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PublisherEDP SCIENCES S A
Citation“TNOs are Cool”: A survey of the trans-Neptunian region 2017, 608:A19 Astronomy & Astrophysics
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Rights© ESO, 2017
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractContext. Gravitationally bound multiple systems provide an opportunity to estimate the mean bulk density of the objects, whereas this characteristic is not available for single objects. Being a primitive population of the outer solar system, binary and multiple trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) provide unique information about bulk density and internal structure, improving our understanding of their formation and evolution. Aims. The goal of this work is to analyse parameters of multiple trans-Neptunian systems, observed with Herschel and Spitzer space telescopes. Particularly, statistical analysis is done for radiometric size and geometric albedo, obtained from photometric observations, and for estimated bulk density. Methods. We use Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the real size distribution of TNOs. For this purpose, we expand the dataset of diameters by adopting the Minor Planet Center database list with available values of the absolute magnitude therein, and the albedo distribution derived from Herschel radiometric measurements. We use the 2-sample Anderson-Darling non-parametric statistical method for testing whether two samples of diameters, for binary and single TNOs, come from the same distribution. Additionally, we use the Spearman's coefficient as a measure of rank correlations between parameters. Uncertainties of estimated parameters together with lack of data are taken into account. Conclusions about correlations between parameters are based on statistical hypothesis testing. Results. We have found that the difference in size distributions of multiple and single TNOs is biased by small objects. The test on correlations between parameters shows that the effective diameter of binary TNOs strongly correlates with heliocentric orbital inclination and with magnitude difference between components of binary system. The correlation between diameter and magnitude difference implies that small and large binaries are formed by different mechanisms. Furthermore, the statistical test indicates, although not significant with the sample size, that a moderately strong correlation exists between diameter and bulk density.
NoteOpen access journal.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsLabex ESEP [ANR N 2011-LABX-030]; German DLR [50 OR 1108]; European Union's Horizon Research and Innovation Programme