Status Report

Discovery of A New Retrograde Trans-Neptunian Object

By SpaceRef Editor
August 8, 2016
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Ying-Tung Chen, Hsing Wen Lin, Matthew J. Holman, Matthew J. Payne, Wesley C. Fraser, Pedro Lacerda, Wing-Huen Ip, Wen-Ping Chen, Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, Robert Jedicke, Richard J. Wainscoat, John L. Tonry, Eugene A. Magnier, Christopher Waters, Nick Kaiser, Shiang-Yu Wang, Matthew Lehner
(Submitted on 5 Aug 2016)

Although the majority of Centaurs are thought to have originated in the scattered disk, with the high-inclination members coming from the Oort cloud, the origin of the high inclination component of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) remains uncertain. We report the discovery of a retrograde TNO, which we nickname “Niku”, detected by the Pan-STARRS 1 Outer Solar System Survey. Our numerical integrations show that the orbital dynamics of Niku are very similar to that of 2008 KV42 (Drac), with a half-life of ∼500 Myr. Comparing similar high inclination TNOs and Centaurs (q>10 AU, a<100 AU and i>60?), we find that these objects exhibit a surprising clustering of ascending node, and occupy a common orbital plane. This orbital configuration has high statistical significance: 3.8-σ. An unknown mechanism is required to explain the observed clustering. This discovery may provide a pathway to investigate a possible reservoir of high-inclination objects.

Discovery of A New Retrograde Trans-Neptunian Object: Hint of A Common Orbital Plane for Low Semi-Major Axis, High Inclination TNOs and Centaurs

Comments: 18 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in ApJ Letters
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1608.01808 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1608.01808v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ying-Tung Chen
[v1] Fri, 5 Aug 2016 08:51:14 GMT (169kb)

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