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Post Info TOPIC: Plutinos


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Title: Plutino Detection Biases, Including the Kozai Resonance
Authors: S. M. Lawler, B. Gladman

Because of their proximity within the transneptunian region, the plutinos (objects in the 3:2 mean-motion resonance with Neptune) are numerous in flux-limited catalogues, and well-studied theoretically. We perform detailed modelling of the on-sky detection biases for plutinos, with special attention to those that are simultaneously in the Kozai resonance. In addition to the normal 3:2 resonant argument libration, Kozai plutinos also show periodic oscillations in eccentricity and inclination, coupled to the argument of perihelion (omega) oscillation. Due to the mean-motion resonance, plutinos avoid coming to pericenter near Neptune's current position in the ecliptic plane. Because Kozai plutinos are restricted to certain values of omega, perihelion always occurs out of the ecliptic plane, biasing ecliptic surveys against finding these objects. The observed Kozai plutino fraction (fkoz) has been measured by several surveys, finding values between 8% and 25%, while the true fkoz has been predicted to be between 10% and 30% by different giant planet migration simulations. We show that the observed fkoz varies widely depending on the ecliptic latitude and longitude of the survey, so debiasing to find the true ratio is complex. Even a survey that covers most or all of the sky will detect an apparent Kozai fraction that is different from the true fkoz. We present a map of the on-sky plutino Kozai fraction that would be detected by all-sky flux-limited surveys. This will be especially important for the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) projects, which may detect large numbers of plutinos as they sweep the sky. The Kozai fraction and the distribution of the orbital elements of Kozai plutinos may be a diagnostic of giant planet migration; future migration simulations should provide details on their resonant Kozai populations.

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