|Title:||Thermal Infrared Observations of Binary NEAs|
|Author:||Marco Delbo, Michael Mueller, Kevin Walsh|
We present preliminary results from thermal-infrared of observations of km-sized binary Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). These objects present, in general, surface temperatures cooler than the average values for non-binary NEAs. We discuss how this may be evidence of higher-than-average surface thermal inertia. This latter physical parameter is a sensitive indicator of the presence or absence of regolith: bodies covered with fine regolith have low thermal inertia, whereas a surface with little or no regolith displays high thermal inertia. Our results are suggestive of a binary formation mechanism capable of altering surface properties, possibly removing regolith: an obvious candidate is the YORP effect.