A refined "standard" thermal model for asteroids based on observations of 1 Ceres and 2 Pallas

Larry A. Lebofsky, Mark V. Sykes, Edward F. Tedesco, Glenn J. Veeder, Dennis L. Matson, Robert H. Brown, Jonathan C. Gradie, Michael A. Feierberg, Richard J. Rudy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

279 Scopus citations


We present ground-based thermal infrared observations of asteroids 1 Ceres and 2 Pallas made over a period of 2 years. By analysing these data in light of the recently determined occultation diameter of Ceres (933-945 km) and Pallas (538 km) and their known small-amplitude lightcurves, we have determined a new value for the infrared beaming parameter used in the "standard" thermal emission model for asteroids. The new value is significantly lower than that previously used, and when applied in the reduction of thermal infrared observations of other asteroids, should yield model diameters that are closer to actual diameters. In our formulation, we also incorporate the recently adopted IAU magnitude convention for asteroids, which uses the zero-phase magnitudes (including the opposition effect) the same as is used for satellites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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