NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0340

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0340


PI: John Spencer, Southwest Research Institute, spencer@boulder.swri.edu
Address: Dept. Space Studies, 1050 Walnut St., Boulder, CO 80302, USA

CoI: David Trilling, Northern Arizona University
CoI: Marc Buie, Southwest Research Institute
CoI: Alex Parker, Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: David Tholen, University of Hawaii
CoI: Cesar Fuentes, Northern Arizona University
CoI: S. Alan Stern, Southwest Research Institute
CoI: J.J. Kavelaars, Hertzberg Institute for Astrophysics

Title: Finding KBO flyby targets for New Horizons

Abstract: This is one of a consortium of proposals to continue the search for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that can be reached by the New Horizons spacecraft after its 2015 Pluto flyby. This first flyby of a small (~50 km) KBO would revolutionize our understanding of KBOs, providing information that can be extrapolated to hundreds of thousands of similar KBOs. Seeing was too poor in 2012 to allow new Subaru discoveries, but our 2011 search discovered three objects that could be targeted with only about twice the fuel that New Horizons has available, so deepening the search in 2013 has a good chance of finding a targetable object. Our highest priority is two deep SuprimeCam stares in which, with good seeing, we expect to detect about 2 targetable objects with R \textless 26.0. Additional fields will be covered if time permits, further improving our odds. We will also refine the orbits of previously discovered objects, including ones that can be observed from a distance by New Horizons on its passage through the Kuiper Belt.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0340

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