AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 41 Spitzer Space Telescope
Topical Related Poster, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[41.02] The Spitzer First Look Survey Ecliptic Plane Component

B. Bhattacharya, V.S. Meadows, W.T. Reach, C. Grillmair, A. Noriega-Crespo, E.L. Ryan, S. Tyler, L.M. Rebull, B.T. Soifer (Spitzer Science Center, Caltech), J. Giorgini (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech), J. Elliot (MIT)

The Spitzer First Look Survey was designed to provide an initial characterization of the infrared sky at Spitzer wavelengths and sensitivities. The Ecliptic Plane Component (EPC) of the FLS concentrated on two 0.14 square degree Fields at a solar elongation of 115\circ, and ecliptic latitudes (\beta) of 0\circ and +5\circ. This component of the FLS was designed to explore the small asteroid counts at 8 and 24\,\mum, down to predicted sensitivities of 0.06\,mJy and 0.4\,mJy, respectively, and provide an initial characterization of the zodiacal light in and near the ecliptic plane. This survey increases the known sensitivity limit for asteroid detection at MIR wavelengths by a factor of 10. 14 known and 21 unknown asteroids were identified in both fields, and all asteroids detected at both wavelengths displayed similar ratios of 8 to 24\,\mum fluxes. Number counts between the \beta=0\circ and +5\circ field indicate a slower than anticipated drop-off when compared with predicted scale heights. This may indicate an increase in the asteroid scale height due to the presence of higher inclination families in the small population sampled by Spitzer.

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