Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

Degree Name

B.S. in Physics

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Ronald Wilhelm


In this paper, I construct a program to map the evolution of the potential in a planet-star system where a planet with a few Jupiter masses migrates inward. Given a trojan asteroid librating around the fourth or fifth Lagrange point, the asteroid follows the evolving equipotential lines of the slowly changing potential map. As the planet and its trojan asteroids migrate inward towards the host star, the trojan asteroid librations become tighter, providing a denser “cloud” of trojan asteroids. Such a change in the density of trojan asteroids is examined with the intent to deduce the likelihood of detection via the transit method. As the librations become tighter due to an inward planetary migration, a “deeper” transit depth is predicted for the transit method of extrasolar object detection due to a higher fraction of the asteroids transiting simultaneously.