HomeScienceOuter SpaceVolatile comets are emitted early during the formation of the solar system

Volatile comets are emitted early during the formation of the solar system

Comet C/2016 R2


Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS (hereafter C/2016 R2) exhibits an unusually high N2/CO abundance ratio, as well as severe depletion of H2O, making it the only known comet of its kind.

It is therefore essential to understand its dynamic history as it would allow us to gain a better understanding of the evolution of planet formation in our solar system. Two studies have independently estimated the possible origin of this comet based on building blocks formed in a peculiar region of the protoplanetary disk, near the ice line of CO and N2. We plan to investigate the fate of objects formed from the building blocks in these regions. We hope to find a possible explanation for the lack of C/2016 R2-like comets in our solar system.

Using a numerical simulation of the early stages of solar system formation, we track the dynamics of these objects in the Jumping Neptune scenario based on five different initial conditions for the protosolar disk. We integrate the positions of 250,000 planetesimals over time to analyze the evolution of their orbits and create a statistical profile of their expected permanent orbit.

Results. We find that objects formed in the region of the CO and N2 ice lines are very likely to be sent to the Oort cloud in a relatively short time or possibly to be ejected completely from the solar system. In all our simulations, over 90% of the clones formed in this region evolved into a hyperbolic trajectory, and between 1% and 10% may have been captured by the Oort cloud.

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The handful of comets that remained were either in long-lasting, highly eccentric orbits like C/2016 R2 or were absorbed into the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. Comets formed <15 au were mainly ejected early in the formation timeline. Since this is the formation zone likely to produce comets of this composition, this process could explain the lack of similar comets observed in the Solar System.

SE Anderson, J.-M. Petit, B. Noyelles, O. Mousis, P. Rousselot

Notes: 7 pages, 5 digits
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Quote as: arXiv:2209.10862 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2209.10862v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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Submission History
From: Sarah Anderson
[v1] Thu 22 Sep 2022 08:46:13 UTC (3,623 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry



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