Since 1992, when David Jewitt and Jane Luu of the University of Hawaii discovered the first Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), astronomers have been working to explore the vast and intriguing region beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt. Tens of thousands of these icy KBOs await discovery as they slowly orbit the Sun.
The Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES) is an initial reconnaissance of the Kuiper Belt being conducted at facilities of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory by a multi-institutional team of astronomers. The survey is aimed at gauging the shape and extent of the Belt and learning the spatial and orbital distribution of the KBOs themselves.
This site serves as a resource for 1) members and collaborators of the DES Team to aid in information sharing and monitoring program progress, 2) for astronomers involved in other KBO research, and 3) for those interested in using the images obtained in the course of the DES for other scientific or educational purposes. Non-astronomers may find the introductory sections of the site to be of interest.