The Taiwan-America Occultation Survey (TAOS) aims to determine the number of small icy bodies in the outer reach of the Solar System by means of stellar occultation. An array of 4 robotic small (D=0.5 m), wide-field (f/1.9) telescopes have been installed at Lulin Observatory in Taiwan to simultaneously monitor some thousand of stars for such rare occultation events. Because a typical occultation event by a TNO a few km across will last for only a fraction of a second, fast photometry is necessary. A special CCD readout scheme has been devised to allow for stellar photometry taken a few times per second. Effective analysis pipelines have been developed to process stellar light curves and to correlate any possible flux changes among all telescopes. A few billion photometric measurements have been collected since the routine survey began in early 2005. Our preliminary result of a very low detection rate suggests a deficit of small TNOs down to a few km size, consistent with the extrapolation of some recent studies of larger (30100 km) TNOs.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Aug|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The NCU group acknowledges the NSC grant 95-2119-M-008-028. KHC’s work was performed under the auspices of the US DOE, by the University of California, LLNL under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science