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Resonant TNO Surface Colors: Constraints on TNO Formation and Evolution

Presentation #202.06 in the session “Outer Solar System Surveys”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Resonant TNO Surface Colors: Constraints on TNO Formation and Evolution

The significant amount of precise Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) photometry acquired by the Colours of the Outer Solar System (Col-OSSOS) has revealed that there are two surface types of TNO, which can be separated using measurements of their optical and near-infrared spectral slopes. These two surface types are identifiable in the reddening-curve projection, which removes the non-linear features of the color-color space and reveals two surface types which Col-OSSOS has labeled FaintIR and BrightIR. The majority of TNOs with cold classical orbits are members of the FaintIR surface type. We utilize multi-band photometry acquired through several color surveys of resonant TNOs in a combination of g, r, z, and J bands, to determine the distribution of surface types in resonant orbits with Neptune. We find that the dynamically excited non-resonant TNOs and the resonant TNOs with semi-major axes greater than 49 AU contain fewer FaintIR objects than the resonances between 36-48 AU. The presence of these FaintIR objects in resonances in and around the current cold classical belt at a greater rate than in the general dynamically excited population implies that these were not all captured from the primordial FaintIR population through scattering capture, and may provide constraints on the formation locations of the FaintIR and BrightIR populations.

Left: The colors of resonant and non-Resonant TNOs in g-r and r-J from the Col-OSSOS survey. The reddening line is indicated by the black arc. Resonant TNOs are found with the full range of surface types, but the distribution appears to be dependent on the semi-major axis of the resonance. Right: The re-projection of color based on the distance from the reddening line, with TNO classifications. The majority of cold classical TNOs have FaintIR surfaces, and the majority of FaintIR surfaces are either cold classical TNOs or resonant TNOs; the non-resonant dynamically excited TNOs include fewer FaintIR members.

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