The edge of the Kuiper belt: The Planet X scenario

M. D. Melita*, I. P. Williams, Simon J. Collander-Brown, Alan Fitzsimmons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Our goal is to determine whether or not the observed sudden termination of the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt can be the result of perturbations from a hypothetical planet. We investigate the effects that such an object would produce on the primordial orbital distribution if the trans-neptunian objects, for a range of masses and orbital parameters of the hypothetical planet. In this numerical investigation, the motion of the hypothetical planet was influenced by the existing planets but not by its interaction with the disk. We find that no set of parameters produce results that match the observed data. Dynamical interaction with the disk is likely to be important so that the orbit of the hypothetical planet changes significantly during the integration interval. This is also discussed. The overall conclusion is that none of the models for the hypothetical planet that were investigated can reproduce the observed features of the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt starting from any probable primordial distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-524
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2004


  • Orbits
  • Origin, solar system
  • Planetary dynamics
  • Trans-neptunian objects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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