Space-based thermal infrared studies of asteroids

Amy Mainzer, Fumihiko Usui, David E Trilling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

25 Scopus citations


Large-area surveys operating at mid-infrared wavelengths have proven to be a valuable means of discovering and characterizing minor planets. Through the use of radiometric models, it is possible to derive physical properties such as diameters, albedos, and thermal inertia for large numbers of objects. Modern detector array technology has resulted in a significant improvement in spatial resolution and sensitivity compared with previous generations of spacebased infrared telescopes, giving rise to a commensurate increase in the number of objects that have been observed at these wavelengths. Spacebased infrared surveys of asteroids therefore offer an effective method of rapidly gathering information about the orbital and physical properties of small-body populations. The AKARI, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)/ Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), Spitzer Space Telescope, and Herschel Space Observatory missions have significantly increased the number of minor planets with well-determined diameters and albedos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAsteroids IV
PublisherUniversity of Arizona Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780816532186
ISBN (Print)9780816532131
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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