Ossos. XVIII. Constraining migration models with the 2:1 resonance using the Outer Solar System Origins survey

Ying Tung Chen, Brett Gladman, Kathryn Volk, Ruth Murray-Clay, Matthew J. Lehner, J. J. Kavelaars, Shiang Yu Wang, Hsing Wen Lin, Patryk Sofia Lykawka, Mike Alexandersen, Michele T. Bannister, Samantha M. Lawler, Rebekah I. Dawson, Sarah Greenstreet, Stephen D.J. Gwyn, Jean Marc Petit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Resonant dynamics plays a significant role in the past evolution and current state of our outer solar system. The population ratios and spatial distribution of Neptune's resonant populations are direct clues to understanding the history of our planetary system. The orbital structure of the objects in Neptune's 2:1 mean-motion resonance (“twotinos”) has the potential to be a tracer of planetary migration processes. Different migration processes produce distinct architectures, recognizable by well-characterized surveys. However, previous characterized surveys only discovered a few twotinos, making it impossible to model the intrinsic twotino population. With a well-designed cadence and nearly 100% tracking success, the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) discovered 838 trans-Neptunian objects, of which 34 are securely twotinos with well-constrained libration angles and amplitudes. We use the OSSOS twotinos and the survey characterization parameters via the OSSOS survey simulator to inspect the intrinsic population and orbital distributions of twotinos. The estimated twotino population, 4400- + 1100 1500 with Hr < 8.66 (diameter ∼100 km) at 95% confidence, is consistent with the previous low-precision estimate. We also constrain the width of the inclination distribution to a relatively narrow value of si = 6- °+ 1 1 and find that the eccentricity distribution is consistent with a Gaussian centered on ec = 0.275 with a width ew = 0.06. We find a single-slope exponential luminosity function with α = 0.6 for the twotinos. Finally, for the first time, we meaningfully constrain the fraction of symmetric twotinos and the ratio of the leading asymmetric islands; both fractions are in the range of 0.2-0.6. These measurements rule out certain theoretical models of Neptune's migration history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberab480b
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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