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The CFEPS Kuiper Belt Survey: Strategy and Pre-survey Results

By SpaceRef Editor
February 17, 2006
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The CFEPS Kuiper Belt Survey: Strategy and Pre-survey Results

Astrophysics, abstract

From: R. Lynne Allen [view email]
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 19:20:53 GMT   (773kb)

The CFEPS Kuiper Belt Survey: Strategy and Pre-survey Results

R. L. Allen,
B. Gladman,
J-M Petit,
P. Rousselot,
O. Moussis,
J. J. Kavelaars,
A. Campo Bagatin,
G. Bernabeu,
P. Benavenidez,
J. Parker,
P. Nicholson,
M. Holman,
A. Doressoundiram,
C. Veillet,
H. Scholl,
G. Mars

Comments: to be submitted to Icarus

We present the data acquisition strategy and characterization procedures for
the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS), a sub-component of the
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey. The survey began in early 2003
and as of summer 2005 has covered 430 square degrees of sky within a few
degrees of the ecliptic. Moving objects beyond the orbit of Uranus are detected
to a magnitude limit of $m_R$=23 — 24 (depending on the image quality). To
track as large a sample as possible and avoid introducing followup bias, we
have developed a multi-epoch observing strategy that is spread over several
years. We present the evolution of the uncertainties in ephemeris position and
orbital elements as the objects progress through the epochs. We then present a
small 10-object sample that was tracked in this manner as part of a preliminary
survey starting a year before the main CFEPS project.

We describe the CFEPS survey simulator, to be released in 2006, which allows
theoretical models of the Kuiper Belt to be compared with the survey
discoveries since CFEPS has a well-documented pointing history with
characterized detection efficiencies as a function of magnitude and rate of
motion on the sky. Using the pre-survey objects we illustrate the usage of the
simulator in modeling the classical Kuiper Belt.

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