Seminar Series

Resonant dynamics of trans-Neptunian objects: what resonances reveal about Neptune’s past as well as the possibility of an undiscovered additional solar system planet

Kat Volk, University of Arizona

23 Jun 2016 - 15:30

Mean motion resonances have played an important role in sculpting the distribution of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) in the outer solar system. The distribution of objects in resonance with Neptune is one of the clues left behind by giant planet migration in the early solar system; a detailed picture of this population will help test predictions from different outer solar system dynamical histories. I will discuss what the first part of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey has revealed about resonant TNOs, and I will give a preview of what we expect to learn by the time the survey is complete. I will also discuss the peculiar orbits of the most distant TNOs, which have sparked much speculation about the existence of a large planet at distances of several hundred AU from the Sun. In particular, I will discuss the possibility that these distant TNOs are in resonance with such a planet (Malhotra, Volk, & Wang 2016), and what this might mean for finding the hypothesized planet.

LCO Seminar Series,
6740 Cortona Dr, Suite 102,
Goleta, CA 93117