NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007A-0542

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Proposal Information for 2007A-0542


PI: Lawrence H. Wasserman, Lowell Observatory, lhw@lowell.edu
Address: 1400 W. Mars Hill Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, US

CoI: Marc W. Buie, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Robert L. Millis, Lowell Observatory
CoI: David E. Trilling, University of Arizona
CoI: James L. Elliot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Karen J. Meech, University of Hawaii
CoI: Susan D. Kern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Amanda A. S. Gulbis, Massachusetts Insititute of Technology
CoI: Elisabeth Adams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title: Dynamical Structure of the Kuiper Belt

Abstract: The orbits and physical properties of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) provide valuable constraints on the dynamical and environmental evolution of the outer Solar System. However, a full understanding of this fossil record requires a large and well characterized sample of objects with accurate orbits. Accurate orbits reveal important aspects of the effects of planetary migration on the dynamical history of the belt and provide ephemerides sufficiently accurate to enable physical observations with giant ground-based and space telescopes. In May, 2005, our team concluded the search phase of the Deep Ecliptic Survey - a survey that has discovered approximately half of the known KBOs. It has yielded important advances in understanding the belt, enabled observational research by many other investigators, and stimulated important theoretical investigations. In order to realize the full value from the DES and to increase the scientific value of the entire set of known KBOs, we need to continue to make critical astrometric observations of all KBOs whose orbit is not yet known accurately enough to permit dynamical classification. This proposal requests 4-meter time at KPNO and CTIO to continue these essential observations.


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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