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AR 17573 (Archival Research)

Sun Jul 14 21:18:07 GMT 2024

Principal Investigator: Anatasia Morgan
PI Institution: Northern Arizona University
Investigators (xml)

Title: An archival search for faint Trans-Neptunian Objects
Cycle: 31

Abstract
Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are a diverse population of small icy bodies that orbit the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune, in the outer reaches of the Solar System. These objects are thought to be remnants from the early stages of the Solar System's development and hold valuable clues about its history and ongoing evolution. The distribution of physical properties of TNOs - colors, orbits, binarity - provide clues to understanding the history of the outer Solar System. We propose to search archival WFC3 and ACS data generated since 2009 to discover ~150 TNOs with equivalent V magnitude of at least 27. These objects will be at all ecliptic latitudes. Our measurement of the size distribution of the excited TNO population will provide strong constraints on the dynamical evolution of the outer Solar System.