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Lightcurves of Southern Hemisphere Transneptunian Objects

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I will present observations of 32 primarily bright, newly discovered Transneptunian objects observable from the Southern Hemisphere during 39 nights of observation with the Irénée du Pont 2.5-m telescope at Las Campañas Observatory.  Our sample includes objects ranging from ~250-1600 km in diameter (assuming an albedo of 0.1) inclusive of five binaries and four Haumea family objects. Combining our sample with the larger lightcurve sample in the literature, we find a 3-sigma correlation between lightcurve amplitude and absolute magnitudewith fainter objects having larger lightcurve amplitudes. We find statistically different distributions between the Classical-Resonant and Scattered-Resonant populations. We expect multiple factors are influencing object rotations: object size dominates lightcurveproperties except in the case of gravitational, tidal, or proportionally large collisionalinteractions with other TNOs, the influence of the latter being different for each TNO sub-population.

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