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Response to "An empirical examination of WISE/NEOWISE asteroid analysis and results"

Wright, Edward L. and Mainzer, Amy and Masiero, Joseph and Grav, Tommy and Cutri, Roc M. and Bauer, James (2018) Response to "An empirical examination of WISE/NEOWISE asteroid analysis and results". . (Unpublished) http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190620-145702056

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Abstract

We show that a number of claims made in Myhrvold (2018) (hereafter M2018b) regarding the WISE data and thermal modeling of asteroids are incorrect. That paper provides thermal fit parameter outputs for only two of the about 150,000 object dataset and does not make a direct comparison to asteroids with diameters measured by other means to assess the quality of that work's thermal model. We are unable to reproduce the results for the two objects for which M2018b published its own thermal fit outputs, including diameter, albedo, beaming, and infrared albedo. In particular, the infrared albedos published in M2018b are unphysically low. While there were some minor issues with consistency between tables due to clerical errors in the WISE/NEOWISE team's various papers and data release in the Planetary Data System, and a software issue that slightly increased diameter uncertainties in some cases, these issues do not substantially change the results and conclusions drawn from the data. We have shown in previous work and with updated analyses presented here that the effective spherical diameters for asteroids published to date are accurate to within the previously quoted minimum systematic 1-sigma uncertainty of about 10 percent when data of appropriate quality and quantity are available. Moreover, we show that the method used by M2018b to compare diameters between various asteroid datasets is incorrect and overestimates their differences. In addition, among other misconceptions in M2018b, we show that the WISE photometric measurement uncertainties are appropriately characterized and used by the WISE data processing pipeline and NEOWISE thermal modeling software. We show that the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (Harris 1998) employed by the NEOWISE team is a very useful model for analyzing infrared data to derive diameters and albedos when used properly.


Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.01454arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Wright, Edward L.0000-0001-5058-1593
Masiero, Joseph0000-0003-2638-720X
Grav, Tommy0000-0002-3379-0534
Cutri, Roc M.0000-0002-0077-2305
Additional Information:Part of the research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication makes use of data products from NEOWISE, which is a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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. We gratefully acknowledge the services specific to NEOWISE contributed by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, operated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, operated by Harvard University. 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 California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank our many colleagues who provided helpful commentary to this manuscript.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA/JPL/CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190620-145702056
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190620-145702056
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96605
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Jun 2019 22:09
Last Modified:20 Jun 2019 22:09

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