# Michele T. Bannister's research while affiliated with Canterbury College and other places

## Publications (114)

Article
The LCO Outbursting Objects Key (LOOK) Project uses the telescopes of the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) Network to (1) systematically monitor a sample of previously discovered over the whole sky, to assess the evolutionary state of these distant remnants from the early solar system, and (2) use alerts from existing sky surveys to rapidly respond to...
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The LCO Outbursting Objects Key (LOOK) Project uses the telescopes of the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) Network to: (1) to systematically monitor a sample of Dynamically New Comets over the whole sky, and (2) use alerts from existing sky surveys to rapidly respond to and characterize detected outburst activity in all small bodies. The data gathered...
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The Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (Col-OSSOS) has gathered high quality, near-simultaneous (g-r) and (r-J) colours of 92 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) with (u-g) and (r-z) gathered for some. We present the current state of the survey and data analysis. Recognizing that the optical colours of most icy bodies broadly follow the redden...
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In the present-day Kuiper Belt, the number of compositional classes and the orbital distributions of these classes hold important cosmogonic implications for the Solar System. In a companion paper by Fraser et al., we demonstrate that the observed color distribution of small (H>6) Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) can be accounted for by the existence...
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The distribution of surface classes of resonant trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) provides constraints on the proto-planetesimal disk and giant planet migration. To better understand the surfaces of TNOs, the Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (Col-OSSOS) acquired multi-band photometry of 92 TNOs, and found that the surfaces of TNOs can...
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There have been 77 TNOs discovered to be librating in the distant trans-Neptunian resonances (beyond the 2:1 resonance, at semimajor axes greater than 47.7 au) in four well-characterized surveys: the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) and three similar prior surveys. Here, we use the OSSOS Survey Simulator to measure their intrinsic orbital...
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Full-text available
There have been 77 TNOs discovered to be librating in the distant transneptunian resonances (beyond the 2:1 resonance, at semimajor axes greater than 47.7~AU) in four well-characterized surveys: the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) and three similar prior surveys. Here we use the OSSOS Survey Simulator to measure their intrinsic orbital di...
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Dynamically excited objects within the Kuiper Belt show a bimodal distribution in their surface colors, and these differing surface colors may be a tracer of where these objects formed. In this work, we explore radial color distributions in the primordial planetesimal disk and implications for the positions of ice line/color transitions within the...
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Planetesimals inevitably bear the signatures of their natal environment, preserving in their composition a record of the metallicity of their system’s original gas and dust, albeit one altered by the formation processes. When planetesimals are dispersed from their system of origin, this record is carried with them. As each star is likely to contrib...
Preprint
Dynamically excited objects within the Kuiper belt show a bimodal distribution in their surface colors, and these differing surface colors may be a tracer of where these objects formed. In this work we explore radial color distributions in the primordial planetesimal disk and implications for the positions of ice line/color transitions within the K...
Preprint
Planetesimals inevitably bear the signatures of their natal environment, preserving in their composition a record of the metallicity of their system's original gas and dust, albeit one altered by the formation process. When planetesimals are dispersed from their system of origin, this record is carried with them. As each star is likely to contribut...
Article
Interstellar objects (ISOs), the parent population of 1 i /‘Oumuamua and 2 i /Borisov, are abundant in the interstellar medium of the Milky Way. This means that the interstellar medium, including molecular-cloud regions, has three components: gas, dust, and ISOs. From observational constraints of the field density of ISOs drifting in the solar neig...
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We present the discovery of 2013 VZ70, the first known horseshoe coorbital companion of Saturn. Observed by the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) for 4.5 years, the orbit of 2013 VZ70 is determined to high precision, revealing that it currently is in horseshoe' libration with the planet. This coorbital motion will last at least thousands o...
Article
The recent discovery of a hundred-kilometer-scale comet, C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein), has provoked interest in the activity displayed by such a large body inbound from the Oort cloud. We examine the serendipitous observation of UN271 in long-cadence imaging by the TESS satellite in 2018 and 2020, while Bernardinelli-Bernstein was at 23.8...
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The 'cold' main classical Kuiper Belt consists of those small solar system bodies with low orbital inclinations and orbital semi-major axes between 42.4 and 47.7~au. Various arguments suggest that these objects formed \textit{in situ} and the original population has experienced minimal collisional modification since their formation. Using the Outer...
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Of all the myriad environments in our Solar System, the least explored are the distant Ice Giants Uranus and Neptune, and their diverse satellite and ring systems. These ‘intermediate-sized’ worlds are the last remaining class of Solar System planet to be characterised by a dedicated robotic mission, and may shape the paradigm for the most common o...
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Full-text available
Interstellar objects (ISOs), the parent population of 1I/Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov, are abundant in the interstellar medium of the Milky Way. This means that the interstellar medium, including molecular cloud regions, has three components: gas, dust, and ISOs. From the observational constraints for the field density of ISOs drifting in the solar neig...
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Full-text available
The cold classical Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) possess a high, ≳30% binary fraction. Widely separated and dynamically fragile, these binary systems have been useful in tracing the origins of KBOs. A new class of binaries was recently identified by their colors. The so-called blue binaries are unanimously members of the less red compositional class,...
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Here, we present results on the intrinsic collision probabilities, $P_I$, and range of collision speeds, $V_I$, as a function of the heliocentric distance, $r$, in the trans-Neptunian region. The collision speed is one of the parameters, that serves as a proxy to a collisional outcome e.g., complete disruption and scattering of fragments, or forma...
Article
Here, we present results on the intrinsic collision probabilities, P I , and range of collision speeds, V I , as a function of the heliocentric distance, r , in the trans-Neptunian region. The collision speed is one of the parameters that serves as a proxy for a collisional outcome (e.g., disruption and scattering of fragments, or formation of a cr...
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Full-text available
The cold classical Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) possess a high, $\gtrsim30\%$ binary fraction. Widely separated and dynamically fragile, these binary systems have been useful in tracing the origins of KBOs. A new class of binaries was recently identified by their colours. The so-called blue binaries are unanimously members of the less red composition...
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Full-text available
A strong case can be made for a flyby mission through the outer solar system in the coming decades. The census of the larger worlds of the trans-Neptunian region has shown that they display incredible diversity. Surface geology and composition, shapes, and binarity are far more varied in these distant populations than in many other regions of the s...
Article
The minor planets on orbits that are dynamically stable in Neptune’s 1:1 resonance on Gyr timescales were likely em:laced by Neptune’s outward migration. We explore the intrinsic libration amplitude, eccentricity, and inclination distribution of Neptune’s stable Trojans, using the detections and survey efficiency of the Outer Solar System Origins S...
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The detections of 1I/Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov within just two years demonstrate impressively that interstellar objects (ISOs) must be common in the Milky Way. Once released from their parent system, these ISOs travel for Gyr through interstellar space. While often imagined as empty, interstellar space contains gas and dust most prominent in the form...
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Interstellar comets offer direct samples of volatiles from distant protoplanetary disks. 2I/Borisov is the first notably active interstellar comet discovered in our Solar System1. Comets are condensed samples of the gas, ice and dust that were in a star’s protoplanetary disk during the formation of its planets, and inform our understanding on how c...
Preprint
The minor planets on orbits that are dynamically stable in Neptune's 1:1 resonance on Gyr timescales were likely emplaced by Neptune's outward migration. We explore the intrinsic libration amplitude, eccentricity, and inclination distribution of Neptune's stable Trojans, using the detections and survey efficiency of the Outer Solar System Origins S...
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Observations show that 100-km-class Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) can be divided in (at least) two color groups, hereafter red (R, g-i<1.2) and very red (VR, g-i>1.2), reflecting a difference in their surface composition. This is thought to imply that KBOs formed over a relatively wide range of radial distance, r. The cold classicals at 42<r<47 au are...
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Uranus and Neptune, and their diverse satellite and ring systems, represent the least explored environments of our Solar System, and yet may provide the archetype for the most common outcome of planetary formation throughout our galaxy. Ice Giants will be the last remaining class of Solar System planet to have a dedicated orbital explorer, and inte...
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Full-text available
The surface characterization of Trans-Neptunian binaries (TNBs) is key to understanding the properties of the disk of planetesimals from which these objects formed. In the optical wavelengths, it has been demonstrated that most equal-sized component systems share similar colors, suggesting they have a similar composition. The color homogeneity of b...
Article
Beyond the giant planets there is a collection of bodies left over from the epoch of planet formation. The objects that are just beyond Neptune are more easily detected than those that journey hundreds of au away; all such highly eccentric objects have been observed inside 150 au. We are interested here in a population of Pluto to Mars-sized planet...
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Full-text available
The surface characterization of Trans-Neptunian Binaries (TNBs) is key to understanding the properties of the disk of planetesimals from which these objects formed. In the optical wavelengths, it has been demonstrated that most equal-sized component systems share similar colors, suggesting they have a similar composition. The color homogeneity of b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Interstellar comets offer direct samples of volatiles from distant protoplanetary disks. 2I/Borisov is the first notably active interstellar comet discovered in our solar system[1]. Comets are condensed samples of the gas, ice, and dust that were in a star's protoplanetary disk during the formation of its planets and inform our understanding on how...
Preprint
We report the clear detection of C$_2$ and of abundant NH$_2$ in the first prominently active interstellar comet, 2I/Borisov. We observed 2I on three nights in November 2019 at optical wavelengths 4800--9300 \AA with the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral-field spectrograph on the ESO/Very Large Telescope. These data, together with o...
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We observed the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov using the Neil Gehrels-Swift Observatory's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. We obtained images of the OH gas and dust surrounding the nucleus at four epochs spaced before and just after perihelion (-2.56 AU to 2.03 AU). Water production rates increased steadily before perihelion from $(7.0\pm1.5)\times10^... Article Full-text available While collisional families are common in the asteroid belt, only one is known in the Kuiper belt, linked to the dwarf planet Haumea. The characterization of Haumea’s family helps to constrain its origin and, more generally, the collisional history of the Kuiper belt. However, the size distribution of the Haumea family is difficult to constrain from... Preprint Full-text available Resonant dynamics plays a significant role in the past evolution and current state of our outer Solar System. The population ratios and spatial distribution of Neptune's resonant populations are direct clues to understanding the history of our planetary system. The orbital structure of the objects in Neptune's 2:1 mean-motion resonance (\emph{twoti... Preprint Looking at the orbits of small bodies with large semimajor axes, we are compelled to see patterns. Some of these patterns are noted as strong indicators of new or hidden processes in the outer Solar System, others are substantially generated by observational biases, and still others may be completely overlooked. We can gain insight into the current... Preprint While collisional families are common in the asteroid belt, only one is known in the Kuiper belt, linked to the dwarf planet Haumea. The characterization of Haumea's family helps to constrain its origin and, more generally, the collisional history of the Kuiper belt. However, the size distribution of the Haumea family is difficult to constrain from... Preprint We use published models of the early Solar System evolution with a slow, long-range and grainy migration of Neptune to predict the orbital element distributions and the number of modern-day Centaurs. The model distributions are biased by the OSSOS survey simulator and compared with the OSSOS Centaur detections. We find an excellent match to the obs... Article Full-text available Preprint Uranus and Neptune, and their diverse satellite and ring systems, represent the least explored environments of our Solar System, and yet may provide the archetype for the most common outcome of planetary formation throughout our galaxy. Ice Giants are the last remaining class of planet in our system to have a dedicated orbital mission. This white p... Article Most known trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) gravitationally scattering off the giant planets have orbital inclinations consistent with an origin from the classical Kuiper belt, but a small fraction of these "scattering TNOs" have inclinations that are far too large (i > 45°) for this origin. These scattering outliers have previously been proposed to... Article Full-text available The discovery of the first interstellar object passing through the Solar System, 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua), provoked intense and continuing interest from the scientific community and the general public. The faintness of ‘Oumuamua, together with the limited time window within which observations were possible, constrained the information available on it... Preprint Full-text available The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is expected to increase known small solar system object populations by an order of magnitude or more over the next decade, enabling a broad array of transformative solar system science investigations to be performed. In this white paper, we discuss software tools and infrastructure that we anticipate will... Preprint Most known trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) gravitationally scattering off the giant planets have orbital inclinations consistent with an origin from the classical Kuiper belt, but a small fraction of these "scattering TNOs" have inclinations that are far too large (i > 45 deg) for this origin. These scattering outliers have previously been proposed... Article The discovery of 1I/'Oumuamua confirmed that planetesimals must exist in great numbers in interstellar space. Originally generated during planet formation, they are scattered from their original systems and subsequently drift through interstellar space. As a consequence they should seed molecular clouds with at least hundred-meter-scale objects. We... Preprint The discovery of 1I/Oumuamua confirmed that planetesimals must exist in great numbers in interstellar space. Originally generated during planet formation, they are scattered from their original systems and subsequently drift through interstellar space. As a consequence they should seed molecular clouds with at least hundred-metre-scale objects. We... Article Full-text available Both physical and dynamical properties must be considered to constrain the origins of the dynamically excited distant solar system populations. We present high-precision (g-r) colors for 25 small (H r > 5) dynamically excited trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and centaurs acquired as part of the Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey. We com... Preprint Full-text available A foundational goal of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is to map the Solar System small body populations that provide key windows into understanding of its formation and evolution. This is especially true of the populations of the Outer Solar System -- objects at the orbit of Neptune$r > 30\$AU and beyond. In this whitepaper, we propose...
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We propose an ecliptic Deep Drilling Field that will discover some 10,000~small and faint Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) --- primitive rocky/icy bodies that orbit at the outside of our Solar System and uniquely record the processes of planetary system formation and evolution. The primary goals are to measure the KBO size and shape distributions down to...