NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0235

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2003B-0235


PI: Beatrice E.A. Mueller, NOAO, muller@noao.edu
Address: NTSS, 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, U.S.A.

CoI: Nalin H. Samarasinha, NOAO

Title: Color Observations of Large Trans-Neptunian Objects as a Function of Rotational Phase

Abstract: Observationally there is widespread interest in comparing 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 2000). However, the number of TNOs with reliable dynamical classifications and colors as a function of rotational phase are still small (e.g. 1996 TO_66, Hainaut \it et al. 2000). We propose to observe colors of several bright (V brighter than 21.5mag) trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) as a function of rotational phase, therefore complementing ongoing programs at bigger telescopes which primarily observe fainter objects. This approach is necessary because many TNOs show large peak to peak variations in their lightcurves and measured colors of the same objects from different authors (see Jewitt & Luu 2001) often lie outside the formal errors of each other. We will concentrate on the scattered disk objects, which have fewer color observations than other TNO dynamical classes and are the most diagnostic for distinguishing theories for the migration of giant planets (e.g. Hahn & Malhotra 1999).


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0235

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo