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Spitzer observations of the asteroid-comet transition object and potential spacecraft target 107P (4015) Wilson-Harrington

Licandro, J. and Campins, H. and Kelley, M. and Fernandez, Y. and Delbó, M. and Reach, W. T. and Groussin, O. and Lamy, P. L. and Toth, I. and A'Hearn, M. F. and Bauer, J. M. and Lowry, S. C. and Fitzsimmons, A. and Lisse, C. M. and Meech, K. J. and Pittichová, J. and Snodgrass, C. and Weaver, H. A. (2009) Spitzer observations of the asteroid-comet transition object and potential spacecraft target 107P (4015) Wilson-Harrington. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 507 (3). pp. 1667-1670. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Context. Near-Earth asteroid-comet transition object 107P/ (4015) Wilson-Harrington is a possible target of the joint European Space Agency (ESA) and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Marco Polo sample return mission. Physical studies of this object are relevant to this mission, and also to understanding its asteroidal or cometary nature. Aims. Our aim is to obtain significant new constraints on the surface thermal properties of this object. Methods. We present mid-infrared photometry in two filters (16 and 22 μm) obtained with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope on February 12, 2007, and results from the application of the Near Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM). We obtained high S/N in two mid-IR bands allowing accurate measurements of its thermal emission. Results. We obtain a well constrained beaming parameter (η = 1.390.26) and obtain a diameter and geometric albedo of D = 3.46 ± 0.32 km, and p_V = 0.059 ± 0.011. We also obtain similar results when we apply this best-fitting thermal model to single-band mid-IR photometry reported by Campins et al. (1995, P&SS, 43, 733), Kraemer et al. (2005, AJ, 130, 2363) and Reach et al. (2007, Icarus, 191, 298). Conclusions. The albedo of 4015 Wilson-Harrington is low, consistent with those of comet nuclei and primitive C-, P-, D-type asteorids. We establish a rough lower limit for the thermal inertia of W-H of 60 Jm^(-2)s^(-0.5) K^(-1) when it is at r = 1 AU, which is slightly over the limit of 30 Jm^(-2) s^(-0.5) K^(-1) derived by Groussin et al. (2009, Icarus, 199, 568) for the thermal inertia of the nucleus of comet 22P/Kopff.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Fernandez, Y.0000-0003-1156-9721
Reach, W. T.0000-0001-8362-4094
Lisse, C. M.0000-0002-9548-1526
Meech, K. J.0000-0002-2058-5670
Weaver, H. A.0000-0003-0951-7762
Additional Information:© 2009 ESO. Received 13 August 2009; accepted 21 September 2009. We thanks the referee J. Emery for his useful comments, and K. Hargrove for reviewing the manuscript. J.L. gratefully acknowledges support from the spanish “Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación” projects AYA2005- 07808-C03-02 and AYA2008-06202-C03-02. H.C. gratefully acknowledges support from NASA’s Spitzer Science Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Planetary Astronomy program. H.C. was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the “Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias” in Tenerife, Spain. J.P. gratefully acknowledges support from the Slovak Academy of Sciences Grant VEGA 2/7040/27.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministerio de Ciencia e InnovaciónAYA2005-07808-C03-02
Ministerio de Ciencia e InnovaciónAYA2008-06202-C03-02
Slovak Academy of SciencesVEGA 2/7040/27
Subject Keywords:comets: individual: 107P (4015) Wilson-Harrington; minor planets, asteroids; infrared: solar system
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091222-122337027
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Official Citation:Spitzer observations of the asteroid-comet transition object and potential spacecraft target 107P (4015) Wilson-Harrington J. Licandro, H. Campins, M. Kelley, Y. Fernández, M. Delbó, W. T. Reach, O. Groussin, P. L. Lamy, I. Toth, M. F. A'Hearn, J. M. Bauer, S. C. Lowry, A. Fitzsimmons, C. M. Lisse, K. J. Meech, J. Pittichová, C. Snodgrass and H. A. Weaver A&A 507 (3) 1667-1670 (2009) DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200913116
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17021
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:24 Dec 2009 15:35
Last Modified:31 Oct 2019 02:11

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