THE SCATTERED DISK POPULATION AND THE OORT CLOUD


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Abstract

The trans-Neptunian belt has been subject to a strong depletion that has reduced its primordial population by a factor of one hundred over the solar system's age. One by-product of such a depletion process is the existence of a scattered disk population in transit from the belt to other places, such as the Jupiter zone, the Oort cloud or interstellar space. We have integrated the orbits of the scattered disk objects (SDOs) so far discovered by 2500 Myr to study their dynamical time scales and the probability of falling in each of the end states mentioned above, paying special attention to their contribution to the Oort cloud. We found that their dynamical half-time is close to 2.5 Gyr and that about one third of the SDOs end up in the Oort cloud.

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