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

Hora, J. and Trilling, D.E. and Thomas, C.A. and Stansberry, J.A. and Spahr, T.P. and Smith, H.A. and Penprase, B.E. and Mueller, M. and Mainzer, A.K. and Harris, A.W. and Fazio, G.G. and Emery, J.P. and Delbo', M. and Chesley, S.R. and Bottke, W.F. and Bhattacharya, B. (2010) The Warm Spitzer NEO Survey: Exploring the history of the inner Solar System and near Earth space. In: Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 41, p. 433. American Astronomical Society. American Astronomical Society, Meeting #215, 3-7 January 2010, Washington, DC, 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. We have an approved 500 hour Warm Spitzer program to derive albedos and diameters for some 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 NEO albedo distribution, 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 Warm Spitzer program began execution in July 2009, and will return on average one target per day for the next two years. We will present initial results from our program. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by JPL/Caltech, under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Title:The Warm Spitzer NEO Survey: Exploring the history of the inner Solar System and near Earth space
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Hora, J.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Trilling, D.E.Northern Arizona University, USA
Thomas, C.A.JPL/Caltech, USA
Stansberry, J.A.University of Arizona, USA
Spahr, T.P.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Smith, H.A.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Penprase, B.E.Pomona College, USA
Mueller, M.Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, France
Mainzer, A.K.JPL/Caltech, USA
Fazio, G.G.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Emery, J.P.University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA
Delbo', M.Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, France
Chesley, S.R.JPL/Caltech, USA
Bottke, W.F.SWRI, USA
Bhattacharya, B.NASA Herschel Science Center, Caltech, USA
Date:January 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Page Range:p. 433
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
Keywords:Asteroid, NEO, infrared photometry, Spitzer Space Telescope
Event Title:American Astronomical Society, Meeting #215
Event Location:Washington, DC, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:3-7 January 2010
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:13 Apr 2010 10:39
Last Modified:13 Apr 2010 10:40

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