Kuiper Belt

Last year, Brendon Brewer (Auckland) visited us and solved a huge problem in astronomy: How do you get the number counts (or flux distribution) of sources too faint to detect in your image? You might think you can't but you can if they contribute significantly to the pixel noise statistics. Brewer's solution is the full Bayesian solution: Sample all possible catalogs! Today (because he is in town), I pitched to him the same problem but for moving sources, in particular sources moving like Kuiper Belt objects move (in an apparent sense from the Earth). If we can generalize what we have done to a mixture of stars and Kuiper Belt objects, we might be able to determine things about the size and semi-major axis distribution even for objects we can't detect significantly even in the full stack of imaging.

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