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Thermal-infrared surveys of near-Earth object diameters and albedos with Spitzer and IRTF/MIRSI

Mommert, M. and Trilling, D. and Hora, J. L. and Chesley, S. R. and Emery, J.P. and Fazio, G.G. and Harris, A. W. and Moskovitz, N. and Mueller, M. and Smith, H.A. (2015) Thermal-infrared surveys of near-Earth object diameters and albedos with Spitzer and IRTF/MIRSI. IAU 29th General Assembly, 3.-14. Aug. 2015, Hawaii, USA.

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Official URL: http://astronomy2015.org/


More than 12000 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) have been discovered over the past few decades and current discovery surveys find on average 4 new NEOs every night. In comparison to asteroid discovery, the physical characterization of NEOs lags far behind: measured diameters and albedos exist only for roughly 10% of all known NEOs. We describe a current and a future observing program to provide diameter and albedo measurements of a large number of NEOs. In our Spitzer Space Telescope Exploration Science program 'NEOSurvey', we are performing a fast and efficient flux-limited survey in which we measure the diameters and albedos of ~600 NEOs in a total of 710 hrs of observing time. We measure the thermal emission of our targets at 4.5 micron and combine these measurements with optical data in a thermal model. Our diameters and albedos come with highly realistic uncertainties that account for a wide range of potential asteroid properties. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties, including diameters, albedos, and flux density data. This catalog is publicly accessible and provides the latest results usually within 2 weeks after the observation. Starting in 2016, we will also make use of the refurbished and recommissioned MIRSI mid-infrared imaging camera on NASA's InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) to derive the diameters and albedos of up to 750 NEOs over a period of 3 yrs. MIRSI will be equipped with an optical camera that will allow for simultaneous optical imaging, which will improve our thermal modeling results. With MIRSI, we will focus on newly discovered NEOs that are close to Earth and hence relatively bright. The results from both programs, together with already exisiting diameter and albedo results from the literature, will form the largest database of NEO physical properties available to date. With this data set, we will be able to refine the size distribution of small NEOs and the corresponding impact frequency, and compare the albedo distribution of NEOs with those of their potential source populations. These projects are supported by NASA and the Spitzer Science Center.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/98374/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Thermal-infrared surveys of near-Earth object diameters and albedos with Spitzer and IRTF/MIRSI
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Mommert, M.Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Trilling, D.Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hora, J. L.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chesley, S. R.JPL, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Emery, J.P.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, TN 37996, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fazio, G.G.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MA 02138-1516, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moskovitz, N.Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mueller, M.SRON, 9700 AV Groningen, The NetherlandsUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Smith, H.A.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MA 02138-1516, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Asteroids, Spitzer Space Telescope, near-Earth objects (NEOs), NASA Infra-Red Telescope Facility (IRTF)
Event Title:IAU 29th General Assembly
Event Location:Hawaii, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:3.-14. Aug. 2015
Organizer:International Astronomical Union
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 - Exploration of the Solar System
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Harris, Prof. Alan
Deposited On:13 Oct 2015 07:53
Last Modified:10 May 2016 23:31

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