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ExploreNEOs. II. The Accuracy of the Warm Spitzer Near-Earth Object Survey

Harris, A.W. and Mommert, M. and Hora, J.L. and Mueller, M. and Trilling, D.E. and Bhattacharya, B. and Bottke, W.F. and Chesley, S. and Delbo, M. and Emery, J.P. and Fazio, G. and Mainzer, A. and Penprase, B. and Smith, H.A. and Spahr, T.B. and Stansberry, J.A. and Thomas, C.A. (2011) ExploreNEOs. II. The Accuracy of the Warm Spitzer Near-Earth Object Survey. Astronomical Journal, 141 (3), pp. 1-10. Institute of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/141/3/75.

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Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/141/3/75/pdf/1538-3881_141_3_75.pdf

Abstract

We report on results of observations of near-Earth objects (NEOs) performed with the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope as part of our ongoing (2009–2011) Warm Spitzer NEO survey (“ExploreNEOs”), the primary aim of which is to provide sizes and albedos of some 700 NEOs. The emphasis of the work described here is an assessment of the overall accuracy of our survey results, which are based on a semi-empirical generalized model of asteroid thermal emission. The NASA Spitzer Space Telescope has been operated in the so-called Warm Spitzer mission phase since the cryogen was depleted in 2009 May, with the two shortest-wavelength channels, centered at 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm, of the Infrared Array Camera continuing to provide valuable data. The set of some 170 NEOs in our current Warm Spitzer results catalog contains 28 for which published taxonomic classifications are available, and 14 for which relatively reliable published diameters and albedos are available. A comparison of the Warm Spitzer results with previously published results (“ground truth”), complemented by a Monte Carlo error analysis, indicates that the rms Warm Spitzer diameter and albedo errors are ±20% and ±50%, respectively. Cases in which agreement with results from the literature is worse than expected are highlighted and discussed; these include the potential spacecraft target 138911 2001 AE2. We confirm that 1.4 appears to be an appropriate overall default value for the relative reflectance between the V band and the Warm Spitzer wavelengths, for use in correction of the Warm Spitzer fluxes for reflected solar radiation.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Article i.d: The Astronomical Journal, Volume 141, Issue 3, article id. 75 (2011)
Title:ExploreNEOs. II. The Accuracy of the Warm Spitzer Near-Earth Object Survey
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Harris, A.W.alan.harris@dlr.de
Mommert, M.michael.mommert@dlr.de
Hora, J.L.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Mueller, M.Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
Trilling, D.E.Northern Arizona University, USA
Bhattacharya, B.NASA Herschel Science Center Caltech, USA
Bottke, W.F.Southwest Research Institute, USA
Chesley, S.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA
Delbo, M.Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
Emery, J.P.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, USA
Fazio, G.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Mainzer, A.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA
Penprase, B.Department of Physics and Astronomy, Pomona College, USA
Smith, H.A.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Spahr, T.B.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Stansberry, J.A.Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, USA
Thomas, C.A.Northern Arizona University, USA
Date:March 2011
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomical Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:141
DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/141/3/75
Page Range:pp. 1-10
Publisher:Institute of Physics
Status:Published
Keywords:Asteroids, Near-Earth objects, Spitzer Space telescope
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:11 May 2011 14:09
Last Modified:20 Mar 2013 19:44

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