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Title: The population of tiny near-Earth objects observed by NEOWISE

Only a very small fraction of the asteroid population at size scales comparable to the object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia has been discovered to date, and physical properties are poorly characterized. We present previously unreported detections of 105 close approaching near-Earth objects (NEOs) by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission's NEOWISE project. These infrared observations constrain physical properties such as diameter and albedo for these objects, many of which are found to be smaller than 100 m. Because these objects are intrinsically faint, they were detected by WISE during very close approaches to the Earth, often at large apparent on-sky velocities. We observe a trend of increasing albedo with decreasing size, but as this sample of NEOs was discovered by visible light surveys, it is likely that selection biases against finding small, dark NEOs influence this finding.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  2. Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)
  3. Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357266
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 784; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALBEDO; ASTEROIDS; CATALOGS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DETECTION; INFRARED SURVEYS; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; PLANETS; VELOCITY; VISIBLE RADIATION