NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0393

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Program Information for 2018A-0393


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

Title: Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects: Towards a Massive Planet in the Outer Solar System

Abstract: 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 Sedna, VP113 and other extreme objects are strangely grouped, which suggests an unobserved distant super-Earth to Neptune mass planet is shepherding them into similar orbits. But the case for a massive planet 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 starting in 2015. We propose to make our survey more uniform by filling in more longitude areas and going more Northernly with DECam using two new survey techniques This will allow us to strongly constrain theories about the Extreme Objects and the planet's orbit if it exists.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2018A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 3n on Apr 11 - Apr 12 2018, May 08 - May 11 2018


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 >   2018A-0393

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