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Classifying TNO Surfaces using g-, r-, and z-band Photometry

Presentation #413.02 in the session Physical Properties of Centaurs & KBOs (iPosters).

Published onOct 20, 2022
Classifying TNO Surfaces using g-, r-, and z-band Photometry

The surface colors of Trans Neptunian Objects (TNOs) obtained from observations of their surface reflectivity in the optical and near-infrared can give insight into their formation and orbital histories. Using observations from the f/4 Inamori-Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph (IMACS) on the Magellan-Baade Telescope, we have measured g, r, and z-band photometry of 45 plutino and 33 non-plutino TNOs. Photometry was completed using the Python based Trailed Source Photometry (TRIPPy) package developed by W. Fraser et al. (2016), supplemented by image sequencing (e.g rgzzzgr) to account for rotation effects. The TNOs in this sample were discovered by the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS), the Alexandersen 2016 (A16) survey, the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS), and the Large Inclination Distant Objects (LiDO) survey. We use color measurements (g-r and r-z) to produce a color-color plot, and search for apparent groupings. A similar work, the Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (Col-Ossos), measured g-r, r-z, and r-J colors of TNOs, and discovered two different statistically significant color groups (Bright-IR and Faint-IR). It is well supported that the cold classical objects in the Kuiper belt are most likely the only TNOs to have formed in situ, where objects with dynamically excited orbits, including resonant TNOs, were likely emplaced as a result of giant planet migration. Since surface color is an analog to surface composition, TNOs with similar colors are thought to have a similar surface composition. In comparing the surface colors/compositions of objects in different dynamical classes in our sample, we will be able to infer whether objects in different dynamical classes shared similar formation and orbital histories.

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