Results from the Eso Large Program on Transneptunian Objects and Centaurs

Research paper by Hermann Boehnhardt, Antonella Barucci, Audrey Delsanti, Catherine De Bergh, Alain Doressoundiram, Jennifer Romon, Elisabetta Dotto, Gianpaolo Tozzi, Monica Lazzarin, Sonia Fornasier, Nuno Peixinho, Olivier Hainaut, John Davies, Philippe Rousselot, Luis Barrera, et al.

Indexed on: 01 Jun '03Published on: 01 Jun '03Published in: Earth, Moon, and Planets


BVRI photometry of 107 TNOs and Centaurs establishes the range of spectral gradients to be between –5 to 55%/100 nm (with one exception). A cluster of very red Cubewanos is firmly identified in orbits of low inclination and eccentricity beyond 40 AU from the Sun. Further correlations between surface colours and dynamical parameters (inclination and perihelion distance) are suggested for Cubewanos and scattered disk objects, but lack complete confidence for their reality. Plutinos and Centaurs do not show any clear correlation between surface colours and orbital parameters. We present in this paper 12 spectra obtained in the visible region and nine of them for which we obtained also near infrared spectra up to 2.4 microns. A few other objects have been observed, but the data are still under reduction and analysis. The principal reported results obtained are: (i) a wide range of visible slopes; (ii) evidence for surface variations on 2001 PT13; and (iii) possible detection of few percent of water ice (1999 TC36}, 2000 EB173, 1999 DE9, 2001 PT13, 2000 QC243, 1998 SG35).