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Title: The small numbers of large Kuiper Belt objects

We explore the brightness distribution of the largest and brightest (m(R) < 22) Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). We construct a luminosity function of the dynamically excited or hot Kuiper Belt (orbits with inclinations >5°) from the very brightest to m(R) = 23. We find for m(R) ≲ 23, a single slope appears to describe the luminosity function. We estimate that ∼12 KBOs brighter than m(R) ∼ 19.5 are present in the Kuiper Belt today. With nine bodies already discovered this suggests that the inventory of bright KBOs is nearly complete.
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, 11F of Astronomy-Mathematics Building, National Taiwan University. No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)
  2. Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340057
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BRIGHTNESS; DISTRIBUTION; GALAXIES; INCLINATION; INVENTORIES; LUMINOSITY; STARS