Jupiter trojan

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The asteroids of the inner Solar System and Jupiter
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Jupiter trojans

Hilda asteroids
Asteroid belt

Orbits of planets
The Jupiter trojans are divided into two groups: The Greek camp in front of and the Trojan camp trailing behind Jupiter in their orbit. InnerSolarSystem-en.png
The asteroids of the inner Solar System and Jupiter
  Jupiter trojans
   Hilda asteroids
   Asteroid belt
   Orbits of planets
The Jupiter trojans are divided into two groups: The Greek camp in front of and the Trojan camp trailing behind Jupiter in their orbit.

The Jupiter trojans, commonly called trojan asteroids or simply trojans, are a large group of asteroids that share the planet Jupiter's orbit around the Sun. Relative to Jupiter, each trojan librates around one of Jupiter's stable Lagrange points: either L4, existing 60° ahead of the planet in its orbit, or L5, 60° behind. Jupiter trojans are distributed in two elongated, curved regions around these Lagrangian points with an average semi-major axis of about 5.2 AU. [1]

Contents

The first Jupiter trojan discovered, 588 Achilles, was spotted in 1906 by German astronomer Max Wolf. [2] More than 9,800 Jupiter trojans have been found as of May 2021. [3] By convention, they are each named from Greek mythology after a figure of the Trojan War, hence the name "trojan". The total number of Jupiter trojans larger than 1 km in diameter is believed to be about 1 million, approximately equal to the number of asteroids larger than 1 km in the asteroid belt. [1] Like main-belt asteroids, Jupiter trojans form families. [4]

As of 2004, many Jupiter trojans showed to observational instruments as dark bodies with reddish, featureless spectra. No firm evidence of the presence of water, or any other specific compound on their surface has been obtained, but it is thought that they are coated in tholins, organic polymers formed by the Sun's radiation. [5] The Jupiter trojans' densities (as measured by studying binaries or rotational lightcurves) vary from 0.8 to 2.5 g·cm−3. [4] Jupiter trojans are thought to have been captured into their orbits during the early stages of the Solar System's formation or slightly later, during the migration of giant planets. [4]

The term "Trojan Asteroid" specifically refers to the asteroids co-orbital with Jupiter, but the general term "trojan" is sometimes more generally applied to other small Solar System bodies with similar relationships to larger bodies: for example, there are both Mars trojans and Neptune trojans, [6] as well as a more recently discovered Earth trojan. [7] [8] The term "Trojan asteroid" is normally understood to specifically mean the Jupiter trojans because the first Trojans were discovered near Jupiter's orbit and Jupiter currently has by far the most known Trojans. [3]

Observational history

Maximilian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf (1890)--the discoverer of the first trojan Maximilian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf.jpg
Maximilian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf (1890)—the discoverer of the first trojan

In 1772, Italian-born mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, in studying the restricted three-body problem, predicted that a small body sharing an orbit with a planet but lying 60° ahead or behind it will be trapped near these points. [2] The trapped body will librate slowly around the point of equilibrium in a tadpole or horseshoe orbit. [9] These leading and trailing points are called the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. [10] [Note 1] The first asteroids trapped in Lagrange points were observed more than a century after Lagrange's hypothesis. Those associated with Jupiter were the first to be discovered. [2]

E. E. Barnard made the first recorded observation of a trojan, (12126) 1999 RM11 (identified as A904 RD at the time), in 1904, but neither he nor others appreciated its significance at the time. [11] Barnard believed he had seen the recently discovered Saturnian satellite Phoebe, which was only two arc-minutes away in the sky at the time, or possibly an asteroid. The object's identity was not understood until its orbit was calculated in 1999. [11]

The first accepted discovery of a trojan occurred in February 1906, when astronomer Max Wolf of Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory discovered an asteroid at the L4 Lagrangian point of the SunJupiter system, later named 588 Achilles. [2] In 1906–1907 two more Jupiter trojans were found by fellow German astronomer August Kopff (624 Hektor and 617 Patroclus). [2] Hektor, like Achilles, belonged to the L4 swarm ("ahead" of the planet in its orbit), whereas Patroclus was the first asteroid known to reside at the L5 Lagrangian point ("behind" the planet). [12] By 1938, 11 Jupiter trojans had been detected. [13] This number increased to 14 only in 1961. [2] As instruments improved, the rate of discovery grew rapidly: by January 2000, a total of 257 had been discovered; [10] by May 2003, the number had grown to 1,600. [14] As of October 2018 there are 4,601 known Jupiter trojans at L4 and 2,439 at L5. [15]

Nomenclature

The custom of naming all asteroids in Jupiter's L4 and L5 points after famous heroes of the Trojan War was suggested by Johann Palisa of Vienna, who was the first to accurately calculate their orbits. [2]

Asteroids in the leading (L4) orbit are named after Greek heroes (the "Greek node or camp" or "Achilles group"), and those at the trailing (L5) orbit are named after the heroes of Troy (the "Trojan node or camp"). [2] The asteroids 617 Patroclus and 624 Hektor were named before the Greece/Troy rule was devised, resulting in a "Greek spy", Patroclus, in the Trojan node and a "Trojan spy", Hector, in the Greek node. [13] [16]

Numbers and mass

A gravitational potential contour plot showing Earth's Lagrangian points; L4 and L5 are above and below the planet, respectively. Jupiter's Lagrangian points are similarly situated in its much larger orbit. Lagrange points.jpg
A gravitational potential contour plot showing Earth's Lagrangian points; L4 and L5 are above and below the planet, respectively. Jupiter's Lagrangian points are similarly situated in its much larger orbit.

Estimates of the total number of Jupiter trojans are based on deep surveys of limited areas of the sky. [1] The L4 swarm is believed to hold between 160,000–240,000 asteroids with diameters larger than 2 km and about 600,000 with diameters larger than 1 km. [1] [10] If the L5 swarm contains a comparable number of objects, there are more than 1 million Jupiter trojans 1 km in size or larger. For the objects brighter than absolute magnitude 9.0 the population is probably complete. [14] These numbers are similar to that of comparable asteroids in the asteroid belt. [1] The total mass of the Jupiter trojans is estimated at 0.0001 of the mass of Earth or one-fifth of the mass of the asteroid belt. [10]

Two more recent studies indicate that the above numbers may overestimate the number of Jupiter trojans by several-fold. This overestimate is caused by (1) the assumption that all Jupiter trojans have a low albedo of about 0.04, whereas small bodies may have an average albedo as high as 0.12; [17] (2) an incorrect assumption about the distribution of Jupiter trojans in the sky. [18] According to the new estimates, the total number of Jupiter trojans with a diameter larger than 2 km is 6,300 ± 1,000 and 3,400 ± 500 in the L4 and L5 swarms, respectively. [18] These numbers would be reduced by a factor of 2 if small Jupiter trojans are more reflective than large ones. [17]

The number of Jupiter trojans observed in the L4 swarm is slightly larger than that observed in L5. Because the brightest Jupiter trojans show little variation in numbers between the two populations, this disparity is probably due to observational bias. [4] Some models indicate that the L4 swarm may be slightly more stable than the L5 swarm. [9]

The largest Jupiter trojan is 624 Hektor, which has a mean diameter of 203 ± 3.6 km. [14] There are few large Jupiter trojans in comparison to the overall population. With decreasing size, the number of Jupiter trojans grows very quickly down to 84 km, much more so than in the asteroid belt. A diameter of 84 km corresponds to an absolute magnitude of 9.5, assuming an albedo of 0.04. Within the 4.4–40 km range the Jupiter trojans' size distribution resembles that of the main-belt asteroids. Nothing is known about the masses of the smaller Jupiter trojans. [9] The size distribution suggests that the smaller Trojans may be the products of collisions by larger Jupiter trojans. [4]

The largest Jupiter trojans
TrojanDiameter (km)
624 Hektor 225
617 Patroclus 140
911 Agamemnon 131
588 Achilles 130
3451 Mentor 126
3317 Paris 119
1867 Deiphobus 118
1172 Äneas 118
1437 Diomedes 118
1143 Odysseus 115
Source: JPL Small-Body Database, NEOWISE data

Orbits

Animation of the orbit of 624 Hektor (blue), set against the orbit of Jupiter (outer red ellipse) AnimatedOrbitOf624Hektor.gif
Animation of the orbit of 624 Hektor (blue), set against the orbit of Jupiter (outer red ellipse)

Jupiter trojans have orbits with radii between 5.05 and 5.35 AU (the mean semi-major axis is 5.2 ± 0.15 AU), and are distributed throughout elongated, curved regions around the two Lagrangian points; [1] each swarm stretches for about 26° along the orbit of Jupiter, amounting to a total distance of about 2.5 AU. [10] The width of the swarms approximately equals two Hill's radii, which in the case of Jupiter amounts to about 0.6 AU. [9] Many of Jupiter trojans have large orbital inclinations relative to Jupiter's orbital plane—up to 40°. [10]

Jupiter trojans do not maintain a fixed separation from Jupiter. They slowly librate around their respective equilibrium points, periodically moving closer to Jupiter or farther from it. [9] Jupiter trojans generally follow paths called tadpole orbits around the Lagrangian points; the average period of their libration is about 150 years. [10] The amplitude of the libration (along the Jovian orbit) varies from 0.6° to 88°, with the average being about 33°. [9] Simulations show that Jupiter trojans can follow even more complicated trajectories when moving from one Lagrangian point to another—these are called horseshoe orbits (currently no Jupiter Trojan with such an orbit is known). [9]

Dynamical families and binaries

Discerning dynamical families within the Jupiter trojan population is more difficult than it is in the asteroid belt, because the Jupiter trojans are locked within a far narrower range of possible positions. This means that clusters tend to overlap and merge with the overall swarm. By 2003 roughly a dozen dynamical families were identified. Jupiter-trojan families are much smaller in size than families in the asteroid belt; the largest identified family, the Menelaus group, consists of only eight members. [4]

In 2001, 617 Patroclus was the first Jupiter trojan to be identified as a binary asteroid. [19] The binary's orbit is extremely close, at 650 km, compared to 35,000 km for the primary's Hill sphere. [20] The largest Jupiter trojan—624 Hektor— is probably a contact binary with a moonlet. [4] [21] [22]

Physical properties

Trojan 624 Hektor (indicated) is similar in brightness to dwarf planet Pluto. 624Hektor-LB1-mag15.jpg
Trojan 624 Hektor (indicated) is similar in brightness to dwarf planet Pluto.

Jupiter trojans are dark bodies of irregular shape. Their geometric albedos generally vary between 3 and 10%. [14] The average value is 0.056 ± 0.003 for the objects larger than 57 km, [4] and 0.121 ± 0.003 (R-band) for those smaller than 25 km. [17] The asteroid 4709 Ennomos has the highest albedo (0.18) of all known Jupiter trojans. [14] Little is known about the masses, chemical composition, rotation or other physical properties of the Jupiter trojans. [4]

Rotation

The rotational properties of Jupiter trojans are not well known. Analysis of the rotational light curves of 72 Jupiter trojans gave an average rotational period of about 11.2 hours, whereas the average period of the control sample of asteroids in the asteroid belt was 10.6 hours. [23] The distribution of the rotational periods of Jupiter trojans appeared to be well approximated by a Maxwellian function, [Note 2] whereas the distribution for main-belt asteroids was found to be non-Maxwellian, with a deficit of periods in the range 8–10 hours. [23] The Maxwellian distribution of the rotational periods of Jupiter trojans may indicate that they have undergone a stronger collisional evolution compared to the asteroid belt. [23]

In 2008 a team from Calvin College examined the light curves of a debiased sample of ten Jupiter trojans, and found a median spin period of 18.9 hours. This value was significantly higher than that for main-belt asteroids of similar size (11.5 hours). The difference could mean that the Jupiter trojans possess a lower average density, which may imply that they formed in the Kuiper belt (see below). [24]

Composition

Spectroscopically, the Jupiter trojans mostly are D-type asteroids, which predominate in the outer regions of the asteroid belt. [4] A small number are classified as P or C-type asteroids. [23] Their spectra are red (meaning that they reflect more light at longer wavelengths) or neutral and featureless. [14] No firm evidence of water, organics or other chemical compounds has been obtained as of 2007. 4709 Ennomos has an albedo slightly higher than the Jupiter-trojan average, which may indicate the presence of water ice. Some other Jupiter Trojans, such as 911 Agamemnon and 617 Patroclus, have shown very weak absorptions at 1.7 and 2.3 μm, which might indicate the presence of organics. [25] The Jupiter trojans' spectra are similar to those of the irregular moons of Jupiter and, to a certain extent, comet nuclei, though Jupiter trojans are spectrally very different from the redder Kuiper belt objects. [1] [4] A Jupiter trojan's spectrum can be matched to a mixture of water ice, a large amount of carbon-rich material (charcoal), [4] and possibly magnesium-rich silicates. [23] The composition of the Jupiter trojan population appears to be markedly uniform, with little or no differentiation between the two swarms. [26]

A team from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii announced in 2006 that it had measured the density of the binary Jupiter trojan 617 Patroclus as being less than that of water ice (0.8 g/cm3), suggesting that the pair, and possibly many other Trojan objects, more closely resemble comets or Kuiper belt objects in composition—water ice with a layer of dust—than they do the main-belt asteroids. [20] Countering this argument, the density of Hektor as determined from its rotational lightcurve (2.480 g/cm3) is significantly higher than that of 617 Patroclus. [22] Such a difference in densities suggests that density may not be a good indicator of asteroid origin. [22]

Origin and evolution

Two main theories have emerged to explain the formation and evolution of the Jupiter trojans. The first suggests that the Jupiter trojans formed in the same part of the Solar System as Jupiter and entered their orbits while it was forming. [9] The last stage of Jupiter's formation involved runaway growth of its mass through the accretion of large amounts of hydrogen and helium from the protoplanetary disk; during this growth, which lasted for only about 10,000 years, the mass of Jupiter increased by a factor of ten. The planetesimals that had approximately the same orbits as Jupiter were caught by the increased gravity of the planet. [9] The capture mechanism was very efficient—about 50% of all remaining planetesimals were trapped. This hypothesis has two major problems: the number of trapped bodies exceeds the observed population of Jupiter trojans by four orders of magnitude, and the present Jupiter trojan asteroids have larger orbital inclinations than are predicted by the capture model. [9] Simulations of this scenario show that such a mode of formation also would inhibit the creation of similar trojans for Saturn, and this has been borne out by observation: to date no trojans have been found near Saturn. [27] In a variation of this theory Jupiter captures trojans during its initial growth then migrates as it continues to grow. During Jupiter's migration the orbits of objects in horseshoe orbits are distorted causing the L4 side of these orbits to be over occupied. As a result, an excess of trojans is trapped on the L4 side when the horseshoe orbits shift to tadpole orbits as Jupiter grows. This model also leaves the Jupiter trojan population 3–4 orders of magnitude too large. [28]

The second theory proposes that the Jupiter trojans were captured during the migration of the giant planets described in the Nice model. In the Nice model the orbits of the giant planets became unstable 500–600 million years after the Solar System's formation when Jupiter and Saturn crossed their 1:2 mean-motion resonance. Encounters between planets resulted in Uranus and Neptune being scattered outward into the primordial Kuiper belt, disrupting it and throwing millions of objects inward. [29] When Jupiter and Saturn were near their 1:2 resonance the orbits of pre-existing Jupiter trojans became unstable during a secondary resonance with Jupiter and Saturn. This occurred when the period of the trojans' libration about their Lagrangian point had a 3:1 ratio to the period at which the position where Jupiter passes Saturn circulated relative to its perihelion. This process was also reversible allowing a fraction of the numerous objects scattered inward by Uranus and Neptune to enter this region and be captured as Jupiter's and Saturn's orbits separated. These new trojans had a wide range of inclinations, the result of multiple encounters with the giant planets before being captured. [30] This process can also occur later when Jupiter and Saturn cross weaker resonances. [31]

In a revised version of the Nice model Jupiter trojans are captured when Jupiter encounters an ice giant during the instability. In this version of the Nice model one of the ice giants (Uranus, Neptune, or a lost fifth planet) is scattered inward onto a Jupiter-crossing orbit and is scattered outward by Jupiter causing the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn to quickly separate. When Jupiter's semi-major axis jumps during these encounters existing Jupiter trojans can escape and new objects with semi-major axes similar to Jupiter's new semi-major axis are captured. Following its last encounter the ice giant can pass through one of the libration points and perturb their orbits leaving this libration point depleted relative to the other. After the encounters end some of these Jupiter trojans are lost and others captured when Jupiter and Saturn are near weak mean motion resonances such as the 3:7 resonance via the mechanism of the original Nice model. [31]

The long-term future of the Jupiter trojans is open to question, because multiple weak resonances with Jupiter and Saturn cause them to behave chaotically over time. [32] Collisional shattering slowly depletes the Jupiter trojan population as fragments are ejected. Ejected Jupiter trojans could become temporary satellites of Jupiter or Jupiter-family comets. [4] Simulations show that the orbits of up to 17% of Jupiter trojans are unstable over the age of the Solar System. [33] Levison et al. believe that roughly 200 ejected Jupiter trojans greater than 1 km in diameter might be travelling the Solar System, with a few possibly on Earth-crossing orbits. [34] Some of the escaped Jupiter trojans may become Jupiter-family comets as they approach the Sun and their surface ice begins evaporating. [34]

Exploration

On 4 January 2017 NASA announced that Lucy was selected as one of their next two Discovery Program missions. [35] Lucy is set to explore seven [36] Jupiter trojans. It launched on October 16th, 2021, and will arrive at the L4 Trojan cloud in 2027 after two Earth gravity assists and a fly-by of a main-belt asteroid. It will then return to the vicinity of Earth for another gravity assist to take it to Jupiter's L5 Trojan cloud where it will visit 617 Patroclus. [37]

The Japanese space agency has proposed the OKEANOS solar sail for the late 2020s to either analyse a Trojan asteroid in situ or to perform a sample-return mission.

See also

Notes

  1. The three other points—L1, L2 and L3—are unstable. [9]
  2. The Maxwellian function is , where is the average rotational period, is the dispersion of periods.

Related Research Articles

588 Achilles

Achilles is a large Jupiter trojan asteroid of the Greek camp. Achilles was the first Jupiter trojan to be discovered, and was discovered by Max Wolf at the Heidelberg Observatory in 1906. Wolf named the minor planet after the legendary hero Achilles from Greek mythology. The dark D-type asteroid measures approximately 133 kilometers in diameter which makes it one of the 10 largest Jupiter trojans. It has a rotation period of 7.3 hours and possibly a spherical shape.

624 Hektor Largest Jupiter trojan

624 Hektor is the largest Jupiter trojan and the namesake of the Hektor family, with a highly elongated shape equivalent in volume to a sphere of approximately 225 to 250 kilometers diameter. It was discovered on 10 February 1907, by astronomer August Kopff at Heidelberg Observatory in southwest Germany, and named after the Trojan prince Hector, from Greek mythology. It has one small 12-kilometer sized satellite, Skamandrios, discovered in 2006.

Hilda asteroid Group of asteroids in orbital resonance with Jupiter

The Hilda asteroids are a dynamical group of more than 5,000 asteroids located beyond the asteroid belt but within Jupiter's orbit, in a 3:2 orbital resonance with Jupiter. The namesake is the asteroid 153 Hilda.

617 Patroclus Jupiter trojan asteroid

617 Patroclus is a large binary Jupiter trojan asteroid. It is a dark D-type asteroid and a slow rotator, due to the 103-hour orbital period of its two components. It is one of five Jovian asteroids targeted by the Lucy space probe, and is scheduled for a flyby in 2033.

Neptune trojan

Neptune trojans are bodies that orbit the Sun near one of the stable Lagrangian points of Neptune, similar to the trojans of other planets. They therefore have approximately the same orbital period as Neptune and follow roughly the same orbital path. Twenty-two Neptune trojans are currently known, of which 19 orbit near the Sun–Neptune L4 Lagrangian point 60° ahead of Neptune and three orbit near Neptune's L5 region 60° behind Neptune. The Neptune trojans are termed 'trojans' by analogy with the Jupiter trojans.

Trojan (celestial body) Objects sharing the orbit of a larger one

In astronomy, a trojan is a small celestial body (mostly asteroids) that shares the orbit of a larger one, remaining in a stable orbit approximately 60° ahead of or behind the main body near one of its Lagrangian points L4 and L5. Trojans can share the orbits of planets or of large moons.

In astronomy, a co-orbital configuration is a configuration of two or more astronomical objects orbiting at the same, or very similar, distance from their primary, i.e. they are in a 1:1 mean-motion resonance..

Mars trojan Celestial bodies that share the orbit of Mars

The Mars trojans are a group of Trojan objects that share the orbit of the planet Mars around the Sun. They can be found around the two Lagrangian points 60° ahead of and behind Mars. The origin of the Mars trojans is not well understood. One theory suggests that they were primordial objects left over from the formation of Mars that were captured in its Lagrangian points as the Solar System was forming. However, spectral studies of the Mars trojans indicate this may not be the case. Another explanation involves asteroids chaotically wandering into the Mars Lagrangian points later in the Solar System's formation. This is also questionable considering the short dynamical lifetimes of these objects. The spectra of Eureka and two other Mars trojans indicates an olivine-rich composition. Since olivine-rich objects are rare in the asteroid belt it has been suggested that some of the Mars trojans are captured debris from a large orbit-altering impact on Mars when it encountered a planetary embryo.

2363 Cebriones is a large Jupiter trojan from the Trojan camp, approximately 84 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 4 October 1977, by astronomers at the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanking, China. The dark D-type asteroid is one of the 40 largest Jupiter trojans and has a rotation period of 20 hours. It was named after Cebriones, Hektor's charioteer from Greek mythology.

1867 Deiphobus is a dark Jupiter trojan from the Trojan camp, approximately 123 kilometers (76 mi) in diameter. It was discovered on 3 March 1971, by Argentine astronomers Carlos Cesco and A. G. Samuel at the Leoncito Astronomical Complex in Argentina, and later named after the Trojan prince Deiphobus from Greek mythology. The dark D-type asteroid is one of the largest Jupiter trojans. It is a member of the Ennomos family and has a long rotation period of 58.66 hours.

4709 Ennomos

4709 Ennomos is a large Jupiter trojan from the Trojan camp and the namesake of the small Ennomos family, approximately 81 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 12 October 1988, by American astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California. The relatively bright and possibly elongated Jovian asteroid belongs to the 40 largest Jupiter trojans and has a rotation period of 12.3 hours. It was named after Ennomus (Ennomos), a Trojan warrior killed by Achilles.

4063 Euforbo is a large Jupiter trojan from the Greek camp, approximately 100 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 1 February 1989, by Italian astronomers at the San Vittore Observatory near Bologna, Italy. The dark D-type asteroid is one of the 25 largest Jupiter trojans and has a rotation period of 8.8 hours. It was named after Euphorbus (Euforbo) from Greek mythology.

4791 Iphidamas is a Jupiter trojan from the Trojan camp, approximately 58 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 14 August 1988, by American astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California. The dark Jovian asteroid belongs the 100 largest Jupiter trojans and has a rotation period of 9.7 hours. It was named after the Trojan warrior Iphidamas, from Greek mythology.

2223 Sarpedon is a dark Jupiter trojan from the Trojan camp, approximately 90 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 4 October 1977, by astronomers at the Purple Mountain Observatory near Nanking, China. The D-type asteroid belongs to the 30 largest Jupiter trojans and has a rotation period of 22.7 hours. It was named after the Lycian hero Sarpedon from Greek mythology.

11509 Thersilochos is a Jupiter trojan from the Trojan camp, approximately 50 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 15 November 1990, by Belgian astronomer Eric Elst at the La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. The dark Jovian asteroid belongs to the 100 largest Jupiter trojans and has a rotation period of 17.4 hours. It was named after the Trojan warrior Thersilochus from Greek mythology.

Nice model

The Nicemodel is a scenario for the dynamical evolution of the Solar System. It is named for the location of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur — where it was initially developed in 2005 — in Nice, France. It proposes the migration of the giant planets from an initial compact configuration into their present positions, long after the dissipation of the initial protoplanetary disk. In this way, it differs from earlier models of the Solar System's formation. This planetary migration is used in dynamical simulations of the Solar System to explain historical events including the Late Heavy Bombardment of the inner Solar System, the formation of the Oort cloud, and the existence of populations of small Solar System bodies such as the Kuiper belt, the Neptune and Jupiter trojans, and the numerous resonant trans-Neptunian objects dominated by Neptune.

The five-planet Nice model is a recent variation of the Nice model that begins with five giant planets, the four plus an additional ice giant in a chain of mean-motion resonances.

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