DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000
Session 21. Trojans, Centaurs, Kuiper Belt Objects Posters
Displayed, 1:00pm, Monday - 1:00pm, Friday, Highlighted Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-6:30pm, C101-C105, C211

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[21.03] Dynamical Instabilities and the High Orbital Inclinations of Many Classical Kuiper Belt Objects

M. Kuchner (Caltech Astronomy Dept.)

Though most surveys for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are strongly biased against discovering objects with high orbital inclinations, ~ 15% of known classical KBOs appear to have orbital inclinations greater than 15\circ. We numerically integrated the orbits of 1100 particles in the region of the classical Kuiper Belt (42 AU \leq a \leq 47 AU) for 4 billion years to explore the role of dynamical instability in sculpting the inclination distribution of classical KBO orbits. The simulations show that in certain ranges of semi-major axis and eccentricity, dynamical intabilities preferentially deplete low-inclination objects, suggesting that long-term dynamical effects are part of the explanation for surprising fraction of observed KBOs with high orbital inclinations.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mjk@astro.caltech.edu

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