The Sizes of Kuiper Belt Objects
Abstract: Kuiper Belt Objects are often touted as fossil records of the early Solar System. So what can we learn from them? Here I will discuss one important aspect, their primordial size distribution: is it top-heavy with most of the initial mass absorbed into large bodies like Pluto, or is it bottom-heavy with most of the mass locked into km-sized boulders and only a minute fraction running away to form Plutos?
These two models assume different conditions in the early Solar system, rely on different dynamical processes, and make different predictions for a multitude of observables. These include, e.g., the outward migration of Neptune, crater counts on Pluto, new comets from the Oort cloud, and, further afield, the looks of extra-solar debris disks.
This talk will feature tidal disruption events, but not, planet 9.