A Comprehensive Ground-based Observing Campaign for Spitzer-observed NEOs

Cristina A. Thomas, D. Trilling, B. Penprase, J. Emery, J. Hora, M. Mueller, M. Delbo, C. Fitzgerald, A. Hagen, D. Hickey, V. Reddy, B. Bhattacharya, W. Bottke, S. Chesley, G. Fazio, A. Harris, A. Mainzer, H. Smith, T. Spahr, J. Stansberry

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic


A Warm Spitzer survey of approximately 700 near-Earth objects (NEOs) has been started to derive albedos and diameters of the numerous small bodies. We present a ground-based NEO observation program designed to complement the Spitzer data. By using a variety of observational techniques, we aim to obtain optical magnitudes, lightcurves and compositional information for many of these objects. We have begun a program to obtain high-quality optical magnitudes of all 700 Spitzertargets, using a variety of telescope facilities with a range of apertures (from 0.36 m to 8 m). For a subset of our targets, we will also obtain light curves, which will be used as a proxy for the larger sample. We plan to obtain spectra of 250 objects from the Spitzer NEOsample and broadband spectrophotometric measurements of another 100.These spectroscopic results will allow us to derive compositions for nearly half our sample and act as a ground-truth for the larger,complete sample. Observations are already scheduled on the NASA InfraredTelescope Facility (SpeX as well as MIRSI--which will be used to confirmour Spitzer thermal observations and modeling), NOAO SMARTS telescopes,the Las Campanas 1-meter and several smaller telescopes. We will continue to expand the range of facilities used, matching aperture with target brightness. This catalog of objects will serve as a reference sample for a wide variety of future NEO studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2009
Event41st DPS meeting of the American Astronomical Society, 2009 - Puerto Rico, United States
Duration: 4-Oct-20099-Oct-2009

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