The absolute magnitude distribution of Kuiper Belt objects

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Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
Article number100
Pages114; # of pages: 14
SubjectKuiper belt: general; minor planets, asteroids: general
AbstractHere we measure the absolute magnitude distributions (H-distribution) of the dynamically excited and quiescent (hot and cold) Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), and test if they share the same H-distribution as the Jupiter Trojans. From a compilation of all useable ecliptic surveys, we find that the KBO H-distributions are well described by broken power laws. The cold population has a bright-end slope and break magnitude (r′-band). The hot population has a shallower bright-end slope of and break magnitude. Both populations share similar faint-end slopes of α2 0.2. We estimate the masses of the hot and cold populations are 0.01 and 3 × 10-4 M ⊕. The broken power-law fit to the Trojan H-distribution has α1 = 1.0 ± 0.2, α2 = 0.36 ± 0.01, and H B = 8.3. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test reveals that the probability that the Trojans and cold KBOs share the same parent H-distribution is less than 1 in 1000. When the bimodal albedo distribution of the hot objects is accounted for, there is no evidence that the H-distributions of the Trojans and hot KBOs differ. Our findings are in agreement with the predictions of the Nice model in terms of both mass and H-distribution of the hot and Trojan populations. Wide-field survey data suggest that the brightest few hot objects, with , do not fall on the steep power-law slope of fainter hot objects. Under the standard hierarchical model of planetesimal formation, it is difficult to account for the similar break diameters of the hot and cold populations given the low mass of the cold belt.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); National Science Infrastructure
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21273045
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Record identifierd3900628-8a06-4edc-9a98-9ec0b3b83320
Record created2014-12-09
Record modified2016-07-18
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