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Quaoar: A Rock in the Kuiper Belt

Fraser, Wesley C. and Brown, Michael E. (2010) Quaoar: A Rock in the Kuiper Belt. Astrophysical Journal, 714 (2). pp. 1547-1550. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/714/2/1547.

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Here we report Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 observations of the Quaoar-Weywot Kuiper Belt binary. From these observations, we find that Weywot is on an elliptical orbit with an eccentricity of 0.14 ± 0.04, a period of 12.438 ± 0.005 days, and a semimajor axis of 1.45 ± 0.08 × 10^4 km. The orbit reveals a surprisingly high-Quaoar-Weywot system mass of (1.6 ± 0.3) × 10^(21) kg. Using the surface properties of the Uranian and Neptunian satellites as a proxy for Quaoar's surface, we reanalyze the size estimate from Brown & Trujillo. We find, from a mean of available published size estimates, a diameter for Quaoar of 890 ± 70 km. We find Quaoar's density to be ρ = 4.2 ± 1.3 g cm^(-3), possibly the highest density in the Kuiper Belt.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fraser, Wesley C.0000-0001-6680-6558
Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2010 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 December 23; accepted 2010 April 1; published 2010 April 20. We thank Hal Levison, Eric Asphaug, Darin Ragozzine, and Alex Parker for their insightful discussions. This material is based upon work supported by NASA under grant NNG05GI02G. Support for program HST-Go-011169.9-A was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Kuiper Belt: general Kuiper Belt objects: individual (Quaoar)
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 96.10.+i; 95.85.Kr; 96.30.Xa; 96.25.De.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100527-081328111
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wesley C. Fraser and Michael E. Brown 2010 ApJ 714 1547 doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/714/2/1547
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18472
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:27 May 2010 16:51
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:44

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