Isotopic trichotomy of main belt asteroids from implantation of outer solar system planetesimals

David Nesvorný, Nicolas Dauphas, David Vokrouhlický, Rogerio Deienno, Timo Hopp

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 626, 15 January 2024, 118521


“Recent analyses of samples from asteroid (162173) Ryugu returned by JAXA’s Hayabusa2 mission suggest that Ryugu and CI chondrites formed in the same region of the protoplanetary disk, in a reservoir that was isolated from the source regions of other carbonaceous (C-type) asteroids. Here we conduct N-body simulations in which CI planetesimals are assumed to have formed in the Uranus/Neptune zone at ~15-25 au from the Sun. We show that CI planetesimals are scattered by giant planets toward the asteroid belt where their orbits can be circularized by aerodynamic gas drag. We find that the dynamical implantation of CI asteroids from ~15-25 au is very efficient with ∼5% of ∼100-km planetesimals reaching stable orbits in the asteroid belt by the end of the protoplanetary gas disk lifetime. The efficiency is reduced when planetesimal ablation is accounted for. The implanted population subsequently evolved by collisions and was depleted by dynamical instabilities. The model can explain why CIs are isotopically distinct from other C-type asteroids which presumably formed at ~5-10 au.”