NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0072

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0072


PI: Scott Sheppard, Carnegie Institution of Washington, sheppard@dtm.ciw.edu
Address: Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 Broad Branch Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA

CoI: Michael Person, MIT
CoI: Carlos Zuluaga, MIT
CoI: Amanda Bosh, MIT

Title: Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations

Abstract: Occultations by Kuiper Belt objects remain elusive events, requiring precision astrometry for these faint bodies in the outer solar system. Monthly astrometry provides data that are crucial for our KBO ephemeris correction models, which then allow accurate shadow track predictions. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This promises to be a powerful way of exploring the KBOs. We propose to obtain very precise astrometry on 20 of the brightest known KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions.


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 >   2012A-0072

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