Extremely red Kuiper-belt objects in near-circular orbits beyond 40 AU

Stephen C Tegler, W. Romanishin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) are an ancient reservoir of comets beyond Neptune's orbit. Some of these objects were recently found to have the reddest optical colours in the Solar System, but the number of objects for which accurate colours were available was too small for any correlation to be discerned between colour and physical or dynamical properties, which might shed light on the origin of these objects. Here we report that all nine of the KBOs in our survey on near-circular (low-eccentricity) orbits with perihelion distances larger than 40 AU have extremely red surfaces, thereby connecting an observable property with a dynamical class. Of the objects with orbital eccentricities greater than 0.1, about half are also very red, while the rest have colours similar to the Sun, meaning that reflected sunlight is not strongly modified by the objects' surface properties. In addition, of the 13 'classical' KBOs (those with semimajor axis a ≃ 45 AU and eccentricity e < 0.15), the ten that are very red are in orbits with small angles of inclination to the ecliptic, whereas the three with solar colours are all in high-inclination orbits. We suggest that these three 'grey' classical KBOs may be part of a dynamical group that is separate from the 'red' classical KBOs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-981
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume407
Issue number6807
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2000

Fingerprint

Orbit
Color
Solar System
Surface Properties
Sunlight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Extremely red Kuiper-belt objects in near-circular orbits beyond 40 AU. / Tegler, Stephen C; Romanishin, W.

In: Nature, Vol. 407, No. 6807, 26.10.2000, p. 979-981.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tegler, Stephen C ; Romanishin, W. / Extremely red Kuiper-belt objects in near-circular orbits beyond 40 AU. In: Nature. 2000 ; Vol. 407, No. 6807. pp. 979-981.
@article{f3b04464fcec434bacd56da14aa0e3fd,
title = "Extremely red Kuiper-belt objects in near-circular orbits beyond 40 AU",
abstract = "Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) are an ancient reservoir of comets beyond Neptune's orbit. Some of these objects were recently found to have the reddest optical colours in the Solar System, but the number of objects for which accurate colours were available was too small for any correlation to be discerned between colour and physical or dynamical properties, which might shed light on the origin of these objects. Here we report that all nine of the KBOs in our survey on near-circular (low-eccentricity) orbits with perihelion distances larger than 40 AU have extremely red surfaces, thereby connecting an observable property with a dynamical class. Of the objects with orbital eccentricities greater than 0.1, about half are also very red, while the rest have colours similar to the Sun, meaning that reflected sunlight is not strongly modified by the objects' surface properties. In addition, of the 13 'classical' KBOs (those with semimajor axis a ≃ 45 AU and eccentricity e < 0.15), the ten that are very red are in orbits with small angles of inclination to the ecliptic, whereas the three with solar colours are all in high-inclination orbits. We suggest that these three 'grey' classical KBOs may be part of a dynamical group that is separate from the 'red' classical KBOs.",
author = "Tegler, {Stephen C} and W. Romanishin",
year = "2000",
month = "10",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1038/35039572",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "407",
pages = "979--981",
journal = "Nature Cell Biology",
issn = "1465-7392",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "6807",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Extremely red Kuiper-belt objects in near-circular orbits beyond 40 AU

AU - Tegler, Stephen C

AU - Romanishin, W.

PY - 2000/10/26

Y1 - 2000/10/26

N2 - Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) are an ancient reservoir of comets beyond Neptune's orbit. Some of these objects were recently found to have the reddest optical colours in the Solar System, but the number of objects for which accurate colours were available was too small for any correlation to be discerned between colour and physical or dynamical properties, which might shed light on the origin of these objects. Here we report that all nine of the KBOs in our survey on near-circular (low-eccentricity) orbits with perihelion distances larger than 40 AU have extremely red surfaces, thereby connecting an observable property with a dynamical class. Of the objects with orbital eccentricities greater than 0.1, about half are also very red, while the rest have colours similar to the Sun, meaning that reflected sunlight is not strongly modified by the objects' surface properties. In addition, of the 13 'classical' KBOs (those with semimajor axis a ≃ 45 AU and eccentricity e < 0.15), the ten that are very red are in orbits with small angles of inclination to the ecliptic, whereas the three with solar colours are all in high-inclination orbits. We suggest that these three 'grey' classical KBOs may be part of a dynamical group that is separate from the 'red' classical KBOs.

AB - Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) are an ancient reservoir of comets beyond Neptune's orbit. Some of these objects were recently found to have the reddest optical colours in the Solar System, but the number of objects for which accurate colours were available was too small for any correlation to be discerned between colour and physical or dynamical properties, which might shed light on the origin of these objects. Here we report that all nine of the KBOs in our survey on near-circular (low-eccentricity) orbits with perihelion distances larger than 40 AU have extremely red surfaces, thereby connecting an observable property with a dynamical class. Of the objects with orbital eccentricities greater than 0.1, about half are also very red, while the rest have colours similar to the Sun, meaning that reflected sunlight is not strongly modified by the objects' surface properties. In addition, of the 13 'classical' KBOs (those with semimajor axis a ≃ 45 AU and eccentricity e < 0.15), the ten that are very red are in orbits with small angles of inclination to the ecliptic, whereas the three with solar colours are all in high-inclination orbits. We suggest that these three 'grey' classical KBOs may be part of a dynamical group that is separate from the 'red' classical KBOs.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034718789&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034718789&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/35039572

DO - 10.1038/35039572

M3 - Article

C2 - 11069171

AN - SCOPUS:0034718789

VL - 407

SP - 979

EP - 981

JO - Nature Cell Biology

JF - Nature Cell Biology

SN - 1465-7392

IS - 6807

ER -