Status Report

New Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects: Towards a Super-Earth in the Outer Solar System

By SpaceRef Editor
September 13, 2016
Filed under ,

Scott S. Sheppard, Chad Trujillo
(Submitted on 31 Aug 2016)

We are conducting a wide and deep survey for extreme distant solar system objects. Our goal is to understand the high perihelion objects Sedna and 2012 VP113 and determine if an unknown massive planet exists in the outer solar system. The discovery of new extreme objects from our survey of some 1080 square degrees of sky to over 24th magnitude in the r-band are reported. Two of the new objects, 2014 SR349 and 2013 FT28, are extreme detached trans-Neptunian objects, which have semi-major axes greater than 150 AU and perihelia well beyond Neptune (q>40 AU). Both new objects have orbits with arguments of perihelia within the range of the clustering of this angle seen in the other known extreme objects. One of these objects, 2014 SR349, has a longitude of perihelion similar to the other extreme objects, but 2013 FT28, which may have more significant Neptune interactions, is about 180 degrees away or anti-aligned in its longitude of perihelion. We also discovered the first outer Oort cloud object with a perihelion beyond Neptune, 2014 FE72. We discuss these and other interesting objects discovered in our ongoing survey. All the high semi-major axis (a>150 AU) and high perihelion (q>35 AU) bodies follow the previously identified argument of perihelion clustering between 290 and 40 degrees as first reported and explained as being from an unknown massive planet by Trujillo and Sheppard (2014), which some have called Planet X or Planet 9. We also report objects with lower perihelia (q<35 AU) and a>200 AU show arguments of perihelia clustering at the opposite angles between 100 and 200 degrees. Finally, we find that the longitude of perihelion is significantly correlated with the argument of perihelion for all extreme objects.

Comments: Accepted Astronomical Journal
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:1608.08772 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1608.08772v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Scott S. Sheppard
[v1] Wed, 31 Aug 2016 08:53:16 GMT (1459kb) 

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