AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 4 Solar System
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[4.06] Early Observations in the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey

C. Alcock (CfA), F. Bianco (University of Pennsylvania), M. Lehner (CfA), R. Dave, J. Giammarco, M. Schwamb (University of Pennsylvania), K. Cook (LLNL), S. Marshall (SLAC), I. de Pater, R. Porrata, J. Rice (UC Berkeley), J. Lissauer (NASA Ames), T. Lee, S.K. King, A. Wang, S.Y. Wang, C.Y. Wen (Academia Sinica IAA), W.P. Chen, W. Ip, Y.H. Chang, D. Kinoshita, H.C. Lin, S. Mondal, Z.W. Zhang (National Central University), T. Axelrod (University of Arizona), Y.I. Byun (Yonsei University)

The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) is a program dedicated to performing a survey of the size and number distribution for small bodies (< 10km) in the Kuiper Belt. These objects are too faint to be detected through traditional means, but can be observed via their occultations of background stars. This technique is challenging due to the low event rate, the short event duration (< 200ms), marginal signal to noise of detections, and the possibility of a high false detection rate due to atmospheric fluctuations or other terrestrial phenomena. TAOS overcomes these obstacles with a four robotic telescope array (50cm) located in Lulin, Taiwan. Each telescope is equipped with a 2048 x 2048 pixel CCD camera. All four telescopes synchronously monitor up to 2000 stars autonomously at 5 Hz. We discuss the current state of the survey and the overall performance of the system during predicted asteroid occultations. In particular, we discuss our two telescope response to the occultation by (1723) Klemola of HIP 050535 (V = 8.46), with a maximal duration of 1.3 seconds and 7.2 magnitude drop.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.