NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0328

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0328


PI: Nicholas A. Moskovitz, Carnegie Inst. of Washington, astromosk@gmail.com
Address: Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 Broad Branch Road, Washington, DC 20015, USA

CoI: Lucy Lim, NASA GSFC
CoI: Scott Sheppard, Carnegie DTM
CoI: Ed Cloutis, Univ. Winnipeg
CoI: Bin Yang, Univ. Hawaii
CoI: Mark Willman, Univ. Hawaii

Title: The near-Earth encounter of asteroid 2005 YU55

Abstract: Approximately once every decade a large near-Earth object (NEO) passes inside of the Moon's orbit. On Nov. 8, 2011 the 400m C-type asteroid 2005 YU55 will pass within 90% of the Earth-Moon distance (<0.0025 AU) and reach a magnitude of V~11. This unusual encounter enables a host of novel investigations into the physics of light scattering by planetary surfaces and the mineralogy of primitive Solar System bodies. We propose to employ visible through mid-infrared (0.5 - 26 (mu)m) instruments as part of a multi-observatory campaign to understand the relationship between interpreted mineralogy and phase angle for 2005 YU55. A huge range of phase angles are accessible in the days surrounding the close encounter. This encounter offers several unprecedented opportunities, namely the first-ever detailed study of a C- type asteroid <5 km in size and the first-ever ground-based detection of spectroscopic phase effects in the near-infrared. These telescopic observations will be complemented by laboratory investigations of meteoritic analogs to 2005 YU55.


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