A Giant Impact Origin of Pluto-Charon

R. M. Canup
2005 Science  
result, and the postimpact pair might then remain in resonance. The tendency for oblique low-velocity collisions between similarly sized objects to produce substantial amounts of material in bound orbit suggests that the impact generation of satellites is a common outcome of late-stage accretion, with the Earth-Moon (q 0 0.01 and J 0 0.115) and Pluto-Charon offering examples of the potential range of q and J in systems produced by such events. Requiring (v imp /v esc ) G 1.3 for forming large
more » ... tellites based on the simulations here implies that binary systems produced through such singular impacts would have (from Eqs. 1 and 2) J | 0.8.
doi:10.1126/science.1106818 pmid:15681378 fatcat:awj3icbcwfe4tn6uuziumz3wsu