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Exploring the Plutino Stable Phase Space for the LiDO Survey

Presentation #209.09 in the session TNO Theory/Formation and Observational Surveys (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Exploring the Plutino Stable Phase Space for the LiDO Survey

We present a filled-phase-space model of the Plutinos, which are trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) librating in the 3:2 mean-motion resonance with Neptune, with a particular focus on the Plutinos that are simultaneously in the Kozai resonance (experiencing libration of the argument of pericentre). This model was built in preparation for results from the Large inclination Distant Objects (LiDO) Survey (see presentations by R. Pike and M. Alexandersen), which pointed at locations on the sky where Kozai Plutinos are predicted to come to pericentre and are thus most easily detected in magnitude-limited surveys. Although we do not expect the full stable phase-space presented here to be populated with real TNOs, it provides a useful starting point for comparison with the output from Neptune migration simulations and debiased observational results. Our new stable phase space model agrees well with past models in the literature, and we build on past results by focusing on the behaviour of Kozai Plutinos over 4 Gyr integrations. We find that 95% of 4 Gyr stable Kozai Plutinos remain in the same omega-libration island for the entire integration. This provides an interesting diagnostic opportunity: any asymmetry in the true number of 4 Gyr stable Kozai Plutinos in the two omega-libration islands must be caused by the details of emplacement during giant planet migration. Through analysis of a previously published suite of Neptune migration models, we show that the fraction of Plutinos in Kozai depends on Neptune’s migration speed and whether the migration was grainy or smooth. Thus, the properties of Kozai Plutinos should be a particular focus of future giant planet migration simulations and observational surveys. However, due to complex observational biases in the Kozai Plutino population, only well-characterized survey results can be used to address this science question.

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