Detecting a small Kuiper Belt object using archival data of HST's Fine Guidance Sensor

Shay Zucker*, Hilke E. Schlichting, Eran O. Ofek, Mike Wenz, Re'em Sari, Avishay Gal-Yam, Mario Livio, Ed Nelan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Kuiper Belt is a remnant of the primordial Solar System. Measurements of its size distribution constrain its accretion and collisional history, and the importance of material strength of Kuiper elt objects. Small, sub-kilometer-sized, Kuiper Belt objects elude direct detection, but the signature of their occultations of background stars should be detectable. Such an occultation event lasts typically a fraction of a second, thus making it a classical high time-resolution observation. Here we report an analysis of archival data of HST's Fine Guidance Sensors (FGS), that reveals an occultation by such a small object. The detection introduces the FGS as a valuable HTRA instrument. We discuss the statistical aspects regarding the validation of the detection claim, and its physical implications.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2010
Event4th High Time Resolution Astrophysics - The Era of Extremely Large Telescopes, HTRA 2010 - Crete, Greece
Duration: 5 May 20107 May 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting a small Kuiper Belt object using archival data of HST's Fine Guidance Sensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this