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Physical Parameters of Asteroids Estimated from the WISE 3-Band Data and NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Survey

By A. Mainzer, T. Grav, J. Masiero, J. Bauer, R. M. Cutri, R. S. McMillan, C. R. Nugent, D. Tholen, R. Walker and E. L. Wright


Enhancements to the science data processing pipeline of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, collectively known as NEOWISE, resulted in the detection of >158,000 minor planets in four infrared wavelengths during the fully cryogenic portion of the mission. Following the depletion of its cryogen, NASA's Planetary Science Directorate funded a four-month extension to complete the survey of the inner edge of the Main Asteroid Belt and to detect and discover near-Earth objects (NEOs). This extended survey phase, known as the NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Survey, resulted in the detection of ~6500 large Main Belt asteroids and 86 NEOs in its 3.4 and 4.6 μm channels. During the Post-Cryogenic Survey, NEOWISE discovered and detected a number of asteroids co-orbital with the Earth and Mars, including the first known Earth Trojan. We present preliminary thermal fits for these and other NEOs detected during the 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-Cryogenic Surveys

Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Caltech Authors

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