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Properties of the Distant Kuiper Belt: Results from the Palomar Distant Solar System Survey

By Megan E. Schwamb, Michael E. Brown, David L. Rabinowitz and Darin Ragozzine

Abstract

Wepresenttheresultsofawide-fieldsurveyusingthe1.2-mSamuelOschinTelescope at Palomar Observatory. This survey was designed to find the most distant members of the Kuiper belt and beyond. We searched ∼12,000 deg 2 down to a mean limiting magnitude of 21.3 in R. A total number of 52 KBOs and Centaurs have been detected, 25 of which were discovered in this survey. Except for the re-detection of Sedna, no additional Sedna-like bodies with perihelia greater than 45 AU were detected despite sensitivity out to distances of 1000 AU. We discuss the implications for a distant Sednalike population beyond the Kuiper belt, focusing on the constraints we can place on the embedded stellar cluster environment the early Sun may be have been born in, where the location and distribution of Sedna-like orbits sculpted by multiple stellar encounters is indicative of the birth cluster size. We also report our observed latitude distributio

Year: 1007
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