AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 108 LSST
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[108.22] Mapping the Solar System with LSST

Z. Ivezic (University of Washington), M. Juric, R. Lupton (Princeton University), A. Connolly, J. Kubica, A. Moore (University of Pittsburgh), A. Harris (STScI), T. Bowell (Lowell Observatoy), G. Bernstein (University of Pennsylvania), C. Stubbs (Harvard University), LSST Collaboration

The currently considered LSST cadence, based on two 10 sec exposures, may result in orbital parameters, light curves and accurate colors for over a million main-belt asteroids (MBA), and about 20,000 trans-Neptunian objects (TNO). Compared to the current state-of-the-art, this sample would represent a factor of 5 increase in the number of MBAs with known orbits, a factor of 20 increase in the number of MBAs with known orbits and accurate color measurements, and a factor of 100 increase in the number of MBAs with measured variability properties. The corresponding sample increase for TNOs is 10, 100, and 1000, respectively. The LSST MBA and TNO samples will enable detailed studies of the dynamical and chemical history of the solar system. For example, they will constrain the MBA size distribution for objects larger than 100 m, and TNO size distribution for objects larger than 100 km, their physical state through variability measurements (solid body vs. a rubble pile), as well as their surface chemistry through color measurements. A proposed deep TNO survey, based on 1 hour exposures, may result in a sample of about 100,000 TNOs, while spending only 10% of the LSST observing time. Such a deep TNO survey would be capable of discovering Sedna-like objects at distances beyond 150 AU, thereby increasing the observable Solar System volume by about a factor of 7. The increase in data volume associated with LSST asteroid science will present many computational challenges to how we might extract tracks and orbits of asteroids from the underlying clutter. Tree-based algorithms for multihypothesis testing of asteroid tracks can help solve these challenges by providing the necessary 1000-fold speed-ups over current approaches while recovering 95% of the underlying asteroid populations.

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

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