The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) aims to detect serendipitous occultations of stars by small (∼1 km diameter) objects in the Kuiper Belt and beyond. Such events are very rare (<10-3 events per star per year) and short in duration (∼200 ms), so many stars must be monitored at a high readout cadence. TAOS monitors typically ∼500 stars simultaneously at a 5 Hz readout cadence with four telescopes located at Lulin Observatory in central Taiwan. In this paper, we report the results of the search for small Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) in seven years of data. No occultation events were found, resulting in a 95% c.l. upper limit on the slope of the faint end of the KBO size distribution of q = 3.34-3.82, depending on the surface density at the break in the size distribution at a diameter of about 90 km.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science