Las Cruces, NM, United States
Las Cruces, NM, United States

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Hanus J.,Charles University | Durech J.,Charles University | Broz M.,Charles University | Marciniak A.,Adam Mickiewicz University | And 101 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. The larger number of models of asteroid shapes and their rotational states derived by the lightcurve inversion give us better insight into both the nature of individual objects and the whole asteroid population. With a larger statistical sample we can study the physical properties of asteroid populations, such as main-belt asteroids or individual asteroid families, in more detail. Shape models can also be used in combination with other types of observational data (IR, adaptive optics images, stellar occultations), e.g., to determine sizes and thermal properties. Aims. We use all available photometric data of asteroids to derive their physical models by the lightcurve inversion method and compare the observed pole latitude distributions of all asteroids with known convex shape models with the simulated pole latitude distributions. Methods. We used classical dense photometric lightcurves from several sources (Uppsala Asteroid Photometric Catalogue, Palomar Transient Factory survey, and from individual observers) and sparse-in-time photometry from the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Catalina Sky Survey, and La Palma surveys (IAU codes 689, 703, 950) in the lightcurve inversion method to determine asteroid convex models and their rotational states. We also extended a simple dynamical model for the spin evolution of asteroids used in our previous paper. Results. We present 119 new asteroid models derived from combined dense and sparse-in-time photometry. We discuss the reliability of asteroid shape models derived only from Catalina Sky Survey data (IAU code 703) and present 20 such models. By using different values for a scaling parameter cYORP (corresponds to the magnitude of the YORP momentum) in the dynamical model for the spin evolution and by comparing synthetic and observed pole-latitude distributions, we were able to constrain the typical values of the c YORP parameter as between 0.05 and 0.6. © 2013 ESO.

Marciniak A.,Adam Mickiewicz University | Pilcher F.,4438 Organ Mesa Loop | Oszkiewicz D.,Adam Mickiewicz University | Santana-Ros T.,Adam Mickiewicz University | And 22 more authors.
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2015

Physical studies of asteroids depend on an availability of lightcurve data. Targets that are easy to observe and analyse naturally have more data available, so their synodic periods are confirmed from multiple sources. Also, thanks to availability of data from a number of apparitions, their spin and shape models can often be obtained, with a precise value of sidereal period and spin axis coordinates.Almost half of bright (H≤11mag) main-belt asteroid population with known lightcurve parameters have rotation periods considered long (P≥12h) and are rarely chosen for photometric observations. There is a similar selection effect against asteroids with low lightcurve amplitudes (amax≤0.25mag). As a result such targets, though numerous in this brightness range, are underrepresented in the sample of spin and shape modelled asteroids. In the range of fainter targets such effects are stronger. These selection effects can influence what is now known about asteroid spin vs. size distribution, on asteroid internal structure and densities and on spatial orientation of asteroid spin axes.To reduce both biases at the same time, we started a photometric survey of a substantial sample of those bright main-belt asteroids that displayed both features: periods longer than 12. h, and amplitudes that did not exceed 0.25. magnitude. First we aim at finding synodic periods of rotation, and after a few observed apparitions, obtaining spin and shape models of the studied targets.As an initial result of our survey we found that a quarter of the studied sample (8 out of 34 targets) have rotation periods different from those widely accepted. We publish here these newly found period values with the lightcurves.The size/frequency plot might in reality look different in the long-period range. Further studies of asteroid spins, shapes, and structure should take into account serious biases that are present in the parameters available today. Photometric studies should concentrate on such difficult targets to remove the biases and to complete the sample. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Hanus J.,Charles University | Durech J.,Charles University | Broz M.,Charles University | Warner B.D.,Palmer Divide Observatory | And 9 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Context. In the past decade, more than one hundred asteroid models were derived using the lightcurve inversion method. Measured by the number of derived models, lightcurve inversion has become the leading method for asteroid shape determination. Aims. Tens of thousands of sparse-in-time lightcurves from astrometric projects are publicly available. We investigate these data and use them in the lightcurve inversion method to derive new asteroid models. By having a greater number of models with known physical properties, we can gain a better insight into the nature of individual objects and into the whole asteroid population. Methods. We use sparse photometry from selected observatories from the AstDyS database (Asteroids - Dynamic Site), either alone or in combination with dense lightcurves, to determine new asteroid models by the lightcurve inversion method. We investigate various correlations between several asteroid parameters and characteristics such as the rotational state and diameter or family membership. We focus on the distribution of ecliptic latitudes of pole directions. We create a synthetic uniform distribution of latitudes, compute the method bias, and compare the results with the distribution of known models. We also construct a model for the long-term evolution of spins. Results. We present 80 new asteroid models derived from combined data sets where sparse photometry is taken from the AstDyS database and dense lightcurves are from the Uppsala Asteroid Photometric Catalogue (UAPC) and from several individual observers. For 18 asteroids, we present updated shape solutions based on new photometric data. For another 30 asteroids we present their partial models, i.e., an accurate period value and an estimate of the ecliptic latitude of the pole. The addition of new models increases the total number of models derived by the lightcurve inversion method to ∼200. We also present a simple statistical analysis of physical properties of asteroids where we look for possible correlations between various physical parameters with an emphasis on the spin vector. We present the observed and de-biased distributions of ecliptic latitudes with respect to different size ranges of asteroids as well as a simple theoretical model of the latitude distribution and then compare its predictions with the observed distributions. From this analysis we find that the latitude distribution of small asteroids (D < 30 km) is clustered towards ecliptic poles and can be explained by the YORP thermal effect while the latitude distribution of larger asteroids (D > 60 km) exhibits an evident excess of prograde rotators, probably of primordial origin. © 2011 ESO.

Hanus J.,Charles University | Broz M.,Charles University | Durech J.,Charles University | Warner B.D.,Palmer Divide Observatory | And 8 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. The current number of ∼500 asteroid models derived from the disk-integrated photometry by the lightcurve inversion method allows us to study the spin-vector properties of not only the whole population of main-belt asteroids, but also of several individual collisional families. Aims. We create a data set of 152 asteroids that were identified by the hierarchical clustering method (HCM) as members of ten collisional families, among which are 31 newly derived unique models and 24 new models with well-constrained pole-ecliptic latitudes of the spin axes. The remaining models are adopted from the DAMIT database or a few individual publications. Methods. We revised the preliminary family membership identification by the HCM according to several additional criteria: taxonomic type, color, albedo, maximum Yarkovsky semi-major axis drift, and the consistency with the size-frequency distribution of each family, and consequently we remove interlopers. We then present the spin-vector distributions for asteroidal families Flora, Koronis, Eos, Eunomia, Phocaea, Themis, Maria, and Alauda. We use a combined orbital-and spin-evolution model to explain the observed spin-vector properties of objects among collisional families. Results. In general, for studied families we observe similar trends in (ap, β) space (proper semi-major axis vs. ecliptic latitude of the spin axis): (i) larger asteroids are situated in the proximity of the center of the family; (ii) asteroids with β > 0 are usually found to the right of the family center; (iii) on the other hand, asteroids with β < 0 to the left of the center; (iv) the majority of asteroids have large pole-ecliptic latitudes (|β| â‰30); and finally (v) some families have a statistically significant excess of asteroids with β > 0 or β < 0. Our numerical simulation of the long-term evolution of a collisional family is capable of reproducing the observed spin-vector properties well. Using this simulation, we also independently constrain the age of families Flora (1.0 ± 0.5 Gyr) and Koronis (2.5-4 Gyr). © 2013 ESO.

Hanus J.,French National Center for Space Studies | Hanus J.,University Of La Cote Dazur | urech J.,Charles University | Oszkiewicz D.A.,Adam Mickiewicz University | And 171 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2016

Context. Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. These efforts already provided deep insight into physical properties of main-belt asteroids or large collisional families. Going into finer detail (e.g., smaller collisional families, asteroids with sizes 20 km) requires knowledge of physical parameters of more objects. Aims. We aim to increase the number of asteroid shape models and rotation states. Such results provide important input for further studies, such as analysis of asteroid physical properties in different populations, including smaller collisional families, thermophysical modeling, and scaling shape models by disk-resolved images, or stellar occultation data. This provides bulk density estimates in combination with known masses, but also constrains theoretical collisional and evolutional models of the solar system. Methods. We use all available disk-integrated optical data (i.e., classical dense-in-time photometry obtained from public databases and through a large collaboration network as well as sparse-in-time individual measurements from a few sky surveys) as input for the convex inversion method, and derive 3D shape models of asteroids together with their rotation periods and orientations of rotation axes. The key ingredient is the support of more that 100 observers who submit their optical data to publicly available databases. Results. We present updated shape models for 36 asteroids, for which mass estimates are currently available in the literature, or for which masses will most likely be determined from their gravitational influence on smaller bodies whose orbital deflections will be observed by the ESA Gaia astrometric mission. Moreover, we also present new shape model determinations for 250 asteroids, including 13 Hungarias and three near-Earth asteroids. The shape model revisions and determinations were enabled by using additional optical data from recent apparitions for shape optimization. © 2016 ESO.

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