Presentation #204.05 in the session Near-Earth Objects: From Asteroids to Meteoroids.
Presenting early results from the MEGASIM simulations. The dataset consists of two separate large-scale Earth Trojan Asteroid (ETA) n-body simulations built using the IAS15 and Whfast integrators. The MEGASIM simulations consist of 22.4 million initial ETAs and have so far been integrated over a 1 Gyr timescale. ETAs co-orbit the Sun with Earth and remain loosely bound to the fourth or fifth Lagrange points. To date, two ETAs have been detected (2010 TK7 and 2020 XL5); however, based on their orbits, these are likely temporary captures rather than members of a primordial population. The motivation for our simulations is multi-faceted: (1) the lack of a detected population despite literature claims of stability over the age of the Solar System, (2) ETAs are important for both Solar System science and planetary defense, and (3) the proximity of ETAs makes them prime candidates for space exploration missions. These simulations are of extremely high fidelity, large in number and long in simulation time. Covered in this talk will be the lifetimes of ETA orbits, Keplerian orbital evolution and maps of the theoretical observability and spatial distributions.