Do Centaurs preserve their source inclinations?

Kathryn Volk, Renu Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Centaurs are a population of small, planet-crossing objects in the outer Solar System. They are dynamically short-lived and represent the transition population between the Kuiper belt and the Jupiter family short-period comets. Dynamical models and observations of the physical properties of the Centaurs indicate that they may have multiple source populations in the trans-Neptunian region. It has been suggested that the inclination distribution of the Centaurs may be useful in distinguishing amongst these source regions. The Centaurs, however, undergo many close encounters with the giant planets during their orbital evolution; here we show that these encounters can substantially determine the inclination distribution of the Centaurs. Almost any plausible initial inclination distribution of a Kuiper belt source results in Centaurs having inclinations peaked near 10-20°. Our studies also find that the Kuiper belt is an extremely unlikely source of the retrograde Centaur that has been observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalIcarus
Volume224
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

Kuiper belt
inclination
planet
encounters
planets
Jupiter
comet
solar system
physical property
comets
Jupiter (planet)
physical properties
orbitals
distribution
preserve
family

Keywords

  • Centaurs
  • Kuiper belt
  • Planetary dynamics
  • Trans-neptunian objects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Do Centaurs preserve their source inclinations? / Volk, Kathryn; Malhotra, Renu.

In: Icarus, Vol. 224, No. 1, 05.2013, p. 66-73.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Volk, Kathryn ; Malhotra, Renu. / Do Centaurs preserve their source inclinations?. In: Icarus. 2013 ; Vol. 224, No. 1. pp. 66-73.
@article{95d60b100f174e04aed4829da9f175e3,
title = "Do Centaurs preserve their source inclinations?",
abstract = "The Centaurs are a population of small, planet-crossing objects in the outer Solar System. They are dynamically short-lived and represent the transition population between the Kuiper belt and the Jupiter family short-period comets. Dynamical models and observations of the physical properties of the Centaurs indicate that they may have multiple source populations in the trans-Neptunian region. It has been suggested that the inclination distribution of the Centaurs may be useful in distinguishing amongst these source regions. The Centaurs, however, undergo many close encounters with the giant planets during their orbital evolution; here we show that these encounters can substantially determine the inclination distribution of the Centaurs. Almost any plausible initial inclination distribution of a Kuiper belt source results in Centaurs having inclinations peaked near 10-20°. Our studies also find that the Kuiper belt is an extremely unlikely source of the retrograde Centaur that has been observed.",
keywords = "Centaurs, Kuiper belt, Planetary dynamics, Trans-neptunian objects",
author = "Kathryn Volk and Renu Malhotra",
year = "2013",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.icarus.2013.02.016",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "224",
pages = "66--73",
journal = "Icarus",
issn = "0019-1035",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do Centaurs preserve their source inclinations?

AU - Volk, Kathryn

AU - Malhotra, Renu

PY - 2013/5

Y1 - 2013/5

N2 - The Centaurs are a population of small, planet-crossing objects in the outer Solar System. They are dynamically short-lived and represent the transition population between the Kuiper belt and the Jupiter family short-period comets. Dynamical models and observations of the physical properties of the Centaurs indicate that they may have multiple source populations in the trans-Neptunian region. It has been suggested that the inclination distribution of the Centaurs may be useful in distinguishing amongst these source regions. The Centaurs, however, undergo many close encounters with the giant planets during their orbital evolution; here we show that these encounters can substantially determine the inclination distribution of the Centaurs. Almost any plausible initial inclination distribution of a Kuiper belt source results in Centaurs having inclinations peaked near 10-20°. Our studies also find that the Kuiper belt is an extremely unlikely source of the retrograde Centaur that has been observed.

AB - The Centaurs are a population of small, planet-crossing objects in the outer Solar System. They are dynamically short-lived and represent the transition population between the Kuiper belt and the Jupiter family short-period comets. Dynamical models and observations of the physical properties of the Centaurs indicate that they may have multiple source populations in the trans-Neptunian region. It has been suggested that the inclination distribution of the Centaurs may be useful in distinguishing amongst these source regions. The Centaurs, however, undergo many close encounters with the giant planets during their orbital evolution; here we show that these encounters can substantially determine the inclination distribution of the Centaurs. Almost any plausible initial inclination distribution of a Kuiper belt source results in Centaurs having inclinations peaked near 10-20°. Our studies also find that the Kuiper belt is an extremely unlikely source of the retrograde Centaur that has been observed.

KW - Centaurs

KW - Kuiper belt

KW - Planetary dynamics

KW - Trans-neptunian objects

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84875896131&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84875896131&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.02.016

DO - 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.02.016

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84875896131

VL - 224

SP - 66

EP - 73

JO - Icarus

JF - Icarus

SN - 0019-1035

IS - 1

ER -