NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0552

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0552


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

CoI: Amy Mainzer, JPL/CalTech
CoI: Jeff Larsen, U. S. Naval Academy
CoI: Jim Scotti, University of Arizona
CoI: Joe Masiero, JPL/CalTech
CoI: James Bauer, JPL/CalTech
CoI: Tommy Grav, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Chet Maleszewski, University of Arizona

Title: Astrometry and Photometry of Asteroids and Comets Detected by WISE

Abstract: Telescope time is requested to recover and do astrometry and photometry of carefully selected asteroids, comets, and suspected comets previously detected by WISE. The WISE all-sky thermal infrared survey uncovered more solar system objects with dark albedos and more objects with comet-like orbital elements than expected. These outliers may represent hitherto unexplored populations and may reveal characteristics of the evolution of the solar system not yet recognized. So we need to investigate the composition, surface properties, and orbital processing history of these relatively primitive remnants of the early solar system. High signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) R-band photometry on a calibrated magnitude scale establishes the albedo near the peak of incident solar flux, which reckons centrally in modeling thermal properties. The combination of the IR fluxes from WISE, astrometry, R magnitudes, and BVRI colors will allow us to refine asteroid orbits and determine albedos, diameters, and approximate taxonomic types.


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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