Posts Tagged solar system

Recent Postings from solar system

A new distance law of planets and satellites in the solar system

In the 1960s, it has been substantiated that an equation of Schrodinger type could describe the diffusion phenomena, and the main consequence from this finding has been that there would be wave property in the diffusion processes as well. This theory has been immediately proved through laboratorial experiments. Afterwards the theory was applied to the primordial nebula which was thought to surround the protosun, and has found the consistency of the prediction of the theory with current distance distribution of the planets to be excellent. At the end of 20th century new satellites of planets were discovered. On the basis of the new data, the theory is tested thoroughly and the result allows us to come to the conclusion that the basic process for the distances of the planets from the protosun to be determined has been the diffusion of the primordial nebula consisting of mainly molecular gas.

Giga-Year Evolution of Jupiter Trojans and the Asymmetry Problem

We present a series of numerical integrations of observed and fictitious Jupiter Trojan asteroids, under the gravitational effects of the four outer planets, for time-spans comparable with the age of the Solar System. From these results we calculate the escape rate from each Lagrange point, and construct dynamical maps of "permanence" time in different regions of the phase space. Fictitious asteroids in L4 and L5 show no significant difference, showing almost identical dynamical maps and escape rates. For real Trojans, however, we found that approximately 23% o f the members of the leading swarm escaped after 4.5 Gyrs, while this number increased to 28.3% for L5. This implies that the asymmetry between the two populations increases with time, indicating that it may have been smaller at the time of formation/capture of these asteroids. Nevertheless, the difference in chaotic diffusion cannot, in itself, account for the current observed asymmetry (~40%), and must be primarily primordial and characteristic of the capture mechanism of the Trojans. Finally, we calculate new proper elements for all the numbered Trojans using the semi-analytical approach of Beaug\'e and Roig (2001), and compare the results with the numerical estimations by Bro\v{z} and Rosehnal (2011). For asteroids that were already numbered in 2011, both methods yield very similar results, while significant differences were found for those bodies that became numbered after 2011.

Quantification of tidal parameters from Solar system data

Tidal dissipation is the main driver of orbital evolution of natural satellites and a key point to understand the exoplanetary system configurations. Despite its importance, its quantification from observations still remains difficult for most objects of our own Solar system. In this work, we overview the method that has been used to determine, directly from observations, the tidal parameters, with emphasis on the Love number k2 and the tidal quality factor Q. Up-to-date values of these tidal parameters are summarized. Last, an assessment on the possible determination of the tidal ratio k2/Q of Uranus and Neptune is done. This may be particularly relevant for coming astrometric campaigns and future space missions focused on these systems.

Observational Constraints on Planet Nine: Cassini Range Observations

We significantly constrain the sky position, distance, and mass of a possible additional, distant planet in the solar system by examining its influence on the distance between Earth and the Cassini Spacecraft. Our preferred region is approximately centered on (RA, Dec) = ($40\arcdeg$, $-15\arcdeg$), extending approximately 20 degrees in all directions.

The collisional evolution of undifferentiated asteroids and the formation of chondritic meteoroids

Most meteorites are fragments from recent collisions experienced in the asteroid belt. In such a hyper-velocity collision, the smaller collision partner is destroyed, whereas a crater on the asteroid is formed or it is entirely disrupted, too. The present size distribution of the asteroid belt suggests that an asteroid with 100 km radius is encountered $10^{14}$ times during the lifetime of the Solar System by objects larger than 10 cm in radius; the formed craters cover the surface of the asteroid about 100 times. We present a Monte Carlo code that takes into account the statistical bombardment of individual infinitesimally small surface elements, the subsequent compaction of the underlying material, the formation of a crater and a regolith layer. For the entire asteroid, 10,000 individual surface elements are calculated. We compare the ejected material from the calculated craters with the shock stage of meteorites with low petrologic type and find that these most likely stem from smaller parent bodies that do not possess a significant regolith layer. For larger objects, which accrete a regolith layer, a prediction of the thickness depending on the largest visible crater can be made. Additionally, we compare the crater distribution of an object initially 100 km in radius with the shape model of the asteroid (21) Lutetia, assuming it to be initially formed spherical with a radius that is equal to its longest present ellipsoid length. Here, we find the shapes of both objects to show resemblance to each other.

Solar system tests for linear massive conformal gravity

We first find the linearized gravitational field of a static spherically symmetric mass distribution in massive conformal gravity. Then we test this field with two solar system experiments: deflection of light by the sun and radar echo delay. The result is that the linear massive conformal gravity agrees with the linear general relativistic observations in the solar system. However, besides the standard general relativistic deflection of light, the theory gives an extra deflection at galactic scales. It is likely that this additional deflection replaces the effects of dark matter in general relativity.

How to form asteroids from mm-sized grains

The size distribution of asteroids in the solar system suggests that they formed top-down, with 100-1000 km bodies forming from the gravitational collapse of dense clumps of small solid particles. We investigate the conditions under which solid particles can form dense clumps in a protoplanetary disc. We used a hydrodynamic code to model the solid-gas interaction in disc. We found that particles down to millimeter size can form dense clumps, but only in regions where solids make $\sim$ 8% of the local surface density. More generally, we mapped the range of particle sizes and concentrations that is consistent with the formation of particle clumps.

CD-HPF: New Habitability Score Via Data Analytic Modeling

The search for life on the planets outside the Solar System can be broadly classified into the following: looking for Earth-like conditions or the planets similar to the Earth (Earth similarity), and looking for the possibility of life in a form known or unknown to us (habitability). The two frequently used indices, ESI and PHI, describe heuristic methods to score similarity/habitability in the efforts to categorize different exoplanets or exomoons. ESI, in particular, considers Earth as the reference frame for habitability and is a quick screening tool to categorize and measure physical similarity of any planetary body with the Earth. The PHI assesses the probability that life in some form may exist on any given world, and is based on the essential requirements of known life: a stable and protected substrate, energy, appropriate chemistry and a liquid medium. We propose here a different metric, a Cobb-Douglas Habitability Score (CDHS), based on Cobb-Douglas habitability production function (CD-HPF), which computes the habitability score by using measured and calculated planetary input parameters. The proposed metric, with exponents accounting for metric elasticity, is endowed with verifiable analytical properties that ensure global optima, and is scalable to accommodate finitely many input parameters. The model is elastic, does not suffer from curvature violations and, as we discovered, the standard PHI is a special case of CDHS. Computed CDHS scores are fed to K-NN (K-Nearest Neighbour) classification algorithm with probabilistic herding that facilitates the assignment of exoplanets to appropriate classes via supervised feature learning methods, producing granular clusters of habitability. The proposed work describes a decision-theoretical model using the power of convex optimization and algorithmic machine learning.

A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

In the nearly 60 years of spaceflight we have accomplished wonderful feats of exploration that have shown the incredible spirit of the human drive to explore and understand our universe. Yet in those 60 years we have barely left our solar system with the Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 finally leaving the solar system after 37 years of flight at a speed of 17 km/s or less than 0.006% the speed of light. As remarkable as this is we will never reach even the nearest stars with our current propulsion technology in even 10 millennium. We have to radically rethink our strategy or give up our dreams of reaching the stars, or wait for technology that does not currently exist. While we all dream of human spaceflight to the stars in a way romanticized in books and movies, it is not within our power to do so, nor it is clear that this is the path we should choose. We posit a technological path forward, that while not simple, it is within our technological reach. We propose a roadmap to a program that will lead to sending relativistic probes to the nearest stars and will open up a vast array of possibilities of flight both within our solar system and far beyond. Spacecraft from gram level complete spacecraft on a wafer ("wafersats") that reach more than 1/4 c and reach the nearest star in 20 years to spacecraft with masses more than 10^5 kg (100 tons) that can reach speeds of greater than 1000 km/s. These systems can be propelled to speeds currently unimaginable with existing propulsion technologies. To do so requires a fundamental change in our thinking of both propulsion and in many cases what a spacecraft is. In addition to larger spacecraft, some capable of transporting humans, we consider functional spacecraft on a wafer, including integrated optical communications, imaging systems, photon thrusters, power and sensors combined with directed energy propulsion.

A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight [Replacement]

In the nearly 60 years of spaceflight we have accomplished wonderful feats of exploration that have shown the incredible spirit of the human drive to explore and understand our universe. Yet in those 60 years we have barely left our solar system with the Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 finally leaving the solar system after 37 years of flight at a speed of 17 km/s or less than 0.006% the speed of light. As remarkable as this is we will never reach even the nearest stars with our current propulsion technology in even 10 millennium. We have to radically rethink our strategy or give up our dreams of reaching the stars, or wait for technology that does not currently exist. While we all dream of human spaceflight to the stars in a way romanticized in books and movies, it is not within our power to do so, nor it is clear that this is the path we should choose. We posit a technological path forward, that while not simple, it is within our technological reach. We propose a roadmap to a program that will lead to sending relativistic probes to the nearest stars and will open up a vast array of possibilities of flight both within our solar system and far beyond. Spacecraft from gram level complete spacecraft on a wafer ("wafersats") that reach more than 1/4 c and reach the nearest star in 20 years to spacecraft with masses more than 10^5 kg (100 tons) that can reach speeds of greater than 1000 km/s. These systems can be propelled to speeds currently unimaginable with existing propulsion technologies. To do so requires a fundamental change in our thinking of both propulsion and in many cases what a spacecraft is. In addition to larger spacecraft, some capable of transporting humans, we consider functional spacecraft on a wafer, including integrated optical communications, imaging systems, photon thrusters, power and sensors combined with directed energy propulsion.

Testing General Free Functions in Preferred Scale Theories

Building on previous work, we explore the parameter space of general free functions in non-relativistic modified gravity theories motivated by k-essence and other scalar-tensor theories. Using a few proposed tests, we aim to update Solar System based constraints on these ideas in line with previous theories and suggest their utility in constraining modification to GR, potentially even being able to test k-essence type theories.

First detection of gas-phase ammonia in a planet-forming disk

Nitrogen chemistry in protoplanetary disks and the freeze-out on dust particles is key to understand the formation of nitrogen bearing species in early solar system analogs. So far, ammonia has not been detected beyond the snowline in protoplanetary disks. We aim to find gas-phase ammonia in a protoplanetary disk and characterize its abundance with respect to water vapor. Using HIFI on the Herschel Space Observatory we detect, for the first time, the ground-state rotational emission of ortho-NH$_3$ in a protoplanetary disk, around TW Hya. We use detailed models of the disk's physical structure and the chemistry of ammonia and water to infer the amounts of gas-phase molecules of these species. We explore two radial distributions ( confined to $<$60 au like the millimeter-sized grains) and two vertical distributions (near the midplane where water is expected to photodesorb off icy grains) to describe the (unknown) location of the molecules. These distributions capture the effects of radial drift and vertical settling of ice-covered grains. We use physical-chemical models to reproduce the fluxes with assuming that water and ammonia are co-spatial. We infer ammonia gas-phase masses of 0.7-11.0 $\times$10$^{21}$ g. For water, we infer gas-phase masses of 0.2-16.0 $\times$10$^{22}$ g. This corresponds to NH$_3$/H$_2$O abundance ratios of 7\%-84\%, assuming that water and ammonia are co-located. Only in the most compact and settled adopted configuration is the inferred NH$_3$/H$_2$O consistent with interstellar ices and solar system bodies of $\sim$ 5\%-10\%. Volatile release in the midplane may occur via collisions between icy bodies if the available surface for subsequent freeze-out is significantly reduced, e.g., through growth of small grains into pebbles or larger.

Impact-induced melting during accretion of the Earth

Because of the high energies involved, giant impacts that occur during planetary accretion cause large degrees of melting. The depth of melting in the target body after each collision determines the pressure and temperature conditions of metal-silicate equilibration and thus geochemical fractionation that results from core-mantle differentiation. The accretional collisions involved in forming the terrestrial planets of the inner Solar System have been calculated by previous studies using N-body accretion simulations. Here we use the output from such simulations to determine the volumes of melt produced and thus the pressure and temperature conditions of metal-silicate equilibration, after each impact, as Earth-like planets accrete. For these calculations a parametrised melting model is used that takes impact velocity, impact angle and the respective masses of the impacting bodies into account. The evolution of metal-silicate equilibration pressures (as defined by evolving magma ocean depths) during Earth's accretion depends strongly on the lifetime of impact-generated magma oceans compared to the time interval between large impacts. In addition, such results depend on starting parameters in the N-body simulations, such as the number and initial mass of embryos. Thus, there is the potential for combining the results, such as those presented here, with multistage core formation models to better constrain the accretional history of the Earth.

On the Formation of Super-Earths with Implications for the Solar System

We first consider how the level of turbulence in a protoplanetary disk affects the formation locations for the observed close-in super-Earths in exosolar systems. We find that a protoplanetary disk that includes a dead zone (a region of low turbulence) has substantially more material in the inner parts of the disk, possibly allowing for in situ formation. For the dead zone to last the entire lifetime of the disk requires the active layer surface density to be sufficiently small, <100 g/cm^2. Migration through a dead zone may be very slow and thus super-Earth formation followed by migration towards the star through the dead zone is less likely. For fully turbulent disks, there is not enough material for in situ formation. However, in this case, super-Earths can form farther out in the disk and migrate inwards on a reasonable timescale. We suggest that both of these formation mechanisms operate in different planetary systems. This can help to explain the observed large range in densities of super-Earths because the formation location determines the composition. Furthermore, we speculate that super-Earths could have formed in the inner parts of our solar system and cleared the material in the region inside of Mercury's orbit. The super-Earths could migrate through the gas disk and fall into the Sun if the disk was sufficiently cool during the final gas disk accretion process. While it is definitely possible to meet all of these requirements, we don't expect them to occur in all systems, which may explain why the solar system is somewhat special in its lack of super-Earths.

Making Planet Nine: Pebble Accretion at 250--750 AU in a Gravitationally Unstable Ring

We investigate the formation of icy super-Earth mass planets within a gravitationally unstable ring of solids orbiting at 250-750 AU around a 1 solar mass star. Coagulation calculations demonstrate that a system of a few large oligarchs and a swarm of pebbles generates a super-Earth within 100-200 Myr at 250 AU and within 1-2 Gyr at 750 AU. Systems with more than ten oligarchs fail to yield super-Earths over the age of the solar system. As these systems evolve, destructive collisions produce detectable debris disks with luminosities of $10^{-5}$ to $10^{-3}$ relative to the central star.

The theory of secondary resonances in the spin-orbit problem

We study the resonant dynamics in a simple one degree of freedom, time dependent Hamiltonian model describing spin-orbit interactions. The equations of motion admit periodic solutions associated with resonant motions, the most important being the synchronous one in which most evolved satellites of the Solar system, including the Moon, are observed. Such primary resonances can be surrounded by a chain of smaller islands which one refers to as secondary resonances. Here, we propose a novel canonical normalization procedure allowing to obtain a higher order normal form, by which we obtain analytical results on the stability of the primary resonances as well as on the bifurcation thresholds of the secondary resonances. The procedure makes use of the expansion in a parameter, called the detuning, measuring the shift from the exact secondary resonance. Also, we implement the so-called `book-keeping' method, i.e., the introduction of a suitable separation of the terms in orders of smallness in the normal form construction, which deals simultaneously with all the small parameters of the problem. Our analytical computation of the bifurcation curves is in excellent agreement with the results obtained by a numerical integration of the equations of motion, thus providing relevant information on the parameter regions where satellites can be found in a stable configuration.

Is there an exoplanet in the Solar System? [Replacement]

We investigate the prospects for the capture of the proposed Planet 9 from other stars in the Sun's birth cluster. Any capture scenario must satisfy three conditions: the encounter must be more distant than ~150 au to avoid perturbing the Kuiper belt; the other star must have a wide-orbit planet (a>~100au); the planet must be captured onto an appropriate orbit to sculpt the orbital distribution of wide-orbit Solar System bodies. Here we use N-body simulations to show that these criteria may be simultaneously satisfied. In a few percent of slow close encounters in a cluster, bodies are captured onto heliocentric, Planet 9-like orbits. During the ~100 Myr cluster phase, many stars are likely to host planets on highly-eccentric orbits with apastron distances beyond 100 au if Neptune-sized planets are common and susceptible to planet--planet scattering. While the existence of Planet 9 remains unproven, we consider capture from one of the Sun's young brethren a plausible route to explain such an object's orbit. Capture appears to predict a large population of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) whose orbits are aligned with the captured planet, and we propose that different formation mechanisms will be distinguishable based on their imprint on the distribution of TNOs.

Is there an exoplanet in the Solar System?

We investigate the prospects for the capture of the proposed Planet 9 from other stars in the Sun's birth cluster. Any capture scenario must satisfy three conditions: the encounter must be more distant than ~150 au to avoid perturbing the Kuiper belt; the other star must have a wide-orbit planet (a>~100au); the planet must be captured onto an appropriate orbit to sculpt the orbital distribution of wide-orbit Solar System bodies. Here we use N-body simulations to show that these criteria may be simultaneously satisfied. In a few percent of slow close encounters in a cluster, bodies are captured onto heliocentric, Planet 9-like orbits. During the ~100 Myr cluster phase, many stars are likely to host planets on highly-eccentric orbits with apastron distances beyond 100 au if Neptune-sized planets are common and susceptible to planet--planet scattering. While the existence of Planet 9 remains unproven, we consider capture from one of the Sun's young brethren a plausible route to explain such an object's orbit. Capture appears to predict a large population of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) whose orbits are aligned with the captured planet, and we propose that different formation mechanisms will be distinguishable based on their imprint on the distribution of TNOs.

Insights into planet formation from debris disks: I. The solar system as an archetype for planetesimal evolution

Circumstellar disks have long been regarded as windows into planetary systems. The advent of high sensitivity, high resolution imaging in the submillimetre where both the solid and gas components of disks can be detected opens up new possibilities for understanding the dynamical histories of these systems and therefore, a better ability to place our own solar system, which hosts a highly evolved debris disk, in context. Comparisons of dust masses from protoplanetary and debris disks have revealed a stark downturn in mass in millimetre-sized grains around a stellar age of 10 Myr, ostensibly in the "transition disk" phase, suggesting a period of rapid accretion of such grains onto planetesimals. This rapid formation phase is in keeping with radionucleide studies of Kuiper Belt Objects in the solar system. Importantly, this suggests that any thermal gradients in the gas of disks of this era will be "frozen in" to the planetesimals as they rapidly accrete from the solids and ices in their vicinity. Measurements of radial gradients in thermal tracers such as DHO, DCN and other tracers can therefore provide insight into the nascent solar system's abudances. In studies of dynamical evolution of the solar system, it is tacitly assumed that such abundances can reveal the location of formation for bodies now found in the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt. Similarly, evidence of gas detected from collisional evolution in young debris disks could potentially reveal how rapidly objects have dynamically evolved in those systems, most of which will be significantly younger than the solar system.

A sound nebula: the origin of the Solar System in the field of a standing sound wave

According to the planetary origin conceptual model proposed in this paper, the protosun centre of the pre-solar nebula exploded, resulting in a shock wave that passed through it and then returned to the centre, generating a new explosion and shock wave. Recurrent explosions in the nebula resulted in a spherical standing sound wave, whose antinodes concentrated dust into rotating rings that transformed into planets. The extremely small angular momentum of the Sun and the tilt of its equatorial plane were caused by the asymmetry of the first, most powerful explosion. Differences between inner and outer planets are explained by the migration of solid matter, while the Oort cloud is explained by the division of the pre-solar nebula into a spherical internal nebula and an expanding spherical shell of gas. The proposed conceptual model can also explain the origin and evolution of exoplanetary systems and may be of use in searching for new planets.

Constraining the Schwarzschild-de Sitter Solution in Models of Modified Gravity [Cross-Listing]

The Schwarzschild-de Sitter (SdS) solution exists in the large majority of modified gravity theories, as expected, and in particular the effective cosmological constant is determined by the specific parameters of the given theory. We explore the possibility to use future extended radio-tracking data from the currently ongoing New Horizons mission in the outskirts peripheries of the Solar System, at about 40 au, in order to constrain this effective cosmological constant, and thus to impose constrain on each scenario's parameters. We investigate some of the recently most studied modified gravities, namely $f(R)$ and $f(T)$ theories, dRGT massive gravity, and Ho\v{r}ava-Lifshitz gravity, and we show that New Horizons mission may bring an improvement of one-two orders of magnitude with respect to the present bounds from planetary orbital dynamics.

Constraining the Schwarzschild-de Sitter Solution in Models of Modified Gravity

The Schwarzschild-de Sitter (SdS) solution exists in the large majority of modified gravity theories, as expected, and in particular the effective cosmological constant is determined by the specific parameters of the given theory. We explore the possibility to use future extended radio-tracking data from the currently ongoing New Horizons mission in the outskirts peripheries of the Solar System, at about 40 au, in order to constrain this effective cosmological constant, and thus to impose constrain on each scenario's parameters. We investigate some of the recently most studied modified gravities, namely $f(R)$ and $f(T)$ theories, dRGT massive gravity, and Ho\v{r}ava-Lifshitz gravity, and we show that New Horizons mission may bring an improvement of one-two orders of magnitude with respect to the present bounds from planetary orbital dynamics.

Constraining the Schwarzschild-de Sitter Solution in Models of Modified Gravity [Cross-Listing]

The Schwarzschild-de Sitter (SdS) solution exists in the large majority of modified gravity theories, as expected, and in particular the effective cosmological constant is determined by the specific parameters of the given theory. We explore the possibility to use future extended radio-tracking data from the currently ongoing New Horizons mission in the outskirts peripheries of the Solar System, at about 40 au, in order to constrain this effective cosmological constant, and thus to impose constrain on each scenario's parameters. We investigate some of the recently most studied modified gravities, namely $f(R)$ and $f(T)$ theories, dRGT massive gravity, and Ho\v{r}ava-Lifshitz gravity, and we show that New Horizons mission may bring an improvement of one-two orders of magnitude with respect to the present bounds from planetary orbital dynamics.

Origin of uranium isotope variations in early solar nebula condensates

High temperature condensates found in meteorites display uranium isotopic variations (235U/238U) that complicate dating of the formation of the Solar System and whose origin remains mysterious. It is possible that these variations are due to decay of the short-lived radionuclide 247Cm (t1/2=15.6 Myr) into 235U but they could also be due to uranium kinetic isotopic fractionation during condensation. We report uranium isotope measurements of meteoritic refractory inclusions that reveal excesses of 235U reaching ~+6 % relative to average solar system composition, which can only be due to decay of 247Cm. This allows us to constrain the 247Cm/235U ratio at Solar System formation to (1.1 +- 0.3) x 10-4. This value provides new clues on the universality of nucleosynthetic r-process of rapid neutron capture.

Kinematical properties of coronal mass ejections

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the most dynamic phenomena in our solar system. They abruptly disrupt the continuous outflow of solar wind by expelling huge clouds of magnetized plasma into interplanetary space with velocities enabling to cross the Sun-Earth distance within a few days. Earth-directed CMEs may cause severe geomagnetic storms when their embedded magnetic fields and the shocks ahead compress and reconnect with the Earth's magnetic field. The transit times and impacts in detail depend on the initial CME velocity, size, and mass, as well as on the conditions and coupling processes with the ambient solar wind flow in interplanetary space. The observed CME parameters may be severly affected by projection effects and the constant changing environmental conditions are hard to derive. This makes it difficult to fully understand the physics behind CME evolution, preventing to do a reliable forecast of Earth-directed events. This short review focusing on observational data, shows recent methods which were developed to derive the CME kinematical profile for the entire Sun-Earth distance range as well as studies which were performed to shed light on the physical processes that CMEs encounter when propagating from Sun to Earth.

On the oldest asteroid families in the main belt

Asteroid families are groups of minor bodies produced by high-velocity collisions. After the initial dispersions of the parent bodies fragments, their orbits evolve because of several gravitational and non-gravitational effects,such as diffusion in mean-motion resonances, Yarkovsky and YORP effects, close encounters of collisions, etc. The subsequent dynamical evolution of asteroid family members may cause some of the original fragments to travel beyond the conventional limits of the asteroid family. Eventually, the whole family will dynamically disperse and no longer be recognizable. A natural question that may arise concerns the timescales for dispersion of large families. In particular, what is the oldest still recognizable family in the main belt? Are there any families that may date from the late stages of the Late Heavy Bombardment and that could provide clues on our understanding of the primitive Solar System? In this work, we investigate the dynamical stability of seven of the allegedly oldest families in the asteroid main belt. Our results show that none of the seven studied families has a nominally mean estimated age older than 2.7 Gyr, assuming standard values for the parameters describing the strength of the Yarkovsky force. Most "paleo-families" that formed between 2.7 and 3.8 Gyr would be characterized by a very shallow size-frequency distribution, and could be recognizable only if located in a dynamically less active region (such as that of the Koronis family). V-type asteroids in the central main belt could be compatible with a formation from a paleo-Eunomia family.

Forming Chondrites in a Solar Nebula with Magnetically Induced Turbulence [Replacement]

Chondritic meteorites provide valuable opportunities to investigate the origins of the solar system. We explore impact jetting as a mechanism of chondrule formation and subsequent pebble accretion as a mechanism of accreting chondrules onto parent bodies of chondrites, and investigate how these two processes can account for the currently available meteoritic data. We find that when the solar nebula is $\le 5$ times more massive than the minimum-mass solar nebula at $a \simeq 2-3$ AU and parent bodies of chondrites are $\le 10^{24}$ g ($\le$ 500 km in radius) in the solar nebula, impact jetting and subsequent pebble accretion can reproduce a number of properties of the meteoritic data. The properties include the present asteroid belt mass, the formation timescale of chondrules, and the magnetic field strength of the nebula derived from chondrules in Semarkona. Since this scenario requires a first generation of planetesimals that trigger impact jetting and serve as parent bodies to accrete chondrules, the upper limit of parent bodies' masses leads to the following implications: primordial asteroids that were originally $\ge 10^{24}$ g in mass were unlikely to contain chondrules, while less massive primordial asteroids likely had a chondrule-rich surface layer. The scenario developed from impact jetting and pebble accretion can therefore provide new insights into the origins of the solar system.

Accretion of Chondrules formed by Impact Jetting in Magnetically Induced Turbulent Solar Nebula

Chondritic meteorites provide valuable opportunities to investigate origins of the solar system. We explore impact jetting as a mechanism to form chondrules and subsequent pebble accretion as a mechanism to accrete them onto parent bodies of chondrites, and investigate how these two processes can account for the currently available meteoritic data. We find that when the solar nebula is $\le 5$ times more massive than the minimum-mass solar nebula at $a \simeq 2-3$ AU and parent bodies of chondrites are $\le 10^{24}$ g ($\le$ 500 km in radius) there, impact jetting and subsequent pebble accretion can reproduce a number of properties of the meteoritic data. The properties include the present asteroid belt mass, formation timescale of chondrules, and the magnetic field strength of the nebula derived from chondrules in Semarkona. Since this scenario requires a first generation of planetesimals that trigger impact jetting and serve as parent bodies to accrete chondrules, the upper limit of parent bodies' mass leads to the following implications: primordial asteroids that were originally $\ge 10^{24}$ g in mass were unlikely to contain chondrules, while less massive primordial asteroids likely had a chondrule-rich surface layer. The scenario developed from impact jetting and pebble accretion can therefore provide new insights into origins of the solar system.

Interaction Cross Sections and Survival Rates for Proposed Solar System Member Planet Nine

Motivated by the report of a possible new planetary member of the Solar System, this work calculates cross sections for interactions between passing stars and this proposed Planet Nine. Evidence for the new planet is provided by the orbital alignment of Kuiper Belt objects, and other Solar System properties, which suggest a Neptune-mass object on an eccentric orbit with semimajor axis a_9~400-1500 AU. With such a wide orbit, Planet Nine has a large interaction cross section, and is susceptible to disruption by passing stars. Using a large ensemble of numerical simulations (several million), and Monte Carlo sampling, we calculate the cross sections for different classes of orbit-altering events: [A] scattering the planet into its proposed orbit from a smaller orbit, [B] ejecting it from the Solar System from its current orbit, [C] capturing the planet from another system, and [D] capturing a free-floating planet. Results are presented for a range of orbital elements with planetary mass m_9=10M_\earth. Removing Planet Nine from the Solar System is the most likely outcome. Specifically, we obtain ejection cross sections 4.2\times10^6 AU^2 (4.3\times10^4 AU^2) for environments corresponding to the birth cluster (field). With these cross sections, Planet Nine is likely to be ejected if the Sun resides within its birth cluster longer than t>~100 Myr. The probability of ejecting Planet Nine due to passing field stars is ~10-50% over the age of the Sun. Probabilities for producing the inferred Planet Nine orbit are significantly lower (<~5%).

Interaction Cross Sections and Survival Rates for Proposed Solar System Member Planet Nine [Replacement]

Motivated by the report of a possible new planetary member of the Solar System, this work calculates cross sections for interactions between passing stars and this proposed Planet Nine. Evidence for the new planet is provided by the orbital alignment of Kuiper Belt objects, and other Solar System properties, which suggest a Neptune-mass object on an eccentric orbit with semimajor axis $a_9\approx400-1500$ AU. With such a wide orbit, Planet Nine has a large interaction cross section, and is susceptible to disruption by passing stars. Using a large ensemble of numerical simulations (several million), and Monte Carlo sampling, we calculate the cross sections for different classes of orbit-altering events: [A] scattering the planet into its proposed orbit from a smaller orbit, [B] ejecting it from the Solar System from its current orbit, [C] capturing the planet from another system, and [D] capturing a free-floating planet. Results are presented for a range of orbital elements with planetary mass $m_9=10M_{earth}$. Removing Planet Nine from the Solar System is the most likely outcome. Specifically, we obtain ejection cross sections $\sigma_{int}\sim5\times10^6$ AU$^2$ ($5\times10^4$ AU$^2$) for environments corresponding to the birth cluster (field). With these cross sections, Planet Nine is likely to be ejected if the Sun resides within its birth cluster longer than $\Delta{t} \gtrsim 100$ Myr. The probability of ejecting Planet Nine due to passing field stars is $\lesssim 3\%$ over the age of the Sun. Probabilities for producing the inferred Planet Nine orbit are low $(\lesssim 5\%)$.

Evolution and Magnitudes of Candidate Planet Nine

Context. Given the recently renewed interest in a possible additional major body in the outer Solar System, the thermodynamic evolution of such an object was studied, assuming that it is a smaller version of Uranus and Neptune. Aims. We have modeled the temporal evolution of the radius, temperature, intrinsic luminosity, and the black body spectrum of distant ice giants. The aim is to provide also estimates of the magnitudes in different bands to assess the object's detectability. Methods. Simulations of the cooling and contraction were conducted for ice giants with masses of 5, 10, 20, and 50 Mearth containing 10, 14, 21, and 37 % H/He in mass that are located at 280, 700, and 1120 AU from the Sun. The core composition was varied from purely rocky to purely icy as well as 50% rock and 50% ice. The atmospheric opacity was set to 1, 50, and 100 times solar metallicity. Results. We find for the nominal 10 Mearth planet at 700 AU at the current age of the Solar System an effective temperature of 47 K, much more than the equilibrium temperature of about 10 K, a radius of 3.7 Rearth, and an intrinsic luminosity of 0.006 Ljupiter. It has estimated apparent magnitudes of Johnson V, R, I, L, N, Q of 21.7, 21.2, 20.8, 20.1, 19.7, and 11.4, and WISE W1-W4 magnitudes of 20.1, 20.0, 19.5, and 10.4. The Q and W4 band and other observation longward of ~13 microns pick up the intrinsic flux. Conclusions. If candidate Planet 9 has a significant H/He layer and an efficient energy transport in the interior, then its luminosity is dominated by the intrinsic contribution, making it a self-luminous planet. At a likely position on its orbit near the aphelion, we estimate for a mass of 5, 10, 20, and 50 Mearth a V magnitude from the reflected light of 24.2, 23.7, 23.2, and 22.5 and a Q magnitude from the intrinsic radiation of 15.6, 12.4, 9.8, 6.2. The latter would probably have been detected by past surveys.

Evolution and Magnitudes of Candidate Planet Nine [Replacement]

The recently renewed interest in a possible additional major body in the outer solar system prompted us to study the thermodynamic evolution of such an object. We assumed that it is a smaller version of Uranus and Neptune. We modeled the temporal evolution of the radius, temperature, intrinsic luminosity, and the blackbody spectrum of distant ice giant planets. The aim is also to provide estimates of the magnitudes in different bands to assess whether the object might be detectable. Simulations of the cooling and contraction were conducted for ice giants with masses of 5, 10, 20, and 50 Mearth that are located at 280, 700, and 1120 AU from the Sun. The core composition, the fraction of H/He, the efficiency of energy transport, and the initial luminosity were varied. The atmospheric opacity was set to 1, 50, and 100 times solar metallicity. We find for a nominal 10 Mearth planet at 700 AU at the current age of the solar system an effective temperature of 47 K, much higher than the equilibrium temperature of about 10 K, a radius of 3.7 Rearth, and an intrinsic luminosity of 0.006 Ljupiter. It has estimated apparent magnitudes of Johnson V, R, I, L, N, Q of 21.7, 21.4, 21.0, 20.1, 19.9, and 10.7, and WISE W1-W4 magnitudes of 20.1, 20.1, 18.6, and 10.2. The Q and W4 band and other observations longward of about 13 microns pick up the intrinsic flux. If candidate Planet 9 has a significant H/He layer and an efficient energy transport in the interior, then its luminosity is dominated by the intrinsic contribution, making it a self-luminous planet. At a likely position on its orbit near aphelion, we estimate for a mass of 5, 10, 20, and 50 Mearth a V magnitude from the reflected light of 24.3, 23.7, 23.3, and 22.6 and a Q magnitude from the intrinsic radiation of 14.6, 11.7, 9.2, and 5.8. The latter would probably have been detected by past surveys.

Constraints on the location of a possible 9th planet derived from the Cassini data

To explain the unusual distribution of Kuiper Belt objects, several authors have advocated the existence of a super-Earth planet in the outer solar system. It has recently been proposed that a 10 M$_{\oplus}$ object with an orbit of 700 AU semi major axis and 0.6 eccentricity can explain the observed distribution of Kuiper Belt objects around Sedna. Here we use the INPOP planetary ephemerides model as a sensor for testing for an additional body in the solar system. We test the possibility of adding the proposed planet without increasing the residuals of the planetary ephemerides, fitted over the whole INPOP planetary data sample. We demonstrate that the presence of such an object is not compatible with the most sensitive data set, the Cassini radio ranging data, if its true anomaly is in the intervals $[-130^\circ:-100^\circ]$ or $[-65^\circ : 85^\circ]$. Moreover, we find that the addition of this object can reduce the Cassini residuals, with a most probable position given by a true anomaly $v = {117.8^\circ}^{ + 11^\circ}_{ - 10^\circ} $.

Constraints on the location of a possible 9th planet derived from the Cassini data [Replacement]

To explain the unusual distribution of Kuiper Belt objects, several authors have advocated the existence of a super-Earth planet in the outer solar system. It has recently been proposed that a 10 M$_{\oplus}$ object with an orbit of 700 AU semi major axis and 0.6 eccentricity can explain the observed distribution of Kuiper Belt objects around Sedna. Here we use the INPOP planetary ephemerides model as a sensor for testing for an additional body in the solar system. We test the possibility of adding the proposed planet without increasing the residuals of the planetary ephemerides, fitted over the whole INPOP planetary data sample. We demonstrate that the presence of such an object is not compatible with the most sensitive data set, the Cassini radio ranging data, if its true anomaly is in the intervals $[-130^\circ:-100^\circ]$ or $[-65^\circ : 85^\circ]$. Moreover, we find that the addition of this object can reduce the Cassini residuals, with a most probable position given by a true anomaly $v = {117.8^\circ}^{ + 11^\circ}_{ - 10^\circ} $.

Power Beaming Leakage Radiation as a SETI Observable [Replacement]

The most observable leakage radiation from an advanced civilization may well be from the use of power beaming to transfer energy and accelerate spacecraft. Applications suggested for power beaming involve launching spacecraft to orbit, raising satellites to a higher orbit, and interplanetary concepts involving space-to-space transfers of cargo or passengers. We also quantify beam-driven launch to the outer solar system, interstellar precursors and ultimately starships. We estimate the principal observable parameters of power beaming leakage. Extraterrestrial civilizations would know their power beams could be observed, and so could put a message on the power beam and broadcast it for our receipt at little additional energy or cost. By observing leakage from power beams we may find a message embedded on the beam. Recent observations of the anomalous star KIC8462852 by the Allen Telescope Array set some limits on extraterrestrial power beaming in that system. We show that most power beaming applications commensurate with those suggested for our solar system would be detectable if using the frequency range monitored by the ATA, and so the lack of detection is a meaningful, if modest, constraint on extraterrestrial power beaming in that system. Until more extensive observations are made, the limited observation time and frequency coverage are not sufficiently broad in frequency and duration to produce firm conclusions. Such beams would be visible over large interstellar distances. This implies a new approach to the SETI search: Instead of focusing on narrowband beacon transmissions generated by another civilization, look for more powerful beams with much wider bandwidth. This requires a new approach for their discovery by telescopes on Earth. Further studies of power beaming applications should be done, which could broaden the parameter space of observable features we have discussed here.

Power Beaming Leakage Radiation as a SETI Observable

The most observable leakage radiation from an advanced civilization may well be from the use of power beaming to transfer energy and accelerate spacecraft. Applications suggested for power beaming involve Earth-to-space applications such as launching spacecraft to orbit, raising satellites to a higher orbit, and interplanetary concepts involving space-to-space transfers of cargo or passengers. We also quantify beam-driven launch to the outer solar system, interstellar precursors and ultimately starships. We estimate the principal observable parameters of power beaming leakage. Extraterrestrial civilizations would know their power beams could be observed, and so could put a message on the power beam and broadcast it for our receipt at little additional energy or cost. By observing leakage from power beams we may find a message embedded on the beam. Recent observations of the anomalous star KIC 8462852 by the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) set some limits on extraterrestrial power beaming in that system. We show that most power beaming applications commensurate with those suggested for our solar system would be detectable if using the frequency range monitored by the ATA, and so the lack of detection is a meaningful, if modest, constraint on extraterrestrial power beaming in that system. Until more extensive observations are made, the limited observation time and frequency coverage are not sufficiently broad in frequency and duration to produce firm conclusions.

Gravitational effects on the Higgs field within the Solar System [Cross-Listing]

The Higgs mechanism predicts, apart from the existence of a new scalar boson, the presence of a constant Higgs field that permeates all of space. The vacuum expectation value (VEV) of this field is affected by quantum corrections which are mainly generated by the self-interactions and couplings of the Higgs field to gauge bosons and heavy quarks. In this work we show that gravity can affect, in a non-trivial way, these quantum corrections through the finite parts of the one-loop contributions to the effective potential. In particular, we consider the corrections generated by the Standard Model Higgs self-interactions in slowly-varying weak gravitational backgrounds. The obtained results amount to the existence of non-negligible inhomogeneities in the Higgs VEV. Such inhomogeneities translate into spatial variations of the particle masses, and in particular of the proton-to-electron mass ratio. We find that these Higgs perturbations in our Solar System are controlled by the Eddington parameter, and are absent in pure General Relativity. Yet, they may be present in modified gravity theories. This predicted effect may be constrained by atomic clocks or high-resolution spectroscopic measurements, which could allow to improve current limits on modifications of Einstein's gravity.

Gravitational effects on the Higgs field within the Solar System [Cross-Listing]

The Higgs mechanism predicts, apart from the existence of a new scalar boson, the presence of a constant Higgs field that permeates all of space. The vacuum expectation value (VEV) of this field is affected by quantum corrections which are mainly generated by the self-interactions and couplings of the Higgs field to gauge bosons and heavy quarks. In this work we show that gravity can affect, in a non-trivial way, these quantum corrections through the finite parts of the one-loop contributions to the effective potential. In particular, we consider the corrections generated by the Standard Model Higgs self-interactions in slowly-varying weak gravitational backgrounds. The obtained results amount to the existence of non-negligible inhomogeneities in the Higgs VEV. Such inhomogeneities translate into spatial variations of the particle masses, and in particular of the proton-to-electron mass ratio. We find that these Higgs perturbations in our Solar System are controlled by the Eddington parameter, and are absent in pure General Relativity. Yet, they may be present in modified gravity theories. This predicted effect may be constrained by atomic clocks or high-resolution spectroscopic measurements, which could allow to improve current limits on modifications of Einstein's gravity.

Gravitational effects on the Higgs field within the Solar System

The Higgs mechanism predicts, apart from the existence of a new scalar boson, the presence of a constant Higgs field that permeates all of space. The vacuum expectation value (VEV) of this field is affected by quantum corrections which are mainly generated by the self-interactions and couplings of the Higgs field to gauge bosons and heavy quarks. In this work we show that gravity can affect, in a non-trivial way, these quantum corrections through the finite parts of the one-loop contributions to the effective potential. In particular, we consider the corrections generated by the Standard Model Higgs self-interactions in slowly-varying weak gravitational backgrounds. The obtained results amount to the existence of non-negligible inhomogeneities in the Higgs VEV. Such inhomogeneities translate into spatial variations of the particle masses, and in particular of the proton-to-electron mass ratio. We find that these Higgs perturbations in our Solar System are controlled by the Eddington parameter, and are absent in pure General Relativity. Yet, they may be present in modified gravity theories. This predicted effect may be constrained by atomic clocks or high-resolution spectroscopic measurements, which could allow to improve current limits on modifications of Einstein's gravity.

Sedna and the cloud of comets surrounding the Solar System in Milgromian dynamics [Replacement]

We reconsider the hypothesis of a vast cometary reservoir surrounding the Solar System- the Oort cloud of comets - within the framework of Milgromian Dynamics (MD or MOND). For this purpose we built a numerical model of the cloud, assuming the theory of modified gravity, QUMOND. In modified gravity versions of MD, the internal dynamics of a system is influenced by the external gravitational field in which the system is embedded, even when this external field is constant and uniform, a phenomenon dubbed the external field effect (EFE). Adopting the popular pair $\nu(x)=[1-\exp(-x^{1/2})]^{-1}$ for the MD interpolating function and $a_{0}=1.2\times10^{-10}$ m s$^{-2}$ for the MD acceleration scale, we found that the observationally inferred Milgromian cloud of comets is much more radially compact than its Newtonian counterpart. The comets of the Milgromian cloud stay away from the zone where the Galactic tide can torque their orbits significantly. However, this does not need to be an obstacle for the injection of the comets into the inner solar system as the EFE can induce significant change in perihelion distance during one revolution of a comet around the Sun. Adopting constraints on different interpolating function families and a revised value of $a_{0}$ (provided recently by the Cassini spacecraft), the aforementioned qualitative results no longer hold, and, in conclusion, the Milgromian cloud is very similar to the Newtonian in its overall size, binding energies of comets and hence the operation of the Jupiter-Saturn barrier. However, EFE torquing of perihelia still play a significant role in the inner parts of the cloud. Consequently Sedna-like orbits and orbits of large semi-major axis Centaurs are easily comprehensible in MD. In MD, they both belong to the same population, just in different modes of their evolution.

On Sedna and the cloud of comets surrounding the Solar System in Milgromian dynamics

We reconsider the hypothesis of a vast cometary reservoir surrounding the Solar System - the Oort cloud of comets - within the framework of Milgromian Dynamics (MD or MOND). For this purpose we build a numerical model of the cloud, assuming the theory of modified gravity QUMOND. Adopting popular pair $\nu(x)=[1-\exp(-x^{1/2})]^{-1}$ for the MD interpolating function and $a_{0}=1.2\times10^{-10}$ m s$^{-2}$ for the MD acceleration scale as a standard, we have found that the observationally inferred Milgromian cloud of comets is much more radially compact than its Newtonian counterpart. The comets of the Milgromian cloud stay away from the zone where the Galactic tide can torque their orbits significantly. However, this does not need to be an obstacle for injection of the comets into the inner Solar System as the External Field Effect (EFE) can induce significant change in perihelion distance during one revolution of a comet around the Sun. The efficiency of such injection is further increased by shift of the classical planetary barrier towards the Sun. Adopting constraints on different interpolating function families and revised value of $a_{0}$ as found recently by Hees et al. (2016), the aforementioned qualitative results no longer hold and it can be summarized that the Milgromian cloud is very similar to the Newtonian in its overall size, binding energies of comets and hence operation of the Jupiter-Saturn barrier. However, torquing of perihelia due to EFE still play a significant role in the inner parts of the cloud. Consequently Sedna-like orbits and orbits of large semi-major axis Centaurs are easily comprehensible in MD. In MD they both belong to the same population, just in different modes of their evolution.

On the mass and origin of Chariklo's rings

Observations in 2013 and 2014 of the Centaur 10199 Chariklo and its ring system consistently indicated that the radial width of the inner, more massive ring varies with longitude. That strongly suggests that this ring has a finite eccentricity despite the fast differential precession that Chariklo's large quadrupole moment should induce. If the inferred apse alignment is maintained by the ring's self-gravity, as it is for the Uranian rings, we estimate a ring mass of a few times 10^16 g and a typical particle size of a few meters. These imply a short collisional spreading time of ~10^5 years, somewhat shorter than the typical Centaur dynamical lifetime of a few Myrs and much shorter than the age of the solar system. In light of this time constraint, we evaluate previously suggested ring formation pathways including collisional ejection and satellite disruption. We also investigate in detail a contrasting formation mechanism, the lofting of dust particles off Chariklo's surface into orbit via outflows of sublimating CO and/or N_2 triggered after Chariklo was scattered inward by giant planets. This latter scenario predicts that rings should be common among 100-km class Centaurs but rare among Kuiper belt objects and smaller Centaurs. It also predicts that Centaurs should show seasonal variations in cometary activity with activity maxima occurring shortly after equinox.

The initial abundance and distribution of 92Nb in the Solar System

Niobium-92 is an extinct proton-rich nuclide, which decays to 92Zr with a half-life of 37 Ma. This radionuclide potentially offers a unique opportunity to determine the timescales of early Solar System processes and the site(s) of nucleosynthesis for p-nuclei, once its initial abundance and distribution in the Solar System are well established. Here we present internal Nb-Zr isochrons for three basaltic achondrites with known U-Pb ages: the angrite NWA 4590, the eucrite Agoult, and the ungrouped achondrite Ibitira. Our results show that the relative Nb-Zr isochron ages of the three meteorites are consistent with the time intervals obtained from the Pb-Pb chronometer for pyroxene and plagioclase, indicating that 92Nb was homogeneously distributed among their source regions. The Nb-Zr and Pb-Pb data for NWA 4590 yield the most reliable and precise reference point for anchoring the Nb-Zr chronometer to the absolute timescale: an initial 92Nb/93Nb ratio of $(1.4 \pm 0.5) \times 10^{-5}$ at $4557.93 \pm 0.36$ Ma, which corresponds to a 92Nb/93Nb ratio of $(1.7 \pm 0.6) \times 10^{-5}$ at the time of the Solar System formation. On the basis of this new initial ratio, we demonstrate the capability of the Nb-Zr chronometer to date early Solar System objects including troilite and rutile, such as iron and stony-iron meteorites. Furthermore, we estimate a nucleosynthetic production ratio of 92Nb to the p-nucleus 92Mo between 0.0015 and 0.035. This production ratio, together with the solar abundances of other p-nuclei with similar masses, can be best explained if these light p-nuclei were primarily synthesized by photodisintegration reactions in Type Ia supernovae.

Asteroid 4 Vesta: dynamical and collisional evolution during the Late Heavy Bombardment [Replacement]

Vesta is the only currently identified asteroid for which we possess samples, which revealed us that the asteroid is differentiated and possesses a relatively thin basaltic crust that survived to the evolution of the asteroid belt and the Solar System. However, little is know about the effects of past events like the Late Heavy Bombardment on this crust. We address this gap in our knowledge by simulating the LHB in the different dynamical scenarios proposed for the migration of the giant planets in the broad framework of the Nice Model. The results of simulations generate information about produced crater population, surface saturation, mass loss and mass gain of Vesta and number of energetic or catastrophic impacts during LHB. Our results reveal that planet-planet scattering is a dynamically favourable migration mechanism for the survival of Vesta and its crust. The number of impacts on Vesta estimated as due to the LHB is $31\pm5$, i.e. about 5 times larger than the number of impacts that would have occurred in an unperturbed main belt in the same time interval. The contribution of a possible extended belt, instead, is quite limited and can be quantified in $2\pm1$ impacts. The chance of energetic and catastrophic impacts is less than 10\% and is compatible with the absence of giant craters dated back to 4 Ga ago and with the survival of the asteroid during the LHB. The mass loss translates in the erosion of $3-5$ meters of the crust, consistently with the global survival of the basaltic crust of Vesta confirmed by the Dawn mission. Our analysis revealed that the contribution of the LHB to the cratering of Vesta' surface is not significant and is actually erased by the crater population produced by the following 4 Ga of collisional evolution of the asteroid, in agreement with the data provided by the Dawn mission.

Asteroid 4 Vesta: dynamical and collisional evolution during the Late Heavy Bombardment

Vesta is the only currently identified asteroid for which we possess samples, which revealed us that the asteroid is differentiated and possesses a relatively thin basaltic crust that survived to the evolution of the asteroid belt and the Solar System. However, little is know about the effects of past events like the Late Heavy Bombardment on this crust. We address this gap in our knowledge by simulating the LHB in the different dynamical scenarios proposed for the migration of the giant planets in the broad framework of the Nice Model. The results of simulations generate information about produced crater population, surface saturation, mass loss and mass gain of Vesta and number of energetic or catastrophic impacts during LHB. Our results reveal that planet-planet scattering is a dynamically favourable migration mechanism for the survival of Vesta and its crust. The number of impacts on Vesta estimated as due to the LHB is $31\pm5$, i.e. about 5 times larger than the number of impacts that would have occurred in an unperturbed main belt in the same time interval. The contribution of a possible extended belt, instead, is quite limited and can be quantified in $2\pm1$ impacts. The chance of energetic and catastrophic impacts is less than 10\% and is compatible with the absence of giant craters dated back to 4 Ga ago and with the survival of the asteroid during the LHB. The mass loss translates in the erosion of $3-5$ meters of the crust, consistently with the global survival of the basaltic crust of Vesta confirmed by the Dawn mission. Our analysis revealed that the contribution of the LHB to the cratering of Vesta' surface is not significant and is actually erased by the crater population produced by the following 4 Ga of collisional evolution of the asteroid, in agreement with the data provided by the Dawn mission.

Exploring the Origins of Deuterium Enrichments in Solar Nebular Organics

Deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) enrichments in molecular species provide clues about their original formation environment. The organic materials in primitive solar system bodies have generally higher D/H ratios and show greater D/H variation when compared to D/H in solar system water. We propose this difference arises at least in part due to 1) the availability of additional chemical fractionation pathways for organics beyond that for water, and 2) the higher volatility of key carbon reservoirs compared to oxygen. We test this hypothesis using detailed disk models, including a sophisticated, new disk ionization treatment with a low cosmic ray ionization rate, and find that disk chemistry leads to higher deuterium enrichment in organics compared to water, helped especially by fractionation via the precursors CH$_2$D$^+$/CH$_3^+$. We also find that the D/H ratio in individual species varies significantly depending on their particular formation pathways. For example, from $\sim20-40$ AU, CH$_4$ can reach $\rm{D/H\sim2\times10^{-3}}$, while D/H in CH$_3$OH remains locally unaltered. Finally, while the global organic D/H in our models can reproduce intermediately elevated D/H in the bulk hydrocarbon reservoir, our models are unable to reproduce the most deuterium-enriched organic materials in the solar system, and thus our model requires some inheritance from the cold interstellar medium from which the Sun formed.

Origin of the p-process radionuclides 92Nb and 146Sm in the early Solar System and inferences on the birth of the Sun

The abundances of 92Nb and 146Sm in the early Solar System are determined from meteoritic analysis and their stellar production is attributed to the p process. We investigate if their origin from thermonuclear supernovae deriving from the explosion of white dwarfs with mass above the Chandrasekhar limit is in agreement with the abundance of 53Mn, another radionuclide present in the early Solar System and produced in the same events. A consistent solution for 92Nb and 53Mn cannot be found within the current uncertainties and requires that the 92Nb/92Mo ratio in the early Solar System is at least 50% lower than the current nominal value, which is outside its present error bars. A different solution is to invoke another production site for 92Nb, which we find in the alpha-rich freezeout during core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Whichever scenario we consider, we find that a relatively long time interval of at least ~10 Myr must have elapsed from when the star-forming region where the Sun was born was isolated from the interstellar medium and the birth of the Sun. This is in agreement with results obtained from radionuclides heavier than iron produced by neutron captures and lends further support to the idea that the Sun was born in a massive star-forming region together with many thousands of stellar siblings.

The temperature and chronology of heavy-element synthesis in low-mass stars

Roughly half of the heavy elements (atomic mass greater than that of iron) are believed to be synthesized in the late evolutionary stages of stars with masses between 0.8 and 8 solar masses. Deep inside the star, nuclei (mainly iron) capture neutrons and progressively build up (through the slow-neutron-capture process, or s-process) heavier elements that are subsequently brought to the stellar surface by convection. Two neutron sources, activated at distinct temperatures, have been proposed: 13C and 22Ne, each releasing one neutron per alpha-particle (4He) captured. To explain the measured stellar abundances, stellar evolution models invoking the 13C neutron source (which operates at temperatures of about one hundred million kelvin) are favoured. Isotopic ratios in primitive meteorites, however, reflecting nucleosynthesis in the previous generations of stars that contributed material to the Solar System, point to higher temperatures (more than three hundred million kelvin), requiring at least a late activation of 22Ne. Here we report a determination of the s-process temperature directly in evolved low-mass giant stars, using zirconium and niobium abundances, independently of stellar evolution models. The derived temperature supports 13C as the s-process neutron source. The radioactive pair 93Zr-93Nb used to estimate the s-process temperature also provides, together with the pair 99Tc-99Ru, chronometric information on the time elapsed since the start of the s-process, which we determine to be one million to three million years.

The long-wavelength thermal emission of the Pluto-Charon system from Herschel observations. Evidence for emissivity effects

Thermal observations of the Pluto-Charon system acquired by the Herschel Space Observatory in February 2012 are presented. They consist of photometric measurements with the PACS and SPIRE instruments (nine visits to the Pluto system each), covering six wavelengths from 70 to 500 $\mu$m altogether. The thermal light curve of Pluto-Charon is observed in all filters, albeit more marginally at 160 and especially 500 $\mu$m. Putting these data into the context of older ISO, Spitzer and ground-based observations indicates that the brightness temperature (T$_B$) of the system (rescaled to a common heliocentric distance) drastically decreases with increasing wavelength, from $\sim$53 K at 20 $\mu$m to $\sim$35 K at 500 $\mu$m, and perhaps ever less at longer wavelengths. Considering a variety of diurnal and/or seasonal thermophysical models, we show that T$_B$ values of 35 K are lower than any expected temperature for the dayside surface or subsurface of Pluto and Charon, implying a low surface emissivity. Based on multiterrain modeling, we infer a spectral emissivity that decreases steadily from 1 at 20-25 $\mu$m to $\sim$0.7 at 500~$\mu$m. This kind of behavior is usually not observed in asteroids (when proper allowance is made for subsurface sounding), but is found in several icy surfaces of the solar system. We tentatively identify that a combination of a strong dielectric constant and a considerable surface material transparency (typical penetration depth $\sim$1 cm) is responsible for the effect. Our results have implications for the interpretation of the temperature measurements by REX/New Horizons at 4.2 cm wavelength.

Modeling of the zodiacal emission for the AKARI/IRC mid-infrared all-sky diffuse maps

The zodiacal emission, which is the thermal infrared (IR) emission from the interplanetary dust (IPD) in our Solar System, has been studied for a long time. Nevertheless, accurate modeling of the zodiacal emission has not been successful to reproduce the all-sky spatial distribution of the zodiacal emission, especially in the mid-IR where the zodiacal emission peaks. We therefore aim to improve the IPD cloud model based on Kelsall et al. 1998, using the AKARI 9 and 18 micron all-sky diffuse maps. By adopting a new fitting method based on the total brightness, we have succeeded in reducing the residual levels after subtraction of the zodiacal emission from the AKARI data and thus in improving the modeling of the zodiacal emission. Comparing the AKARI and the COBE data, we confirm that the changes from the previous model to our new model are mostly due to model improvements, but not temporal variations between the AKARI and the COBE epoch, except for the position of the Earth-trailing blob. Our results suggest that the size of the smooth cloud, a dominant component in the model, is by about 10% more compact than previously thought, and that the dust sizes are not large enough to emit blackbody radiation in the mid-IR. Furthermore we significantly detect an isotropically-distributed IPD component, owing to accurate baseline measurement with AKARI.

 

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