NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0501

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0501


PI: David E. Trilling, Northern Arizona University, david.trilling@nau.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, PO Box 6010, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, United States

CoI: Sarah Jones, Northern Arizona University
CoI: Bryan Penprase, Pomona College
CoI: Josh Emery, University of Tennessee
CoI: Alan Harris, DLR
CoI: Tim Spahr, Harvard-Smithsonian
CoI: Marco Delbo, Obs. Cote d'Azur

Title: Visible photometry of NEOs in support of a Warm Spitzer program

Abstract: Near Earth Objects (NEOs) may act as dynamical and compositional tracers of the history of near-Earth space. However, despite their scientific importance, key characteristics of the NEO population −−− such as the size distribution, mix of albedos and mineralogies, and contributions from so−called dead or dormant comets −−− remain largely unexplored; some 99% of all presently known NEOs are essentially uncharacterized. We have been awarded 500 hours of Warm Spitzer time to study some 700 NEOs. The Spitzer data will allow us to measure thermal fluxes and, in combination with optical data, derive albedos and diameters for a large fraction of all known NEOs. Remarkably, the primary uncertainty in our Spitzer results will derive from a lack of good optical photometry for our targets. Fortunately, our targets are generally bright, and obtaining good V band measurements of them requires only a modest amount of time on modest aperture telescopes. \em We propose here for 36 hours of SMARTS 1.3-m time or 54 hours of SMARTS 0.9-m time to obtain visible photometry of the 72 southern moderately bright ``B'' semester targets in our Warm Spitzer program. These program is ideal for queue/service observing because each observation requires only ~30 minutes and our targets are all over the sky.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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