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Astrobites Airlines: We’re going to Planet 9!

29 Apr 2021, 13:00 UTC
Astrobites Airlines: We’re going to Planet 9!
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Title: Injection of Inner Oort Cloud Objects Into the Distant Kuiper Belt by Planet NineAuthors: Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. BrownFirst Author’s Institution: Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of TechnologyPaper Status: Accepted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters [closed access]Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard the Astrobites Airlines with service from the Earth to Planet 9. We are currently fourth in line for take-off, but you can learn more about other take-offs to Planet 9 here, here, and here. We are traveling at the speed of light and the duration of our flight will be about 70 hours. We ask you that you please enjoy our long journey to the outer Solar System.
Figure 2: The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud location and scale relative to our Solar System. Image credit: ESAOur journey starts in the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy bodies residing beyond Neptune’s orbit. Look around, these are distant Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) (look at Figure 1)! We can see (also in Figure 2) two distinct types of distant KBOs: some KBOs have dynamically stable orbits and some do not. Those that are unstable are destabilized by Neptune. The observed clustering of stable orbits needs ...

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