Astrometry and Occultation predictions to Trans-Neptunian and Centaur Objects observed within the Dark Energy Survey

Kavli Affiliate: Alex Drlica Wagner

| First 5 Authors: Martin Banda-Huarca, Julio Camargo, Josselin Desmars, Ricardo Ogando, Roberto Vieira-Martins

| Summary:

Transneptunian objects (TNOs) are a source of invaluable information to
access the history and evolution of the outer solar system. However, observing
these faint objects is a difficult task. As a consequence, important properties
such as size and albedo are known for only a small fraction of them. Now, with
the results from deep sky surveys and the Gaia space mission, a new exciting
era is within reach as accurate predictions of stellar occultations by numerous
distant small solar system bodies become available. From them, diameters with
kilometer accuracies can be determined. Albedos, in turn, can be obtained from
diameters and absolute magnitudes. We use observations from the Dark Energy
Survey (DES) from November 2012 until February 2016, amounting to 4292847 CCD
frames. We searched them for all known small solar system bodies and recovered
a total of 202 TNOs and Centaurs, 63 of which have been discovered by the DES
collaboration until the date of this writing. Their positions were determined
using the Gaia Data Release 2 as reference and their orbits were refined.
Stellar occultations were then predicted using these refined orbits plus
stellar positions from Gaia. These predictions are maintained, and updated, in
a dedicated web service. The techniques developed here are also part of an
ambitious preparation to use the data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
(LSST), that expects to obtain accurate positions and multifilter photometry
for tens of thousands of TNOs.

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