The Formation of Pluto’s Low Mass Satellites

Дата и время публикации : 2013-03-01T20:59:34Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Scott J. Kenyon
Benjamin C. Bromley

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 35 pages, 9 figures, revised based on comments from referees and colleagues, AJ, in press
Первичная категория: astro-ph.EP

Все категории : astro-ph.EP, astro-ph.SR

Краткий обзор статьи: Motivated by the New Horizons mission, we consider how Pluto’s small satellites — currently Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra — grow in debris from the giant impact that forms the Pluto-Charon binary. After the impact, Pluto and Charon accrete some of the debris and eject the rest from the binary orbit. During the ejection, high velocity collisions among debris particles produce a collisional cascade, leading to the ejection of some debris from the system and enabling the remaining debris particles to find stable orbits around the binary. Our numerical simulations of coagulation and migration show that collisional evolution within a ring or a disk of debris leads to a few small satellites orbiting Pluto-Charon. These simulations are the first to demonstrate migration-induced mergers within a particle disk. The final satellite masses correlate with the initial disk mass. More massive disks tend to produce fewer satellites. For the current properties of the satellites, our results strongly favor initial debris masses of 3-10 x 10^{19} g and current satellite albedos of roughly 0.4-1. We also predict an ensemble of smaller satellites with radii less than roughly 1-3 km, and very small particles, with radii of roughly 1-100 cm and optical depth smaller than 10^-10. These objects should have semimajor axes outside the current orbit of Hydra.

Category: Physics