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

By R. L. Allen, B. Gladman, J-m. Petit, P. Rousselot, O. Mousis, J. J. Kavelaars, A. Campo Bagatin, G. Bernabeu, P. Benavidez, J. Parker, P. Nicholson, M. Holman, C. Veillet, H. Scholl and G. Mars

Abstract

Received; accepted – 2 – 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 mR=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. 1Based on observations obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) whic

Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.317.1458
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