Thermal Radiometry Of Near-Earth Asteroid 2005 YU55


Ground-based remote sensing observations have provided most of our knowledge of the near-Earth asteroids. However, few remote sensing techniques provide information on the sub-surfaces of asteroids. We propose a new technique: long-wavelength thermal radiometry. Thermal flux measurements at mm-to-cm wavelengths would allow us to determine the temperature and heat capacity of a target asteroid's subsurface to depths of 60-90 cm. Only objects passing very close enough to Earth are bright enough for their thermal emission to be detectable at long wavelengths, and to date no near-Earth asteroid has been observed with long-wavelength radiometry. 2005 YU55 will make a very close (350,000 km) approach to Earth in November 2011. We request measurements of YU55's brightness at C, X, Ku, Ka, Q, and W bands, over a 10-hour period centered on the close approach. These observations will complement radar imaging of YU55 scheduled at Arecibo, GBT, and Goldstone and radar speckle tracking scheduled at


Name Institution
Jean-Luc Margot California at Los Angeles, University of
Amy Lovell Agnes Scott College
Bryan Butler National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Lance Benner Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Michael Busch * SETI Institute

* indicates the PI