Astrophysics (Index)About

Kirkwood gap

(gaps in asteroid orbital radii corresponding to Jupiter resonances)

A Kirkwood gap is an area of low distribution of asteroids corresponding to orbital resonances with Jupiter. For example, at the location where an object would have a third the orbital period of Jupiter's, there are few asteroids. The most prominent gaps are at the 4:1, 3:1, 5:2, 7:3, and 2:1 orbital resonances.

Daniel Kirkwood first discovered the phenomena in 1866.

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Referenced by page:
Mars crosser (MC)