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Col-OSSOS: Probing Ice Line/Color Transitions within the Kuiper Belt's Progenitor Populations

L. E. Buchanan, M. E. Schwamb, W. Fraser, M. T. Bannister, M. Marsset, R. E. Pike, D. Nesvorný, J. J. Kavelaars, S. D. Benecchi, M. J. Lehner, S. -Y. Wang, N. Peixinho, K. Volk, M. Alexandersen, Y. -T. Chen, B. Gladman, S. D. J. Gwyn, J.-M. Petit

Dynamically excited objects within the Kuiper Belt show a bimodal distribution in their surface colors, and these differing surface colors may be a tracer of where these objects formed. In this work, we explore radial color distributions in the primordial planetesimal disk and implications for the positions of ice line/color transitions within the Kuiper Belt's progenitor populations. We combine a full dynamical model of the Kuiper Belt's evolution due to Neptune's migration with precise surface colors measured by the Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey in order to examine the true color ratios within the Kuiper Belt and the ice lines within the primordial disk. We investigate the position of a dominant, surface color–changing ice line, with two possible surface color layouts within the initial disk: (1) inner neutral surfaces and outer red and (2) inner red surfaces and outer neutral. We performed simulations with a primordial disk that truncates at 30 au. By radially stepping the color transition out through 0.5 au intervals, we show that both disk configurations are consistent with the observed color fraction. For an inner neutral, outer red primordial disk, we find that the color transition can be at 28+2−3 au at a 95% confidence level. For an inner red, outer neutral primordial disk, the color transition can be at 27+3−3 au at a 95% confidence level.

Trans-Neptunian objects; Kuiper belt

The Planetary Science Journal
Volume 3, Number 1
2022 January

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia