AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 96. The Solar System
Display, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[96.02] Outer planet orbital migration in the early Solar system

R Malhotra (LPI)

The dynamical structure of the Kuiper Belt provides evidence of orbital migration of the outer planets during the early history of our Solar system. Such migration would have occurred during the late stages of planet formation as a consequence of the scattering and final clearing of the residual planetesimal disk in the outer Solar system. The absence of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) in circular or low-eccentricity orbits, and their relative overabundance in the 3:2 orbital resonance with Neptune is best understood as due to a sweeping by orbital mean motion resonances by an outwardly migrating Neptune. The eccentricity distribution of the resonant KBOs provides an estimate for the magnitude of Neptune's migration, \Delta aN\approx8 AU. Sweeping mean motion and secular resonances also cause inclination excitation which is sensitive to the time scale of migration. Numerical simulations indicate a timescale of ~\times107 yr for the planet migration/resonance sweeping process to explain the inclination distribution of KBOs.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: renu@lpi.jsc.nasa.gov

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