No Activity among 13 Centaurs Discovered in the Pan-STARRS1 Detection Database
Abstract Centaurs are small bodies orbiting in the giant planet region that were scattered inward from their source populations beyond Neptune. Some members of the population display comet-like activity during their transition through the solar system, the source of which is not well understood. The range of heliocentric distances where the active Centaurs have been observed and their median lifetime in the region suggest that this activity is driven neither by water-ice sublimation nor entirely by supervolatiles. Here we present an observational and thermodynamical study of 13 Centaurs discovered in the Pan-STARRS1 detection database aimed at identifying and characterizing active objects beyond the orbit of Jupiter. We find no evidence of activity associated with any of our targets at the time of their observations with the Gemini North telescope in 2017 and 2018, or in archival data from 2013 to 2019. Upper limits on the possible volatile and dust production rates from our targets are 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than production rates in some known comets and are in agreement with values measured for other inactive Centaurs. Our numerical integrations show that the orbits of six of our targets evolved interior to r ∼ 15 au over the past more »
Authors:
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Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10335803
Journal Name:
The Planetary Science Journal
Volume:
2
Issue:
4
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
155
ISSN:
2632-3338
National Science Foundation
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