PI: Scott Sheppard, Carnegie Institution of Washington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 Broad Branch Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA
CoI: Michael Person, MIT
CoI: Carlos Zuluaga, MIT
CoI: Amanda Bosh, MIT
Title: Precise Astrometry for Predicting Kuiper Belt Object Occultations
Abstract: Occultations by Kuiper Belt objects remain elusive events, requiring precision astrometry for these faint bodies in the outer solar system. Routine astrometry provides data that are crucial for our KBO ephemeris correction models, which then allow accurate shadow track predictions. Through the occultation events the diameters, possible companions and tenuous atmospheres around these objects will be explored by examining how the light from the star varies as the KBO passes in front of it. This is a powerful way to determine the physical characteristics of the KBOs. We propose to obtain very precise astrometry on 20 of the brightest known KBOs to determine more accurate orbits and thus reliable occultation predictions. We also require telescope time to obtain precise astrometry on possible stars that will be occulted by a KBO in the future.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360