Recent Research

Optical-Infrared Colors of Kuiper Belt Objects
Our previous measurements show a wide range of optical colors among the KBOs. Does this spectral diversity extend to other wavelengths and, if so, what can we learn about KBOs from it?

We have taken broadband JHK photometry from the Keck telescope together with broadband BVRI photometry from the UH 2.2-m telescope to search for optical-IR spectral diversity among the Kuiper Belt Objects. We again find a wide range of spectral types.

Keck Near IR Spectrum of 1996 TL66
What can we learn from true optical-IR spectra?

We have taken optical and infrared spectra of 1996 TL66 using the Keck and MMT telescopes.

Large Kuiper Belt Objects
We conducted a wide-field survey using the UH 8k CCD. Results of this 50 sq. degree survey include the discovery of the Scattered KBO class (exemplified by 1996 TL66), observational constraints on the size distribution, radial extent and maximum size of the KBO distribution, plus a set of objects bright enough to permit meaningful physical measurements.

Heat from a Centaur
With this in mind, we measured heat from 1997 CU26 and used it to estimate the albedo and size of this Centaur.

Comet Nucleus Rotation
I reviewed cometary rotation for the Hale-Bopp Conference in Tenerife, February 1998.

Keck Survey of Faint Kuiper Belt Objects
We used the Keck 10 meter telescope to conduct an imaging survey that reaches below magnitude 26.

Dust in Comet Hale-Bopp
How much mass was ejected from Comet Hale-Bopp? Read all about large dust particles observed with the JCMT.

Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science
Can you summarize what we know about the Kuiper Belt in less than 30 pages? Well, here's my attempt, for the 1999 Annual Reviews of Earth & Planetary Sciences.

Protostars and Planets IV Review
Can you do it again using completely different words? PPIV Protostars and Planets IV.

ESO Workshop Review of Kuiper Belt Science
Tired of those painfully long reviews? How about a review as short as I can make it without losing important issues? This one is for the 1998 November ESO workshop in Garching, Germany.

The Number of Scattered Kuiper Belt Objects
How many Scattered KBOs are there? Based on TL66, we guessed about 6000 SKBOs larger than 500 km even in 1997. With more SKBOs recently discovered in our large-format CFHT survey, we reach a better estimate of the population.

Water in Centaur 2060 Chiron
We detected water in the reflection spectrum of 2060 CHIRON .

Jupiter's Trojan Asteroids
What is the size distribution and number of Jovian Trojan asteroids? These bodies have been known for about a century but have not received much observational attention. In truth, they are potentially very interesting because they may consist of Jupiter family planetoids that have been trapped at 5 AU since formation. They could be as ice rich as comets. They could even be comets. Here are results from a serendipitous CCD survey.

Solar Polar Rays
Solar polar rays have been known for a long time but it turns out that they are neither polar nor rays. New observations using SOHO data show that the polar rays are high altitude plasma above extended active regions (near the solar equator, not the poles). They are seen only in projection. Once you get your brain around the geometry, it's obvious. These features have implications for study of the true polar coronal holes because they cover them up near solar maximum.

Bright Centaur Survey
We undertook a survey for bright Centaurs and Kuiper Belt Objects using a modified Baker-Nunn Camera in Australia. Our paper discusses the luminosity function of the Centaurs and makes predictions for the total number of such objects awaiting discovery (hint: it's a lot).

Last updated February 2001

Kuiper Belt

Last Update January 2001