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Astron. Astrophys. 350, 685-693 (1999)

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6. Conclusions

In this paper we studied how dynamical friction due to small planetesimals influence the evolution of KBOs having masses larger than [FORMULA]. We find that mean eccentricity of large mass particles is reduced by dynamical friction by small mass particles in timescales shorter than the age of the solar system for objects of mass equal or larger than [FORMULA]. We also studied the effect of dynamical friction on the evolution of the semi-major axis of the largest planetesimals. We find that even if dynamical friction is less effective in transferring planetesimals towards the inner part of the solar system, with respect to the damping of inclinations that it is able to produce, the timescale for radial migration is shorter than the age of the solar system for large enough masses ([FORMULA]).

Finally, our calculation show the dynamical friction may be the mechanism responsible for the transport of objects like Pluto from regions with [FORMULA] towards the position nowdays occupied and this opens a third possibility for Pluto formation that eliminates the problem of the Neptune formation.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: October 4, 1999
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