We report the discovery of a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) plausibly diffusing out of the inner Oort Cloud reservoir. This TNO is on an orbit with q ~ 50 AU, a ~ 700 AU, the largest semi-major axis yet detected for an orbit with perihelion q beyond the q ≤ 38 zone of strong influence of Neptune, exceeding the semi-major axes of (90377) Sedna, 2012 VP113 and 2010 GB174. Such objects are rarely observed. Trans-Neptunian objects with these high orbital perihelia have no confirmed formation mechanism in the present planetary architecture of the Solar System. The orbit of this new TNO can be formed by inward diffusion of objects from a Galactic-tide-dominated population with a ~ 1000-2000 AU; the formation mechanism is highly inefficient, and would require on the order of a hundred times more objects in that population than in the a ~ 700 AU population. We also report colour and light curve measurements of the new TNO with Gemini North and Subaru-HSC. The longitude of the ascending node and argument of perihelion of this TNO's orbit have implications for the hypothesis of a ninth planet.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #48
- Pub Date:
- October 2016