A dwarf planet class object in the 21:5 resonance with Neptune

Matthew J. Holman, Matthew J. Payne, Wesley Fraser, Pedro Lacerda, Michele T. Bannister, Michael Lackner, Ying Tung Chen, Hsing Wen Lin, Kenneth W. Smith, Rosita Kokotanekova, David Young, K. Chambers, S. Chastel, L. Denneau, A. Fitzsimmons, H. Flewelling, Tommy Grav, M. Huber, Nick Induni, Rolf Peter KudritzkiAlex Krolewski, R. Jedicke, N. Kaiser, E. Lilly, E. Magnier, Zachary Mark, K. J. Meech, M. Micheli, Daniel Murray, Alex Parker, Pavlos Protopapas, Darin Ragozzine, Peter Veres, R. Wainscoat, C. Waters, R. Weryk

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We report the discovery of an H r = 3.4 ± 0.1 dwarf planet candidate by the Pan-STARRS Outer Solar System Survey. 2010 JO179 is red with (g − r) = 0.88 ± 0.21, roughly round, and slowly rotating, with a period of 30.6 hr. Estimates of its albedo imply a diameter of 600–900 km. Observations sampling the span between 2005 and 2016 provide an exceptionally well determined orbit for 2010 JO179, with a semimajor axis of 78.307 ± 0.009 au; distant orbits known to this precision are rare. We find that 2010 JO179 librates securely within the 21:5 mean-motion resonance with Neptune on 100 Myr timescales, joining the small but growing set of known distant dwarf planets on metastable resonant orbits. These imply a substantial trans-Neptunian population that shifts between stability in high-order resonances, the detached population, and the eroding population of the scattering disk.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL6
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018


  • Kuiper belt objects: individual (2010 JO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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