Re-assessing the formation of the inner Oort cloud in an embedded star cluster - II. Probing the inner edge

R. Brasser, Megan Schwamb

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29 Citations (Scopus)
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The detached object Sedna is likely at the inner edge of the Oort cloud, more precisely the inner Oort cloud (IOC). Until recently it was the sole member of this population. The recent discovery of the detached object 2012 VP113 has confirmed that there should be more objects in this region. Three additional IOC candidates with orbits much closer to Neptune have been proposed in the past decade since Sedna's discovery: 2000 CR105, 2004 VN112 and 2010 GB174. Sedna and 2012 VP113 have perhelia near 80 au and semimajor axes over 250 au. The latter three have perihelia between 44 and 50 au and semimajor axes between 200 and 400 au. Here we determine whether the latter three objects belong to the IOC or are from the Kuiper Belt's extended scattered disc (ESD) using numerical simulations. We assume that the IOC was formed when the Sun was in its birth cluster. We analyse the evolution of the IOC and the scattered disc (SD) during an episode of late giant planet migration. We examine the impact of giant planet migration in the context of four and five planets. We report that the detached objects 2004 VN112 and 2010 GB174 are likely members of the IOC that were placed there while the Sun was in its birth cluster or during an episode of solar migration in the Galaxy. The origin of 2000 CR105 is ambiguous but it is likely that it belongs to the ESD. Based on our simulations, we find that the maximum perihelion distance of SD objects is 41 au when the semimajor axis is higher than 250 au. Objects closer in are subject to mean-motion resonances with Neptune that may raise their perihelia. The five-planet model yields the same outcome. We impose a conservative limit and state that all objects with perihelion distance q > 45 au and semimajor axis a > 250 au belong to the IOC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3788–3796
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date09 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


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