Col-OSSOS: Probing Ice Line/Color Transitions within the Kuiper Belt’s Progenitor Populations

Laura E. Buchanan, Megan E. Schwamb, Wesley C. Fraser, Michele T. Bannister, Michaël Marsset, Rosemary E. Pike, David Nesvorný, J. J. Kavelaars, Susan D. Benecchi, Matthew J. Lehner, Shiang-Yu Wang, Nuno Peixinho, Kathryn Volk, Mike Alexandersen, Ying-Tung Chen, Brett Gladman, Stephen Gwyn, Jean-Marc Petit

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Abstract

Dynamically excited objects within the Kuiper Belt show a bimodal distribution in their surface colors, and these differing surface colors may be a tracer of where these objects formed. In this work, we explore radial color distributions in the primordial planetesimal disk and implications for the positions of ice line/color transitions within the Kuiper Belt's progenitor populations. We combine a full dynamical model of the Kuiper Belt's evolution due to Neptune's migration with precise surface colors measured by the Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey in order to examine the true color ratios within the Kuiper Belt and the ice lines within the primordial disk. We investigate the position of a dominant, surface color–changing ice line, with two possible surface color layouts within the initial disk: (1) inner neutral surfaces and outer red and (2) inner red surfaces and outer neutral. We performed simulations with a primordial disk that truncates at 30 au. By radially stepping the color transition out through 0.5 au intervals, we show that both disk configurations are consistent with the observed color fraction. For an inner neutral, outer red primordial disk, we find that the color transition can be at ${28}_{-3}^{+2}$ au at a 95% confidence level. For an inner red, outer neutral primordial disk, the color transition can be at ${27}_{-3}^{+3}$ au at a 95% confidence level.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages13
JournalThe Planetary Science Journal
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2022

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