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Effect of a Rogue Planet on the Early Solar System

Presentation #511.01 in the session Things that Figuratively “Go Bump in the Kuiper Belt, Chapter Two”.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Effect of a Rogue Planet on the Early Solar System

The Kuiper Belt has been long known for hosting icy bodies that are remnants from the giant planet formation era. But only in the last two decades have several interesting aspects of the the distant Kuiper Belt (a > 50 au) been uncovered: 1) abundantly populated distant resonances with Neptune, especially n:1 and n:2, 2) a substantial ‘detached’ population across all semimajor axes, 3) high-perihelion (38 au < q < 50 au) detached objects concentrating around resonant borders but weighted to the sunward side, and 4) extremely high-q objects (q > 50 au) at large a such as Sedna. Both the planetary migration and the rogue-planet models have been suggested to create one or more those aspects. For my doctoral research, I have explored various rogue planet scenarios (e.g. with different masses and evolution histories) and inspected the orbital distributions of the TNO populations that are created in the distant Kuiper Belt. After incorporating the severe observation bias, I am able to determine how well the end states of these scenarios match the constraints and conclude there are rogue scenarios (with some very small expected planet migration after the rogue is ejected from the Solar System and the scattering disk finishes its erosion) that can produce all the above populations, with no visible excitation to the cold classical belt. The rogue’s early presence introduces new uncertainties on migration parameters that need to be considered in the context of giant planet formation and migration.

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