Simulations of the population of Centaurs - II. Individual objects

Horner, J. ; Evans, N. W. ; Bailey, M. E.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2004, vol. 355, no. 2, p. 321-329

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    Detailed orbit integrations of clones of five Centaurs - namely, 1996 AR20, 2060 Chiron, 1995 SN55, 2000 FZ53 and 2002 FY36 - for durations of ∼3 Myr are presented. One of our Centaur sample starts with perihelion initially under the control of Jupiter (1996 AR20), two start under the control of Saturn (Chiron and 1995 SN55) and one each starts under the control of Uranus (2000 FZ53) and Neptune (2002 FY36), respectively. A variety of interesting pathways are illustrated with detailed examples including: capture into the Jovian Trojans, repeated bursts of short-period comet behaviour, capture into mean-motion resonances with the giant planets and into Kozai resonances, as well as traversals of the entire Solar system. For each of the Centaurs, we provide statistics on the numbers (i) ejected, (ii) showing short-period comet behaviour and (iii) becoming Earth- and Mars-crossing. For example, Chiron has over 60 per cent of its clones becoming short-period objects, while 1995 SN55 has over 35 per cent. Clones of these two Centaurs typically make numerous close approaches to Jupiter. At the other extreme, 2000 FZ53 has ∼2 per cent of its clones becoming short-period objects. In our simulations, typically 20 per cent of the clones which become short-period comets subsequently evolve into Earth-crossers