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Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 105, Issue 2–4, pp 115–122 | Cite as

Keck Observations of Solar System Objects: Perspectives for Extremely Large Telescopes

  • A. R. Conrad
  • R. W. Goodrich
  • R. D. Campbell
  • W. J. Merline
  • J. D. Drummond
  • C. Dumas
  • B. Carry
Article

Abstract

From differential tracking techniques, required for appulse observations of KBOs with Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics (LGSAO), to developing methods for collecting spectra at the precise moment of a predicted impact, each Solar System observation conducted on a large telescope presents a unique set of challenges. We present operational details and some key science results from our science program, adaptive optics observations of main belt asteroids and near earth objects; as well as the technical and operational details of several Keck Solar System observations conducted by other teams: the impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter, volcanoes on Io, the Deep Impact mission to Comet 9P/Tempel 1, and recent observations of Pluto’s moons Nix and Hydra. For each of these observations, we draw from our Keck experience to predict what challenges may lie ahead when similar observations are conducted on next generation telescopes.

Keywords

Keck ELT 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was in part supported by the NASA Planetary Astronomy grant NRA-02-OSS-01-344-32-55-05 (PI: Dumas, C) and NNX08A068G (PI: Merline, W.J.). The data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Conrad
    • 1
  • R. W. Goodrich
    • 1
  • R. D. Campbell
    • 1
  • W. J. Merline
    • 1
  • J. D. Drummond
    • 1
  • C. Dumas
    • 1
  • B. Carry
    • 1
  1. 1.W.M. Keck ObservatoryKamuelaUSA

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