NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0136

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0136


PI: Susan Benecchi, Carnegie DTM, susank@alum.mit.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA

CoI: Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Keith Noll, STScI

Title: Resolved Lightcurves of Cold Classical Transneptunian Binaries and One Mutual Event

Abstract: The goal of this project is determine the lightcurve properties of individual binary components in the low inclination ("Cold") Classical Kuiper Belt. It also aims to observe the binary (79360) 1997 CS_29, also a Cold Classical object, inside and outside of a mutual event. These objects have distinctive size-frequency distribution, color, albedo and binary properties from elsewhere in the Kuiper Belt and are believed to be a primordial remnant of the Solar System's formation. The more widely separated (>0.5 arcseconds) binaries are not expected to be tidally interacting. The ability to obtain resolved lightcurves with a single telescope pointing doubles the value of the telescope time. SOAR+SOI is the only NOAO facility with the right telescope, instrument and scheduling complement to make these observations. Lightcurves for the three wide Cold Classical binaries are completely unknown, we will measure them. We will also refine the binary orbit and relative sizes of 79360 through mutual event observations and place constraints on predictions of future such events for this system.


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-0136

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