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Thermophyiscal Properties of Small Bodies as Revealed by the Spitzer Space Telescope

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Fernandez (Univ of Central Florida)

While advances in ground-based telescopes and in infrared-detector technology continuously increased the number of small bodies in the Solar System available for thermal study, a major leap forward occurred with the launch of the Spitzer Space Telescope. In the five years since then, Spitzer has provided a wealth of imaging, photometric, and spectroscopic data on over a hundred comets and hundreds of asteroids. I will present some recent results on our understanding of the thermophysical properties of various small-body groups that have come about as a result of Spitzer observations. In particular I will discuss advances in our understanding of cometary nuclei and of Trojan asteroids. I will attempt to place these results into some context regarding the physical evolution of icy small bodies.

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