Taxonomy and dynamics of small solar system body populations

PhD by Publication


Holt, Timothy R.. 2021. Taxonomy and dynamics of small solar system body populations. PhD by Publication Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q715z
Title

Taxonomy and dynamics of small solar system body populations

TypePhD by Publication
Authors
AuthorHolt, Timothy R.
Supervisor
1. FirstProf Jonti Horner
2. SecondProf Brad Carter
3. ThirdDavid Nesvorny
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages241
Year2021
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q715z
Abstract

In the story of our Solar system, the captured, irregular satellites of the gas giants and the Jovian Trojan swarms provide key records of the dynamical history. When investigating small Solar system body populations such as these, we need to accommodate their complex and diverse dynamical and physical properties, and our incomplete empirical knowledge of individual objects. To discover more about our Solar system’s small bodies using dynamical families and their histories, this thesis thus focuses on the use of astrocladistics, a novel taxonomic analysis adapted from the biological sciences, the ‘Tree of Life’. The astrocladistical analyses in this thesis are then combined with n-body simulations of particular dynamical families, to gain insights as to their origins.

The first population examined in this Thesis comprises the irregular Satellites of the gas giants, providing a small-scale verification of the use of cladistics for Solar system research (Paper 1). Two dynamical studies on the Jovian Trojans then follow. The first of these (Paper 2) investigates the escape rate of the Jovian Trojans using large scale n-body simulations, with a focus on the collisional families in the population. The second Jovian Trojans study (Paper 3) reports the discovery of the first example of a Jovian Trojan dynamical pair. The final work (Paper 4) included in this thesis uses astrocladistics to examine the Jovian Trojan swarms, and identify a set of new priority targets. The priority target can also help place the targets of the Lucy mission spacecraft, set to visit in the late 2020s, into a wider context. In overall terms, this thesis establishes astrocladistics as a tool for analysis of small Solar system bodies, provides new insights into the history of different dynamical families, and forms a promising basis for the wider adoption of cladistics in comparative planetology.

The work that comprises this PhD was presented, as a whole, in a seminar on 13th of April, 2021. A recording is available.

Keywordsasteroids, astrocladistics, Trojans, satellites
Related Output
Has partCladistical Analysis of the Jovian and Saturnian Satellite Systems
Has partStability of Jovian Trojans and their collisional families
Has partA pair of Jovian Trojans at the L4 Lagrange point
Has partAstrocladistics of the Jovian Trojan Swarms
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020510905. Solar system planetary science (excl. planetary geology)
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsCentre for Astrophysics
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