Transneptunian Objects And Centaurs
Scientific program: Transneptunian Objects and Centaurs were formed in the Kuiper
Belt, the left-over of the formation disk of our planetary system.
They contain the most pristine material that originates from
about 4.6 billion years ago and that we can observe today.
However, just a very vague picture exists on their physical
properties and their evolution over the age of the solar system.
- This proposal will address the key questions on the nature of
TNOs and Centaurs:
- Which taxonomic types exist among TNOs and among Centaurs?
- What are the development tracks of the taxonomic types and
how do they relate to the orbit evolution of the objects?
- What is the surface chemistry the objects, are their
differences among the objects and how do they correlated
with the taxonomic type classification?
- Which objects display the primordial chemistry of the Kuiper
Belt region, which don't?
- Are there colour and spectral diversities and thus
non-uniformities in the surface material of a single object?
- Is coma activity possible in TNOs?
- What is the albedo and the size distribution of the objects?
The answers will be obtained from observations (visible and
near-IR photometry and spectroscopy) of a large, statistically
significant sample of TNOs and Centaurs.
Duration: 2 years
Time allocated for P67: 12h NTT SUSI2
42h UT1 FORS1
56h UT1 ISAAC
Object list for P67:
visible photometry: 1993FW1, 1993SB, 1994JQ1, 1994JR1, 1995QY9, 1996GQ21,
1996RR20, 1996SZ4, 1996TK66, 1997QH4, 1997QJ4,
1997RT5, 1998BU48, 1998KG62, 1998KR65, 1998QM107,
1998SM165, 1998WV31, 1998WW24, 1999DE9, 1999DF9,
1999HC12, 1999HW11, 1999HX11, 1999KR16, 1999OM4,
1999OY3, 1999RB216, 1999RD215, 1999RE215, 1999RJ215,
1999RY215, 1999RZ215, 2000CL104, 2000EB173,
visible spectroscopy: 1994EV3, 1996GQ21, 1998SG35, 1998SN165, 1999KR16,
IR photometry: 1994TB, 1995QY9, 1996GQ21, 1998BU48, 1998VG44,
1999DE9, 1999KR16, 2000EB173
IR spectroscopy: 1996GQ21, 1998SN165, 1999TC36, 2000EB173
Project status: project starts with period 67 (April 2001)