EDP Sciences
Free Access
Issue
A&A
Volume 564, April 2014
Article Number A35
Number of page(s) 18
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201322416
Published online 01 April 2014

© ESO, 2014

1. Introduction

Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are believed, based on theoretical modeling, to represent the leftovers from the formation process of the solar system. Different classes of objects may probe different regions of the protoplanetary disk and provide clues of different ways of accretion in those regions (Morbidelli et al. 2008). Basic physical properties of TNOs, such as size and albedo, have been challenging to measure. Only a few brightest TNOs have size estimates using direct optical imaging (e.g. Quaoar with Hubble; Brown & Trujillo 2004). Stellar occultations by TNOs provide a possibility to obtain an accurate size estimate, but these events are rare and require a global network of observers (e.g. Pluto’s moon Charon by Sicardy et al. 2006; and a member of the dynamical class of classical TNOs, 2002 TX300, by Elliot et al. 2010). Predictions of occultations are limited by astrometric uncertainties of both TNOs and stars. Combining observations of reflected light at optical wavelengths with thermal emission data, which for TNOs peaks in the far-infrared wavelengths, allows us to determine both size and geometric albedo for large samples of targets. This radiometric method using space-based ISO (e.g. Thomas et al. 2000), Spitzer (e.g. Stansberry et al. 2008; Brucker et al. 2009) and Herschel data (Müller et al. 2010; Lellouch et al. 2010; Lim et al. 2010; Santos-Sanz et al. 2012; Mommert et al. 2012; Vilenius et al. 2012; Pál et al. 2012; Fornasier et al. 2013) has already changed the size estimates of several TNOs compared to those obtained by using an assumed albedo and has revealed a large scatter in albedos and differences between dynamical classes of TNOs.

Observations at thermal wavelengths also provide information about thermal properties (Lellouch et al. 2013). Depending on the thermal or thermophysical model selected it is possible to derive the thermal beaming factor or the thermal inertia, and constrain other surface properties. Ground-based submillimeter observations can also be used to determine TNO sizes using the radiometric method (e.g. Jewitt et al. 2001), but this technique has been limited to very few targets so far.

TNOs, also known as Kuiper belt objects (KBO), have diverse dynamical properties and they are divided into classes. Slightly different definitions and names for these classes are available in the literature. Classical TNOs (hereafter CKBOs) reside mostly beyond Neptune on orbits which are not very eccentric and not in mean motion resonance with Neptune. We use the Gladman et al. (2008) classification: CKBOs are non-resonant TNOs which do not belong to any other TNO class. The eccentricity limit is e ≲ 0.24, beyond which objects belong to detached objects or scattering/scattered objects. Classical TNOs with semimajor axis 39.4 < a < 48.4 AU occupy the main classical belt, whereas inner and outer classicals exist at smaller and larger semi-major axis, respectively. Apart from the Gladman system, another common classification is defined by the Deep Eplictic Survey Team (DES, Elliot et al. 2005). For the work presented here, the most notable difference between the two systems is noticed with high-inclination objects. Many of them are not CKBOs in the DES system.

In the inclination/eccentricity space CKBOs show two different populations, which have different frequency of binary systems (Noll et al. 2008), different luminosity functions (LF; Fraser et al. 2010), different average geometric albedos (Grundy et al. 2005; Brucker et al. 2009) and different color distributions (Peixinho et al. 2008). The low-inclination “cold” classicals are limited to the main classical belt and have a higher average albedo, more binaries and a steeper LF-derived size distribution than high-inclination “hot” classicals. Some amount of transfer between the hot and cold CKBOs is possible with an estimated maximum of 5% of targets in either population originating from the other than its current location (Volk & Malhotra 2011).

The “TNOs are Cool”: A survey of the trans-Neptunian region open time key program (Müller et al. 2009) of Herschel Space Observatory has observed 12 cold CKBOs, 29 hot CKBOs, and five CKBOs in the inner classical belt, which are considered to be dynamically hot. In addition, eight CKBOs have been observed only by Spitzer Space Telescope, whose TNO sample was mostly overlapping with the Herschel one.

This paper is organized in the following way. We begin by describing our target sample in Sect. 2.1, followed by Herschel observations and their planning in Sect. 2.2 and Herschel data reduction in Sect. 2.3. More far-infrared data by Spitzer are presented in Sect. 2.4 and absolute visual magnitudes in Sect. 2.5. Thermal modeling combining the above mentioned data is described in Sect. 3.1 and the results for targets in our sample in Sect. 3.2, comparing them with earlier results when available (Sect. 3.3). In Sect. 4 we discuss sample properties, cumulative size distributions, correlations and binaries as well as debiasing of the measured size distributions. Conclusions of the sample analysis are given in Sect. 5.

Table 1

Orbital and color properties of the sample of 18 classical TNOs with new flux densities presented in this work.

2. Target sample and observations

2.1. Target sample

The classification of targets in the “TNOs are Cool” program within the Gladman et al. (2008) framework is based on the list used by Minor Bodies in the Outer Solar System 2 data base (MBOSS-2, Hainaut et al. 2012; and Ejeta, priv. comm.). The inclination distributions of the dynamically cold and hot components of CKBOs are partly overlapping. A cut-off limit of i = 4.5° is used in this work, and the inclinations we use from the Minor Planet Center are measured with respect to the ecliptic plane, which deviates slightly from the invariable plane of the Solar System, or the average Kuiper belt plane. All the cold CKBOs with measured sizes available have inclinations i < 4.0° (see Table 6 in Sect. 4). Three CKBOs listed as dynamically hot in Table 7 (2000 OK67, 2001 QD298 and Altjira) have 4.5 < i < 5.5°. Since the two populations overlap in the inclination space some targets close to the cut-off limit could belong to the other population. In the DES classification system all targets in Table 1 with i > 15° would belong to the scattered-extended class of TNOs. DES uses the Tisserand parameter and orbital elements in the CKBO/scattered objects distinction, whereas the Gladman system requires an object to be heavily interacting with Neptune in order to be classified as a scattered object.

In this work we have reduced the flux densities of 16 CKBOs observed with Herschel. Together with Vilenius et al. (2012), Fornasier et al. (2013), and Lellouch et al. (2013) this work completes the set of CKBOs observed by Herschel, except for the classical Haumea family members with water signatures in their spectra, whose properties differ from the “bulk” of CKBOs (Stansberry et al., in prep.). Photometric 3-band observations were done in 20102011 with Herschel/PACS in the wavelength range 60–210 μm. Seven of the 16 targets have been observed also with two bands of Spitzer/MIPS imaging photometer at 22−80 μm in 20042008. In addition, our target sample (Table 1) includes two previously unpublished targets 2003 QR91 and 2001 QC298 observed only with MIPS and are included in the radiometric analysis of this work.

The relative amount of binaries among the cold CKBOs with radiometric measurements is high (Table 6) with only very few non-binaries. While the binary fraction among cold CKBOs has been estimated to be 29% (Noll et al. 2008) the actual frequency may be higher because there probably are binaries which have not been resolved with current observing capabilities. Furthermore, in the target selection process of “TNOs are Cool” we aimed to have a significant sample of binary TNOs observed, and the highest binary fraction of all dynamical classes is in the cold sub-population of CKBOs.

For sample analysis we have included all CKBOs with radiometric results from this work and literature, some of which have been reanalysed in this work. We achieve a total sample size of 44 targets detected with either Herschel or Spitzer (Tables 6 and 7). The absolute V-magnitudes (HV, see Sect. 2.5) of the combined sample range from about 3.5 to 8.0 mag (0.18.0 mag if dwarf planets are included). A typical characteristic of CKBOs is that bright classicals have systematically higher inclinations than fainter ones (Levison & Stern 2001). Our combined sample shows a moderate correlation (see Sect. 4.5.2) between absolute magnitude and inclination at 4σ level of significance. For about half of the targets a color taxonomy is available. Almost all very red targets (RR) in the combined sample are at inclinations i < 12°. This is consistent with Peixinho et al. (2008) who report a color break at i = 12° instead of at the cold/hot boundary inclination near 5°.

Table 2

Herschel observations and monochromatic flux densities at all three PACS bands.

2.2. Herschel observations

Herschel Space Observatory (Pilbratt et al. 2010) was orbiting the Lagrange 2 point of the Earth-Sun system in 20092013. It has a 3.5 m radiatively cooled telescope and three science instruments inside a superfluid helium cryostat. The photometer part of the PACS instrument (Poglitsch et al. 2010) has a rectangular field of view of 1.75′ × 3.5′. It has two bolometer arrays, the short-wavelength one is for wavelengths 60−85 μm or 85−125 μm, selectable by a filter wheel, and the long-wavelength array for 125–210 μm. The absolute calibration 1σ uncertainty is 5% in all bands (Balog et al. 2013). The detector pixel sizes are 3.2″ × 3.2″ in the short-wavelength array, whereas the long-wavelength array has larger pixels of 6.4″ × 6.4″. The instrument is continuously sampling the detectors and produces 40 frames/s, which are averaged on-board by a factor of four. Herschel recommended to use the scanning technique for point sources instead of chopping and nodding, to achieve better sensitivity (PACS AOT release note 2010). Pixels in the image frames, sampled continuously while the telescope was scanning, were mapped in the data reduction pipeline (see Sect. 2.3) into pixels of a sub-sampled output image.

Our observations (Table 2) with PACS followed the same strategy as in Vilenius et al. (2012). We made three-band observations of all targets in two scan directions of the rectangular array, and repeated the same observing sequence on a second visit. We used mini-scan maps with 26 repetitions per observation. The final maps are combinations of four observations/target, except at the 160 μm band where all eight observations/target were available independent of the filter wheel selection. To choose the number of repetitions, i.e. the duration of observations, we used a thermal model (see Sect. 3.1) to predict flux densities. We adopted a default geometric albedo of 0.08 and a beaming factor of 1.25 for observation planning purposes. For two bright targets we used other values based on earlier Spitzer results (Stansberry et al. 2008): for 1998 SN165 a lower geometric albedo of 0.04 and for 2002 AW197 a higher geometric albedo of 0.12. In the combined maps the predicted instrumental signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) for the 16 targets with the above assumptions were S/N ~ 13 (faintest target S/N ~ 4) at the 70 and 100 μm channels and S/N ~ 7 (faintest target S/N ~ 2) at the 160 μm channel. The sensitivity of the 70 μm channel is usually limited by instrumental noise, while the aim of our combination of observations is to remove the background confusion noise affecting the other two channels, most notably the 160 μm band.

The selection of the observing window was optimized to utilize the lowest far-infrared confusion noise circumstances (Kiss et al. 2005) of each target during the Herschel mission. Targets were visited twice within the same observing window with a similar set of 2  ×  2 observations on each of the two visits for the purpose of background subtraction (Kiss et al. 2013). The time gap between the visits was 1142 h depending on the proper motion of the target.

2.3. PACS data reduction

We used data reduction and image combination techniques developed within the “TNOs are Cool” key program (Kiss et al. 2013, and references cited therein). Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE1, version 9.0/CIB 2974) was used to produce Level 2 maps with modified scan map pipeline scripts. The pipeline script provided a two-stage high-pass filtering procedure to handle the 1/f noise, which is dominating the timelines of individual detectors in the PACS photometer arrays. The script removes from each timeline, excluding the masked parts of timelines where we expect the source to be present, a value obtained by a running median filter. The filter width parameters we used were typically 8/9/16 readouts, and for some targets 10/15/25 readouts at the 70/100/160 μm channels, respectively. We set the map-pixel sizes to 1.1′′/pixel, 1.4′′/pixel and 2.1′′/pixel for the three channels, respectively, to properly sample the point spread functions.

For combining the projected output images and reducing the background we use two methods: “super-sky-subtracted” images (Brucker et al. 2009; Santos-Sanz et al. 2012) and “double-differential” images (Mommert et al. 2012; Kiss et al. 2013). The “super-sky” is constructed by masking the source (or an area surrounding the image center when the target is too faint to be recognized in individual images) in each individual image, combining these sky images and subtracting this combined background from each individual image. Then, all background-subtracted images are co-added in the co-moving frame of the target. The “double-differential” images are produced in a different way. Since the observing strategy has been to make two sets of observations with similar settings, we subtract the combined images of the two visits. This yields a positive and a negative beam of the moving source with background structures eliminated. A duplicate of this image is shifted to match the positive beam of the original image with the negative one of the duplicate. After subtracting these from each other we have a double-differential image with one positive and two negative beams, where photometry is done on the central, positive beam. It can be noted that this method works well even if there is a systematic offset in target coordinates due to uncertain astrometry. A further advantage is in the detection of faint sources: they should have one positive and two negative beams in the final image (with negative beams having half the flux density of the positive one). In both methods of combining individual observations of a target we take into account the offsets and uncertainties in pointing and assigned image coordinates (Pál et al. 2012; Kiss et al. 2013).

Table 3

Spitzer/MIPS observations.

Photometry is performed with DAOPHOT routines (Stetson 1987), which are available via commonly used astronomy software tools such as HIPE, IDL and IRAF (for details how photometry is done in the “TNOs are Cool” program see Santos-Sanz et al. 2012). A color correction to flux densities is needed because TNOs have a spectral energy distribution (SED) resembling a black body whereas the PACS photometric system assumes a flat SED. The correction, based on instrumental transmission and response curves available from HIPE, is typically at the level of 2% or less depending on the temperature of the TNO. The color correction is fine-tuned in an iterative way (for details see Vilenius et al. 2012). For uncertainty estimation of the derived flux density we use 200 artificial implanted sources within a region close to the source, excluding the target itself.

The color corrected flux densities from PACS are given in Table 2, where also the absolute calibration uncertainty has been included in the 1σ error bars. The flux densities are preferably averaged from the photometry results using the two techniques discussed above: the “super-sky-subtracted” and the “double-differential”. Since the super-sky-subtracted way gives more non-detected bands than the double-differential way we take the average only when the super-sky-subtracted method produces a 3-band detection, otherwise only flux densities based on the double-differential images are used for a given target. In Table 2 the seven targets whose flux densities at 160 μm are >5 mJy have flux densities averaged from the double-differential and super-sky-subtracted methods.

The flux density predictions used in the planning (Sect. 2.2) of these observations differ by factors of ± 2 or more compared to the measured flux densities. On the average, the measured values are lower (~50%) than the predicted ones. Only three targets are brighter than estimated in the PACS bands and there are four targets not detected in the PACS observations. The average S/Ns of detected targets are half of the average S/Ns of the predictions used in observation planning.

Table 4

Optical auxiliary data based on a linear phase curve fit using V-band data points from the literature or databases.

2.4. Spitzer observations

The Earth-trailing Spitzer Space Telescope has a 0.85 m diameter helium-cooled telescope. The cryogenic phase of the mission ended in 2009. During that phase, one of four science instruments onboard, the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS; Rieke et al. 2004), provided useful photometry of TNOs at two bands: 24 and 70 μm. The latter is spectrally overlapping with the PACS 70 μm band whereas the former can provide strong constraints on the temperature of the warmest regions of TNOs. The telescope-limited spatial resolution is 6″ and 18″ in the two bands, respectively. The nominal absolute calibration, photometric methods, and color corrections are described in Gordon et al. (2007), Engelbracht et al. (2007) and Stansberry et al. (2007). For TNOs we use larger calibration uncertainties of 3% and 6% at the 24 and 70 μm bands, respectively (Stansberry et al. 2008).

Spitzer observed about 100 TNOs and Centaurs and three-quarters of them are also included in the “TNOs are Cool” Herschel program. Many of the Spitzer targets were observed multiple times within several days, with the visits timed to allow subtraction of the background. A similar technique has been applied also to the Herschel observations (Sect. 2.3/“super-sky-subtraction” method). In this work and Vilenius et al. (2012) there are 20 targets (out of 35 Herschel targets analysed in these two works) which have reanalysed Spitzer/MIPS data available (Mueller et al., in prep.). In addition, we have searched for all classical TNOs observed with Spitzer but not with Herschel: 1996 TS66, 2001 CZ31, 2001 QB298, 2001 QC298, 2002 GJ32, 2002 VT130, 2003 QR91, and 2003 QY90. The dynamically hot CKBOs 1996 TS66 and 2002 GJ32 have been published in Brucker et al. (2009), but their flux densities have been updated and reanalysed results of this work have changed their size and albedo estimates (Table 7). An updated data reduction was recently done for 2001 QB298 and 2002 VT130 and we use the results from Mommert (2013) for these two targets. Of the other targets only 2001 QC298 and 2003 QR91 are finally used because all the other cases do not have enough observations for a background removal or there was a problem with the observation. Spitzer flux densities used in the current work are given in Table 3. For most of these targets flux densities have been derived using multiple observations during an epoch lasting one to eight days. Borasisi was observed in two epochs in 2004 and 2008. The color corrections of CKBOs in our sample are larger than in the case of the PACS instrument. For MIPS the color corrections are 110% of the flux density at 24 μm and about 10% at 70 μm obtained by a method which uses the black body temperature which fits the 24:70 flux ratio the best (Stansberry et al. 2007).

2.5. Optical data

We use the V-band absolute magnitudes (HV as given in Table 4) as input in the modeling (Sect. 3.1). The quantity and quality of published HVs or individual V-band or R-band observations vary significantly for our sample. Some of our targets have been observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and to convert from their r and g bands to V-band we use the transformation2(1)The estimated uncertainty of this transformation is 0.02 mag.

To take into account brightening at small phase angles we use the linear method commonly used for distant Solar System objects: (2)where r is the heliocentric distance, Δ the observer-target distance, βV the linear phase coefficient in V-band, and α the Sun-target-observer phase angle. Often the linear phase coefficient cannot be deduced in a reliable way from the few data points available and in those cases we use as default the average values βV = 0.112 ± 0.022 or βR = 0.119 ± 0.029 (Belskaya et al. 2008). Many published HV values are also based on an assumed phase coefficient. We prefer to use mainly published photometric quality observations due to their careful calibration and good repeatability. For each target we try to determine HV and β by making a fit to the combined V-data collected from literature. We have determined new linear phase coefficients of Borasisi: βV = 0.176 ± 0.073, 1998 SN165: βV = 0.132 ± 0.063 and 2001 QC298: βV = 1.01 ± 0.29.

When no other sources are available, or the high-quality data is based on one or two data points, we also take into account data from the Minor Planet Center (MPC). These observations are often more numerous, or only available at, the R-band. We check if consistency and phase angle coverage of MPC data allow to fit the slope (i.e. β) in a reliable way, otherwise the fit is done using the default phase coefficient. Unless available for a specific target (Table 1), we use the average (V − R) color index for CKBOs, which has been determined separately for cold and hot classicals3. The average of 49 cold CKBOs is V − R = 0.63 ± 0.09 and of 43 hot CKBOs V − R = 0.51 ± 0.14 (Hainaut et al. 2012). The MPC is mainly used for astrometry and can differ significantly from well-calibrated photometry. Comparisons by Romanishin & Tegler (2005) and Benecchi et al. (2011) indicate an offset of ~0.3 mag (MPC having brighter magnitudes) with a scatter of ~0.3 mag. We have assigned an uncertainty of 0.6 mag to MPC data points. The absolute magnitudes and their error bars used as input in our analysis (Table 4) take into account additional uncertainties from known or assumed light curve variability in HV as explained in Vilenius et al. (2012).

3. Analysis

3.1. Thermal modeling

We aim to solve for size (effective diameter D assuming spherical shapes), geometric albedo pV and beaming factor η by fitting the two or more thermal infrared data points as well as the optical HV data in the pair of equations where F is the flux density, λ the wavelength, ϵ the emissivity, Δ the observer-target distance, B(λ,T) Planck’s radiation law for black bodies, T(S,η) the temperature distribution on the surface S adjusted by the beaming factor η, u the unit directional vector towards the observer from the surface element dS, m the apparent magnitude of the Sun, a the distance of one astronomical unit and Sproj the area of the target projected towards the observer. To model the temperature distribution on the surface of an airless, spherical TNO we use the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model NEATM (Harris 1998). For a description of our NEATM implementation for TNOs we refer to Mommert et al. (2012). The temperature distribution across an object differs from the temperature distribution which a smooth object in instantaneous equilibrium with insolation would have. This adjustment is done by the beaming factor η which scales the temperature as T ∝ η-0.25. In addition to the quantities explicitly used in NEATM (solar flux, albedo, heliocentric distance, emissivity) the temperature distribution is affected by other effects combined in η: thermal inertia, surface roughness and the rotation state of the object. Statistically, without detailed information about the spin-axis orientation and period, large η indicates high thermal inertia, and η < 1 indicates a rough surface. Thermal properties of TNOs have been analysed in detail by Lellouch et al. (2013).

Emissivity is assumed to be constant as discussed in Vilenius et al. (2012). This assumption is often used for small Solar System bodies. A recent Herschel study using both PACS and SPIRE instruments (70, 100, 160, 250, 350 and 500 μm photometric bands) shows that in a sample of nine TNOs/Centaurs most targets show significant indications of an emissivity decrease, but only at wavelengths above 250 μm, except for one active Centaur (Fornasier et al. 2013). Thus, we assume that emissivity of CKBOs is constant at MIPS and PACS wavelengths.

The free parameters pV, and η are fitted in a weighted least-squares sense by minimizing (5)where is called the “reduced χ2”, ν is the number of degrees of freedom, N the number of data points, the observed flux density at wavelength λi, or HV transformed to flux density scale, with uncertainty σi, and Fmodel is the calculated thermal emission or optical brightness from Eqs. (3) and (4). The number of degrees of freedom is N − 3 when HV is counted as one data point. If the fit fails or gives an unphysical η then a fixed-η fit is made instead (see Sect. 3.2) and the number of degrees of freedom is N − 2.

Table 5

Solutions of radiometric modeling.

The error estimates of the fitted parameters are determined by a Monte Carlo method (Mueller et al. 2011) using a set of 1000 randomized input flux densities and absolute visual magnitudes for each target, as well as beaming factor for fixed-η cases. Our implementation of the technique is shown in Mommert et al. (2012). In cases of poor fit, i.e. reduced-χ2 significantly greater than one, the error bars are first rescaled so that the Monte Carlo method would not underestimate the uncertainties of the fitted parameters. This is discussed in (Santos-Sanz et al. 2012, Appendix B.1). The assumption that the targets are spherical may slightly overestimate diameters, since most TNOs are known to be MacLaurin spheroids (Duffard et al. 2009; Thirouin et al. 2010). NEATM model accuracy at small phase angles is about 5% in the diameter estimates and 10% in the geometric albedo (e.g. Harris 2006).

3.1.1. Treatment of upper limits

Tables 2 and 3 list several data points where only an upper limit for flux density is given. As mentioned in Sect. 2.3 the observed flux densities of our sample were often lower than predictions by a factor of two or more. In the planning we aimed at S/N = 2 − 4 for the faintest targets (Sect. 2.2). If a target has at least one S/N > 1 data point we can assume that the flux densities are not far below the S/N = 1 detection limit in the other, non-detected, bands. Such upper limits we replace by a distribution of possible flux densities. We assign them values, using a Monte Carlo technique, from a one-sided Gaussian distribution with the map noise (upper limits in Tables 2 and 3) as the standard deviation. We calculate the optimum solution in the sense of Eq. (5) and repeat this 500 times. The adopted D, pV and η are the medians of all the obtained values of the fitted parameters, respectively.

It should be noted that both the treatment of upper limit bands as well as non-detected targets (discussed below) is done in a different way in this work than in previous works who treated upper limits as data points with zero flux density: 0 ± 1σ. We have remodeled the CKBO sample of Vilenius et al. (2012) using our new convention and find changes in size larger than ~10% for a few targets (see Sect. 3.3).

For targets which are non-detections in all bands we give upper limits for diameters and lower limits for geometric albedos. We calculate them by making a fixed-η fit to the most constraining upper limit and assign a zero flux density in that band, which is the 70 μm band in all the three cases (2002 GV31, 2003 WU188, 2002 GH32), using a 2σ uncertainty. The reason to choose 2σ instead of 1σ for non-detections is explained in the following. At the limit of detection S/N = 1 and we have a flux density of F = s ± s, where s is the 1σ Gaussian noise level of the map determined by doing photometry on 200 artificial sources randomly implanted near the target. Thus, the probability that the “true” flux density of the target is more than 1σ above the nominal value s (i.e. F > 2s) is 16%. On the other hand, if the S/N = 1 observation is interpreted as an upper limit a similar probability for the flux density to exceed F > 2s should occur. This requires that upper limits, which have been assigned zero flux for non-detections, are treated as 0 ± 2σ in order to avoid this discontinuity at S/N = 1.

3.2. Results of model fits

The results of model fits using the NEATM (see Sect. 3.1) are given in Table 5. For binary systems the diameters are to be interpreted as area-equivalent diameters because our observations did not spatially resolve separate components. The prefered solutions, based on the combination of Herschel/PACS and Spitzer/MIPS data when available, are shown in Fig. 1. Although size estimates can be done using one instrument alone, the combination of both instruments samples the thermal peak and the short-wavelength side of the SED by extending the wavelength coverage and number of data points. When possible, we solve for three parameters: radiometric (system) diameter, geometric albedo and beaming factor. If data consistency does not allow a three-parameter solution we fit for diameter and albedo. This type of “fixed-η” solution is chosen if a floating-η solution (i.e. η as one of the parameters to be fitted) gives an “unphysical” beaming factor (η ≲ 0.6 or η > 2.6). An often used value for the fixed-η is 1.20 ± 0.35 (Stansberry et al. 2008) and it was used also in previous works based on Herschel data (Santos-Sanz et al. 2012; Mommert et al. 2012; Vilenius et al. 2012). A three-parameter fit may give a solution which has very large error bars such that the uncertainty in η would cover its whole physical range. In such cases we have adopted the fitted value of η as an “adjusted fixed-η” value and run the fit again keeping η constant. In these cases we assign an error bar of ± 0.35 to the “adjusted fixed-η” value to be consistent with estimates produced with the default fixed eta of 1.20  ±  0.35. The type of solution is indicated in Table 5.

Since many of our targets have data only from PACS we show also the PACS-only solutions in Table 5 for all targets which have been detected in at least one PACS band. In many cases the data from PACS and the combined data set are consistent with each other and the difference is small. An exception is 2001 QS322. For this target the different solutions are due to the effect of the 24 μm MIPS upper limit.

thumbnail Fig. 1

SEDs calculated from the model solutions (Table 5). The black data points are from PACS (70, 100 and 160 μm) and the gray points are from MIPS (23.68 and 71.42 μm) normalized to the observing geometry of PACS. Error bars without a data point indicate 1σ upper limits. An upper-limit solution based on a non-detection is marked with a dashed line (see text). Target 2003 QR91 was not observed by PACS.

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thumbnail Fig. 1

continued. 2002 GH32 has an upper limit solution (see text).

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Table 6

Adopted physical properties of cold classical TNOs.

thumbnail Fig. 2

SEDs calculated for remodeled targets from Vilenius et al. (2012). Spitzer data (gray points at 24 and 71 μm) have been reduced to Herschel observing geometry.

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3.3. Comparison with earlier results

Of the 18 targets in our sample only 2001 QD298 and 2002 AW197 have earlier published diameter/albedo solutions and additionally 2001 QS322 and 2001 QT322 have upper size limits in the literature. For 2001 QD298 the Spitzer/MIPS based result, with different MIPS flux densities and HV than used in this work (Table 3), was , , (Brucker et al. 2009). Our new diameter ( km) is larger and geometric albedo () is lower than the previous estimate.

The first size measurement of 2002 AW197 was done with the Max Planck Millimeter Bolometer at the IRAM 30 m telescope. The result of Margot et al. (2002) was and . Spitzer measurements gave a smaller size D = 740 ± 100 km and (Brucker et al. 2009). Our new result is close to this and has significantly smaller error bars ().

The previous limits of 2001 QS322 were D < 200 km and pV > 0.15 (Brucker et al. 2009). While the diameter limit is compatible with the new size estimate ( km) the new geometric albedo is lower () due to PACS data points and updated HV. Also the MIPS data has been reanalysed and has changed for this target. Similarly, the geometric albedo estimate of 2001 QT322 is now which is lower than the previous lower limit of 0.21 (Brucker et al. 2009). We use a different absolute visual magnitude HV = 7.29 ± 0.67, whereas Brucker et al. (2009) used 6.4 ± 0.5.

For binary targets it is possible to estimate a size range based on the assumptions of spherical shapes and equal albedos of the primary and secondary components. Assuming a bulk density range of 0.52.0 g cm-3 and using the system mass and brightness difference from Grundy et al. (2011) the diameter range for Borasisi (primary component) is 129–205 km. Our solution for the Borasisi-Pabu system is km and the derived density g cm-3 (see Sect. 4.6). Our new estimate for the primary component is km (Table 9).

We have remodeled Teharonhiawako (from Vilenius et al. 2012) with updated Spitzer/MIPS flux densities given in Table 3. The updated result gives a 24% larger size and 34% smaller albedo (See Fig. 2 and Tables 67 for all results.). Previously, MIPS data reduction gave upper limits only for 2001 QY297. After updated data reduction from both instruments the solution of 2001 QY297 is now based on a floating-η fit instead of a fixed-η as was the case previously in Vilenius et al. (2012). The new albedo estimate is lower, and the new size estimate is 15% larger. Altjira, which has updated PACS flux densities, is now estimated to be 29% larger than in Vilenius et al. (2012). The dynamically hot CKBOs 1996 TS66 and 2002 GJ32, which have only Spitzer observations (Brucker et al. 2009), have been remodeled (see Table 7) after significant changes in flux densities. In our new estimates target 2002 GJ32 has low albedo and large size, whereas the result of Brucker et al. (2009) was a smaller target with moderately high albedo. Contrary, 1996 TS66’s new size estimate is smaller than the previous one, with higher albedo.

Due to the different treatment of upper limits (Sect. 3.1.1) the sizes of 2000 OK67, 2001 XR254, 2002 KW14, and 2003 UR292 have changed while input values in the modeling are the same as in Vilenius et al. (2012) (see Tables 6, 7 and Fig. 2). The authors of that work had ignored all three upper limits of 2002 KW14 to obtain a floating-η fit for this target but with the new treatment of upper limits there is no need to ignore any data. Instead of a 319 km target with geometric albedo 0.08 the new solution gives a high geometric albedo of 0.31 and a diameter of 161 km. The only case where we have ignored one upper limit is 2000 OK67, which has four upper limits and was not detected by PACS. The upper limit at 160 μm is an outlier compared to the others at 70100 μm and therefore we do not assume that band to be close to the detection limit (see the adopted solution in Fig. 2).

4. Sample results and discussion

In planning the Herschel observations we used a default assumption for geometric albedo of 0.08. As seen in Tables 6, 7, almost all dynamically cold CKBOs and more than half of hot CKBOs have higher albedos implying lower flux densities at far-infrared wavelengths. This has lead to the moderate S/Ns and several upper limit flux densities in our sample. The frequency of binaries among the cold CKBOs is high due to the selection process of Herschel targets (see Sect. 2.1). We use this sample of cold CKBOs, affected by the binarity bias, in the debiasing procedure of their size distribution because of the very small number of non-binaries available. In the analysis of sample properties of CKBOs we sometimes use a restricted sample, which we call “regular” CKBOs, where dwarf planets (Quaoar, Varuna, Makemake) and Haumea family members (Haumea and 2002 TX300) have been excluded. All five targets mentioned are dynamically hot so that no cold CKBOs are excluded when analysing the “regular CKBOs“ sample.

Table 7

Adopted physical properties of hot classical TNOs.

4.1. Measured sizes

The diameter estimates in the “regular CKBO” sample are ranging from 136 km of 2003 UR292 up to 934 km of 2002 MS4. The not detected targets (2002 GV31, 2003 WU188 and 2002 GH32) may be smaller than 2003 UR292. Dynamically cold targets in our measured sample are limited to diameters of 100400 km whereas hot CKBOs have a much wider size distribution up to sizes of ~900 km in our measured “regular CKBO” sample and up to 1430 km when dwarf planets are included.

We show the cumulative size distribution N( > D) ∝ D1 − q of hot classicals (from Table 7) and cold classicals (from Table 6) in Fig. 34. In the measured, biased, size distribution of hot CKBOs we can distinguish three regimes for the power law slope: 100 < D < 300 km, 400 < D < 600 km and 700 < D < 1300 km. The slope parameters for the latter two regimes are q ≈ 2.0 and q ≈ 4.0. In the small-size regime there are not enough targets in different size bins to derive a reliable slope. The measured, biased, cold CKBO sample gives a slope of q ≈ 4.3 in the size range 200 < D < 300 km. The debiased size distribution slopes are given in Sect. 4.3.

thumbnail Fig. 3

Cumulative size distribution of all measured dynamically hot (red, upper) classicals from Table 7 and dynamically cold (blue, lower) classicals from Table 6. The dotted lines are uncertainties obtained by a Monte Carlo technique where the sizes of targets are varied using their measured error bars, and a set of size distributions is created. The standard deviation of these size distributions is calculated at each size bin.

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thumbnail Fig. 4

Distribution of measured geometric albedos: upper panel for cold CKBOs and lower panel for hot CKBOs. The thin lines show the standard deviation of all probability density distributions, where each of the distributions has been determined with one target excluded, each target having been excluded once.

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4.2. Measured geometric albedos

Haumea family members and many dwarf planets have very high geometric albedos. The highest-albedo regular CKBO is 2002 KW14 with pV = 0.31 and the darkest object is 2004 PT107 with pV = 0.0325, both dynamically hot. Among dynamically cold objects geometric albedo is between Sila’s pV = 0.090 and Borasisi’s pV = 0.236.

The sub-sample of cold CKBOs are lacking low-albedo objects compared to the hot sub-sample. Figure 4 shows probability density functions constructed from the measured geometric albedos and their asymmetric error bars using the technique described in detail in Mommert (2013). The probability density for each individual target is assumed to follow a lognormal distribution, whose scale parameter is calculated using the upper and lower uncertainties given for the measured geometric albedo. The median geometric albedo of the combined probability density (Fig. 4) of cold classicals is , of regular hot CKBOs , and of all hot CKBOs including dwarf planets and Haumea family the median is . These medians are compatible with averages obtained from smaller sample sizes: 0.17 ± 0.04 for cold CKBOs and 0.11 ± 0.04 for hot CKBOs in Vilenius et al. (2012) but the difference between the dynamically cold and hot sub-samples is smaller than previously reported.

Of the other dynamical classes, the Plutinos have an average albedo of 0.08 ± 0.03 (Mommert et al. 2012), scattered disk objects have 0.112 (Santos-Sanz et al. 2012), detached objects have 0.17 (Santos-Sanz et al. 2012), gray Centaurs have 0.056 (Duffard et al. 2013) and red Centaurs 0.085 (Duffard et al. 2013). Dynamically hot classicals have a similar average albedo as Plutinos and red Centaurs whereas the average albedo of cold CKBOs is closer to the detached objects.

4.3. Debiased size distributions

The measured size distributions are affected by biases: the radiometric method has a detection limit, and the measured sample is not representative of all those targets which could have been detectable in principle. For the debiasing we use a synthetic model of outer Solar System objects by the Canada-French Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS, Petit et al. 2011), which is based on well-calibrated optical surveys. CFEPS provides Hg magnitudes and orbital parameters of more than 15 000 cold CKBOs and 35 000 hot synthetic CKBOs. We perform a two-stage debiasing of the measured size distribution (see Appendix A for details) and derive slope parameters. We have constructed a model of the detection limit of Herschel observations, which depends on objects’ sizes, albedos and distances. This model is used in the first stage of debiasing. In the second stage we debias the size distribution in terms of how the distribution of Hg of the measured targets are related to the Hg distribution of the synthetic sample of those objects, which would have been detectable.

CFEPS has synthetic objects to the limit of Hg = 8.5. All cold CKBOs in our measured sample have Hg < 7.5 and all hot CKBOs have Hg < 8.0. Therefore, these limits are first applied to the CFEPS sample before debiasing the size distributions. Since all of the measured hot CKBOs are in the inner or main classical belts, we exclude the outer CKBOs of CFEPS in the debiasing. Furthermore, we have excluded a few measured targets which are outside the orbital elements space of CFEPS objects, or which are close to the limit of dynamically cold/hot CKBOs, to avoid contamination from one sub-population to the other.

In translating the optical absolute magnitude of simulated CFEPS objects into sizes, a step needed in the debiasing (Appendix A), we use the measured albedo probability densities (Fig. 4) in a statistical way. Our measured dynamically hot CKBOs cover the relevant heliocentric distance range of inner and main classical belt CFEPS objects. While our measured sample of cold CKBOs is limited to 38 < r < 45 AU we assume that the shape of the albedo distribution applies also to more distant cold CKBOs. Although there is an optical discovery bias prefering high-pV objects at large distances, the radiometric method has an opposite bias: low-pV objects are easier to detect at thermal wavelengths than high-pV objects. Among the radiometrically measured targets we do not find evidence of any significant correlations (see Sect. 4.5) between geometric albedo and orbital elements, heliocentric distance at discovery time nor ecliptic latitude at discovery time.

The debiased size distributions are shown in Fig. 5. Our analysis of cold CKBOs gives a debiased slope of q = 5.1 ± 1.1 in the range of effective diameters of 160 < D < 280 km. In the measured sample there are seven binaries and three non-binaries in this size range. For dynamically hot CKBOs the slope is q = 2.3 ± 0.1 in the size range 100 < D < 500 km. The slope is steepening towards the end tail of the size distribution and in the size range 500 < D < 800 km we obtain a slope parameter of q = 4.3 ± 0.9. When comparing the slopes of the cold and hot sub-populations it should be noted that for the cold subsample we are limited to the largest objects and the maximum size of cold CKBOs is smaller than that of hot CKBOs.

thumbnail Fig. 5

Debiased size distributions (see text): hot CKBOs (red, upper) and cold CKBOs (blue, lower). The thin red and blue lines are the error bars of each size bin (bin size 20 km for dynamically cold and 40 km for dynamically hot CKBOs). The vertical lines mark the ranges for which slope parameters have been determined.

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Size distribution is often derived from the LF using simplifying assumptions about common albedo and distance. Fraser et al. (2010) have derived a LF based slope for dynamically cold objects (i < 5 deg, 38 < r < 55 AU): q = 5.1 ± 1.1, which is well compatible with our value from a debiased measured size distribution. For dynamically hot CKBOs Fraser et al. (2010) derived two slopes depending on the distance of objects. For dynamically hot objects with 38 < r < 55 AU and i > 5 deg: q = 2.8 ± 1.0 and for a combined sample of these hot and “close” objects (30 < r < 38 AU): q = 3.0 ± 0.6. Both of the LF based results are compatible within the given uncertainties with our estimate of q = 2.3 ± 0.1.

4.4. Beaming factors

The temperature distribution over an airless object affects the observed SED shape. In the NEATM model temperature is adjusted by the beaming factor η as explained in Sect. 3.1. For CKBOs, the PACS bands are close to the thermal peak of the SED whereas MIPS provides also data from the short-wavelength part of the SED. Therefore, in order to determine a reliable estimate for the average beaming factor of classical TNOs we select those solutions which are based on detections with both PACS and MIPS and detected in at least three bands. Furthermore, we require that the MIPS 24 μm band has been detected because it constrains the overall shape of the SED making inferences based on those results more reliable. There is a large scatter of beaming factors among CKBOs spanning the full range of 0.6 < η < 2.6. There are five cold CKBOs and eight hot CKBOs with floating-η solutions fulfilling the above mentioned criteria. The averages of the two subpopulations do not differ much compared to the standard deviations. The average beaming factor of 13 cold and hot CKBOs is η = 1.45 ± 0.46 and the median is 1.29. This average is very close to the previous average based on eight targets: η = 1.47 ± 0.43 (Vilenius et al. 2012). The new average η is compatible with the default value of 1.20 ± 0.35 for fixed η fits as well as with averages of other dynamical classes: seven Plutinos have the average (Mommert et al. 2012) and seven scattered and detached objects have η = 1.14 ± 0.15 (Santos-Sanz et al. 2012). Statistically, beaming factors of a large sample of TNOs from all dynamical classes are dependent on heliocentric distance (Lellouch et al. 2013). Therefore, η values are likely to differ due to different distances of the populations in different dynamical classes.

4.5. Correlations

In the sample of measured objects we have checked possible correlations between geometric albedo pV, diameter D, orbital elements (inclination i, eccentricity e, semimajor axis a, perihelion distance q), beaming factor η, heliocentric distance at discovery time, ecliptic latitude at discovery time, visible spectral slope, as well as B − V, V − R and V − I colors. We use a modified form of the Spearman correlation test (Spearman 1904) taking into account asymmetric error bars and small numbers statistics. The details of this method are described in Peixinho et al. (2004) and Santos-Sanz et al. (2012, Appendix B.2). We consider correlation coefficient ρ to show a “strong correlation” when ρ | ≥ 0.6 and “moderate correlation” when 0.3 ≤ | ρ | < 0.6. Our correlation method does not show any significant (confidence on the presence of a correlation >3σ) correlations between any parameters within the dynamically cold subpopulation with N = 13 targets. Similarly, when making the correlation analysis on the CKBOs according to the DES classification (N = 23) we do not find any significant correlations.

Table 8

Density estimates of classical TNO binaries with a known mass.

4.5.1. Diameter and geometric albedo

There is a lack of large objects at small inclinations and of small objects at high inclinations in our measured sample. The latter are subject to discovery biases since many of the surveys have been limited close to the ecliptic plane (HV and ecliptic latitude at discovery time show a moderate anti-correlation in the sample of all radiometrically measured targets). There is a strong size-inclination correlation when all targets are included (4.4σ), and a moderate correlation if dwarf planets and Haumea family are excluded (3.9σ). The strong correlation within the sub-sample of hot CKBOs reported by Vilenius et al. (2012) is only moderate with our larger number of targets, and it is no longer significant (2.32.5σ). Levison & Stern (2001) found the presumable size-inclination trend from the correlation between intrinsic brightness and inclination and showed that their result is unlikely to be caused by biases. When observing with the radiometric techniques, there is a selection bias of targets, which we estimate to have high enough flux density to be detectable. According to Eq. (3) the observed flux is approximately proportional to the projected area and inversely proportional to the square of distance. A statistical study of 85 TNOs and Centaurs, with partially overlapping samples with this work, showed a strong (ρ = 0.78, significance >8σ) correlation between diameter and instantaneous heliocentric distance (Lellouch et al. 2013). Dynamically hot CKBOs show a moderate correlation between effective diameter and heliocentric distance at discovery time (3.2σ). However, it is not significant when analysed without dwarf planets and Haumea family (the “regular” sub-sample). A diameter/inclination correlation could appear if there is a correlation between diameter and distance as well as between distance and inclination. Our analysis finds no evidence of a correlation between inclination and heliocentric distance for the whole measured sample (ρ = 0.20, significance 1.2σ) or any of the sub-samples. Therefore, we consider the correlation between diameter and inclination reported here not to be caused by a selection bias.

There is a moderate (ρ ≈ − 0.5) anti-correlation between diameter and geometric albedo among the “regular” CKBOs (3.4σ). This correlation disappears when the dwarf planets and Haumea family members are added, or when the “regular” CKBOs is divided into its cold or hot components. Inclination may be a common variable, which correlates both with diameter and tentatively with albedo as explained in the following. There is a moderate anticorrelation between inclination and albedo among the “regular” CKBOs, although it is not considered significant (2.5σ). This is probably caused mainly by the cold CKBOs (ρ = −0.51, 1.8σ, N = 13) and less by the “regular” hot CKBOs (ρ = −0.17, 0.8σ, N = 26). When combining the significant diameter/inclination correlation (3.9σ) with a tentative albedo/inclination correlation this combination may explain the moderate diameter/albedo anti-correlation we observe in our “regular” CKBOs sample. Therefore, we do not confirm the finding of Vilenius et al. (2012) about an anti-correlation between size and albedo within the classical TNOs as it is probably due to a bias. The anti-correlation between size and albedo was not observed in Plutinos (Mommert et al. 2012), which do not show any correlation between size and albedo, nor with scattered/detached-disc objects which show a positive correlation instead (Santos-Sanz et al. 2012).

We find no evidence of other correlations with orbital elements or colors involving size or geometric albedo.

4.5.2. Other correlations

CKBOs are known to have an anti-correlation between surface color/spectral slope and orbital inclination (Trujillo & Brown 2002; Hainaut & Delsanti 2002). In our measured sample a moderate correlation exists for the whole sample (3.2σ) but is not significant for the “regular” CKBOs (2.0σ), which do not include dwarf planets and Haumea family members. We do not find any correlations of the B − V, V − R and V − I colors with parameters other than spectral slope.

The apparent HV vs. i anti-correlation in our target sample mentioned in Sect. 2.1 is moderate and significant for the whole sample (3.9σ) as well as for the hot sub-population (3.1σ), but less significant on the “regular” hot CKBOs sub-sample (2.5σ).

4.6. Binaries

In deriving bulk densities of binary systems, whose effective diameter D has been determined by the radiometric method, we assume that the primary and secondary components i) are spherical, and ii) have equal albedos. A known brightness difference between the two components ΔV can be written as , where D1 and D2 are the diameters of the primary and the secondary component and (components’ geometric albedos pV1 and pV2). The radiometric (area-equivalent) effective diameter of the system is and the “volumetric diameter” is , which is then used in calculating mass densities: with the usual assumption that l equals unity. The new radiometric mass density estimates of Borasisi, Varda and 2001 QC298, and updated (see Sect. 3.3) densities of Teharonhiawako, Altjira, 2001 XR254, and 2001 QY297 are given in Table 8 and shown in Fig. 6. When ΔV is small, the density estimate does not change to significantly higher densities by changing the assumed ratio of geometric albedos unless the albedo contrast between the primary and the secondary was extreme. The sizes of the binary components (Table 9) for <400 km objects are not significantly different from each other. If we make the assumption that D1 = D2 and determine densities and relative albedos we get densities close to those in Table 8 for the <400 km objects and albedo ratios of 1.11.9.

thumbnail Fig. 6

Bulk densities of classical TNOs. Blue marks cold CKBOs, red hot CKBOs, and magenta dwarf planet Quaoar.

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Table 9

Sizes of primary and secondary components assuming equal albedos and spherical shapes of both components.

The new density estimates of four targets are lower than those determined by Vilenius et al. (2012). The reason for the large change in density estimates is the Spitzer flux update of three of the targets and a different technique of treating upper limits in the cases of Teharonhiawako, Altjira and 2001 XR254. Our assumption that the objects are spherical may give too low density estimates for elongated objects. The relatively large light curve variation of 2001 QY297 of ~0.5 mag (Thirouin et al. 2012) suggests a shape effect whereas the light curve amplitude of Altjira is not well known and is probably <0.3 mag (Sheppard 2007). Lower density limits can be derived based on rotational properties but the period is not known for these two targets. Densities lower than that of water ice have been reported for TNOs in the literature (e.g. Stansberry et al. 2006). The density of a sphere of pure water ice under self-compression is slightly less than 1 g cm-3 and porosity at micro and macro scales reduces the bulk density. Another common low-density ice is methane with a density of ~0.5 g cm-3. A statistical study of TNOs from all dynamical classes shows that their surfaces are very porous (Lellouch et al. 2013) indicating that the material on the surface has a low density. However, the low bulk densities of Altjira and Teharonhiawako reported here require significant porosities of 4070% for material densities of 0.51.0 g cm-3. This would indicate the presence of macroporosity, i.e. that the objects are rubble piles of icy pieces.

5. Conclusions

The Herschel mission and the cold phase of Spitzer have ended. The next space mission capable of far-infrared observations of CKBOs will be in the next decade. Occultations can provide very few new size estimates annually, and the capabilities of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to significantly extend the sample of measured sizes of TNOs already presented may be limited by its sensitivity5.

In this work we have analysed 18 classical TNOs to determine their sizes and albedos using the radiometric technique and data from Herschel and/or Spitzer. We have also re-analysed previously published targets, part of them with updated flux densities. The number of CKBOs with size/albedo solutions in literature and this work is increased to 44 targets and additionally three targets have a diameter upper limit and albedo lower limit. We have determined the mass density of three CKBOs and updated four previous density estimates. Our main conclusions are:

  • 1.

    The dynamically cold CKBOs have higher geometric albedo (0.14) than the dynamically hot CKBOs (0.085 without dwarf planets and Haumea family, 0.10 including them), although the difference is not as great as reported by Vilenius et al. (2012).

  • 2.

    We do not confirm the general finding of Vilenius et al. (2012) that there is an anti-correlation between diameter and albedo among all measured CKBOs as that analysis was based on a smaller number of targets.

  • 3.

    The cumulative size distributions of cold and hot CKBOs have been infered using a two-stage debiasing procedure. The characteristic size of cold CKBOs is smaller, which is compatible with the hypothesis that the cold sub-population may have formed at a larger heliocentric distance than the hot sub-population. The cumulative size distribution’s slope parameters of hot CKBOs in the diameter range 100 < D < 500 km is q = 2.3 ± 0.1. Dynamically cold CKBOs have an infered slope of q = 5.1 ± 1.1 in the range 160 < D < 280.

  • 4.

    The bulk density of Borasisi is g cm-3, which is higher (but within error bars) than other CKBOs of similar size. The bulk densities of Varda and 2001 QC298 are g cm-3 and g cm-3, respectively. Our re-analysis of four targets (D < 400 km) has decreased their density estimates and they are mostly between 0.5 and 1 g cm-3 implying high macroporosity.


1

Data presented in this paper were analysed using “HIPE”, a joint development by the Herschel Science Ground Segment Consortium, consisting of ESA, the NASA Herschel Science Center, and the HIFI, PACS and SPIRE consortia members, see http://herschel.esac.esa.int/DpHipeContributors.shtml

3

Note that Vilenius et al. (2012) used one average in their analysis of Herschel data on classical TNOs: V − R = 0.59 ± 0.15 based on an earlier version of the MBOSS data base.

4

Note that in Vilenius et al. (2012) the authors used a different definition: N( > D) ∝ D− q, but that notation differs from most of the literature.

5

Moullet et al. (2011) estimated 500 TNOs to be detectable by ALMA, based on assumed albedos commonly used at that time.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Paul Hartogh for providing computational resources at Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Germany. Part of this work was supported by the German DLR project numbers 50 OR 1108, 50 OR 0903, 50 OR 0904 and 50OFO 0903. M. Mommert acknowledges support through the DFG Special Priority Program 1385. C. Kiss acknowledges the support of the Bolyai Research Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the PECS 98073 contract of the Hungarian Space Office and the European Space Agency, and the K-104607 grant of the Hungarian Research Fund (OTKA). A. Pál acknowledges the support from the grant LP2012-31 of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. P. Santos-Sanz would like to acknowledge financial support from spanish grant AYA2011-30106-C02-01 and from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). J. Stansberry acknowledges support from NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech. R. Duffard acknowledges financial support from the MICINN (contract Ramón y Cajal). J.L.O. acknowledges support from spanish grants AYA2008-06202-C03-01, P07-FQM-02998 and European FEDER funds. N.P. acknowledges funding by the Gemini-Conicyt Fund, allocated to the project No. 32120036.

References

Appendix A: Debiasing of size distributions

Appendix A.1: Targets

In the debiasing we use those measured targets which are compatible with the orbital element space of CFEPS synthetic objects. Due to different classification used in our observing program, one cold CKBO (2001 QB298) and two hot CKBOs from the inner belt (2003 UR292 and 2002 XW93) have been excluded from the debiasing. To prevent possible contamination between cold/hot sub-populations we have also excluded four hot CKBOs, whose inclinations are not far above the i = 4.5 deg cut-off limit (Quaoar, Altjira, 2001 QD298 and 2000 OK67). Three measured targets have their semi-major axis within the gap in CFEPS objects reserved for the 2:1 mean motion resonance with Neptune. To our knowledge these three targets are not in resonance, therefore they are included. In total, 25 hot CKBOs from the inner and main belts are included in the debiasing as well as 12 cold CKBOs.

Appendix A.2: Magnitude conversion

CFEPS uses Hg values for their synthetic objects. If V − R color is known then Hg can be converted into HV. We use the average color of cold classicals: V − R = 0.63 ± 0.09 (N = 49) and hot classicals: V − R = 0.51 ± 0.14 (N = 43) from the MBOSS-2 data base. Lupton (2005) conversion formulas and conversion uncertainties are (see Footnote 2 for reference):

Using the average V − R color we get

Appendix A.3: PACS detection limit

Many of the measured cold CKBOs were very faint, the flux densities being <5.5 mJy. Contrary, the hot CKBOs were brighter and only one out of 29 observed by PACS was a non-detection. The PACS observations were executed in a standardized way using similar observation durations and parameters. While the repetition factor in “TNOs are Cool” was designed separately for each target, in the range REP = 1,...,6, for the cold CKBOs the most common choise was REP = 5 (total 2-visit duration at 70 μm or 100 μm band 94 min). Of the cold CKBOs only Sila, Teharonhiawako, 2001 XR254 and 2002 GV31 had shorter durations with REP = 3 or REP = 4. 2002 GV31 was a non-detection, the other three are large (D > 200 km) and relatively bright (HV < 6.1). The lowest flux densities with 2-band detections in our sample are at the level of 1.7 mJy at 100 μm. According to NEATM (in the following we assume η = 1.2), the peak flux density of 1.7 mJy would be emitted by an object at rh = Δ = 40 AU if its diameter is Dref = 167.5 km and geometric albedo pV,ref = 0.04. In the following, we make the simplifying assumption that during our observations rh ≈ Δ. The peak flux density remains constant (but with a small shift in wavelength position) if a target is at different distance and its size with respect to the reference size is scaled according to the distance change. If s is a scale factor in the distance then the diameter scales as s1.75, i.e. at a distance of 40s AU the object’s size should be s1.75Dref to maintain the same peak flux density. In the above, albedo was kept constant. The effect of albedo depends on the phase integral because we have for the Bond albedo A: A = pVq(pV), where q(pV) = 0.336pV + 0.479 (Brucker et al. 2009). Other values being constant, if geometric albedo changes then the diameter has to be scaled in order to maintain the constant maximum flux density. If t is the scaling factor of geometric albedo, then diameter scales as (A.5)

Appendix A.3.1: Debiasing stage 1

First we debias with respect to the radiometric detection limit (Sect. A.3). Diameters are assigned to each CFEPS CKBO in a random way using the geometric albedo probability densities derived from measured targets (see Sect. 4.2). Then, size distributions of synthetic objects are calculated. The debiasing factors of stage (1) are obtained by dividing the numbers of CFEPS CKBOs in the cumulative size distribution bins by the numbers of potentially detectable CFEPS objects in the same size bins. For each synthetic object we have the distance, randomly selected albedo, and the diameter calculated using that albedo and Hg. Each object is checked against the detection limit derived in Sect. A.3. The uncertainties are calculated as the 1σ uncertainties of the calculated ratio, where the two distributions have been produced 500 times with randomly assigned albedos to the synthetic objects.

The debiasing factors are applied to the size distributions of measured targets. The numbers of targets in the measured size distribution bins are multiplied by the corresponding stage (1) debiasing factors.

Appendix A.3.2: Debiasing stage 2

In stage (2) we are debiasing the selection effects of our target sample compared to the sample which could have been detected with PACS. The selection effects of the measured target sample include the discovery bias of known TNOs. This debiasing is done using optical absolute magnitudes Hg of both the synthetic CFEPS objects and the measured targets (steps 13 below) and translated into debiasing factors for each bin in the size distribution (steps 46). The stage (2) debiasing factors are calculated in the following way:

  • 1.

    Create cumulative Hg distribution of both the measured sample and the potentially detectable CFEPS synthetic objects. The latter is an average of a large number of sets of potentially detectable objects, where the detection limit calculation is using randomly assigned albedos (from the probability density distribution similar to those in Fig. 4) for each synthetic object.

  • 2.

    Calculate the ratio of numbers of objects in each Hg bin of the potentially detectable distribution and the measured distribution. Normalize these factors so that the smallest factor is equal to one.

  • 3.

    Multiply the measured Hg distribution by the factors from step 2.

  • 4.

    Generate sizes for objects in each Hg bin after step 3 in a statistical way using the measured albedo probability density distribution. The relative differences in the numbers of objects in each Hg bin of this step is given by the relative differences of numbers of objects in the Hg distribution of step 3.

  • 5.

    Calculate a size distribution using all the objects generated in step 4.

  • Calculate debiasing factors from step 5 and the measured size distribution. Normalize these factors so that the largest target has a factor equal to one. In the dynamically hot sub-population Haumea and Makemake, two targets outside the CFEPS Hg range, were not included in calculating debiasing factors.

All Tables

Table 1

Orbital and color properties of the sample of 18 classical TNOs with new flux densities presented in this work.

Table 2

Herschel observations and monochromatic flux densities at all three PACS bands.

Table 3

Spitzer/MIPS observations.

Table 4

Optical auxiliary data based on a linear phase curve fit using V-band data points from the literature or databases.

Table 5

Solutions of radiometric modeling.

Table 6

Adopted physical properties of cold classical TNOs.

Table 7

Adopted physical properties of hot classical TNOs.

Table 8

Density estimates of classical TNO binaries with a known mass.

Table 9

Sizes of primary and secondary components assuming equal albedos and spherical shapes of both components.

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1

SEDs calculated from the model solutions (Table 5). The black data points are from PACS (70, 100 and 160 μm) and the gray points are from MIPS (23.68 and 71.42 μm) normalized to the observing geometry of PACS. Error bars without a data point indicate 1σ upper limits. An upper-limit solution based on a non-detection is marked with a dashed line (see text). Target 2003 QR91 was not observed by PACS.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 1

continued. 2002 GH32 has an upper limit solution (see text).

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 2

SEDs calculated for remodeled targets from Vilenius et al. (2012). Spitzer data (gray points at 24 and 71 μm) have been reduced to Herschel observing geometry.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 3

Cumulative size distribution of all measured dynamically hot (red, upper) classicals from Table 7 and dynamically cold (blue, lower) classicals from Table 6. The dotted lines are uncertainties obtained by a Monte Carlo technique where the sizes of targets are varied using their measured error bars, and a set of size distributions is created. The standard deviation of these size distributions is calculated at each size bin.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 4

Distribution of measured geometric albedos: upper panel for cold CKBOs and lower panel for hot CKBOs. The thin lines show the standard deviation of all probability density distributions, where each of the distributions has been determined with one target excluded, each target having been excluded once.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 5

Debiased size distributions (see text): hot CKBOs (red, upper) and cold CKBOs (blue, lower). The thin red and blue lines are the error bars of each size bin (bin size 20 km for dynamically cold and 40 km for dynamically hot CKBOs). The vertical lines mark the ranges for which slope parameters have been determined.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 6

Bulk densities of classical TNOs. Blue marks cold CKBOs, red hot CKBOs, and magenta dwarf planet Quaoar.

Open with DEXTER
In the text

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