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Published June 10, 2001 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Radial Distribution of the Kuiper Belt


We examine the radial distribution of the Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) using a method that is insensitive to observational bias effects. This technique allows the use of the discovery distances of all KBOs, independent of orbital classification or discovery circumstance. We verify the presence of an outer edge to the Kuiper Belt, as reported in other works, and we measure this edge to be at R = 47 ± 1 AU given any physically plausible model of the size distribution. We confirm that this outer edge is due to the classical KBOs, the most numerically dominant observationally. In addition, we find that current surveys do not preclude the presence of a second, unobserved Kuiper Belt beyond R = 76 AU.

Additional Information

© 2001 American Astronomical Society. Received 2001 February 26; accepted 2001 May 11; published 2001 May 31. This project was funded by a NASA grant to M. E. B.

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