Presentation Archive

Constraining the Timing of the Outer Solar System”s Dynamical Instability

Nathan Kaib (University of Oklahoma)

May 11, 2017



Abstract: Evidence has mounted that the solar system”s giant planets underwent a major dynamical instability sometime early in their history, but there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding its exact timing and duration. While this instability has been temporally linked to the bombardment of the Moon (and inner planets) approximately four billion years ago, it is not clear that the terrestrial planets could survive such an instability. Here I will demonstrate that preserving the inner solar system”s planetary architecture through a giant planet instability is very improbable. Moreover, I will show that subpopulations of the Kuiper belt suggest that giant planet migration persisted for hundreds of Myrs after the onset of the instability. I will conclude my talk by discussing how a very early giant planet instability may affect the formation of the terrestrial planets.