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STScI Webcast

2010 Hydra-Nix Meeting

KBO Multiples (Theory)

Presented by: Hilke Schlicting (Caltech)
Category: Science Workshops   Duration: 30 minutes   Broadcast date: May 11, 2010
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A wide variety of multiple systems have been discovered in the Kuiper Belt to date. Among these multiple systems we can identify, broadly speaking, two classes of binaries. The first class consists of collisionally formed satellites around the largest Kuiper Belt objects, like the Pluto-Charon system. The second class consists of roughly equal-mass binaries with wide separations, which most likely formed by a dynamical process like three body scattering or dynamical friction. We show that the distribution of comparable-mass binaries occupying low-inclination, resonant orbits can constrain models of Neptune’s migration history. In addition, I will discuss the formation of the first collisional family in the Kuiper Belt and the implications of our formation scenario for the occurrence of additional collisional families in the Kuiper Belt.