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Title:
NEOWISE Observations of Near-Earth Objects: Preliminary Results
Authors:
Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J.; Masiero, J.; McMillan, R. S.; Cutri, R. M.; Walker, R.; Wright, E.; Eisenhardt, P.; Tholen, D. J.; Spahr, T.; Jedicke, R.; Denneau, L.; DeBaun, E.; Elsbury, D.; Gautier, T.; Gomillion, S.; Hand, E.; Mo, W.; Watkins, J.; Wilkins, A.; Bryngelson, G. L.; Del Pino Molina, A.; Desai, S.; Gómez Camus, M.; Hidalgo, S. L.; Konstantopoulos, I.; Larsen, J. A.; Maleszewski, C.; Malkan, M. A.; Mauduit, J.-C.; Mullan, B. L.; Olszewski, E. W.; Pforr, J.; Saro, A.; Scotti, J. V.; Wasserman, L. H.
Affiliation:
AA(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.; ), AB(Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), AC(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 USA ; Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), AD(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), AE(Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0092, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), AF(Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA ), AG(Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, Monterey, CA, USA ), AH(Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547, USA ), AI(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 USA ), AJ(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI, USA ), AK(Minor Planet Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA ), AL(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI, USA ), AM(Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI, USA ), AN(Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH 03755, USA ), AO(University of California Santa Barbara, Broida Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA ), AP(Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA ), AQ(Department of Engineering Physics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 600 S. Clyde Morris Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, USA ), AR(Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA ), AS(Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA ), AT(Department of Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA ), AU(Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA ), AV(Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, 8304 University Station, Clemson, SC 29634, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), AW(Instituto de Astrofìsica de Canarias, Vìa Lactea, E38200-La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), AX(National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ), AY(Departmento de Ciencias Fisicas, Facultad de Ingenieria, Universidad Andres Bello, Republica 220, Santiago, Chile ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), AZ(Instituto de Astrofìsica de Canarias, Vìa Lactea, E38200-La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), BA(Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Penn State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), BB(Department of Physics, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), BC(Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0092, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), BD(Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), BE(Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 220-6, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), BF(Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Penn State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), BG(Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), BH(Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth, Dennis Sciama Building, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth PO1 3FX, UK ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), BI(Department of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679, Munich, Germany ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ), BJ(Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0092, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. ; The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.), BK(Lowell Observatory, 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA ; Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under contract with the National Science Foundation. )
Publication:
The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 743, Issue 2, article id. 156, 17 pp. (2011). (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
12/2011
Origin:
IOP
Astronomy Keywords:
infrared: planetary systems, minor planets, asteroids: general, planets and satellites: general, surveys
DOI:
10.1088/0004-637X/743/2/156
Bibliographic Code:
2011ApJ...743..156M

Abstract

With the NEOWISE portion of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) project, we have carried out a highly uniform survey of the near-Earth object (NEO) population at thermal infrared wavelengths ranging from 3 to 22 mum, allowing us to refine estimates of their numbers, sizes, and albedos. The NEOWISE survey detected NEOs the same way whether they were previously known or not, subject to the availability of ground-based follow-up observations, resulting in the discovery of more than 130 new NEOs. The survey's uniform sensitivity, observing cadence, and image quality have permitted extrapolation of the 428 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) detected by NEOWISE during the fully cryogenic portion of the WISE mission to the larger population. We find that there are 981 ± 19 NEAs larger than 1 km and 20,500 ± 3000 NEAs larger than 100 m. We show that the Spaceguard goal of detecting 90% of all 1 km NEAs has been met, and that the cumulative size distribution is best represented by a broken power law with a slope of 1.32 ± 0.14 below 1.5 km. This power-law slope produces ~13, 200 ± 1900 NEAs with D > 140 m. Although previous studies predict another break in the cumulative size distribution below D ~ 50-100 m, resulting in an increase in the number of NEOs in this size range and smaller, we did not detect enough objects to comment on this increase. The overall number for the NEA population between 100 and 1000 m is lower than previous estimates. The numbers of near-Earth comets and potentially hazardous NEOs will be the subject of future work.
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