IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2023B065 PROGRAM_TITLE Spectroscopic Baseline of Artificial Cislunar Objects PROGRAM_INV1 Adam Battle PROGRAM_INV2 Vishnu Reddy PROGRAM_INV3 PROGRAM_INV4 PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT near-Earth objects PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG We propose the first set of NIR observations of artificial cislunar targets to establish a spectroscopic baseline for future comparison. Determining if a newly discovered object is natural or artificial is becoming a necessary task as more objects are launched into cislunar space and planetary defense surveys become increasingly sensitive to these faint objects. Astrometric methods for differentiating between objects can take weeks to build the observation arc required for area-to-mass estimations. Physical characterization with lightcurves and spectroscopy can provide the necessary information in one night of observations. By establishing a spectroscopic baseline of the current types of artificial objects in cislunar space, there will be a comparison point for making this determination using physical characterization information. Previous NIR spectra of a cislunar Centaur rocket body showed material absorption bands that were distinctly different from those on natural objects. The proposed observations will provide similar data for different objects in cislunar orbit. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END