NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0535

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0535


PI: Jan Kleyna, University of Hawaii at Manoa, kleyna@ifa.hawaii.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 2600 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Title: Main Belt Comet Followup with the SMARTS 1.3m

Abstract: We propose to use 40 hours of ANDICAM time on the SMARTS 1.3m to confirm Main Belt Comet (MBC) detections we find in the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) telescope survey. MBCs are a new class of objects with both asteroidal orbits and faint comet--like dust tails, most likely driven by sublimation. They are of considerable interest to the issue of planetary formation, particularly the presence of water in the habitable zone. Only five specimens are known, but we are performing an automated search for more in PS1 survey telescope data. After two months of early data, we already have about a dozen candidates requiring followup. We anticipate many more over the next three years. Our PS1 detections are purely statistical, and we require longer exposures to detect a visible tail.


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 >   2011A-0535

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