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Medium-sized Satellites of Large Kuiper Belt Objects

Brown, Michael E. and Butler, Bryan J. (2018) Medium-sized Satellites of Large Kuiper Belt Objects. Astronomical Journal, 156 (4). Art. No. 164. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aad9f2.

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While satellites of mid- to small-Kuiper Belt objects tend to be similar in size and brightness to their primaries, the largest Kuiper Belt objects preferentially have satellites with small fractional brightness. In the two cases where the sizes and albedos of the small faint satellites have been measured, these satellites are seen to be small icy fragments consistent with collisional formation. Here, we examine Dysnomia and Vanth, the satellites of Eris and Orcus, respectively. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, we obtain the first spatially resolved observations of these systems at thermal wavelengths. Vanth is easily seen in individual images, and we find a 3.5σ detection of Dysnomia by stacking all of the data on the known position of the satellite. We calculate a diameter for Dysnomia of 700 ± 115 km and for Vanth of 475 ± 75 km, with albedos of ${0.04}_{-0.01}^{+0.02}$ and 0.08 ± 0.02, respectively. Both Dysnomia and Vanth are indistinguishable from typical Kuiper Belt objects of their size. Potential implications for the formation of these types of satellites are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Butler, Bryan J.0000-0002-5344-820X
Additional Information:© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 January 19; revised 2018 July 24; accepted 2018 August 10; published 2018 September 18. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2016.1.00830.S, ADS/JAO.ALMA#2015.1.00810.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
Group:Astronomy Department
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180918-151155236
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Official Citation:Michael E. Brown and Bryan J. Butler 2018 AJ 156 164
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89751
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Sep 2018 22:49
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:37

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