Binary Formation in Planetesimal Disks II. Planetesimals with Mass Spectrum
Kominami et al
Many massive objects have been found in the outer region of the Solar system. How they were formed and evolved has not been well understood, although there have been intensive studies on accretion process of terrestrial planets. One of the mysteries is the existence of binary planetesimals with near-equal mass components and highly eccentric orbits. These binary planetesimals are quite different from the satellites observed in the asteroid belt region. The ratio of the Hill radius to the physical radius of the planetesimals is much larger for the outer region of the disk, compared to the inner region of the disk. The Hill radius increases with the semi major axis. Therefore, planetesimals in the outer region can form close and eccentric binaries, while those in the inner region would simply collide. In this paper, we carried out N-body simulations in different regions of the disk and studied if binaries form in the outer region of the disk. We found that large planetesimals tend to form binaries. A significant fraction of large planetesimals are components of the binaries. Planetesimals that become the components of binaries eventually collide with a third body, through three-body encounters. Thus, the existence of binaries can enhance the growth rate of planetesimals in the Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) region.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Binary Formation in Planetesimal Disks
Posted by Will Baird at 4:00 AM
Labels: kuiper belt, planetesimals, trans neptunian objects
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