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Long-Term Dynamics and the Orbital Inclinations of the Classical Kuiper Belt Objects

Kuchner, Marc J. and Brown, Michael E. and Holman, Matthew (2002) Long-Term Dynamics and the Orbital Inclinations of the Classical Kuiper Belt Objects. Astronomical Journal, 124 (2). pp. 1221-1230. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.1086/341643.

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We numerically integrated the orbits of 1458 particles in the region of the classical Kuiper belt (41 AU ≤ a ≤ 47 AU) to explore the role of dynamical instabilities in sculpting the inclination distribution of the classical Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). We find that the selective removal of low-inclination objects by overlapping secular resonances (ν_(17) and ν_(18)) acts to raise the mean inclination of the surviving population of particles over 4 billion yr of interactions with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, though these long-term dynamical effects do not themselves appear to explain the discovery of KBOs with inclinations near 30°. Our integrations also imply that after 3 billion yr of interaction with the massive planets, high-inclination KBOs more efficiently supply Neptune-encountering objects, the likely progenitors of short-period comets, Centaurs, and scattered KBOs. The secular resonances at low inclinations may indirectly cause this effect by weeding out objects unprotected by mean motion resonances during the first 3 billion yr.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kuchner, Marc J.0000-0002-2387-5489
Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2002 American Astronomical Society. Received 2002 January 7; accepted 2002 May 3. Thanks to Edo Berger, John-Philippe Berger, John Cartwright, Roy Gal, Richard Ellis, Brian Jacoby, Ken Jucks, David Kaplan, Robert Kirshner, David Latham, Lori Lubin, Brian Mason, Mark Metzger, Rafael Milan-Gabet, Irene Porro, Nick Scoville, Patrick Shopbell, John Sievers, Wesley Traub, Pat Udomprasert, and Bill Wyatt for donating CPU time for this project. Thanks to Hal Levison, Scott Kenyon, and Ed Thommes for helpful discussions. This work was performed in part under contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory through the Michelson Fellowship program funded by NASA as an element of the Planet Finder Program. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Michelson FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:celestial mechanics; comets: general; Kuiper Belt; methods: N-body simulations; planetary systems: formation
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120926-142001961
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Official Citation:Long-Term Dynamics and the Orbital Inclinations of the Classical Kuiper Belt Objects Marc J. Kuchner et al. 2002 The Astronomical Journal 124 1221
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34477
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 21:38
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:08

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