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A Search for Distant Satellites of Neptune
Brown, Michael J. I.; Webster, Rachel L.
AA(School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia), AB(School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia)
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 15, Issue 3, p.325-327 (PASA Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
NEPTUNE, NEREID, planets and satellites: Neptune, Nereid
Abstract Copyright:
1998: Astronomical Society of Australia
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The recent discovery of two distant satellites of Uranus suggests that there could be similar bodies orbiting Neptune. Previous surveys for distant satellites of Neptune have had relatively bright magnitude limits (BJ ~= 20.5) and would have missed satellites with magnitudes and colours similar to the two recently discovered Uranian satellites (R ~ 20.4 and R ~ 21.9). We have searched for satellites of Neptune to a limiting magnitude of R ~ 21 in a 0.1□° region centred on the planet. This search is up to ~ 2 magnitudes deeper than the previous wide field search for distant satellites by the UK Schmidt Telescope. Nereid was easily recovered by the search and no large variations of its magnitude were detected.

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