37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 56 TNOs and Centaurs
Poster, Thursday, September 8, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[56.02] Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics Discovery and Characterization of a Large Kuiper Belt Object Satellite

A. Bouchez, M. Brown (Caltech), R. Campbell, J. Chin, M. van Dam, S. Hartman, E. Johansson, R. Lafon, D. Le Mignant, P. Stomski, D. Summers, P. Wizinowich (Keck Observatory), C. Trujillo (Gemini Observatory), D. Rabinowitz (Yale University)

We present the discovery of a satellite orbiting the newly found large Kuiper Belt Object K40506A (see Rabinowitz et al., this proceedings), observed using the W.M. Keck Observatory laser guide star adaptive optics (LGSAO) system. Using the V=17.5 minor planet as the tip-tilt reference, the Keck LGSAO system delivered images with a typical resolution of 0.06 arcseconds at 2.1 microns wavelength. Observations made during 5 commissioning nights between 26 January and 30 June 2005 allow us to derive the following orbital solution for the delta K=3.8 magnitude satellite with respect to the primary: a=49100±400 km, P=49.05±0.03 days, e=0.048±0.002. This implies a total mass of the system of 3.9±0.1 x 1021 kg, or 30.2±0.8% the mass of Pluto.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.