Research NewsAstronomy

Taiwan, U.S. Team Up to Chase Shadows

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Science  29 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5368, pp. 1347
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5368.1347

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Peter Weiss Astronomers think that when a star in a telescope's view winks out, the shadow could sometimes be cast by a member of a vast, uncharted comet reservoir beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt. By counting and measuring these blackouts, the Taiwanese American Occultation Survey, or TAOS, aims to estimate the number of objects in the Kuiper Belt and determine their size distribution. The results could force astronomers to rethink the comets.