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Absolute magnitudes and phase coefficients of trans-Neptunian objects

AuthorsAlvarez-Candal, A.; Pinilla-Alonso, N.; Ortiz, José Luis ; Duffard, René D. ; Morales, Nicolás ; Santos Sanz, Pablo ; Thirouin, Audrey ; Silva, J.S.
KeywordsKuiper belt: general
Techniques: photometric
Methods: observational
Issue Date2016
PublisherEDP Sciences
CitationAstronomy and Astrophysics 586: A155 (2016)
AbstractAccurate measurements of diameters of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are extremely difficult to obtain. Thermal modeling can provide good results, but accurate absolute magnitudes are needed to constrain the thermal models and derive diameters and geometric albedos. The absolute magnitude, H, is defined as the magnitude of the object reduced to unit helio-and geocentric distances and a zero solar phase angle and is determined using phase curves. Phase coefficients can also be obtained from phase curves. These are related to surface properties, but only few are known. Aims. Our objective is to measure accurate V-band absolute magnitudes and phase coefficients for a sample of TNOs, many of which have been observed and modeled within the program >TNOs are cool>, which is one of the Herschel Space Observatory key projects. Methods. We observed 56 objects using the V and R filters. These data, along with those available in the literature, were used to obtain phase curves and measure V-band absolute magnitudes and phase coefficients by assuming a linear trend of the phase curves and considering a magnitude variability that is due to the rotational light-curve. Results. We obtained 237 new magnitudes for the 56 objects, six of which were without previously reported measurements. Including the data from the literature, we report a total of 110 absolute magnitudes with their respective phase coefficients. The average value of H is 6.39, bracketed by a minimum of 14.60 and a maximum of-1.12. For the phase coefficients we report a median value of 0.10 mag per degree and a very large dispersion, ranging from-0.88 up to 1.35 mag per degree. © 2016 ESO.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1051/0004-6361/201527161
issn: 1432-0746
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