Formation of trans-Neptunian satellite systems at the stage of condensations

16 Jan 2018  ·  Ipatov S. I. ·

The formation of trans-Neptunian satellite systems at the stage of rarefied preplanetesimals (i.e., condensations of dust and/or objects less than 1 m in diameter) is discussed. It is assumed that trans-Neptunian objects (including those with satellites) could form as a result of compression of parental rarefied preplanetesimals... The formulas for calculating the angular momentum of two colliding condensations with respect to their center of mass, which were applied earlier in (Ipatov, 2010) in the comparison of such momenta with the angular momenta of observed satellite systems, are used to estimate the angular momenta of condensations needed to form satellite systems. It is demonstrated that the angular velocities of condensations used in (Nesvorny et al., 2010) as the initial data in the computer simulation of compression of rarefied preplanetesimals and subsequent formation of trans-Neptunian satellite systems may be obtained in collisions of preplanetesimals with their radii comparable to the corresponding Hill radii. For example, these angular velocities are in the range of possible values of angular velocities of a parental rarefied preplanetesimal formed as a result of a merger of two colliding rarefied preplanetesimals that moved in circular heliocentric orbits before a collision. Some rarefied preplanetesimals formed as a result of collision of preplanetesimals in the region of formation of solid small bodies acquire such angular momenta that are sufficient to form satellite systems of small bodies. It is likely that the ratio of the number of rarefied preplanetesimals with such angular momenta to the total number of rarefied preplanetesimals producing classical trans-Neptunian objects with diameters larger than 100 km was 0.45 (the initial fraction of satellite systems among all classical trans-Neptunian objects). read more

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics