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Constraining the shape distribution of TNOs with DEEP

Presentation #501.03 in the session Objects on the Edge (of our Solar System).

Published onOct 20, 2022
Constraining the shape distribution of TNOs with DEEP

The DECam Ecliptic Exploration Project (DEEP) is a wide-field survey of the outer solar system, covering more than 120 square degrees of sky and achieving a single-exposure depth of R~24, and with digital tracking techniques, a maximum depth fainter than R~26.5. Each epoch of DEEP observing provides a series of 100 two-minute images of each DEEP field.

We present the methods and results from the first year of DEEP single-exposure TNO discoveries. The primary result from the first year of single exposure detections are fast-cadence lightcurves with a four-hour photometric baseline for ~30 new TNOs, a significant supplement to the existing set of TNO lightcurves in the literature. We discuss methods by which these transient sources are identified, vetted, and processed within the images. We will present implications of some of the most interesting and high-amplitude individual rotational lightcurves, as well as the constraints on the overall TNO shape distribution provided by our set of partial lightcurves, which are consistent with a high incidence of very elongated objects. This work is supported by grants from both NASA and NSF.

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