DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 39. KBO and Centaurs II
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[39.09] HST/ACS limits on a distant Kuiper belt

M. J. Holman (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), R. L. Allen (UBC), G. M. Bernstein (U. Penn.), M. E. Brown (Caltech), R. Malhotra (U. Arizona), D. E. Trilling (U. Penn.)

Our HST/ACS search of 0.02 square degrees of the Invariable Plane for distant solar system objects failed to detect any objects farther than 42 AU, despite being sensitive to bodies as faint as 29.2 mag and apparent rates of motion corresponding to distances of hundreds of AU. This lack of detections of distant Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) places significant constraints on the population and mass of a distant, outer Kuiper Belt. Such a belt must be much less massive than the ``Classical'' Kuiper belt, have most of its mass in bodies with diameters D < 40 km, or more be dispersed in inclinations.

This project is supported by STScI grants HST-GO-09433.05A and HST-GO-9433.06A.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.