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Observed Asteroid Surface Area in the Thermal Infrared

Nugent, C. R. and Mainzer, A. and Masiero, J. and Wright, E. L. and Bauer, J. and Grav, T. and Kramer, E. and Sonnett, S. (2017) Observed Asteroid Surface Area in the Thermal Infrared. Astronomical Journal, 153 (2). Art. No. 90. ISSN 0004-6256.

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The rapid accumulation of thermal infrared observations and shape models of asteroids has led to increased interest in thermophysical modeling. Most of these infrared observations are unresolved. We consider what fraction of an asteroid's surface area contributes the bulk of the emitted thermal flux for two model asteroids of different shapes over a range of thermal parameters. The resulting observed surface in the infrared is generally more fragmented than the area observed in visible wavelengths, indicating high sensitivity to shape. For objects with low values of the thermal parameter, small fractions of the surface contribute the majority of thermally emitted flux. Calculating observed areas could enable the production of spatially resolved thermal inertia maps from non-resolved observations of asteroids.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Masiero, J.0000-0003-2638-720X
Wright, E. L.0000-0001-5058-1593
Grav, T.0000-0002-3379-0534
Kramer, E.0000-0003-0457-2519
Sonnett, S.0000-0003-2762-8909
Additional Information:© 2017 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 March 24; revised 2016 November 10; accepted 2016 November 11; published 2017 January 31. We thank the referee for thoughtful comments that strengthened the manuscript. We also thank Dr. Mark Lysek and Dr. John Schiermeier of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Matt Garrett of C&R Technologies, Inc. for their help with adapting the INDA/FLUINT code to this work. We acknowledge the support of NEOWISE for the computing facilities used in this research.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Subject Keywords:minor planets, asteroids: general – radiation mechanisms: thermal
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170131-100959346
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:C. R. Nugent et al 2017 AJ 153 90
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:73868
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Jan 2017 18:20
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:32

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