FLASH Talks: Bryce Bolin (NASA GSFC) & Stacey Alberts (Steward)
Friday, 21 April 2023 noon — 1 p.m. MST
NOIRLab Headquarters | 950 North Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719
Bryce Bolin, NASA GSFC
Redness of Neptunian Trojans sheds light on early Solar System
Neptunian Trojans (NTs), trans-Neptunian objects in 1:1 mean-motion resonance with Neptune, are generally thought to have been captured from the original trans-Neptunian protoplanetary disk into co-orbital resonance with the ice giant during its outward migration. It is possible, therefore, that the color distribution of NTs is a constraint on the location of any color transition zones that may have been present in the disk. In support of this possible test, we obtained g, r, and i-band observations of 18 NTs, more than doubling the sample of NTs with known visible colors to >30 objects. Out of the combined sample, we found ~4 objects with g-i colors of >1.2 mags placing them in the very red (VR) category. We find, without taking observational selection effects into account, that the NT g-i color distribution is statistically distinct from other trans-Neptunian dynamical classes. The optical colors of Jovian Trojans and NTs are shown to be less similar than previously claimed with additional VR NTs. The presence of VR objects among the NTs may suggest that the location of the red to VR color transition zone in the protoplanetary disk was interior to ~30 au.
Stacey Alberts, Steward Observatory