Physical Properties of Centaurs

W. R. Brown, J. X. Luu (Harvard University)

We will present results obtained from photometric observations of Centaurs 1995 GO, 1997 CU26, and 2060 Chiron. Centaurs are objects on unstable orbits between Jupiter and Neptune, and thus are of interest as possible Kuiper Belt objects evolving into short-period comets. Characteristics to be discussed include colors, rotation period, size, and limits on cometary activity. These characteristics will be compared with those of known Kuiper Belt Objects. We will also discuss the observable lifetimes of possible cometary outbursts on these Centaurs based on modeling of dust particle orbits.