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Paper: Polarimetry of trans-Neptunian Objects
Volume: 449, Astronomical Polarimetry 2008: Science from Small to Large Telescopes
Page: 365
Authors: Bagnulo, S.; Belskaya, I.; Kolokolova, L.; Muinonen, K.; Tozzi, G. P.; Barucci, A.
Abstract: For a long time, polarimetry has been routinely used to investigate the physical properties of various solar system bodies, including asteroids and comets, but it was only thanks to the large-size telescopes that it has become possible to extend these studies to the faint trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs). Polarimetric observations of TNOs as a function of the Sun-Object-Observer (phase) angle yield information about wavelength-scale physical properties of their surfaces, for example, particle size and complex refractive index, as well as the mean free path in multiple scattering. A vigourous observational campaign was carried out at the ESO Very Large Telescope, to measure the polarization of a sample of TNOs as function of the phase angle. Here we report the strategy adopted for observations and data reduction, as well as the scientific outcomes obtained so far, which include the discovery of two distint polarimetric behaviors among TNOs.
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