Population of the scattered Kuiper Belt

Chadwick A. Trujillo, David C. Jewitt, Jane X. Luu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the discovery of three new scattered Kuiper Belt objects (SKBOs) from a wide-field survey of the ecliptic. This continuing survey has to date covered 20.2 deg2 to a limiting red magnitude of 23.6. We combine the data from this new survey with an existing survey conducted at the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope to constrain the number and mass of the SKBOs. The SKBOs are characterized by large eccentricities, perihelia near 35 AU, and semimajor axes greater than 50 AU. Using a maximum likelihood model, we estimate the total number of SKBOs larger than 100 km in diameter to be N = (3.1+1.9-1.3) × 104 (1 σ errors) and the total mass of SKBOs to be M ∼ 0.05 M, demonstrating that the SKBOs are similar in number and mass to the Kuiper Belt inside 50 AU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L103-L106
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume529
Issue number2 PART 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Comets: general
  • Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud
  • Solar system: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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