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Outer solar system objects in the Dark Energy Survey

Presentation #202.03D in the session “Outer Solar System Surveys”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Outer solar system objects in the Dark Energy Survey

I present the results of a search for outer Solar System objects in the full six years of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). DES imaged an area of 5000deg2 in the southern sky with 80,000 exposures in the grizY bands between 2013-2019 with a cadence that avoided repeated same-night observations of a given region of the sky. I briefly describe this search, overviewing the steps between the DES images and the final object catalog, going from the identification of single-night transients in the DES catalogs, linking of detections into orbits across multiple nights and confirmation of objects via stacking of images where there is no detection of the object but the orbit indicates its presence. This search yielded 817 objects, 815 of these being trans-Neptunian objects, one Centaur and one Oort Cloud comet (C/2014 UN271 Bernardinelli-Bernstein), with a r band magnitude of 50% completeness equal to 23.8 and virtually no dependence on colors, orbital elements and light curves for objects at distances > 29 au inside the DES footprint. I present the final catalog of 817 objects and the publicly available software for simulating the DES discovery process, and discuss the statistical properties of these objects by comparing them to models of the TNO population: the DES classical population is inconsistent with the CFEPS-L7 model, the extreme trans-Neptunian objects do not present the clustering demanded by the Planet 9 hypothesis and the population of detached TNOs near high-order mean-motion resonances presents a strong assymetry towards semi-major axes lower than the nominal resonance location. I conclude by briefly describing the properties of C/2014 UN271 as seen by DES.

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