|MadSci Network: Astronomy|
Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) typically are very faint, with magnitudes greater than 20 (the higher the magnitude, the fainter an object is). Most searches for new KBOs use large optical telescopes and CCD detectors (sort of like those for a digital camera). A large survey (Deep Ecliptic Survey) is continuing to look for these objects using the 4-meter Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, with followup observations on both the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope and the Steward Observatory 90-inch (2.3 meter) also at Kitt Peak. Other surveys use similar (or the same) telescopes. Typically, the intial detection of a KBO will compare two different observations to see if anything has moved. The followup observations are to determine the orbital properties of the KBO.
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