NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002B-0274

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Proposal Information for 2002B-0274


PI: Beatrice Mueller, NOAO, muller@noao.edu
Address: 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: Nalin Samarasinha, NOAO

Title: Color Observations of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs)

Abstract: We propose to observe rotationally resolved colors of several trans- Neptunian objects (TNOs), concentrating on the scattered disk objects, which have fewer color observations than other TNO dynamical groups (Jewitt & Luu 2001, Boehnhardt \it et al. 2001, Davies \it et al. 2000, Tegler & Romanishin 1998) and are the most diagnostic for distinguishing theories for the migration of giant planets (e.g. Hahn & Malhotra 1999). We will observe bright (ie. mostly larger) as well as faint (ie.\ mostly smaller) objects. Observationally there has been widespread interest in comparing the different classes of TNOs in color space. Currently, there are claims of color differences and trends among different classes of TNOs (Jewitt & Luu 2001, Boehnhardt \it et al. 2001, Davies \it et al. 2000, Tegler & Romanishin 1998). However, the number of TNOs with reliable dynamical classifications and rotationally resolved colors are still small. As many TNOs show significant variations in their lightcurves, it is important to carry out rotationally resolved color observations. Our observing program will only use objects with reliable dynamical classifications and by using rotationally resolved colors we will obtain accurate color measurements.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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