IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2023A006 PROGRAM_TITLE Characterization of Small NEOs PROGRAM_INV1 Vishnu Reddy PROGRAM_INV2 Juan Sanchez PROGRAM_INV3 David Cantillo PROGRAM_INV4 Adam Battle PROGRAM_INV5 Ben Sharkey PROGRAM_SCICAT near-Earth objects PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG The central focus of our study is to determine the compositions and albedos of small NEOs [<150 meters] in order: [a] to better understand their relationships to meteorites and main-belt asteroids, and [b] to address the specific NASA goal of assessment of the NEO impact hazard by finding meteorite analogs for NEOs.There are >29,000 known NEAs but only a small fraction of them [~10%] have spectroscopic information and even fewer of them that have detailed mineralogical characterization. The fraction of NEAs <150 meters with either known taxonomies or mineralogy is <1% of the total population. We estimated the number of NEAs with absolute magnitude H > 20 that need to be observed in order to ensure that the sample contains enough objects so we obtain a statistically significant result. Our observational campaign will obtain low-resolution [prism mode] near-IR [0.7-2.5 um] spectra of small near-Earth asteroids. The capabilities of the SpeX instrument at the IRTF can provide acceptable SNR spectra with appropriate spectral coverage and spectral resolution needed for this effort. The high altitude of the IRTF provides the capability to obtain adequate photon fluxes through the 1.4 and 1.9 um atmospheric water vapor bands that would not be possible from telescopes at lower altitudes. Hence, the NASA IRTF and SpeX combination is the only one in the world for carrying out our proposed research. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END