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NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results

Mainzer, A. and Grav, T. and Masiero, J. and Hand, E. and Bauer, J. and Tholen, D. and McMillan, R. S. and Spahr, T. and Cutri, R. M. and Wright, E. and Watkins, J. and Mo, W. and Maleszewski, C. (2011) NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results. Astrophysical Journal, 741 (2). p. 90. ISSN 0004-637X. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120127-114524402

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Abstract

The NEOWISE data set offers the opportunity to study the variations in albedo for asteroid classification schemes based on visible and near-infrared observations for a large sample of minor planets. We have determined the albedos for nearly 1900 asteroids classified by the Tholen, Bus, and Bus-DeMeo taxonomic classification schemes. We find that the S-complex spans a broad range of bright albedos, partially overlapping the low albedo C-complex at small sizes. As expected, the X-complex covers a wide range of albedos. The multiwavelength infrared coverage provided by NEOWISE allows determination of the reflectivity at 3.4 and 4.6 μm relative to the visible albedo. The direct computation of the reflectivity at 3.4 and 4.6 μm enables a new means of comparing the various taxonomic classes. Although C, B, D, and T asteroids all have similarly low visible albedos, the D and T types can be distinguished from the C and B types by examining their relative reflectance at 3.4 and 4.6 μm. All of the albedo distributions are strongly affected by selection biases against small, low albedo objects, as all objects selected for taxonomic classification were chosen according to their visible light brightness. Due to these strong selection biases, we are unable to determine whether or not there are correlations between size, albedo, and space weathering. We argue that the current set of classified asteroids makes any such correlations difficult to verify. A sample of taxonomically classified asteroids drawn without significant albedo bias is needed in order to perform such an analysis.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90DOIArticle
http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/741/2/90PublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Grav, T. 0000-0002-3379-0534
Masiero, J.0000-0003-2638-720X
Cutri, R. M.0000-0002-0077-2305
Wright, E.0000-0001-5058-1593
Additional Information:© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 April 26; accepted 2011 August 7; published 2011 October 21. This publication makes use of data products from the Widefield 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. We gratefully acknowledge the extraordinary services specific to NEOWISE contributed by the International Astronomical Union’s MPC, operated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, operated by Harvard University. We thank the paper’s referee, Prof. Richard Binzel, for his helpful contributions. We also thank the worldwide community of dedicated amateur and professional astronomers devoted to minor planet follow-up observations. 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.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Subject Keywords:catalogs; minor planets, asteroids: general; surveys
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120127-114524402
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120127-114524402
Official Citation:NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results A. Mainzer et al. 2011 ApJ 741 90
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29002
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:30 Jan 2012 15:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:37

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