Title

Photometric light curve for the kuiper belt object 2000 EB173 on 78 nights

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2002

Abstract

Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are generally very faint and cannot in practice be monitored with a well-sampled long-term light curve; so our discovery of the bright KBO 2000 EB173 offers an excellent opportunity for synoptic studies. We present a well-sampled photometric time series (77 R and 29 V magnitudes on 78 nights) over a 225-day time span centered on the 2001 opposition. The light curve (corrected to the year 2001 opposition distance) varies from 19.11 to 19.39 mag with a single peak that is smooth, time symmetric, and coincident with opposition. All variations in the light curve are consistent with a linear opposition surge (ROPP = 19.083 + 0.125 * α, where α is the solar phase angle), while any rotational modulation must have a peak-to-peak amplitude of less than 0.097 mag. This is the first measured opposition surge for any KBO (other than Pluto). The V - R color is 0.63 ± 0.02, with no apparent variation with phase at the few percent level. With R = 19. 11 at opposition, 2000 EB173 remains the brightest known KBO and a prime target for future photometric and spectroscopic studies. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Icarus

First Page

52

Last Page

58

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