Publications associated with Planetary Physics


Small bodies science with the Twinkle space telescope

JOURNAL OF ASTRONOMICAL TELESCOPES INSTRUMENTS AND SYSTEMS 5 (2019) 34004

B Edwards, S Lindsay, N Bowles, G Tinetti, G Savini, C Arena, M Tessenyi

© 2019 Society of PhotoOptical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Twinkle is an upcoming 0.45-m space-based telescope equipped with a visible and two near-infrared spectrometers covering the spectral range 0.4 to 4.5 μm with a resolving power R 250 (λ < 2.42 μm) and R 60 (λ > 2.42 μm). We explore Twinkle's capabilities for small bodies science and find that, given Twinkle's sensitivity, pointing stability, and spectral range, the mission can observe a large number of small bodies. The sensitivity of Twinkle is calculated and compared to the flux from an object of a given visible magnitude. The number, and brightness, of asteroids and comets that enter Twinkle's field of regard is studied over three time periods of up to a decade. We find that, over a decade, several thousand asteroids enter Twinkle's field of regard with a brightness and nonsidereal rate that will allow Twinkle to characterize them at the instrumentation's native resolution with SNR > 100. Hundreds of comets can also be observed. Therefore, Twinkle offers researchers the opportunity to contribute significantly to the field of Solar System small bodies research.


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