Large Kuiper Belt objects: The mauna kea 8k CCD survey

David Jewitt, Jane Luu, Chadwick Trujillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


We describe a large-area ecliptic survey designed to assess the sky-plane surface density of bright Kuiper Belt objects. We used an 8192 × 8192 pixel CCD mosaic to image 51.5 deg2 to a 50% detection threshold red magnitude mR = 22.5. Thirteen new Kuiper Belt objects were identified in the survey, including some of the brightest and, presumably, largest known examples. We use Monte Carlo models to assess the effects of observational bias in our survey and to examine (1) the size distribution of bright objects in the Kuiper Belt, (2) the possible existence of a cutoff in the size distribution at large radii, (3) the intrinsic ratio of Plutinos to nonresonant ("classical") Kuiper Belt objects, (4) the intrinsic ratio of populations in the 3:2 and 2:1 mean motion resonances, and (5) the radial extent of the Kuiper Belt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2125-2135
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics
  • Kuiper belt objects
  • Minor planets, asteroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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