From Kuiper Belt Object to Cometary Nucleus: The Missing Ultrared Matter

  title={From Kuiper Belt Object to Cometary Nucleus: The Missing Ultrared Matter},
  author={David C. Jewitt},
  journal={The Astronomical Journal},
  • D. Jewitt
  • Published 1 February 2002
  • Physics, Geology
  • The Astronomical Journal
We combine new and published data to show that the optical color distributions of cometary nuclei and Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are significantly different. The nuclei are, as a group, bluer than the KBOs, indicating that the surface chemical and/or physical properties of the two types of bodies are different. Objects in the dynamically intermediate Centaur class have optical colors like those of KBOs, while the color distribution of candidate dead comets is indistinguishable from that of the… 

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