Journal Article

Confined chaotic motion in three-body resonances: trapping of trans-Neptunian material induced by gas-drag

R. De La Fuente Marcos and C. De La Fuente Marcos

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 1, pages 293-306
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Confined chaotic motion in three-body resonances: trapping of trans-Neptunian material induced by gas-drag

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Jiang & Yeh proposed gas-drag-induced resonant capture as a mechanism able to explain the dominant 3:2 resonance observed in the trans-Neptunian belt. Using a model of a disc–star–planet system they concluded that gaseous drag in a protoplanetary disc can trap trans-Neptunian object (TNO) embryos into the 3:2 resonance rather easily although it could not trap objects into the 2:1 resonance. Here we further investigate this scenario using numerical simulations within the context of the planar restricted four-body problem by including both present-day Uranus and Neptune. Our results show that mean motion and corotation resonances are possible and trapping into both the 3:2 and 2:1 resonances as well as other resonances is observed. The associated corotation centres may easily form larger planetesimals from smaller ones. Corotation resonances evolve into pure Lindblad resonances in a time-scale of 0.5 Myr. The non-linear corotation and mean motion resonances produced are very size selective. The 3:2 resonance is dominant for submetric particles but for larger particles the 2:1 resonance is stronger. In summary, our calculations show that confined chaotic motion around the resonances not only increases trapping efficiency but also the orbital eccentricities of the trapped material, modifying the relative abundance of trapped particles in different resonances. If we assume a more compact planetary system, instead of using the present-day values of the orbital elements of Uranus and Neptune, our results remain largely unchanged.

Keywords: celestial mechanics; Solar system: formation; Solar system: general; planetary systems

Journal Article.  8150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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