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Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-Infrared Albedos

Masiero, Joseph R. and Grav, T. and Mainzer, A. K. and Nugent, C. R. and Bauer, J. M. and Stevenson, R. and Sonnett, S. (2014) Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-Infrared Albedos. Astrophysical Journal, 791 (2). Art. No. 121. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present revised near-infrared albedo fits of 2835 main-belt asteroids observed by WISE/NEOWISE over the course of its fully cryogenic survey in 2010. These fits are derived from reflected-light near-infrared images taken simultaneously with thermal emission measurements, allowing for more accurate measurements of the near-infrared albedos than is possible for visible albedo measurements. Because our sample requires reflected light measurements, it undersamples small, low-albedo asteroids, as well as those with blue spectral slopes across the wavelengths investigated. We find that the main belt separates into three distinct groups of 6%, 16%, and 40% reflectance at 3.4 μm. Conversely, the 4.6 μm albedo distribution spans the full range of possible values with no clear grouping. Asteroid families show a narrow distribution of 3.4 μm albedos within each family that map to one of the three observed groupings, with the (221) Eos family being the sole family associated with the 16% reflectance 3.4 μm albedo group. We show that near-infrared albedos derived from simultaneous thermal emission and reflected light measurements are important indicators of asteroid taxonomy and can identify interesting targets for spectroscopic follow-up.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Masiero, Joseph R.0000-0003-2638-720X
Grav, T. 0000-0002-3379-0534
Sonnett, S.0000-0003-2762-8909
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 May 14; accepted 2014 June 25; published 2014 August 6. J.M. was partially supported by a NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics grant. C.N., R.S., and S.S. were supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at JPL, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. We thank the referee for helpful comments that greatly improved this manuscript. 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.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics UNSPECIFIED
NASA Postdoctoral Program at JPLUNSPECIFIED
NASA Oak Ridge Associated UniversitiesUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:minor planets, asteroids: general
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140904-112351773
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Official Citation:Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos Joseph R. Masiero et al. 2014 ApJ 791 121
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49240
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Sep 2014 18:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:12

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