PROJECT PAN-STARRS AND THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM


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Abstract

Pan-STARRS, a funded project to repeatedly survey the entire visible sky to faint limiting magnitudes (mR ∼ 24), will have a substantial impact on the study of the Kuiper Belt and outer solar system. We briefly review the Pan-STARRS design philosophy and sketch some of the planetary science areas in which we expect this facility to make its mark. Pan-STARRS will find ∼20,000 Kuiper Belt Objects within the first year of operation and will obtain accurate astrometry for all of them on a weekly or faster cycle. We expect that it will revolutionise our knowledge of the contents and dynamical structure of the outer solar system.

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