NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0255

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0255


PI: Noemi Pinilla-Alonso, University of Tennessee, npinilla@utk.edu
Address: Earth and Planetary Sciences, 1412 Circle Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

CoI: Josh P Emery, University of Tennessee
CoI: David Trilling, Northern Arizona University
CoI: Michael Mommert, Northern Arizona University

Title: Near-Infrared photometry of BOs and Centaurs in support of Spitzer Space Telescope data

Abstract: We propose to measure near-infrared broadband colors of Centaurs and Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). The proposed ground-based observations will complement 3.6 and 4.5 microns photometry of these bodies obtained with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Extending reflectances past 2.5 micron with Spitzer enables sensitive searches for absorptions in the 3 to 5 micron region, where relevant species (e.g., complex organics, H2O, CO2, CH4, hydrated silicates) have their fundamental absorption bands. In order to assess the presence of absorptions, however, the Spitzer photometry must be tied to shorter wavelength near-infrared reflectances. Recently, Wright et al. (2012) combined IRAC/Spitzer and NIR colors for a sample of cold KBOs and showed how powerful this technique is detecting the presence of volatiles. In semester 2011B we obtained Gemini NIR data for 12 KBOs (results were presented in the DPS Meeting 2012 and part is included in the Master Dissertation of D. Wright, under the supervision of J.P. Emery). In semester 2011B and 2013A we obtained Gemini NIR data for 12 and 7 KBOs respectively (part of these results were presented in the DPS Meeting 2012 and part is included in the Master Dissertation of D. Wright, under the supervision of J.P. Emery). But our sample is not yet completed and we need more time to complete our study and cover a larger number of targets from our sample of Spitzer data. Approximately 54 objects in our sample that lack NIR colors are visible from GEMINI South in 2014B semester, we propose here to observe 16 of these objects.


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