Trans-Neptunian science with the Dark Energy Survey
Session 4.06 Surveys
Tuesday 06-25 | 14:00 - 14:30
No co-author.

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) mapped 5000 sq. deg. of the Southern sky between 2013 and 2019 in the griz filters, using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the Blanco telescope, with the goal of mapping the distribution of galaxies in the universe. Despite being a cosmology-oriented survey, DES has become a very successful survey for trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs): our search yielded a catalog of 814 TNOs, and every DES object has multi-year orbital arcs, as well as a determination of their absolute magnitudes, colors, and variability estimates, in addition to well-characterized discoverability biases.

I will present an overview of results from DES, describing briefly this computationally challenging search, requiring a dedicated linking pipeline and about 20 million CPU-hours, and the extraction of 25 thousand flux measurements for these 800+ objects. I will discuss the discovery of a TNO-sized comet at 30 au, studies on the azimuthal distribution of the “extreme” TNOs and its relationship to the Planet X hypothesis, analysis of the radial distribution of the distant TNOs, binary discoveries and the distribution of trans-Neptunian lightcurve amplitudes. I will also briefly describe the “near-IR bright” (NIRB) and “near-IR faint” (NIRF) two component physical model that accounts for the color, size and lightcurve amplitude distributions of the majority of the DES sample (see also talk by Bernstein). I will conclude by contextualizing this sample with the current efforts of the DECam Ecliptic Exploration Project (see talk by Trilling), as well as the upcoming Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time (see talk by Kurlander).

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