborhood, compared with the uncertainties of the astronomical observations, is about ten times smaller.