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R. L. Millis, M. W. Buie, L. H. Wasserman (Lowell Obs.), J. L. Elliot, S. D. Kern, K. Clancy (MIT), R. M. Wagner (LBT Obs.), E. I. Chiang, A. Jordan (UC Berkeley), D. E. Trilling (U. Penn.), K. J. Meech (U. Hawaii)
The Deep Ecliptic Survey is a search for Kuiper Belt Objects and Centaurs being conducted on the 4-meter telescopes at KPNO and CTIO with the MOSAIC cameras. A description of the search methods and initial results, based on the first 69 objects discovered, has been published (Millis et al., Astron. J. 123, 2083-2109, 2002). At this writing (August 1, 2002), 219 KBOs and Centaurs discovered in the survey have received preliminary designations or permanent numbers. Included are three objects that have turned out to be binary (1998 WW31, 2001 QT297, and 2000 CF105); 28978 Ixion, the intrinsically brightest KBO; the extended and near scattered disk objects, 2000 CR105 and 2000 OO67; the dynamically young object, 2000 QB243; and a handful of objects in the 8:5, 7:4, 4:3, 6:5, and 2:1 resonances. Extensive data products from the survey are available to the community on the Lowell Observatory website (http://www.lowell.edu/Research/DES/). The survey images themselves will soon be available in the NOAO archive. In this paper, we will discuss the current status of the survey, address various challenges we are facing, and describe a new automated and objective method for assigning newly discovered objects to one of five dynamical classes. This research is supported in part by NASA and NSF. The NOAO facilities used in the survey are funded by NSF through a contract to AURA.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.