Centaurs and Scattered Disk Objects in the Thermal Infrared: Analysis of WISE/NEOWISE Observations

August 2013 • 2013ApJ...773...22B

Authors • Bauer, James M. • Grav, Tommy • Blauvelt, Erin • Mainzer, A. K. • Masiero, Joseph R. • Stevenson, Rachel • Kramer, Emily • Fernández, Yan R. • Lisse, C. M. • Cutri, Roc M. • Weissman, Paul R. • Dailey, John W. • Masci, Frank J. • Walker, Russel • Waszczak, Adam • Nugent, Carrie R. • Meech, Karen J. • Lucas, Andrew • Pearman, George • Wilkins, Ashlee • Watkins, Jessica • Kulkarni, Shrinivas • Wright, Edward L. • WISE Team • PTF Team

Abstract • The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observed 52 Centaurs and scattered disk objects (SDOs) in the thermal infrared, including 15 new discoveries. We present analyses of these observations to estimate sizes and mean optical albedos. We find mean albedos of 0.08 ± 0.04 for the entire data set. Thermal fits yield average beaming parameters of 0.9 ± 0.2 that are similar for both SDO and Centaur sub-classes. Biased cumulative size distributions yield size-frequency distribution power law indices of ~-1.7 ± 0.3. The data also reveal a relation between albedo and color at the 3σ level. No significant relation between diameter and albedos is found.


IPAC Authors

Roc Cutri

IPAC Deputy Director


Joe Masiero

Associate Scientist