Types of Distant Minor Planets ‡ Trans–Neptunian dwarf planets are "plutoids"
Neptune trojans (named by analogy to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids) are Kuiper belt object-like bodies in solar orbit that have the same orbital period as Neptune and follow roughly the same orbital path. Six of the eight found so far lie in the elongated, curved region around the Sun–Neptune L4 Lagrangian point 60° ahead of Neptune.
The discovery of 2005 TN53 in a high-inclination (>25°) orbit was significant as it suggested a “thick” cloud of trojans (Jupiter trojans have inclinations up to 40°). It is believed that large (radius ≈ 100 km) Neptune trojans could outnumber Jupiter trojans by an order of magnitude.
On August 12, 2010, the Minor Planet Center announced the discovery of the first known L5 Neptune trojan, 2008 LC18. Neptune's trailing L5 region is currently very difficult to observe because it is along the line-of-sight to the center of our galaxy, an area of the sky crowded with stars.
Neptune trojan objects
As of July 2011, eight Neptune trojan objects are known. This table is constructed from information obtained from the List Of Neptune Trojans maintained by the IAU Minor Planet Center and with diameters from Sheppard and Trujillo's paper on 2008 LC18.
Reference 2001 QR322 L4 29.428 31.349 1.3 8.2 ~140 2001 2004 UP10 L4 29.351 31.259 1.4 8.8 ~100 2004 2005 TN53 L4 28.253 32.284 25.0 9.1 ~80 2005  2005 TO74 L4 28.733 31.824 5.2 8.5 ~100 2005 2006 RJ103 L4 29.345 31.005 8.2 7.5 ~180 2006 2007 VL305 L4 28.131 32.171 28.1 8.0 ~160 2007 2008 LC18 L5 27.547 32.468 27.5 8.4 ~100 2008  2004 KV18 L5 24.589 35.662 13.6 8.9 56 2011 
Notes and references
- ^ a b "List Of Neptune Trojans". Minor Planet Center. http://www.minorplanetcenter.org/iau/lists/NeptuneTrojans.html. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
- ^ a b Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chadwick A. (June 2006). "A Thick Cloud of Neptune Trojans and Their Colors" (PDF). Science 313 (5786): 511–514. Bibcode 2006Sci...313..511S. doi:10.1126/science.1127173. PMID 16778021. http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/users/sheppard/pub/Sheppard06NepTroj.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- ^ Jewitt, David C.; Trujillo, Chadwick A.; Luu, Jane X. (2000). "Population and size distribution of small Jovian Trojan asteroids". The Astronomical journal 120 (2): 1140–7. arXiv:astro-ph/0004117. Bibcode 2000AJ....120.1140J. doi:10.1086/301453.
- ^ E. I. Chiang and Y. Lithwick Neptune Trojans as a Testbed for Planet Formation, The Astrophysical Journal, 628, pp. 520–532 Preprint
- ^ a b David Powell (30 January 2007). "Neptune May Have Thousands of Escorts". Space.com. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/070130_st_neptune_trojans.html. Retrieved 2007-03-08.
- ^ 2005 TN74, listed earlier as a Neptune trojan, is likely to be a Trans-Neptunian object (TNO) in a 3:5 resonance with Neptune.
- ^ Scott S. Sheppard (2010-08-12). "Trojan Asteroid Found in Neptune's Trailing Gravitational Stability Zone". Carnegie Institution of Washington. http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/users/sheppard/L5trojan/. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
- ^ a b Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chadwick A. (2010-08-12). "Detection of a Trailing (L5) Neptune Trojan". Science (AAAS) 329 (5997): 1304. Bibcode 2010Sci...329.1304S. doi:10.1126/science.1189666. PMID 20705814. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1189666. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- ^ The Tracking News
- ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2004 KV18". http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2008LC18. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- Planetary Trojans – the main source of short period comets? (arXiv:1007.2541 : 15 Jul 2010)
Small Solar System bodies Minor planets Comets Meteoroids Lists / categories Neptune Discovery Characteristics Moons Exploration Trojans Miscellaneous
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