NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001B-0026

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Program Information for 2001B-0026


PI: Robert L Millis, Lowell Observatory, rlm@lowell.edu
Address: P O Box 1269, 1400 W Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA

CoI: Marc W Buie, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Eugene Chiang, Institute for Advanced Study
CoI: James L Elliot, MIT
CoI: Susan D Kern, MIT
CoI: David E Trilling, U. of Pennsylvania
CoI: Lawrence H Wasserman, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Stefan Jordan, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Jessica Lovering, UC Berkeley
CoI: Richard A Crudo, U. of Arizona
CoI: Julie Kane, MIT

Title: Deep Ecliptic Survey

Abstract: The Kuiper Belt is a zone beyond Neptune containing tens of thousands of asteroidal sized objects orbiting the Sun. These bodies promise fundamental insight into the chief unsolved problem in planet formation --- how $\mu$m sized dust grains in the early solar nebula agglomerated into the km sized planetesimals we observe today. Their physical characteristics contain fossil remnants of the chemical and dynamical processes that molded the outer regions of the protoplanetary disk. Furthermore, the Kuiper Belt is the contemporary manifestation in our Solar System of circumstellar dust disks seen around other stars and offers a bridge between planetary astronomy and extrasolar astrophysics. In this proposal, we seek to undertake a deep survey of the ecliptic to learn the dimensions, content, and dynamical characteristics of the Kuiper Belt. The product of this survey will be a unique, publicly accessible database of $\sim0 new Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) discovered with with well-understood and readily quantified biases. The statistics of our survey are sufficient to answer fundamental questions regarding the origin and evolution of our own Solar System. Moreover, this survey is badly needed to facilitate physical studies (e.g., spectroscopy, photometry, and thermal IR measurements) of KBOs with 6-to- 10-meter-class groundbased telescopes and with space observatories such as HST and SIRTF.

Program Type: Survey

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2002A):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 3n on Feb 05 - Feb 07 2002, Mar 17 - Mar 19 2002
Run 1 (2002B):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 6n on Nov 06 - Nov 08 2002, Dec 03 - Dec 06 2002
Run 1 (2003A):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 6n on Feb 28 - Mar 02 2003, Mar 29 - Mar 31 2003
Run 1 (2003B):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 6n on Oct 21 - Oct 23 2003, Nov 21 - Nov 23 2003
Run 1 (2004A):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 6n on Feb 25 - Feb 27 2004, Mar 13 - Mar 15 2004
Run 1 (2004B):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 8n on Oct 14 - Oct 17 2004, Nov 11 - Nov 14 2004
Run 1 (2005A):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 8n on Mar 08 - Mar 11 2005, Apr 09 - Apr 12 2005
Run 2 (2002A):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on Apr 05 - Apr 08 2002
Run 2 (2002B):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on Aug 08 - Aug 11 2002
Run 2 (2003A):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on May 29 - Jun 01 2003
Run 2 (2003B):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on Aug 22 - Aug 25 2003
Run 2 (2004A):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on Jul 13 - Jul 16 2004
Run 2 (2004B):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on Aug 11 - Aug 14 2004
Run 2 (2005A):  CT-4m/MOSAIC -- 4n on May 07 - May 10 2005
Run 6 (2001B):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 3n on Sep 11 - Sep 13 2001, Oct 18 - Oct 20 2001


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