The Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 test of surfaces in the outer solar system: spectral variation on Kuiper belt objects

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/804/1/31
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
ISSN1538-4357
Volume804
Issue1
Pages# of pages: 11
SubjectKuiper belt: general; planets and satellites: composition; techniques: photometric
AbstractHere, we present additional photometry of targets observed as part of the Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) Test of Surfaces in the Outer Solar System. Twelve targets were re-observed with the WFC3 in the optical and NIR wavebands designed to complement those used during the first visit. Additionally, all of the observations originally presented by Fraser and Brown were reanalyzed through the same updated photometry pipeline. A re-analysis of the optical and NIR color distribution reveals a bifurcated optical color distribution and only two identifiable spectral classes, each of which occupies a broad range of colors and has correlated optical and NIR colors, in agreement with our previous findings. We report the detection of significant spectral variations on five targets which cannot be attributed to photometry errors, cosmic rays, point-spread function or sensitivity variations, or other image artifacts capable of explaining the magnitude of the variation. The spectrally variable objects are found to have a broad range of dynamical classes and absolute magnitudes, exhibit a broad range of apparent magnitude variations, and are found in both compositional classes. The spectrally variable objects with sufficiently accurate colors for spectral classification maintain their membership, belonging to the same class at both epochs. 2005 TV189 exhibits a sufficiently broad difference in color at the two epochs that span the full range of colors of the neutral class. This strongly argues that the neutral class is one single class with a broad range of colors, rather than the combination of multiple overlapping classes.
Publication date
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23001684
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Record identifiere668e1e0-622c-4642-8f48-1bef4e74d879
Record created2017-03-17
Record modified2017-03-30
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