Category NEOs

How many Dead Comets are there?

One long-standing question is: how many asteroids – especially near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) – were comets in the past? In the classical conception, comets have surface ices and form tails and comae in the vicinity of the Sun; asteroids are simply rocks in space. In the recent years, the two classifications became less clear than that. […]

Rapid-Response Spectrophotometric Observations of NEOs with UKIRT and RATIR

The understanding of the compositional distribution of NEOs is important to reconstruct their dynamical and physical evolution, assess the damage potential in case of an impact, and estimate the resources that can be obtained from these bodies in the not-so-far future. Also, there is still a discrepancy between the compositional distribution of meteoritic material found […]

Physical Properties of two tiny Asteroids from Spitzer Observations

Little is known about the physical properties of the smallest NEOs with diameters of less than 10 meters. Due to their small sizes, they are usually very faint and hard to observe. Hence, only a small number of asteroids in this size regime are known and for only very few of those physical properties like […]

Detection of Cometary Activity in NEO Don Quixote

Part of the NEO population is considered to consist of so-called dead comets. Dead comets are comets that have spent a long time as NEOs and have been depleted their volatile inventories in numerous, close encounters with the Sun, i.e., they are extinct comets. They can be identified through their distinctive comet-like orbits and their […]