Thursday, August 04, 2016

2015 RR245: a dwarf planet candidate in the 9:2 resonance with Neptune


Bannister et al


We report the discovery and orbit of a new dwarf planet candidate, 2015 RR245, by the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS). 2015 RR245's orbit is eccentric (e=0.586), with a semi-major axis near 82 au, yielding a perihelion distance of 34 au. 2015 RR245 has g−r=0.59±0.11 and absolute magnitude Hr=3.6±0.1; for an assumed albedo of pV=12% the object has a diameter of ∼670 km. Based on astrometric measurements from OSSOS and Pan-STARRS1, we find that 2015 RR245 is securely trapped in the 9:2 mean-motion resonance with Neptune. It is the first TNO identified in this resonance. On hundred-Myr timescales, particles in 2015 RR245-like orbits depart and sometimes return to the resonance, indicating that 2015 RR245 likely forms part of the long-lived metastable population of distant TNOs that drift between resonance sticking and actively scattering via gravitational encounters with Neptune. The discovery of a 9:2 TNO stresses the role of resonances in the long-term evolution of objects in the scattering disk, and reinforces the view that distant resonances are heavily populated in the current Solar System. This object further motivates detailed modelling of the transient sticking population.

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