The University of Arizona

From KBOs to Centaurs: The thermal connection

G. SARID, D. PRIALNIK

Abstract


We present results of thermal evolution calculations for objects originating in the Kuiper belt and transferring inwards, to the region of the outer planets. Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are considered to be part of a reservoir that supplies the flux of small icy bodies, mainly Centaurs and Jupiter-family comets, to regions interior to the orbit of Neptune. We study the internal thermal evolution, for ~10^8 yr, of three typical KBOs and use the end state of the simulation as initial conditions for evolutionary calculations of two typical Centaurs. Some evolutionary trends can be identified for the KBOs, depending on key physical parameters, such as size and composition. The subsequent evolution in the Centaur region results in both specific features for each modeled object (mainly surface and sub-surface composition) and common characteristics of thermally evolved Centaurs.

Keywords


Kuiper belt;Thermal modeling;Thermal evolution

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