Resolution of the Trojan Color Conundrum
Session 10.06 Spectroscopy
Thursday 06-27 | 16:00 - 16:20

In the context of solar system evolution models, the Trojan asteroids of the outer planets, which are 1:1 resonance with the planet and co-orbit around the planet's Lagrange points L4 and L5, have often been proposed to originate from the Kuiper belt, situated in the outer reaches of our solar system. This hypothesis is subject to observational testing, particularly regarding the similarities in surface color/spectrum between the Trojan asteroids and Kuiper belt objects, as they are believed to share a common origin. However, the multi-band photometry results presented by Jewitt in 2018 indicate that the color distribution of Trojan asteroids is mono-modal, unlike the wide color distribution observed in Kuiper belt objects. This finding challenges the widely accepted hypothesis of a shared origin and has been referred to as the “Trojan Color Conundrum.” In this presentation, we will present the latest photometry results of 15 Neptune Trojans. These new findings indicate that the color distribution of Neptune Trojans is now similar to that of Kuiper belt objects, thereby resolving the “Trojan Color Conundrum.” Moreover, the JWST spectrum of 8 Neptune Trojans also show the similarities to the spectrum of TNOs. Furthermore, we explore potential reasons for the previous disparity in color distribution between Neptune Trojans and Kuiper belt objects prior to these recent observations.

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