NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014A-0479

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Proposal Information for 2014A-0479


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: Chad Trujillo, Gemini Observatory

Title: Beyond the Edge of the Solar System: The Sednoid Population

Abstract: The Kuiper Belt object population has an outer edge at about 50 AU. Sedna, discovered ten years ago, was the only known object with a closest approach to the Sun significantly beyond this edge. Sedna's orbit was so unusual that it required a rethink of our solar system's origins and evolution. There are several theories as to the origin of Sedna that can be tested by finding more. In our initial DECam survey last year at CTIO we discovered a second Sedna-like object whose orbit is even further beyond the Sun. Our discovery confirms the Sednoids are the most numerous stable population of small bodies observed. Previous surveys did not go faint enough, did not have the required long cadence, or covered too small of sky area to find Sednoids. The dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. We propose to continue our survey with DECam in order to find several more Sednoids to further constrain formation theories.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014A-0479

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