Abstract by Benjamin Proudfoot

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Presenter's Name

Benjamin Proudfoot



Degree Level




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Physics and Astronomy

Faculty Advisor

Darin Ragozzine


Constraining the Formation of Haumea using the Distribution of Haumea Family Members


Collisions are a central component of the formation and evolution of the outer Solar System. The dwarf planet Haumea, located in the far reaches of the Solar System, and its compact collisional family provide a unique empirical view into how collisions take place in the outer Solar System. There have been many publications dedicated to understanding Haumea, but there have yet to be any self-consistent models for the formation of Haumea and its family. In particular, it is a challenge to explain why the family is so small. Using a much larger number of Haumea family members, we focus on finding the best empirical model for the three-dimensional distribution of Haumea family members. We consider three different models of formation, presented by others in the field. These models create a large simulated family with tunable parameters that result in a unique distribution in five-dimensional space. We explore these distributions by including a Bayesian methodology, and the influence of interlopers.