The dynamical evolution of dwarf planet (136108) Haumea's collisional family: general properties and implications for the trans-Neptunian belt

Lykawka, Patryk Sofia and Horner, Jonathan and Mukai, Tadashi and Nakamura, Akiko M. (2012) The dynamical evolution of dwarf planet (136108) Haumea's collisional family: general properties and implications for the trans-Neptunian belt. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 421 (2). pp. 1331-1350. ISSN 0035-8711

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Recently, the first collisional family was identified in the trans-Neptunian belt (otherwise known as the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt), providing direct evidence of the importance of collisions between trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). The family consists of the dwarf planet (136108) Haumea (formerly 2003 EL61), located at a semimajor axis, a, of ~43au, and at least 10 other ~100-km-sized TNOs located in the region a= 42-44.5 au. In this work, we model the long-term orbital evolution (4 Gyr) of an ensemble of fragments (particles) representing hypothetical post-collision distributions at the time of the family's birth based on our limited current understanding of the family's creation and of asteroidal collision physics. We consider three distinct scenarios, in which the kinetic energy of dispersed particles was varied such that their mean ejection velocities (v eje) were of the order of 200, 300 and 400 ms -1, respectively. Each simulation considered resulted in collisional families that reproduced that currently observed, despite the variation in the initial conditions modelled. The results suggest that 60-75 per cent of the fragments created in the collision will remain in the trans-Neptunian belt, even after 4 Gyr of dynamical evolution. The surviving particles were typically concentrated in wide regions of orbital element space centred on the initial impact location, with their orbits spread across a region spanning Δa~ 6-12 au, Δe~ 0.1-0.15 and Δi~ 7°-10°, with the exact range covered being proportional to v eje used in the model. Most of the survivors populated the so-called classical and detached regions of the trans-Neptunian belt, whilst a minor fraction either entered the scattered disc reservoir (<1 per cent) or were captured in Neptunian mean-motion resonances (<10 per cent). In addition, except for those fragments located near strong resonances (such as the 5:3 and 7:4), the great majority displayed negligible long-term orbital variation. This implies that the orbital distribution of the intrinsic Haumean family can be used to constrain the orbital conditions and physical nature of the collision that created the family, billions of years ago. Indeed, our results suggest that the formation of the Haumean collisional family most likely occurred after the bulk of Neptune's migration was complete, or even some time after the migration had completely ceased, although future work is needed to confirm this result.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors. Published source must be acknowledged.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2014 05:51
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2017 01:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kuiper belt objects; Haumea; minor planets; asteroids; dynamical evolution and stability; planets and satellites: Neptune
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020102 Astronomical and Space Instrumentation
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020101 Astrobiology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20391.x

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