EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 388, Number 1, June II 2002
Page(s) L9 - L12
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020533

A&A 388, L9-L12 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020533


Infrared spectroscopy of the largest known trans-Neptunian object 2001 KX $_\mathsf{76}$

J. Licandro1, F. Ghinassi1 and L. Testi2

1  Centro Galileo Galilei & Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, PO Box 565, 38700, S/C de La Palma, Tenerife, Spain
2  INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy

(Received 20 March 2002 / Accepted 5 April 2002 )

We report complete near-infrared (0.9-2.4 $\mu$m) spectral observations of the largest know trans-Neptunian objects (TNO) 28976 = 2001 KX 76 taken in two different nights using the new Near Infrared Camera Spectrometer (NICS) attached to the 3.56 m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG). The spectra are featureless and correspond to a neutral colored object. Our observations indicate that the surface of 2001 KX 76 is probably highly evolved due to long term irradiation, and that collisional resurfacing processes have not played an important role in its evolution.

Key words: minor planets -- comets -- infrared -- trans-Neptunian objects

Offprint request: J. Licandro, licandro@tng.iac.es

© ESO 2002