36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 3 Kuiper Belt I: Observations
Oral, Monday, November 8, 2004, 10:30am-12:noon, Clark

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[3.09] The Kuiper Belt size distribution constrained by Stellar Occultations

F. Roques, A. Doressoundiram (Observatoire de Paris, France), V. Dhillon (University of Sheffield, UK), T. Marsh (University of Warwick UK), JJ Kavellars, S. Bickerton (National Research council, Victoria, Ca), N. Peixinho (Observatoire de Paris, France), A. Fitzsimmons (Queens University Belfast Northern, Ireland), F. Colas, J. Lecacheux, S. Pau (Observatoire de Paris, France), I. Belskaya (Kharkiv university Ukraine), O. Mousis (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Simultaneous observations of target stars in the ecliptic have been performed at the Pic du Midi Observatory in december 2003 with the 2-m TBL and the T1M telescopes with multi-objects photometers in order to search for small Kuiper Belt Objects by stellar occultations. 9 hours of good S/N data have been obtained.

Observations have also been performed in april 2004 with the 4-m William Hershel Telescope in Canarias with the ultra-fast, triple beam camera Ultracam. The flux of two stars have been recorded with a time frequency of 40 Hz in three wavelengths, 3500 A, 4700A and 7700 A. The comparison of the simultaneous ligthcurves of the two stars, separated by a few arcseconds, allow discrimination of false events. The target stars have been chosen to optimize the brightness/apparent size ratio. The stars radii, projected at 40 AU, are less than 100 meters. Then, the occultation is a diffracting phenomenon whose spectral signature can be tested. These observations bring strong constraints on the low end of the size distribution of the Kuiper Belt objects, 100 meters to 1 km. The results and the events are presented and analyzed.

This work was supported by the Programme National de Planetologie

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: francoise.roques@obspm.fr

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.