NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0583

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0583


PI: David E. Trilling, Northern Arizona University, david.trilling@nau.edu
Address: Physics Department, PO Box 6010, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, USA

CoI: John Spencer, SWRI
CoI: Scott Sheppard, Carnegie/DTM
CoI: Dave Tholen, UH/IfA
CoI: JJ Kavelaars, HIA/NRC, Canada
CoI: Matt Holman, SAO
CoI: Rick Binzel, MIT
CoI: Alan Stern, SWRI
CoI: Marc Buie, SWRI
CoI: Cesar Fuentes, NAU

Title: A deep search for further New Horizons targets

Abstract: We propose a deep search (R~26.5) for Kuiper Belt object (KBO) flyby targets for the New Horizons spacecraft, which will enter the Kuiper Belt following its flyby of the Pluto system in 2015. The exploration of KBOs beyond Pluto is an important science goal of New Horizons because it will provide our first close-up look at one or more relatively small, probably primitive, KBOs in the ~50 km size range. Close-up images and compositional spectra of representative KBOs will be invaluable for understanding the origin and evolution of the Kuiper Belt. A New Horizons KBO flyby can only be achieved by first discovering KBOs that are accessible to the spacecraft, by means of this program. We propose to use Subaru Suprime-Cam time, swapped via NOAO Gemini exchange, for this task, as Subaru's combination of large aperture, wide-field imager, and excellent seeing make it the best tool for this program. This proposal is part of a tightly coordinated, large, multi-institution, multi-telescope, multi-TAC collaborative project.


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