Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Search for the TNOs in JWST public archive

Presentation #219.04 in the session TNO (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Search for the TNOs in JWST public archive

We intend to characterize the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations as an infrared TNO survey, extending their size distribution. Unlike optical surveys, infrared observations of TNOs offer a more direct estimate of their size, independent of albedo. This will let us constrain the size distribution of small TNOs. We searched in the JWST public archive, selecting sets of at least 4 observations with suitable exposure time, cadence, filters. First, we selected all the observations within ±10 degrees of the ecliptic. Since this is the region where most of the TNOs are found. The JWST data processing is done at multiple levels. For our purpose we worked with level 2 images which are flux calibrated and contain individual dithered images per filter. We acquired JWST public archive data from Jan-Mar 2023 corresponding to 7 proposals. Suitable fields were selected based on earlier criteria and segregated for each proposal data we selected. Then we searched for moving objects within those field images by techniques such as shifting and coadding them, subtracting mean from median etc and we didn’t find any moving objects. Then, we characterize this survey by computing each search field’s limiting magnitude based on each image’s background and point spread function. Our cycle 1 public survey yielded a total area of 0.025 square degrees surveyed. Combining this with the luminosity function of TNOs, and a typical spectrum, roughly translates to around 1-2 objects expected to be found. In the coming months when whole cycle 1 data will be available, our work will be able to set lower limits in size of TNOs, field images might contain even before searching for them. We will target ‘exclusive access’ images from proprietary data as they become public.

No comments here