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The Warm Spitzer NEO Survey: exploring the history of the inner Solar System and near Earth space

Trilling, D and Bhattacharya, B and Bottke, W and Chesley, S and Delbo, M and Emery, J and Fazio, G and Harris, A.W. and Hora, J and Mainzer, A and Mueller, M and Penprase, B and Smith, H and Spahr, T and Stansberry, J (2009) The Warm Spitzer NEO Survey: exploring the history of the inner Solar System and near Earth space. American Astronomical Society. American Astronomical Society, Meeting #214, 2009-06-07 - 2009-06-11, Pasadena, USA.

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The majority of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) originated in collisions between bodies in the main asteroid belt and have found their way into near-Earth space via complex and little understood dynamical interactions. This transport of material from the main belt into the inner Solar System has shaped the histories of the terrestrial planets. However, despite their scientific importance, key characteristics of the NEO population --‑ such as the size distribution, mix of albedos and mineralogies, and contributions from so-called dead or dormant comets --‑ remain largely unexplored; some 99% of all presently known NEOs are essentially uncharacterized. Recent evidence suggests that the size distribution of NEOs may undergo a transition at 1 km, and that the smaller bodies may record fundamental physical processes that are presently occurring in the Solar System but not understood. We will use the unique capability of Warm Spitzer to observe 700 NEOs. We will measure the size distribution of this population to understand fundamental physical processes that occur among the small bodies of our Solar System. We will measure the fraction of NEOs likely to be dead comets, with implications for the flux of organic material onto the Earth. We will measure the albedo distribution of NEOs, which indicates the compositional diversity among these small bodies. We will study properties of individual NEOs, including their surface properties and potentially their densities, and detailed properties of a subset of well-characterized objects. Our expert team and our previous experience in this field will allow us to complete a comprehensive study of the origin and evolution of the NEO population. Our work is nothing less than an exploration of the history of near-Earth space.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Title:The Warm Spitzer NEO Survey: exploring the history of the inner Solar System and near Earth space
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Trilling, DNorthern Arizona University, USA
Bhattacharya, BNASA Herschel Science Center, California, USA
Bottke, WSWRI, Colorado, USA
Chesley, SJPL, California, USA
Delbo, MObservatoire de la Cote d'Azur, France
Emery, JU. Tennessee-Knoxville, USA
Fazio, GHarvard-Smithsonian, USA
Hora, JHarvard-Smithsonian, USA
Mainzer, AJPL, California, USA
Mueller, MUniv. Arizona, USA
Penprase, BPomona College, California, USA
Smith, HHarvard-Smithsonian, USA
Spahr, THarvard-Smithsonian, USA
Stansberry, JUniv. Arizona, USA
Date:May 2009
Refereed publication:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:p. 716
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
Series Name:Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Keywords:Solar System; Near-Earth asteroids; Spitzer Space Telescope
Event Title:American Astronomical Society, Meeting #214
Event Location:Pasadena, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:2009-06-07 - 2009-06-11
Organizer:American Astronomical Society
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Asteroiden und Kometen (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Deposited By: Prof. Alan Harris
Deposited On:26 Aug 2009 11:58
Last Modified:21 Jan 2010 10:11

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