NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0336

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0336


PI: Chadwick Trujillo, Gemini Observatory - North, trujillo@gemini.edu
Address: Gemini Observatory, 670 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA

CoI: Scott Sheppard, Carnegie Institution of Washington (Terrestrial Magn.)
CoI: Emily Schaller, University of Arizona (Lunar and Planetary Lab)

Title: Primordial Solar System Ices

Abstract: The Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) may harbor the least thermally-altered material in the solar system and are thought to be remnants of the planet-forming era. Thus, study of their surfaces may lead to insights into the composition and formation process of planets in our solar system. We propose to continue the first KBO photometric survey sensitive to volatile ices using a set of custom bandpass filters. In the past, JHK broadband colors of KBOs have been collected by many researchers with inconclusive results because such filters are tuned to avoid telluric features and bear only weak correlations to absorption features found on the brightest KBOs. We have designed custom bandpass filters that allow the classification of KBOs into water, methane and featureless surface types. These filters were installed and commissioned in 2008B for use at Gemini with NIRI and at Magellan with PANIC. We continue our survey in this proposal. The survey is the first of its kind and will identify many more KBOs with volatiles than any previous spectral or photometric work.


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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