A Caltech Library Service

Uncertainties on Asteroid Albedos Determined by Thermal Modeling

Masiero, Joseph R. and Wright, E. L. and Mainzer, A. K. (2021) Uncertainties on Asteroid Albedos Determined by Thermal Modeling. Planetary Science Journal, 2 (1). Art. No. 32. ISSN 2632-3338. doi:10.3847/psj/abda4d.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present an analysis of the accuracy of geometric albedos determined for asteroids through the modeling of observed thermal infrared radiation. We show that albedo uncertainty is dominated by the uncertainty on the measured HV absolute magnitude, and that any analysis using albedos in a statistical application will also be dominated by this source of uncertainty. For all but the small fraction of asteroids with a large amount of characterization data, improved knowledge of the HV magnitude will be fundamentally limited by incomplete phase-curve coverage, incomplete light-curve knowledge, and the necessary conversion from the observed band to the V band. Switching the absolute magnitude standard to a different band such a r' would mitigate the uncertainty due to band conversion for many surveys, but this only represents a small component of the total uncertainty. Therefore, techniques making use of these albedos must ensure that their uncertainties are properly accounted for.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Masiero, Joseph R.0000-0003-2638-720X
Wright, E. L.0000-0001-5058-1593
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2020 November 19; revised 2020 December 21; accepted 2021 January 7; published 2021 February 23. We thank the referees Petr Pravec and Alan Harris for their helpful reviews that improved this paper. This research has made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Subject Keywords:Asteroids; Photometry
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Asteroids (72); Photometry (1234)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210225-152341308
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Joseph R. Masiero et al 2021 Planet. Sci. J. 2 32
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108222
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Feb 2021 00:15
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page