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The size distribution of the earth-approaching asteroidsThe discovery circumstances of the first asteroids ever observed outside the earth's atmosphere but within the neighborhood of the earth-moon system are described. Four natural objects with diameters in the range 5-50 m were detected during a search for earth-approaching asteroids conducted each month at the 0.91-m Spacewatch Telescope at Kitt Peak. An additional 19 earth approachers with sizes in the range 50 m to 5 km were discovered. These obervations determine the cumulative flux of asteroids near earth as a function of absolute magnitude. For asteroids larger than about 100 m, a power-law dependence with exponent of about 0.9 is observed, consistent with their evolution from the main-belt population. At about 10 m, the flux is more than two orders of magnitude greater than this power-law extrapolation.
Document ID
19930050737
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Rabinowitz, D. L. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
April 10, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Part 1
Volume: 407
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other