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Thermal Properties of WISE-observed Asteroids

Presentation #306.15 in the session “Asteroids, the Moon, and Meteorites”. Cross-listed as presentation #312.02.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Thermal Properties of WISE-observed Asteroids

We applied a thermophysical model (TPM) to 2,551 asteroids, and after imposing a χ2 cut, present new derivations of thermal inertia, diameter, and albedo for 1,849 asteroids. We use thermal flux measurements obtained by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE; Wright et al. 2010) during its fully cryogenic phase, when both the 12 μm (W3) and 22 μm (W4) bands were available. Our TPM fits use not only the shape models and spin information from the Database of Asteroid Models from Inversion Techniques (DAMIT; Durech et al. 2010), but also new shape models we derived through lightcurve inversion and combining WISE photometry with existing DAMIT lightcurves. We find broadly consistent diameters and albedos when compared with NEATM-derived values. Using only the asteroids with the most reliable shape models and thermal flux measurements, we fit thermal inertia with diameter and period and find trends in agreement with the results of recent studies. We additionally compute a rudimentary Yarkovsky drift rate prediction for each asteroid and present the best candidates for direct detection through observation. Due to the large uncertainties on the majority of our asteroids' thermal inertia, we are only able to identify broad trends between thermal inertia and other physical parameters. However, with upcoming infrared and wide-field surveys, we can expect a significant increase in high-quality thermal flux measurements and asteroid shape models, enabling even more thermophysical modeling of higher precision in the future.


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