Capturing Trojans and irregular satellites - the key required to unlock planetary migration

Horner, Jonathan and Koch, F. Elliott and Lykawka, Patryk Sofia (2013) Capturing Trojans and irregular satellites - the key required to unlock planetary migration. In: 12th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC 2012), 24-26 Sept 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

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Abstract

It is now accepted that the Solar system's youth was a dynamic and chaotic time. The giant planets migrated significant distances to reach their current locations, and evidence of that migration's influence on the Solar system abounds. That migration's pace, and the distance over which it occurred, is still heavily debated. Some models feature systems in which the giant planets were initially in an extremely compact configuration, in which Uranus and Neptune are chaotically scattered into the outer Solar system. Others feature architectures that were initially more relaxed, and smoother, more sedate migration. To determine which of these scenarios best represents the formation of our Solar system, we must turn to the structure of the system's small body populations, in which the scars of that migration are still clearly visible.

We present the first results of a program investigating the effect of giant planet migration on the reservoirs of small bodies that existed at that time. As the planets migrate, they stir these reservoirs, scattering vast numbers of small bodies onto dynamically unstable orbits in the outer Solar system. The great majority of those bodies are rapidly removed from the system, through collisions and ejections, but a small number become captured as planetary Trojans or irregular satellites. Others are driven by the migration, leading to a significant sculpting of the asteroid belt and trans-Neptunian region.

The capture and retention efficiencies to these stable reservoirs depend on the particular migration scenario used. Advocates of chaotic migration from an initially compact scenario argue that smoother, more sedate migration cannot explain the observed populations of Trojans and irregular satellites. Our results draw a strikingly different picture, revealing that such smooth migration is perfectly capable of reproducing the observed populations.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2013 National Space Society of Australia Ltd. No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit of Accepted version.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2017 02:10
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017 03:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, planetary formation, solar system dynamics, Jupiter Trojans, Neptune Trojans, irregular satellites
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 > 020108 Planetary Science (excl. Extraterrestrial Geology)
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020101 Astrobiology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32751

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