NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0536

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2013B-0536


PI: Lori Allen, NOAO North, lallen@noao.edu
Address: 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: David Trilling, NAU
CoI: Frank Valdes, NOAO North
CoI: Cesar Fuentes, NAU / Univ. Chile
CoI: Eric Christensen, LPL/Catalina Sky Survey
CoI: Mike Brown, Caltech
CoI: Tim Axelrod, LSST
CoI: Brian Burt, NAU
CoI: Alissa Earle, Siena College
CoI: David James, NOAO South
CoI: David Herrera, NOAO North
CoI: Steve Larson, LPL/Catalina Sky Survey

Title: The DECam NEO Survey

Abstract: Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids or comets whose perihelion distance is less than 1.3 AU. Current estimates suggest that large NEOs (diameter 140m or more) impact the earth every few thousand years on average. Smaller asteroids (30m-50m) are believed to impact the earth with an average frequency of ~100 years, but this estimate is highly uncertain, based in part on an incomplete understanding of the size distribution of NEOs below 100m. Until now, it has not been possible to measure the size distribution of these objects, because large-aperture telescopes have not been equipped with very wide-field imagers. Now, the large etendue of DECam+Blanco allows us to probe a previously unexplored region of NEO parameter space and therefore hazard space. We propose the DECam NEO Survey, which will yield thousands of newly discovered moving objects, most of which are fainter than the faintest NEOs detected by existing surveys. The size distribution of these small objects informs our understanding of the evolutionary processes they endure in near-Earth space and the physical properties of small asteroids. The data will also be used to search for distant Sedna- like bodies, which may offer clues to the formation environment of our solar system.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0536

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo