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      The journey of Typhon-Echidna as a binary system through the planetary region

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          Abstract

          Among the current population of the 81 known trans-Neptunian binaries (TNBs), only two are in orbits that cross the orbit of Neptune. These are (42355) Typhon-Echidna and (65489) Ceto-Phorcys. In the present work, we focused our analyses on the temporal evolution of the Typhon-Echidna binary system through the outer and inner planetary systems. Using numer- ical integrations of the N-body gravitational problem, we explored the orbital evolutions of 500 clones of Typhon, recording the close encounters of those clones with planets. We then analysed the effects of those encounters on the binary system. It was found that only 22% of the encounters with the giant planets were strong enough to disrupt the binary. This binary system has an ~3.6% probability of reaching the terrestrial planetary region over a time scale of approximately 5.4 Myr. Close encounters of Typhon-Echidna with Earth and Venus were also registered, but the probabilities of such events occurring are low (~0.4%). The orbital evolution of the system in the past was also investigated. It was found that in the last 100 Myr, Typhon might have spent most of its time as a TNB crossing the orbit of Neptune. Therefore, our study of the Typhon-Echidna orbital evolution illustrates the possibility of large cometary bodies (radii of 76 km for Typhon and 42 km for Echidna) coming from a remote region of the outer Solar System and that might enter the terrestrial planetary region preserving its binarity throughout the journey.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          01 March 2018
          Article
          1803.00634
          d3e8ac28-605f-46aa-875b-841a63b50294

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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          Custom metadata
          85A35
          10 pages, 8 figures
          astro-ph.EP

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