Characterizing distant Solar System objects in the era of large scale surveys


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Auditório 2 - P218 – IAG/USP (Rua do Matão, 1226 - Cidade Universitária)

Characterizing distant Solar System objects in the era of large scale surveys

by Dr. Pedro Bernardinelli (DiRAC Institute - University of Washington)



The trans-Neptunian region is a reservoir of small bodies in the distant Solar System, with about 4000 members currently known. These trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are remnants from planetary formation, and their orbits, sizes, surface colors and shapes trace the history of our Solar System. I will present results of a search conducted on the Dark Energy Survey (DES) data, leading to a catalog of 800+ objects that composes the largest catalog of trans-Neptunian colors and light curve amplitudes to date as well as the discovery of the largest Oort cloud comet. I will contextualize the observed properties of these two samples with our understanding of the outer Solar System, and describe a new statistical model that can account for the bulk of the color, lightcurve amplitude and size distributions of trans-Neptunian objects. I will conclude by discussing the current DECam Ecliptic Exploration Project, a deep survey that aims to find thousands of small TNOs, and the upcoming Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time, expected to increase this population by a factor of 10.



Pedro Bernardinelli is a DiRAC Fellow at the DiRAC Institute at the University of Washington, and received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Pedro's primary research interests are in Solar System astronomy, big data, and large scale surveys. Pedro is the current co-convener of the Dark Energy Survey's Transients and Moving Objects group, the chair of the outer Solar System working group in the LSST Solar System Science Collaboration, and part of the Rubin Observatory's Solar System commissioning team. 


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