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The Absolute Magnitude Distribution of Kuiper Belt Objects

Fraser, Wesley C. and Brown, Michael E. and Morbidelli, Alessandro and Parker, Alex and Batygin, Konstantin (2014) The Absolute Magnitude Distribution of Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysical Journal, 782 (2). Art. No. 100. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/782/2/100.

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Here we measure the absolute magnitude distributions (H-distribution) of the dynamically excited and quiescent (hot and cold) Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), and test if they share the same H-distribution as the Jupiter Trojans. From a compilation of all useable ecliptic surveys, we find that the KBO H-distributions are well described by broken power laws. The cold population has a bright-end slope, ɑ_1 = 1.5_(-0.2)^(+0.4), and break magnitude, H_B = 6.9_(-0.2)^(+0.1)(r'-band). The hot population has a shallower bright-end slope of, ɑ_1 = 0.87_(-0.2)^(+0.07), and break magnitude H_g B = 7.7_(-0.5)^(+1.0). Both populations share similar faint-end slopes of α_2 ~ 0.2. We estimate the masses of the hot and cold populations are ~0.01 and ~3 × 10^(–4) M_⊕. The broken power-law fit to the Trojan H-distribution has α_1 = 1.0 ± 0.2, α_2 = 0.36 ± 0.01, and H_B = 8.3. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test reveals that the probability that the Trojans and cold KBOs share the same parent H-distribution is less than 1 in 1000. When the bimodal albedo distribution of the hot objects is accounted for, there is no evidence that the H-distributions of the Trojans and hot KBOs differ. Our findings are in agreement with the predictions of the Nice model in terms of both mass and H-distribution of the hot and Trojan populations. Wide-field survey data suggest that the brightest few hot objects, with H_r' ≾ 3, do not fall on the steep power-law slope of fainter hot objects. Under the standard hierarchical model of planetesimal formation, it is difficult to account for the similar break diameters of the hot and cold populations given the low mass of the cold belt.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fraser, Wesley C.0000-0001-6680-6558
Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 October 17; accepted 2013 December 29; published 2014 February 3. We thank H. Levison for his insightful comments and constructive criticism.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Subject Keywords:Kuiper belt: general; minor planets, asteroids: general
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140520-071750495
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Official Citation:The Absolute Magnitude Distribution of Kuiper Belt Objects Wesley C. Fraser et al. 2014 ApJ 782 100
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45831
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 May 2014 17:44
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:17

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