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 Neptune Trojans and Plutinos: colors, sizes, dynamics, and their possible collisions
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item http://hdl.handle.net/10773/6161

title: Neptune Trojans and Plutinos: colors, sizes, dynamics, and their possible collisions
authors: Almeida, Álvaro. J. C.
Peixinho, N.
Correia, A. C. M.
keywords: methods: N-body simulations
solar system: formation
techniques: photometric
celestial mechanics
Kuiper Belt
minor planets
issue date: Dec-2009
publisher: EDP Sciences
abstract: Neptune Trojans and Plutinos are two subpopulations of trans-Neptunian objects located in the 1:1 and the 3:2 mean motion resonances with Neptune, respectively, and therefore protected from close encounters with the planet. However, the orbits of these two kinds of objects may cross very often, allowing a higher collisional rate between them than with other kinds of trans-Neptunian objects, and a consequent size distribution modification of the two subpopulations. Observational colors and absolute magnitudes of Neptune Trojans and Plutinos show that i) there are no intrinsically bright (large) Plutinos at small inclinations; ii) there is an apparent excess of blue and intrinsically faint (small) Plutinos; and iii) Neptune Trojans possess the same blue colors as Plutinos within the same (estimated) size range do. For the present subpopulations we analyzed the most favorable conditions for close encounters/collisions and address any link there could be between those encounters and the sizes and/or colors of Plutinos and Neptune Trojans. We also performed a simultaneous numerical simulation of the outer Solar System over 1 Gyr for all these bodies in order to estimate their collisional rate. We conclude that orbital overlap between Neptune Trojans and Plutinos is favored for Plutinos with large libration amplitudes, high eccentricities, and small inclinations. Additionally, with the assumption that the collisions can be disruptive creating smaller objects not necessarily with similar colors, the present high concentration of small Plutinos with small inclinations can thus be a consequence of a collisional interaction with Neptune Trojans and such hypothesis should be further analyzed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10773/6161
ISSN: 0004-6361
publisher version/DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200911943
source: Astronomy & Astrophysics
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