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TNOs are cool: a survey of the transneptunian region

Müller, Thomas G.; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Böhnhardt, Hermann; Stansberry, John; Barucci, Antonella; Crovisier, Jacques; Delsanti, Audrey; Doressoundiram, Alain; Dotto, Elisabetta; Duffard, René; Fornasier, Sonia; Groussin, Olivier; Gutiérrez, Pedro J.; Hainaut, Olivier; Harris, Alan W.; Hartogh, Paul; Hestroffer, Daniel; Horner, Jonathan; Jewitt, Dave; Kidger, Mark; Kiss, Csaba; Lacerda, Pedro; Lara, Luisa; Lim, Tanya; Mueller, Michael; Moreno, Raphael; Ortiz, Jose-Luis; Rengel, Miriam; Santos-Sanz, Pablo; Swinyard, Bruce; Thomas, Nicolas; Thirouin, Audrey and Trilling, David (2009). TNOs are cool: a survey of the transneptunian region. Earth, Moon, and Planets, 105(2-4) pp. 209–219.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11038-009-9307-x
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Abstract

Over one thousand objects have so far been discovered orbiting beyond Neptune. These trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) represent the primitive remnants of the planetesimal disk from which the planets formed and are perhaps analogous to the unseen dust parent-bodies in debris disks observed around other main-sequence stars. The dynamical and physical properties of these bodies provide unique and important constraints on formation and evolution models of the Solar System. While the dynamical architecture in this region (also known as the Kuiper Belt) is becoming relatively clear, the physical properties of the objects are still largely unexplored. In particular, fundamental parameters such as size, albedo, density and thermal properties are difficult to measure. Measurements of thermal emission, which peaks at far-IR wavelengths, offer the best means available to determine the physical properties. While Spitzer has provided some results, notably revealing a large albedo diversity in this population, the increased sensitivity of Herschel and its superior wavelength coverage should permit profound advances in the field. Within our accepted project we propose to perform radiometric measurements of 139 objects, including 25 known multiple systems. When combined with measurements of the dust population beyond Neptune (e.g. from the New Horizons mission to Pluto), our results will provide a benchmark for understanding the Solar debris disk, and extra-solar ones as well.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2009 Springer
ISSN: 0167-9295
Extra Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 16968
Depositing User: Colin Smith
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2009 10:59
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2012 16:29
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/16968
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