DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 51P. Kuiper Belt
Contributed Poster Session, Thursday, October 15, 1998, 5:00-6:30pm, Hall of Ideas

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[51P.09] The Spacewatch Survey for Bright Kuiper Belt Objects

J. A. Larsen (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona)

The Spacewatch 1.8 meter and 0.9 meter telescopes will contribute to the study of KBOs by searching for the rarest and brightest members of the population. These objects are the best suited for detailed physical observations that will give important insights into the formation of planetary systems via their sizes, surface composition, and dynamical characteristics.

We present the results of an expanded test program to survey for bright KBOs using archival 0.9 meter scans.

In addition, a new version of our real-time asteroid detection software, IMPACT (Image Motion Program for Asteroids, Comets and Trans-Neptunians), has been developed by the author which will be sensitive to the small motions of distant objects. With this program it will be possible to alert observers to possible distant asteroids in real-time at the telescope. Follow up for the very bright KBOs can follow on the next night as with any asteroid discovery. We outline our technique and its efficiency.

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