Using Surface Colors of Resonant TNOs to Probe Neptune’s Migration History With Well-Controlled Planetary Evolution Simulations
Session 7.05 Dynamics
Wednesday 06-26 | 12:00 - 12:20

The physical and dynamical properties of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), particularly those in mean motion resonance (MMR) with Neptune, hold information regarding the giant planets' orbital histories. In Solar System numerical simulations, where chaos is a primary driver, it is difficult to explore various initial conditions in a systematic way. In such simulations, stable configurations are hard to come by, and often require special fine-tuning. In addition, it is infeasible to run suites of well-resolved, realistic simulations with massive particles to drive planetary evolution where enough particles remain to represent the Kuiper Belt and robustly statistically compare with observations. To complement state of the art full Nbody simulations, we develop a method to artificially control each planet's orbital elements independently from each other. We modify two widely used Nbody integrators: (1) the publicly available C code, REBOUND and (2) the FORTRAN code, Mercury. We show how the application of specific fictitious forces within numerical integrators can be used to tightly control planetary evolution to more easily explore migration and orbital excitation and damping. This tool allows us to isolate the impact a massive planetesimal disk would have on the planets, without actually including the massive planetesimals, thus decreasing the chaos and simulation runtime. We show preliminary results for a suite of planetary migration scenarios and thousands of test particles between 37 and 50 au. We compare the start and end-state of the simulation test particles to the real TNOs in order to evaluate the likelihood of previously proposed upheaval and migration models. The cold classical surface properties are likely linked to their formation location and thus provide a unique opportunity to identify TNOs in 2:1 MMR with Neptune that were possibly captured during migration.

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