Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Using Near Infrared Observations and Models to Analyze Surface Compositions of Kuiper Belt Objects
by McGuire, Ryan, M.S., Northern Arizona University, 2013, 81; 1537792
Abstract (Summary)

Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are primordial icy objects in the outer solar system. Compositional information for KBOs helps us understand the original environment of the solar system as well as identify objects that are compositionally anomalous. Due to the faint nature of KBOs, very few spectroscopic observations have been made of them. Instead, photometric observations at infrared wavelengths are made to partially construct their spectra. I calculate near infrared reflectances for 12 objects using photometric observations from the Gemini North telescope. I combine these near infrared reflectances with data from the Spitzer Space Telescope. This combination of Gemini and Spitzer photometry along with compositional model analysis allows us to find the surface composition (organics, H2O, CO2, CH4, and other hydrated silicates) for these 12 objects. I found that my objects fit into one of four taxonomic classes found in the Kuiper Belt. We have found using the color analysis, that Haumea has water on its surface and Eris is most likely to have methane on its surface. By analyzing this data we measure the compositional mixing in the outer solar system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Trilling, David E.
Commitee: Grundy, William, Tegler, Stephen C.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Astrophysics, Astronomy
Publication Number: 1537792
ISBN: 978-1-303-09659-4
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