37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 52 TNOs and Centaurs
Oral, Thursday, September 8, 2005, 2:00-3:50pm, Law LG19

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[52.11] Near Infrared Spectroscopy of Icy Planetoids

K. M. Barkume, M. E. Brown, E. L. Schaller (Caltech)

In the last four years a population of rare, large Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) has been discovered. These KBOs have diameters 500-1000+ km, and unlike their smaller counterparts, have enough accretional and radiogenic heat to substantially alter their primordial composition. These icy planetoids have likely lost many of their volatiles and are more similar to Pluto, Charon, or the icy satellites of the giant planets than to comet nuclei. These poorly understood objects provide a probe into the chemical, geophysical, and accretional history of the outer solar system. We have undertaken a comprehensive program designed to characterize the physical and chemical state of icy planetoids in the Kuiper Belt. We present near-infrared reflectance spectra of several objects taken with the Keck Telescope. We quantify the amount of water, methane and other volatile species present on the surface of these objects.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: barkume@caltech.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.