Optical spectroscopy of the large kuiper belt objects 136472 (2005 FY9) and 136108 (2003 EL61)

S. C. Tegler, W. M. Grundy, W. Romanishin, G. J. Consolmagno, K. Mogren, F. Vilas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We present high signal precision optical reflectance spectra of the large Kuiper Belt objects 2005 FY9 and 2003 EL61. The spectrum of 2005 FY9 exhibits strong CH4 ice bands. A comparison between the spectrum and a Hapke model indicates that the CH4 bands are shifted 3.25 ± 2.25 Å relative to pure CH4 ice, suggesting the presence of another ice component on the surface of 2005 FY9, possibly N2 ice, CO ice, or Ar. The spectrum of 2003 EL61 is remarkably featureless. There is a hint of an O2 ice band at 5773 Å; however, this feature needs to be confirmed by future spectroscopic observations of 2003 EL61 with a higher continuum signal precision sufficient to detect a second, weaker O2 ice band at 6275 Å.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-530
Number of pages5
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Kuiper belt
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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