NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0071

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0071


PI: Sarah Sonnett, JPL/CalTech, Sarah.Sonnett@jpl.nasa.gov
Address: 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

CoI: Amy Mainzer, JPL/CalTech
CoI: James Bauer, JPL/CalTech
CoI: Tommy Grav, Planetary Science Institute
CoI: Joseph Masiero, JPL/CalTech
CoI: Rachel Stevenson, JPL/CalTech
CoI: Carolyn Nugent, JPL/CalTech

Title: Determining Orbits and Sizes of Near-Earth Objects Discovered by NEOWISE

Abstract: Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids or comets with perihelia < 1.3 AU. NEOs provide an opportunity to investigate the smallest asteroids but also may pose a serious threat. Discovering NEOs and determining their orbits and sizes is essential to assessing the risk of an impact or explosion. NEO studies also enable detailed investigations of inner solar system objects and the processes that govern their physical and dynamical evolution. The NEOWISE space mission is currently discovering NEOs in the infrared, so that when paired with optical follow-up from the ground, precise orbits, albedos, and thermal inertia values can be calculated. Only one ground-based facility is currently dedicated to NEO follow-up (Spacewatch), which is limited to the north, closed during lunar bright time, and sometimes unable to reach our faint targets. We request a small amount of ToO time in both hemispheres to fill in these significant gaps in coverage that regular follow-up observers cannot fill. Without this follow-up, NEOWISE NEO candidates will be lost.


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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