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Physical properties of 5 near-Earth asteroids observed with the Arecibo Planetary Radar within NEOROCKS project.

Presentation #303.01 in the session “Planetary Defense: Avenging the Dinosaurs”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Physical properties of 5 near-Earth asteroids observed with the Arecibo Planetary Radar within NEOROCKS project.

The near-Earth object (NEO) population is composed of asteroids and comets that have orbits close to the Earth. This vicinity to the Earth gives us some advantages, because this population is the most accessible vestige from the building blocks that formed the Solar System, for spacecrafts, and for detailed observations from ground-based facilities. The NEO Rapid Observation, Characterization and Key Simulations (NEOROCKS) project has been recently funded (2020-2022) through the H2020 European Commission program to improve the knowledge on near-Earth Objects (NEOs) by connecting expertise in performing small body astronomical observations and the related modelling needed to derive their dynamical and physical properties. The members of Solar System Group of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) lead a task on the NEOROCKS project to do observations of NEOs in support of the Arecibo Planetary Radar Program, using the facilities located at the Observatorios de Canarias (OOCC) and managed by IAC. These observations include times-series photometry (light-curves), visible to near-infrared spectroscopy, and color photometry. We are focusing in those targets observed by the Arecibo telescope and which have high signal-to-noise radar data. Our observations included the NEAs, (351545) 2005 TE15, (438908) 2009 XO, (501647) 2014 SD224, 2015 FC35, and 2016 CO247. We selected these targets because none of them has photometric parameters determined on any photometric public’s database. We obtained time-series photometry for all of them. We obtained the light-curves using the TAR2 at TAR (Remote Open Telescope, Telescopio Abierto Remoto) installation. This telescope is a robotic observatory with two 42cm diameter Centurion telescopes (TAR1 and TAR2), equipped with high-sensitivity FLI-Kepler sCMOS cameras and located at Teide Observatory (Tenerife). In the case of spectro-photometric data, we used the MuSCAT-2 instrument, mounted on the 1.52-m Carlos Sanchez Telescope, located also at Teide Observatory. For NEAs 438908 and 501647 we obtained the color from the Sloan Sky Digital Survey. To process the images and to obtain the magnitudes we used the Photometry Pipeline (PP). We are using the software MPO Canopus to obtain the rotational period. We present the results from this analysis and the physical properties of our targets as part of NEOROCKS. The variability of the physical properties of NEAs makes it impossible to predict what values we will find, but each set of data give to us an understanding of the properties of each subgroup of the NEOs population.

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