Journal Article

Short-term variability of 10 trans-Neptunian objects

A. Thirouin, J. L. Ortiz, A. Campo Bagatin, P. Pravec, N. Morales, O. Hainaut and R. Duffard

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 424, issue 4, pages 3156-3177
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Short-term variability of 10 trans-Neptunian objects

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We present our latest results about the short-term variability of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). We performed broad-band CCD photometric observations using several telescopes in Spain and Chile. We present results based on three years of observations and report the short-term variability of 10 TNOs. Our sample of studied targets contains classical objects: (275809) 2001 QY297, (307251) 2002 KW14, (55636) 2002 TX300, 2004 NT33, (230965) 2004 XA192 and (202421) 2005 UQ513; a resonant body: (84522) 2002 TC302; a scattered target: (44594) 1999 OX3; and two detached objects: (145480) 2005 TB190 and (40314) 1999 KR16. For each target, light curves as well as possible rotation periods and photometric amplitudes are reported. The majority of the observed objects present a low peak-to-peak amplitude, < 0.15 mag. Only two objects exhibit light curve amplitudes higher than 0.15 mag: (275809) 2001 QY297 and (307251) 2002 KW14. We note two biases in the literature, previously studied in Thirouin et al. and confirmed by this new study: a bias towards objects with a small amplitude light curve and a second one against objects with a long rotational period in the data base of published rotational periods. We derive constraints on physical properties of some targets. We also report the solar phase curves of (40314) 1999 KR16 and (44594) 1999 OX3 for solar phase angles from 0° to around 2°. Part of our discussion is focused on the study of (275809) 2001 QY297 which turned out to be an asynchronous binary system.

Keywords: techniques: photometric; kuiper belt: general

Journal Article.  8388 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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