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Title: PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID 2011 MD

We report on observations of near-Earth asteroid 2011 MD with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have spent 19.9 hr of observing time with channel 2 (4.5 μm) of the Infrared Array Camera and detected the target within the 2σ positional uncertainty ellipse. Using an asteroid thermophysical model and a model of nongravitational forces acting upon the object, we constrain the physical properties of 2011 MD, based on the measured flux density and available astrometry data. We estimate 2011 MD to be (6{sub −2}{sup +4}) m in diameter with a geometric albedo of 0.3{sub −0.2}{sup +0.4} (uncertainties are 1σ). We find the asteroid's most probable bulk density to be (1.1{sub −0.5}{sup +0.7}) g cm{sup –3}, which implies a total mass of (50-350) t and a macroporosity of ≥65%, assuming a material bulk density typical of non-primitive meteorite materials. A high degree of macroporosity suggests that 2011 MD is a rubble-pile asteroid, the rotation of which is more likely to be retrograde than prograde.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ; ;  [2] ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, P.O. Box 6010, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (United States)
  2. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  3. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 65, Cambridge, MA 02138-1516 (United States)
  4. SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Postbus 800, 9700-AV Groningen (Netherlands)
  5. DLR Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365711
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 789; Journal Issue: 1; 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; BULK DENSITY; CAMERAS; FLUX DENSITY; MASS; METEORITES; PLANETS; ROTATION; SPACE; TELESCOPES