A New High Perihelion Trans-Plutonian Inner Oort Cloud Object: 2015 TG387

Scott S. Sheppard, Chadwick A. Trujillo, David J. Tholen, Nathan Kaib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Inner Oort cloud objects (IOCs) are trans-Plutonian for their entire orbits. They are beyond the strong gravitational influences of the known planets, yet close enough to the Sun that outside forces are minimal. Here we report the discovery of the third known IOC after Sedna and 2012 VP113, called 2015 TG387. This object has a perihelion of 65±1 au and semimajor axis of 1170 ± 70 au. The longitude of perihelion angle, w, for 2015 TG387 is between that of Sedna and 2012 VP113 and thus similar to the main group of clustered extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNOs), which may be shepherded into similar orbital angles by an unknown massive distant planet called Planet X, or Planet Nine. The orbit of 2015 TG387 is stable over the age of the solar system from the known planets and Galactic tide. When including outside stellar encounters over 4 Gyr, 2015 TG387's orbit is usually stable, but its dynamical evolution depends on the stellar encounter scenarios used. Surprisingly, when including a massive Planet X beyond a few hundred au on an eccentric orbit that is antialigned in longitude of perihelion with most of the known ETNOs, we find that 2015 TG387 is typically stable for Planet X orbits that render the other ETNOs stable as well. Notably, 2015 TG387's argument of perihelion is constrained, and its longitude of perihelion librates about 180° from Planet X s longitude of perihelion, keeping 2015 TG387 antialigned with Planet X over the age of the solar system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number139
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume157
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • comets: general
  • Kuiper belt: general
  • minor planets, asteroids: general
  • Oort Cloud
  • planets and satellites: individual (2015 TG387)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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