The Capture of Centaurs as Trojans


Large scale simulations of Centaurs have yielded vast amounts of data, the analysis of which allows interesting but uncommon scenarios to be studied. One such rare phenomenon is the temporary capture of Centaurs as Trojans of the giant planets. Such captures are generally short (10 kyr to 100 kyr), but occur with sufficient frequency (about 40 objects larger than 1 km in diameter every Myr) that they may well contribute to the present-day populations. Uranus and Neptune seem to have great difficulty capturing Centaurs into the 1:1 resonance, while Jupiter captures some, and Saturn the most (80 %). We conjecture that such temporary capture from the Centaur population may be the dominant delivery route into the Saturnian Trojans. Photometric studies of the Jovian Trojans may reveal outliers with Centaur-like as opposed to asteroidal characteristics, and these would be prime candidates for captured Centaurs.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures, submitted to MNRAS (Letters

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