NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0394

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Program Information for 2017A-0394


PI: Scott Sheppard, Carnegie Institution of Washington, sheppard@dtm.ciw.edu
Address: Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 BROAD BRANCH ROAD, WASHINGTON, DC 20015-1305 USA

CoI: Chad Trujillo, Northern Arizona U.
CoI: David Tholen, U. of Hawaii

Title: Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects: Towards a Super-Earth in the Outer Solar System

Abstract: This is the same proposal as submitted by us for CTIO/DECam time, just with a Subaru Justification at the end. Sedna and our discovery, 2012 VP113, are the only objects with perihelia well beyond the Kuiper Belt edge. The strange origin of these objects can only be tested by finding more. Since 2012 we have been performing the largest and deepest survey ever for extreme objects. Our surprising result in 2014 was that the extreme Kuiper Belt objects, Sedna, VP113 and other extreme objects are strangely grouped, which suggests an unobserved distant super-Earth is shepherding them into similar orbits. But the case for a super-Earth is far from secure as the clustering is based on very low number statistics that might have observational biases. A major key to prevent biases is to make sure a survey has uniform coverage. Our survey has mostly been in the South with some Northern observations in 2015. We propose to make our survey more uniform by going more Northernly with DECam using a new technique and Northern observations with Subaru to discover extreme objects and possibly a super-Earth. This will allow us to strongly constrain theories and the super-Earth's orbit if it exists.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017A):  GEM-N/HSC -- 1n on Feb 23 2017


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0394

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