Details of Resonant Structures Within a Nice Model Kuiper Belt: Predictions for High-Perihelion TNO Detections [EPA]

We analyze a detailed Nice model simulation of Kuiper Belt emplacement from Brasser & Morbidelli (2013), where Neptune undergoes a high eccentricity phase and migrates outward. In this work, which follows from Pike et al. (2017), we specifically focus on the details of structures within Neptune’s mean motion resonances and in the high pericenter population of simulated trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs). We find several characteristics of these populations which should be observable in the distant Solar System in future large-scale TNO surveys as a diagnostic of whether or not this mode of Neptune migration occurred in the early Solar System. We find that the leading asymmetric libration islands of the $n$:1 resonances are generally much more populated than the trailing islands. We also find the non-resonant high-$q$ population of TNOs should have higher inclinations than the low-$q$ population due to the importance of Kozai cycling during their emplacement histories. Finally, high-$q$ TNOs should be present in roughly equal numbers on either side of distant mean-motion resonances. These predictions contrast with predictions from other Kuiper Belt emplacement simulations, and will be testable by upcoming surveys.

Read this paper on arXiv…

R. Pike and S. Lawler
Wed, 13 Sep 17

Comments: 14 pages, 8 figures, Accepted to AJ