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Asteroid thermal inertia estimates from remote infrared observations: The effects of surface roughness and rotation rate

Harris, Alan W. and Drube, Line (2020) Asteroid thermal inertia estimates from remote infrared observations: The effects of surface roughness and rotation rate. The Astrophysical Journal, 901 (140), pp. 1-11. American Astronomical Society. doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/abb097. ISSN 0004-637X.

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Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/abb097

Abstract

The thermal inertia of an asteroid's surface can provide insight into regolith properties, such as the presence of a layer of fine dust, the density and thermal conductivity of a rocky surface, and, together with other observational data, mineralogy. Knowledge of the surface characteristics of asteroids is important for planetary defense initiatives and the extraction of resources ("asteroid mining"). A simple means of estimating asteroid thermal inertia has been proposed by Harris & Drube, which is suitable for application to large sets of thermal-infrared observational data, such as those obtained by infrared space telescopes. We compare results from the Harris-Drube estimator with recently published values of asteroid thermal inertia from detailed thermophysical modeling, and provide an explanation in terms of reduced surface roughness for some discrepant results. Smooth surfaces covered in fine dust may provide an explanation for the unexpectedly low values of thermal inertia derived from thermophysical modeling for some slowly rotating main-belt asteroids (MBAs). In the case of near-Earth objects (NEOs) we show that results from the estimator are in good agreement with those from thermophysical modeling, with just a few exceptions. We discuss the special cases of the NEOs (101955) Bennu, (162173) Ryugu, and (29075) 1950 DA in the context of results from our estimator. Given the data requirements and complexity of thermophysical modeling, data-analysis tools based on relatively simple concepts can play an important role in allowing "quick-look" assessment of thermal-infrared data of asteroids, especially NEOs.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/136947/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:This work was initiated with support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 640351 (project NEOShield-2).
Title:Asteroid thermal inertia estimates from remote infrared observations: The effects of surface roughness and rotation rate
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Harris, Alan W.alan.harris (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8548-8268
Drube, Lineld (at) space.dtu.dkhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2486-8894
Date:1 October 2020
Journal or Publication Title:The Astrophysical Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:901
DOI :10.3847/1538-4357/abb097
Page Range:pp. 1-11
Editors:
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iD
The American Astronomical Society, AASUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
ISSN:0004-637X
Status:Published
Keywords:infrared: planetary systems – minor planets, asteroids: general, near-Earth objects
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Harris, Prof. Alan
Deposited On:29 Oct 2020 08:01
Last Modified:29 Oct 2020 08:01

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