Unusual Eccentricity and Inclination Distributions of Trans-Neptunian Objects and Trans-Neptunian Binaries
International Journal of Astrophysics and Space Science
Volume 6, Issue 1, February 2018, Pages: 28-37
Received: Jan. 23, 2018; Accepted: Feb. 3, 2018; Published: Feb. 26, 2018
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Robert B. Brown, Department of Astronautics, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, USA
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The eccentricity and inclination of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) decrease significantly as radius of perihelion increases. Also, the percentage of TNOs in almost circular orbits with low inclinations increases dramatically with perihelion distance. These unusual distributions presented here cannot be explained by observational bias or the poorly determined orbits in the Kuiper belt. Instead, they may provide evidence about the origin of TNOs. Most theories are also unable to explain these strange orbital distributions. However, if TNOs passed close to Neptune because they migrated relatively quickly away from the Sun, their eccentricities and inclinations should both be inversely related to perihelion distance as shown. This TNO-migration theory can also help explain the origin of trans-Neptunian binaries (TNBs), and it accurately predicts the relationships between TNBs’ separation distances and their heliocentric perihelia, eccentricities, and inclinations.
Trans-Neptunian Objects, Trans-Neptunian Binaries, Kuiper Belt
To cite this article
Robert B. Brown, Unusual Eccentricity and Inclination Distributions of Trans-Neptunian Objects and Trans-Neptunian Binaries, International Journal of Astrophysics and Space Science. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2018, pp. 28-37. doi: 10.11648/j.ijass.20180601.13
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
W. M. Grundy et al., unpublished. http://www2.lowell.edu/~grundy/tnbs/.
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