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WISE/NEOWISE Observations of Active Bodies in the Main Belt

Bauer, James M. and Mainzer, A. K. and Grav, Tommy and Walker, Russell G. and Masiero, Joseph R. and Blauvelt, Erin K. and McMillan, Robert S. and Fernandez, Yan R. and Meech, Karen J. and Lisse, Carey M. and Cutri, Roc M. and Dailey, John W. and Tholen, David J. and Riesen, Timm and Urban, Laurie and Khayat, Alain and Pearman, George and Scotti, James V. and Kramer, Emily and Cherry, De'Andre and Gauthier, Thomas and Gomillion, Stephano and Watkins, Jessica and Wright, Edward L. (2012) WISE/NEOWISE Observations of Active Bodies in the Main Belt. Astrophysical Journal, 747 (1). Art. No. 49. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We report results based on mid-infrared photometry of five active main belt objects (AMBOs) detected by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. Four of these bodies, P/2010 R2 (La Sagra), 133P/Elst-Pizarro, (596) Scheila, and 176P/LINEAR, showed no signs of activity at the time of the observations, allowing the WISE detections to place firm constraints on their diameters and albedos. Geometric albedos were in the range of a few percent, and on the order of other measured comet nuclei. P/2010 A2 was observed on 2010 April 2-3, three months after its peak activity. Photometry of the coma at 12 and 22 μm combined with ground-based visible-wavelength measurements provides constraints on the dust particle mass distribution (PMD), dlog n/dlog m, yielding power-law slope values of α = –0.5 ± 0.1. This PMD is considerably more shallow than that found for other comets, in particular inbound particle fluence during the Stardust encounter of comet 81P/Wild 2. It is similar to the PMD seen for 9P/Tempel 1 in the immediate aftermath of the Deep Impact experiment. Upper limits for CO_2 and CO production are also provided for each AMBO and compared with revised production numbers for WISE observations of 103P/Hartley 2.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Grav, Tommy0000-0002-3379-0534
Masiero, Joseph R.0000-0003-2638-720X
Fernandez, Yan R.0000-0003-1156-9721
Meech, Karen J.0000-0002-2058-5670
Lisse, Carey M.0000-0002-9548-1526
Cutri, Roc M.0000-0002-0077-2305
Kramer, Emily0000-0003-0457-2519
Wright, Edward L.0000-0001-5058-1593
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 September 13; accepted 2011 December 13; published 2012 February 13. 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. NEAT archive data were provided through NASA’s Planetary Mission Data Analysis Program. Observing time was allocated at Steward Observatory’s 0.9 m (Spacewatch) telescope on Kitt Peak. J. Bauer also thanks Drs. Hsieh and Jewitt for their valuable discussions regarding AMBOs. This material is based in part upon work supported by the NASA through the NASA Astrobiology Institute under Cooperative Agreement No. NNA09DA77A issued through the Office of Space Science.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:comets: general; minor planets, asteroids: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120326-073420282
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:WISE/NEOWISE Observations of Active Bodies in the Main Belt James M. Bauer et al. 2012 ApJ 747 49
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29831
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Mar 2012 15:50
Last Modified:31 Oct 2019 02:06

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