Chad Trujillo, David Jewitt, and Jane Luu

Astrophysical Journal Letters (2000), 529, L103

We present the discovery of three new scattered Kuiper Belt objects (SKBOs) from a wide-field survey of the ecliptic. This continuing survey has to date covered 20.2 sq. deg. to a limiting red magnitude of 23.6. We combine the data from this new survey with an existing survey conducted at the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope to constrain the number and mass of the SKBOs. The SKBOs are characterized by large eccentricities, perihelia near 35 AU, and semimajor axes greater than 50 AU. Using a maximum likelihood model, we estimate the total number of SKBOs larger than 100 km in diameter to be N = 3.1 (+1.9/-1.3)) x 10^4 and the total mass of SKBOs to be ~0.05 Me, demonstrating that the SKBOs are similar in number and mass to the Kuiper Belt inside 50 AU.

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Last updated February 2000

Kuiper Belt