DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 8. Kuiper Belt and KBOs II: Surfaces and Correlations
Oral, Chairs: B. Gladman, R. Millis, Tuesday, November 27, 2001, 3:50-5:00pm, Regency GH

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[8.04] Comets and Kuiper Belt Objects

D. Jewitt (University of Hawaii)

We combine new and published data to show that the optical color distributions of 12 cometary nuclei and 28 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are different at a high level of statistical significance (99.97%). The distinctive ultra-red material that is present on the surfaces of many KBOs is absent on the nuclei. Given that the nuclei in our sample are derived from a Kuiper Belt source, the color difference clearly shows that the surfaces of comets are modified on their 10 Myr journey to the inner solar system. We use parallel observations of Centaurs and candidate dead comets to constrain the nature of the modification process.

This work, supported by NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program, has been submitted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~jewitt. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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

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