Volume 417, Number 3, April III 2004
|Page(s)||1145 - 1158|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||26 March 2004|
Simultaneous visible-near IR photometric study of Kuiper Belt Object surfaces with the ESO/Very Large Telescopes*
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon – LESIA, 5 Place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon cedex, France e-mail: Audrey.Delsanti@obspm.fr
2 ESO/Chile – European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chili e-mail: email@example.com
3 Centre de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon, 9, Av. Charles André, 69561 St-Genis Laval, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, 96822 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA e-mail: email@example.com
5 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Universidad Catolica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta, Chile e-mail: email@example.com
Corresponding author: A. Delsanti, Audrey.Delsanti@obspm.fr
Accepted: 9 December 2003
We present simultaneous visible-near-IR (BVRIJHK) photometry of 8 Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and 4 Centaurs. The observations were carried out using two 8m-units of the ESO/Very Large Telescope operated simultaneously on November 29 and 30, 2000. The KBOs displayed linear reflectivity spectra in the optical with a wide range of slopes from neutral (solar) to very red. In most cases, the reflectivity spectra are linear from B to J bands. We notice a change of regime in the spectra which flatten toward the H and K bandpasses. (33128) 1998 BU48 even has a significantly negative value. Only (54598) 2000 QC243 does not flatten in the infra-red. (24835) 1995 SM55 has a noticeably blue spectrum in the near-IR which might be indicative of water ice absorption features. We also present an empirical model for KBO surface evolution, based on models from [CITE] and [CITE], in which surface colors evolve because of collisions. In the model presented here we propose that cometary activity can refresh the surface. This model predicts that (1) small (e.g. ≪80 km in radius) KBOs should have color variations with rotation, (2) the larger objects should display uniform colors, (3) there should be no color dependence with inclination for objects >100 km in radius, and (4) very distant KBOs are fully irradiated.
Key words: Kuiper belt / minor planets, asteroids / techniques: photometric
© ESO, 2004
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