Scattered Objects

Scattered Objects. Image Source:

Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) with large orbital eccentricities (perihelia between 30 and 48 AU, aphelia >60 AU). These objects were probably flung into their current orbits early in Solar System history by gravitational interactions with the giant planets. The current population of the scattered disk is only ~1% of what it was in the early Solar System. Gravitational interactions with Neptune in particular can eject them from the Solar System. Alternatively, such interactions may pull scattered disk objects further into the Solar System, where they probably become Centaur asteroids for a period of time. There are ~150 scattered disk objects and Centaurs currently known.

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.