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Migration of small bodies and dust to the terrestrial planets

  • Sergei I. Ipatov (a1) (a2) and John C. Mather (a3)

Abstract

We integrated the orbital evolution of 30,000 Jupiter-family comets, 1300 resonant asteroids, and 7000 asteroidal, trans-Neptunian, and cometary dust particles. For initial orbital elements of bodies close to those of Comets 2P, 10P, 44P, and 113P, a few objects got Earth-crossing orbits with semi-major axes $a<2$ AU and moved in such orbits for more than 1 Myr (up to tens or even hundreds of Myrs). Three objects (from 2P and 10P runs) even got inner-Earth orbits (with aphelion distance $Q<0.983$ AU) and Aten orbits for Myrs. Our results show that the trans-Neptunian belt can provide a significant portion of near-Earth objects, or the number of trans-Neptunian objects migrating inside the solar system can be smaller than it was earlier considered, or most of 1-km former trans-Neptunian objects that had got near-Earth object orbits for millions of years disintegrated into mini-comets and dust during a smaller part of their dynamical lifetimes. The probability of a collision of an asteroidal or cometary particle during its lifetime with the Earth was maximum at diameter $d\sim 100\,\mu$m. At $d<10\,\mu$m such probability for trans-Neptunian particles was less than that for asteroidal particles by less than an order of magnitude, so the fraction of trans-Neptunian particles with such diameter near Earth can be considerable.To search for other articles by the author(s) go to: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html

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