NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0122

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0122


PI: Robert S. McMillan, University of Arizona, bob@lpl.arizona.edu
Address: Lunar and Planetary Lab and Steward Obs., 1629 E. Univ. Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092, USA

CoI: James V. Scotti, University of Arizona
CoI: Jeffrey A. Larsen, U. S. Naval Academy
CoI: Amanda K. Mainzer, JPL/CalTech
CoI: Joseph R. Masiero, JPL/CalTech

Title: Astrometric Search and Recovery of Asteroids and Comets Discovered by WISE

Abstract: Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) time is requested to recover and do astrometry and photometry on short notice of carefully selected asteroids, comets, or suspected comets discovered by WISE. This all-sky thermal infrared survey will be unprecedented in sensitivity and will likely remain unique for decades. WISE will make it possible to explore the properties of asteroids with extreme values of albedo, unusual surface properties, high thermal inertia, potential as targets for radar, unusual orbital elements, or potential to be extinct, dormant, or active comets. Our astrometry will consolidate knowledge of orbital elements, permitting observations of physical properties, either soon after discovery or during later apparitions. Visible-band photometry on calibrated magnitude scales is essential to establishing albedo near the peak of incident solar flux, which reckons centrally in modeling thermal properties. Targets will be chosen according to scientific importance, urgency of recovery, and the need for telescope aperture larger than that otherwise available to the investigators. Urgency of recovery will be based on the uncertainty of the ephemeris and the amount of time remaining during the discovery apparition.


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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