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We present measurements at optical wavelengths of the spectral reflectance, rotational light curve, and solar phase curve of 2003 EL61. With apparent visual magnitude 17.5 at 51 AU from the Sun, this newly discovered member of the classical Kuiper Belt is now the third brightest KBO after Pluto and 2005 FY9. Our observations reveal an unambiguous,(More)
The spectrum of the bright Kuiper Belt object 2005 FY9 from 0.34 to 2.5 m is dominated by the red coloring of many outer solar system objects in the optical wavelength regime and by absorption due to methane in the near-infrared. The solid methane absorption lines are significantly broader on 2005 FY9 than on any other solar system body, indicating long(More)
We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to directly measure the angular size of the large Kuiper belt object 2003 UB313. By carefully calibrating the point spread function of a nearby field star, we measure the size of 2003 UB313 to be 34.3±1.4 milliarcseconds, corresponding to a diameter of 2400±100 km or a size ∼ 5% larger than Pluto. The V band geometric(More)
Observations of Titan's mid-latitude clouds from the W. M. Keck and Gemini Observatories show that they cluster near 350 degrees W longitude, 40 degrees S latitude. These clouds cannot be explained by a seasonal shift in global circulation and thus presumably reflect a mechanism on Titan such as geysering or cryovolcanism in this region. The rate of(More)
Until now, all the clouds imaged in Titan's troposphere have been found at far southern latitudes (60Њ–90Њ south). The occurrence and location of these clouds is thought to be the result of convection driven by the maximum annual solar heating of Titan's surface, which occurs at summer solstice (2002 October) in this south polar region. We report the first(More)
[1] We present adaptive optics data from the Keck telescope, taken while the Huygens probe descended through Titan's atmosphere and on the days following touchdown. No probe entry signal was detected. Our observations span a solar phase angle range from 0.05° up to 0.8°, with the Sun in the west. Contrary to expectations, the east side of Titan's(More)
We present 2.03-2.30 µm near-infrared spectroscopy of Neptune taken 1999 June 2 (UT) with the W.M. Keck Observatory's near-infrared spectrometer (NIRSPEC) during the commissioning of the instrument. The spectrum is dominated by a bright cloud feature, possibly a storm or upwelling, in the southern hemisphere at approximately 50. • S latitude. The spectrum(More)
Nearly all adaptive optics images of Titan taken between December 2001 and November 2004 showed tropospheric clouds located within 30 • of the south pole. We report here on a dissipation of Titan's south polar clouds observed in twenty-nine Keck and Gemini images taken between December 2004 and April 2005. The near complete lack of south polar cloud(More)
Observations from the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer show an anomalously bright spot on Titan located at 80 degrees W and 20 degrees S. This area is bright in reflected light at all observed wavelengths, but is most noticeable at 5 microns. The spot is associated with a surface albedo feature identified in images taken by the Cassini(More)
Images of Titan acquired over five nights in October 2004 using the adaptive optics system at the Keck Observatory show dramatic increases in tropospheric cloud activity at the south pole compared with all other images of Titan clouds to date. During this time, Titan's south polar clouds brightened to more than 18 times their typical values. The Cassini Ta(More)