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The sizes and albedos of Centaurs 2014 YY49, (342842) 2008 YB₃, and 2013 NL24 from stellar occultation

Presentation #203.05 in the session “Centaurs and Kuiper Belt Objects: Physical Characterization”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
The sizes and albedos of Centaurs 2014 YY49, (342842) 2008 YB₃, and 2013 NL24 from stellar occultation

Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are among our primitive neighbors. Their characterization can provide invaluable clues to understanding the formation and evolution of the early Solar System. Equally interesting to study are Centaurs, a transient population of dynamically unstable objects with orbits between those of the Jupiter and Neptune, understood to consist primarily of objects transitioning between TNOs and Jupiter family comets. Stellar occultation remains one of the most powerful techniques by which to obtain ground-truth measurements of the size and shape of TNOs and Centaurs. In the year 2019, stellar occultation measurements for three Centaurs were obtained by the Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network (RECON), a citizen science telescope network designed to observe high-uncertainty occultations by these distant bodies. The objects measured, 2014 YY49, (342842) 2008 YB3, and 2013 NL24, are among the smallest objects in the outer Solar System measured by occultation.

We present the methods and results of these three occultation efforts. We discuss the predictions, observations, and profile modeling techniques for the three centaurs. We will present the results of the modeling and the derived sizes and geometric albedos for each object, and for the brightest of these objects, 2008 YB3, we compare the occultation result with existing radiometric size estimates.

Funding for RECON was provided by grants from NSF AST-1413287, AST-1413072, AST-1848621, and AST-1212159

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