Detection of a Trailing (L5) Neptune Trojan

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Science  12 Aug 2010:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1189666


The orbits of small Solar System bodies record the history of our Solar System. Here, we report the detection of 2008 LC18, which is a Neptune Trojan in the trailing (L5) Lagrangian region of gravitational equilibrium within Neptune's orbit. We estimate that the leading and trailing Neptune Trojan regions have similar sized populations and dynamics with both regions dominated by high inclination objects. Similar populations and dynamics at both Neptune Lagrangian regions indicate the Trojans were likely captured by a migrating, eccentric Neptune in a dynamically excited planetesimal population.