A Near-Earth Asteroid Population Estimate from the LINEAR Survey

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Science  23 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5547, pp. 1691-1693
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065318

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I estimate the size and shape of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population using survey data from the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project, covering 375,000 square degrees of sky and including more than 1300 NEA detections. A simulation of detection probabilities for different values of orbital parameters and sizes combined with the detection statistics in a Bayesian framework provides a correction for observational bias and yields the NEA population distribution as a function of absolute magnitude, semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination. The NEA population is more highly inclined than previously estimated, and the total number of kilometer-sized NEAs is 1227−90 +170 (1σ).

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