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Astron. Astrophys. 348, 1035-1039 (1999)


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Search for Trans-Neptunian objects: an automated technique applied to images obtained with the UH 8k CCD Mosaic Camera

P. Rousselot * , F. Lombard and G. Moreels[FORMULA]

Observatoire de Besançon, B.P. 1615, F-25010 Besançon Cedex, France (philippe@obs-besancon.fr)

Received 20 July 1998 / Accepted 14 October 1998

Abstract

In this paper we present the results obtained with a new program dedicated to the automatic detection of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) with standard sets of images obtained in a same field of view. This program is available freely from the World Wide Web server of the Observatory of Besançon (http://www.obs-besancon.fr/www/publi/philippe/tno.html ) and is designed to be used with the Munich Image Data Analysis System (MIDAS) developped by The European Southern Observatory (ESO). It has been tested with observational data collected with the UH 8k CCD mosaic Camera on October 27, 1997, at the prime focus of the CFH telescope (Mauna Kea, Hawaii). These observational data had lead, by the classical method of blinking, to a first detection of a new TNO with a magnitude estimated at 23.6 and an unusually high orbital inclination (i[FORMULA]33o). The program managed to detect this object, as well as detecting another TNO ([FORMULA]23.9), confirming its ability to detect faint moving objects.

Key words: methods: data analysis – techniques: image processing – solar system: formation

* Visiting Astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, operated by the National Research Council of Canada, The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique de France, and the University of Hawaii.

Send offprint requests to: P. Rousselot

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: August 13, 199

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