Thursday, June 09, 2016

New Kuiper Belt Objects IDed


Sheppard et al


We have been conducting a survey for distant solar system objects beyond the Kuiper Belt edge (∼50 AU) with new wide-field cameras on the Subaru 8 meter and CTIO 4 meter telescopes. We are interested in the orbits of objects that are decoupled from the giant planet region in order to understand the structure of the outer solar system, including whether a massive planet exists beyond a few hundred AU as first reported by Trujillo and Sheppard (2014). In addition to discovering extreme trans-Neptunian objects detailed elsewhere, we have found several objects with high perihelia (q>40 AU) that differ from the extreme and inner Oort cloud objects due to their moderate semi-major axes (5020 degrees). These moderate objects likely obtained their unusual orbits through combined interactions with Neptune's mean motion resonances and the Kozai resonance, similar to the origin scenarios for 2004 XR190. We also find the distant 2008 ST291 has likely been modified by the MMR+KR mechanism through the 6:1 Neptune resonance. We discuss these moderately eccentric, distant objects along with some other interesting low inclination outer classical belt objects like 2012 FH84 discovered in our ongoing survey.

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