Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Breaking up a denser, primordial Neptunian scatter belt to supply the cold classical Kuiper Belt

Presentation #209.02 in the session TNO Theory/Formation and Observational Surveys (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Breaking up a denser, primordial Neptunian scatter belt to supply the cold classical Kuiper Belt

The cold classical Kuiper Belt (CCKB) is thought to have formed from material which originated at its current distance from the Sun (a = 42-47 au) during the planetesimal-growth stage of the solar system; this places strong constraints on the dynamical history of the outer solar system. Here, we study a mechanism by which source material could have been implanted at that distance at a later time. In this model, no material would begin beyond the present-day orbit of Neptune, at 30 au. We show that a dense, primordial belt of bodies scattered outwards by Neptune can “grind down” to smaller sizes and circularize through collisions between constituent bodies, thereby becoming a source for CCKB growth. We develop a semi-analytical model of the collisional evolution of a belt of bodies, evolving their distribution in size-eccentricity space based on a simple understanding of collisions. We argue that a belt similar to the present-day scatter belt, with a greater surface density, can provide enough circularized, sub-cm grains between 42-47 au to serve as source material for the CCKB. Prior work can explain the growth from such a thin disk to the present day CCKB, thought it cannot entirely explain certain features of the belt (e.g. overabundance of binary asteroids). More rigorous modeling of this grinding process would provide valuable constraints on the feasibility of such a mechanism.

Comments
0
comment
No comments here