Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Is the Grand Tack Model Compatible with Our Asteroid Belt?

Is the Grand Tack model compatible with the orbital distribution of main belt asteroids?


Deienno et al


The Asteroid Belt is characterized by the radial mixing of bodies with different physical properties, a very low mass compared to Minimum Mass Solar Nebula expectations and has an excited orbital distribution, with eccentricities and inclinations covering the entire range of values allowed by the constraints of dynamical stability. Models of the evolution of the Asteroid Belt show that the origin of its structure is strongly linked to the process of terrestrial planet formation. The Grand Tack model presents a possible solution to the conundrum of reconciling the small mass of Mars with the properties of the Asteroid Belt, including the mass depletion, radial mixing and orbital excitation. However, while the inclination distribution produced in the Grand Tack model is in good agreement with the one observed, the eccentricity distribution is skewed towards values larger than those found today. Here, we evaluate the evolution of the orbital properties of the Asteroid Belt from the end of the Grand Tack model (at the end of the gas nebula phase when planets emerge from the dispersing gas disk), throughout the subsequent evolution of the Solar System including an instability of the Giant Planets approximately 400 Myr later. Before the instability, the terrestrial planets were modeled on dynamically cold orbits with Jupiter and Saturn locked in a 3:2 mean motion resonance. The model continues for an additional 4.1 Gyr after the giant planet instability. Our results show that the eccentricity distribution obtained in the Grand Tack model evolves towards one very similar to that currently observed, and the semimajor axis distribution does the same. The inclination distribution remains nearly unchanged with a slight preference for depletion at low inclination; this leads to the conclusion that the inclination distribution at the end of the Grand Tack is a bit over-excited. Also, we constrain the primordial eccentricities of Jupiter and Saturn, which have a major influence on the dynamical evolution of the Asteroid Belt and its final orbital structure.

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