PI: David E. Trilling, University of Arizona, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
CoI: Marc W. Buie, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Richard A. Crudo, University of Arizona
Title: Photometric calibration of the Deep Ecliptic Survey
Abstract: We propose to continue using the CTIO 0.9-m (or 1.0-m) telescope in our program of photometrically calibrating the Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES), a large survey for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). The DES has discovered ~47% of all presently known KBOs (499 out of 1056). DES KBO magnitudes are derived from USNO catalogs that provide only rudimentary calibration (formally good to 0.25 mag, often much worse), which limit scientific analysis of the DES results. This program will provide ~10% photometric accuracy for all DES KBOs, a level that requires a dedicated program. The proposed time is complementary to our ongoing DES photometric calibration programs at UA and Lowell telescopes; at CTIO, we will observe the most southerly DES fields, which are difficult to observe from Arizona. With high precision photometry in hand, the accretional and erosional histories of the Kuiper Belt and its subpopulations can be more certainly constrained, revealing the evolution of the outer Solar System. A significant fraction of the remaining DES search fields in the RA range 12-18 hours can be calibrated with five nights (or equivalent) of CTIO 0.9-m (or 1.0- m) observing time. UA undergraduate Richard Crudo plays an important role in the planning, observing (in Arizona), and data reduction for this program. The flexibility of our program makes it ideal for service observing, and our program can be carried out either as contiguous nights, or interleaved over many nights. We were awarded five nights for this program in 2005B; all five nights were lost to clouds and poor (non-photometric) conditions.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360