A Pencil-Beam Search for Distant TNOs at the ESO NTT View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:Chapter     


Chapter Info

DATE

2000

AUTHORS

Hermann Boehnhardt , Olivier Hainaut , Catherine Delahodde , Richard West , Karen Meech , Brian Marsden

ABSTRACT

.We used the image data set obtained during our NTT/EMMI observing campaign of the TNO 1996 TO66 at ESO La Silla (see our paper presented during this workshop) to start a pencil-beam search for very distant TNOs. During our 5 observing nights the exposures of the foreground TNO were centred at the same target position on the sky (apart from a small amplitude jittering). For the sampling of the lightcurve of 1996 TO66 a long series of R filter exposures was taken during 4 of the 5 nights. The individual R filter exposures of 15 min each reach a limiting brightness of about 24.5 mag, the aligned (using the background stars) and coadded R images of a single night go down to 26 mag. By blinking individual and coadded images a pencil-beam segment of 8.5 x 8.5 arcmin could be searched for unknown solar system objects (several main belt asteroids were easily recognized). The blinking of the individual frames should have allowed us to identify TNOs with a typical diameter of 100 km at about 50 AU solar distance; the same procedure applied to the co-added images should allow to find objects of the same size at about 80 AU or 400km bodies at 150 AU distance. This simple pencil-beam search in our narrow EMMI field of view was not successful, i.e. no distant TNO was found. According to Jewitt, Luu and Chen’s model assumption (Astron. J., 112, 1225-1238, 1996), one would expect about 0.2 TNOs in such a field, so our negative detection is not a surprise. However, refined search techniques are under development and, furthermore, the use of the 0.5 deg Wide Field Imager at the 2.2m telescope in La Silla will greatly improve the statistical significance of such deep search programmes. More... »

PAGES

117-123

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/10651968_15

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/10651968_15

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1012984495


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