The formation of the cold classical Kuiper Belt by a short range transport mechanism

Rodney Gomes

Available online 2 October 2020, 114121



• The Cold Classical Kuiper Belt is usually believed to be formed in situ.
• I propose a scenario by which the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt objects were transported a short distance from the outer border of the primordial planetesimal disk.
• This scenario can account for the implantation of objects with similar color characteristics of the cold Kuiper Belt objects as detached and resonant TNOs objects.
• In this scenario the cold KB objects would be formed in a part of the planetesimal disk 20 to 100 times as massive as the present cold Kuiper Belt.”

“The Classical Kuiper Belt is populated by a group of objects with low inclination orbits, reddish colors and usually belonging to a binary system. This so called Cold Classical Kuiper Belt is considered to have been formed in situ from primordial ice pebbles that coagulated into planetesimals hundreds of kilometers in diameter. According to this scenario, the accretion of pebbles into large planetesimals would have occurred through the streaming instability mechanism that would be effective in the primordial Solar System disk of gas and solids. Nevertheless other objects with the same color characteristics as those found in the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt can be encountered also past the 2:1 mean motion resonance with Neptune as scattered or detached objects. Here I propose a mechanism that can account for both the cold Classical Kuiper Belt objects and other reddish objects outside the Classical Kuiper Belt. According to the proposed scenario, reddish objects were primordially in the outer portion of the planetesimal disk which was however truncated somewhere below ∼42 au. In this manner the cold Classical Kuiper Belt and its scattered / detached counterpart were respectively transported outwards by a short range or slightly scattered to their present locations. Resonant objects were also formed by the same process. This mechanism is aimed at explaining the distribution of all objects that share the same color characteristics as coming from a common origin in the outer borders of the primordial planetesimal disk. According to the scenario here proposed the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt would have been formed ∼4 au inside its present location with a total mass 20 − 100 times as large as its present value.”