A study of the dynamics of dust from the Kuiper belt: Spatial distribution and spectral energy distribution

Amaya Moro-Martín, Renu Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dust produced in the Kuiper belt (KB) spreads throughout the solar system, forming a dust disk. We numerically model the orbital evolution of KB dust and estimate its equilibrium spatial distribution and its brightness and spectral energy distribution (SED), assuming graybody absorption and emission by the dust grains. We show that the planets modify the KB disk SED, so potentially we can infer the presence of planets in spatially unresolved debris disks by studying the shape of their SEDs. We point out that there are inherent uncertainties in the prediction of structure in the dust disk, owing to the chaotic dynamics of dust orbital evolution imposed by resonant gravitational perturbations of the planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2305-2321
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume124
Issue number4 1762
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

Keywords

  • Celestial mechanics
  • Interplanetary medium
  • Kuiper belt
  • Methods: n-body simulations
  • Methods: numerical
  • Planetary systems
  • Solar system: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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