Masiero, Joseph R. and Mainzer, A. K. and Grav, T. and Bauer, J. M. and Cutri, R. M. and Dailey, J. and Eisenhardt, P. R. M. and McMillan, R. S. and Spahr, T. B. and Skrutskie, M. F. and Tholen, D. and Walker, R. G. and Wright, E. L. and DeBaun, E. and Elsbury, D. and Gautier, T., IV and Gomillion, S. and Wilkins, A. (2011) Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters. Astrophysical Journal, 741 (2). p. 68. ISSN 0004-637X http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120127-114339553
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We present initial results from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a four-band all-sky thermal infrared survey that produces data well suited for measuring the physical properties of asteroids, and the NEOWISE enhancement to the WISE mission allowing for detailed study of solar system objects. Using a NEATM thermal model fitting routine, we compute diameters for over 100,000 Main Belt asteroids from their IR thermal flux, with errors better than 10%. We then incorporate literature values of visible measurements (in the form of the H absolute magnitude) to determine albedos. Using these data we investigate the albedo and diameter distributions of the Main Belt. As observed previously, we find a change in the average albedo when comparing the inner, middle, and outer portions of the Main Belt. We also confirm that the albedo distribution of each region is strongly bimodal. We observe groupings of objects with similar albedos in regions of the Main Belt associated with dynamical breakup families. Asteroid families typically show a characteristic albedo for all members, but there are notable exceptions to this. This paper is the first look at the Main Belt asteroids in the WISE data, and only represents the preliminary, observed raw size, and albedo distributions for the populations considered. These distributions are subject to survey biases inherent to the NEOWISE data set and cannot yet be interpreted as describing the true populations; the debiased size and albedo distributions will be the subject of the next paper in this series.
|Additional Information:||© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 May 3; accepted 2011 June 30; published 2011 October 17. We thank the anonymous referee for the helpful comments and suggestions that led to the improvement of this manuscript. J.R.M. was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at JPL, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. J.R.M. thanks M. Delbó and M. Mueller for providing access to their thermal modeling code which was helpful in early test cases. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication also makes use of data products from NEOWISE, which is a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the Planetary Science Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank the worldwide community of dedicated amateur and professional astronomers devoted to minor planet follow-up observations. We are deeply grateful for the outstanding contributions of all members of the WISE and NEOWISE teams.|
|Subject Keywords:||infrared: general; minor planets, asteroids: general|
|Official Citation:||Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters Joseph R. Masiero et al. 2011 ApJ 741 68|
|Usage Policy:||No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.|
|Deposited By:||Jason Perez|
|Deposited On:||30 Jan 2012 15:56|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2012 14:45|
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