"TNOs are Cool": A survey of the trans-Neptunian region: I. Results from the Herschel science demonstration phase (SDP)

T. G. Müller, E. Lellouch, J. Stansberry, C. Kiss, P. Santos-Sanz, E. Vilenius, S. Protopapa, R. Moreno, M. Mueller, A. Delsanti, R. Duffard, S. Fornasier, O. Groussin, A. W. Harris, F. Henry, J. Horner, P. Lacerda, T. Lim, M. Mommert, J. L. OrtizM. Rengel, A. Thirouin, D. Trilling, A. Barucci, J. Crovisier, A. Doressoundiram, E. Dotto, P. J. Gutiérrez, O. R. Hainaut, P. Hartogh, D. Hestroffer, M. Kidger, L. Lara, B. Swinyard, N. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The goal of the Herschel open time key programme "TNOs are Cool!" is to derive the physical and thermal properties for a large sample of Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), including resonant, classical, detached and scattered disk objects. We present results for seven targets either observed in PACS point-source, or in mini scan-map mode. Spitzer-MIPS observations were included for three objects. The sizes of these targets range from 100 km to almost 1000 km, five have low geometric albedos below 10%, (145480) 2005 TB 190 has a higher albedo above 15%. Classical thermal models driven by an intermediate beaming factor of η = 1.2 or η-values adjusted to the observed colour temperature fit the multi-band observations well in most cases. More sophisticated thermophysical models give very similar diameter and albedo values for thermal inertias in the range 0-25 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1, consistent with very low heat conductivities at temperatures far away from the Sun. The early experience with observing and model strategies will allow us to derive physical and thermal properties for our complete Herschel TNO sample of 140 targets as a benchmark for understanding the solar system debris disk, and extra-solar ones as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL146
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 16 2010


  • Infrared: planetary systems
  • Instrumentation: photometers
  • Kuiper belt: general
  • Methods: observational
  • Techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of '"TNOs are Cool": A survey of the trans-Neptunian region: I. Results from the Herschel science demonstration phase (SDP)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this