NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0382

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2013B-0382


PI: Alex Parker, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, aparker@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

CoI: John Spencer, SwRI
CoI: Marc Buie, SwRI
CoI: S. Alan Stern, SwRI
CoI: David Tholen, University of Hawaii
CoI: David Trilling, Northern Arizona University
CoI: Cesar Fuentes, Northern Arizona University

Title: Targeted Recovery of Candidate Kuiper Belt Objects for New Horizons Flyby

Abstract: We propose to recover, for orbital refinement, individual Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) discovered as part of a survey searching for candidate KBOs for New Horizons to fly by after its Pluto system encounter in 2015. The first flyby of a small ( 50 km) KBO would revolutionize our understanding of KBOs, their history, and the environment they are embedded in. Our survey has been allocated significant time in 2013A on Magellan and Subaru to search for new encounter candidates as faint as R 26. Based on our models and extrapolation of previous empirical results, we expect approximately 2 accessible objects to be identified in our 2013A survey, given favorable conditions. However, the 2013A observations will be insufficient to fully characterize the orbits and accessibility of discovered objects. Here we propose for 8 hours of time for targeted follow-up of a select few of our highest-priority discoveries using GMOS, splitting the time between both Gemini North and South. These follow-up observations will increase the precision and accuracy of our orbit measurements, and will refine the sample of candidate KBOs by improving our ability to discriminate between accessible and non-accessible objects.


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 >   2013B-0382

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo