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[en] We present the results of a search for occultation events by objects at distances between 100 and 1000 AU in light curves from the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey. We searched for consecutive, shallow flux reductions in the stellar light curves obtained by our survey between 2005 February 7 and 2006 December 31 with a total of ∼4.5 x 109 three-telescope simultaneous photometric measurements. No events were detected, allowing us to set upper limits on the number density as a function of size and distance of objects in Sedna-like orbits, using simple models.
[en] The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) aims to detect serendipitous occultations of stars by small (∼1 km diameter) objects in the Kuiper Belt and beyond. Such events are very rare (<10–3 events per star per year) and short in duration (∼200 ms), so many stars must be monitored at a high readout cadence. TAOS monitors typically ∼500 stars simultaneously at a 5 Hz readout cadence with four telescopes located at Lulin Observatory in central Taiwan. In this paper, we report the results of the search for small Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) in seven years of data. No occultation events were found, resulting in a 95% c.l. upper limit on the slope of the faint end of the KBO size distribution of q = 3.34-3.82, depending on the surface density at the break in the size distribution at a diameter of about 90 km.
[en] We have analyzed the first 3.75 years of data from the Taiwanese American Occultation Survey (TAOS). TAOS monitors bright stars to search for occultations by Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). This data set comprises 5 x 105 star hours of multi-telescope photometric data taken at 4 or 5 Hz. No events consistent with KBO occultations were found in this data set. We compute the number of events expected for the Kuiper Belt formation and evolution models of Pan and Sari, Kenyon and Bromley, Benavidez and Campo Bagatin, and Fraser. A comparison with the upper limits we derive from our data constrains the parameter space of these models. This is the first detailed comparison of models of the KBO size distribution with data from an occultation survey. Our results suggest that the KBO population is composed of objects with low internal strength and that planetary migration played a role in the shaping of the size distribution.