Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits bring them close to the Earth's orbit. We are carrying out a Warm Spitzer Cycle 11 Exploration Science program entitled NEOSurvey - a fast and efficient flux-limited survey of 597 known NEOs in which we derive a diameter and albedo for each target. The vast majority of our targets are too faint to be observed by NEOWISE, though a small sample has been or will be observed by both observatories, which allows for a cross-check of our mutual results. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties. We present here the first results from this new program: fluxes and derived diameters and albedos for 80 NEOs, together with a description of the overall program and approach, including several updates to our thermal model. The largest source of error in our diameter and albedo solutions, which derive from our single-band thermal emission measurements, is uncertainty in η, the beaming parameter used in our thermal modeling; for albedos, improvements in solar system absolute magnitudes would also help significantly. All data and derived diameters and albedos from this entire program are being posted on a publicly accessible Web page at nearearthobjects.nau.edu.
- infrared: planetary systems
- minor planets, asteroids: general
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science