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Any definitive KBO for NH, yet?
SigurRosFan
post Feb 28 2006, 06:38 PM
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Is any definitive KBO selected for New Horizons, yet?


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elakdawalla
post Feb 28 2006, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE (SigurRosFan @ Feb 28 2006, 10:38 AM) *
Is any definitive KBO selected for New Horizons, yet?
Alan Stern or John Spencer may correct or expand on this, but here's how I answered that question for the February 6 Planetary Radio: "Once New Horizons passes Pluto, it will have only a very limited ability to change its course, which means that it can only study Kuiper belt objects that happen to lie within a roughly one-degree cone around its path. Unfortunately, none of the more famous Kuiper belt objects, including 2003 UB313, Quaoar, Chaos, Ixion, or Varuna, will lie within that cone. The mission planners do want to visit a reasonably large object, bigger than 50 kilometers in diameter, and hope to find one that has a different color from Pluto so may represent a different kind of evolutionary history. But no Kuiper belt object has yet been identified that fits the mission's criteria.
There are several excellent reasons for the New Horizons planners to delay their choice of Kuiper belt targets. First of all, which bodies would be in reach of New Horizons depended to a great extent on the spacecraft's launch date. But the most important reason is that the Kuiper belt objects that New Horizons will study have very likely not been discovered yet. Only about a thousand of them are now recognized and tracked. In fact, very few are known to lie in orbits near New Horizons' path, because New Horizons happens to be headed toward the galactic center. Astronomers have avoided searching for objects there because the density of the star field in that part of the sky makes it challenging to find them. But several new observatories and experiments are being developed that will multiply number of known objects by a factor of ten or more by the time New Horizons arrives at Pluto. For example, the Pan-STARRS observatory under construction by the University of Hawaii is a wide-field imager that will come online in 2009. It is estimated that Pan-STARRS could discover twenty thousand Kuiper belt objects over its operational lifetime, giving New Horizons lots of options."

In other words, I expect it'll be a while smile.gif

--Emily


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SigurRosFan
post Feb 28 2006, 07:23 PM
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Thanks Emily.


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alan
post Feb 28 2006, 07:24 PM
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Actually there is a plan to search for KBO's wich Hew Horizons may fly by. Most of them would be quite small and faint, fainter than Panstarrs is planned to go, and the background includes the Milky Way. I believe there is a link to the paper describing the search options in the New Horizons thread.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Feb 28 2006, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE (alan @ Feb 28 2006, 07:24 PM) *
Actually there is a plan to search for KBO's wich Hew Horizons may fly by. Most of them would be quite small and faint, fainter than Panstarrs is planned to go, and the background includes the Milky Way. I believe there is a link to the paper describing the search options in the New Horizons thread.

I think I referenced in another thread* John Spencer's pre-launch paper on this topic. One may also wish to check out John Spencer's pre-launch web page on this subject. I don't know how dated this info is but it is informative.

*EDIT: Here's the post I was referring to. I think the preprint of the Earth, Moons, and Planets paper is on the web site above.
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elakdawalla
post Feb 28 2006, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Feb 28 2006, 11:34 AM) *
I think I referenced in another thread* John Spencer's pre-launch paper on this topic. One may also wish to check out John Spencer's pre-launch web page on this subject. I don't know how dated this info is but it is informative.

Alex, I think Doug should change your UMSF title from "Member" to "Reference Librarian." smile.gif Thanks for the link (again).

--Emily


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Feb 28 2006, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 28 2006, 08:06 PM) *
Alex, I think Doug should change your UMSF title from "Member" to "Reference Librarian." smile.gif Thanks for the link (again).

You're very welcome, Emily.

And, believe it or not, in a galaxy far, far away, Doug once had me listed as a co-administrator blink.gif
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SigurRosFan
post Feb 28 2006, 08:41 PM
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Interesting paper. Thanks.


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SigurRosFan
post Feb 28 2006, 09:09 PM
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Only 500.000 KBOs are bigger than 40 kilometers? huh.gif


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Feb 28 2006, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (SigurRosFan @ Feb 28 2006, 08:41 PM) *
Interesting paper. Thanks.

That paper was published in a special issue of Earth, Moon, and Planets (Volume 92, Numbers 1-4, June 2003) entitled "The First Decadal Review of the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt."

Indeed, at one point, I believe Springer was offering free online access to the entire issue.
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hendric
post Feb 28 2006, 09:54 PM
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What about that Centaur Alan mentioned as a far encounter? Any word on which one that will be? I assume Alan would prefer to save the extra fuel from the launch correctional manuevers on KBOs instead of trying to get closer to this Centaur?


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helvick
post Feb 28 2006, 10:03 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Feb 28 2006, 08:17 PM) *
You're very welcome, Emily.

And, believe it or not, in a galaxy far, far away, Doug once had me listed as a co-administrator blink.gif


That was fast Doug smile.gif :

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djellison
post Feb 28 2006, 10:42 PM
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smile.gif

Alex deserves it. Totally OT for this thread, but what the hell - when I first set up the old forum, I put Alex in as a co-admin as a matter of backup incase I got run over, or worse (knowing he had experience with his Yahoo group) - then when I sorted out a few proper admins a few months ago, I forgot to carry Alex over smile.gif

Doug
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john_s
post Mar 1 2006, 02:50 PM
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In fact we have already conducted a preliminary search with the Subaru telescope in Hawaii, and are currently sifting through the 100s of Gbytes of data to find any particularly bright KBOs that might be heading our way. Because of our favorable launch and the large amount of fuel we therefore have on board, we'll have a bigger choice of KBOs than we would have had otherwise, which is good news. Even if our preliminary search turns up a good candidate, we'll probably conduct another deeper search in about five years. By then, the search area will be smaller, because all accessible KBOs are, by definition, converging on the spacecraft trajectory.
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paxdan
post Mar 1 2006, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE (SigurRosFan @ Feb 28 2006, 06:38 PM) *
Is any definitive KBO selected for New Horizons, yet?

err pluto

*ducks and runs away*
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