Le Plessis-Bouchard, France
Le Plessis-Bouchard, France
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Hanus J.,French National Center for Space Studies | Hanus J.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Hanus J.,Charles University | Viikinkoski M.,Tampere University of Technology | And 11 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2017

Context. Disk-integrated photometric data of asteroids do not contain accurate information on shape details or size scale. Additional data such as disk-resolved images or stellar occultation measurements further constrain asteroid shapes and allow size estimates. Aims. We aim to use all the available disk-resolved images of approximately forty asteroids obtained by the Near-InfraRed Camera (Nirc2) mounted on the W.M. Keck II telescope together with the disk-integrated photometry and stellar occultation measurements to determine their volumes. We can then use the volume, in combination with the known mass, to derive the bulk density. Methods. We downloaded and processed all the asteroid disk-resolved images obtained by the Nirc2 that are available in the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). We combined optical disk-integrated data and stellar occultation profiles with the disk-resolved images and use the All-Data Asteroid Modeling (ADAM) algorithm for the shape and size modeling. Our approach provides constraints on the expected uncertainty in the volume and size as well. Results. We present shape models and volume for 41 asteroids. For 35 of these asteroids, the knowledge of their mass estimates from the literature allowed us to derive their bulk densities. We see a clear trend of lower bulk densities for primitive objects (C-complex) and higher bulk densities for S-complex asteroids. The range of densities in the X-complex is large, suggesting various compositions. We also identified a few objects with rather peculiar bulk densities, which is likely a hint of their poor mass estimates. Asteroid masses determined from the Gaia astrometric observations should further refine most of the density estimates. © 2017 ESO.

Dias-Oliveira A.,Observatorio Nacional | Sicardy B.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Ortiz J.L.,Institute Astrofisica Of Andalucia | Braga-Ribas F.,Observatorio Nacional | And 55 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2017

We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003 AZ84, detected on 2011 January 8 (single-chord event), 2012 February 3 (multi-chord), 2013 December 2 (single-chord), and 2014 November 15 (multi-chord). Our observations rule out an oblate spheroid solution for 2003 AZ84's shape. Instead, assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, we find that a Jacobi triaxial solution with semiaxes km can better account for all our occultation observations. Combining these dimensions with the rotation period of the body (6.75 hr) and the amplitude of its rotation light curve, we derive a density g cm-3, a geometric albedo . A grazing chord observed during the 2014 occultation reveals a topographic feature along 2003 AZ84's limb, which can be interpreted as an abrupt chasm of width ∼23 km and depth km, or a smooth depression of width ∼80 km and depth ∼13 km (or an intermediate feature between those two extremes). © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Mousis O.,University of Franche Comte | Hueso R.,University of the Basque Country | Beaulieu J.-P.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Bouley S.,University Paris - Sud | And 58 more authors.
Experimental Astronomy | Year: 2014

Amateur contributions to professional publications have increased exponentially over the last decades in the field of planetary astronomy. Here we review the different domains of the field in which collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers are effective and regularly lead to scientific publications.We discuss the instruments, detectors, software and methodologies typically used by amateur astronomers to collect the scientific data in the different domains of interest. Amateur contributions to the monitoring of planets and interplanetary matter, characterization of asteroids and comets, as well as the determination of the physical properties of Kuiper Belt Objects and exoplanets are discussed. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Braga-Ribas F.,Observatorio Nacional | Sicardy B.,Observatoire de Paris | Sicardy B.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Ortiz J.L.,Institute Astrofisica Of Andalucia Csic | And 52 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

We present results derived from the first multi-chord stellar occultations by the transneptunian object (50000) Quaoar, observed on 2011 May 4 and 2012 February 17, and from a single-chord occultation observed on 2012 October 15. If the timing of the five chords obtained in 2011 were correct, then Quaoar would possess topographic features (crater or mountain) that would be too large for a body of this mass. An alternative model consists in applying time shifts to some chords to account for possible timing errors. Satisfactory elliptical fits to the chords are then possible, yielding an equivalent radius Requiv = 555 ± 2.5 km and geometric visual albedo pV = 0.109 ± 0.007. Assuming that Quaoar is a Maclaurin spheroid with an indeterminate polar aspect angle, we derive a true oblateness of , an equatorial radius of km, and a density of 1.99 ± 0.46 g cm-3. The orientation of our preferred solution in the plane of the sky implies that Quaoar's satellite Weywot cannot have an equatorial orbit. Finally, we detect no global atmosphere around Quaoar, considering a pressure upper limit of about 20 nbar for a pure methane atmosphere. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Sicardy B.,University of Paris Descartes | Sicardy B.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Sicardy B.,Institut Universitaire de France | Bolt G.,Craigie | And 33 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2011

Pluto and its main satellite, Charon, occulted the same star on 2008 June 22. This event was observed from Australia and La Réunion Island, providing the east and north Charon Plutocentric offset in the sky plane (J2000): X = + 12,070.5 ± 4 km (+ 546.2 ± 0.2 mas), Y = + 4,576.3 ± 24 km (+ 207.1 ± 1.1 mas) at 19:20:33.82 UT on Earth, corresponding to JD 2454640.129964 at Pluto. This yields Charon's true longitude L = 153.483 ± 0. ° 071 in the satellite orbital plane (counted from the ascending node on J2000 mean equator) and orbital radius r = 19,564 ± 14 km at that time. We compare this position to that predicted by (1) the orbital solution of Tholen & Buie (the "TB97" solution), (2) the PLU017 Charon ephemeris, and (3) the solution of Tholen et al. (the "T08" solution). We conclude that (1) our result rules out solution TB97, (2) our position agrees with PLU017, with differences of δL = + 0.073 ± 0. ? 071 in longitude, and δr = + 0.6 ± 14 km in radius, and (3) while the difference with the T08 ephemeris amounts to only δL = 0.033 ± 0. ? 071 in longitude, it exhibits a significant radial discrepancy of δr = 61.3 ± 14 km. We discuss this difference in terms of a possible image scale relative error of 3.35 × 10-3in the 2002-2003 Hubble Space Telescope images upon which the T08 solution is mostly based. Rescaling the T08 Charon semi-major axis, a = 19, 570.45 km, to the TB97 value, a=19636 km, all other orbital elements remaining the same ("T08/TB97" solution), we reconcile our position with the re-scaled solution by better than 12 km (or 0.55 mas) for Charon's position in its orbital plane, thus making T08/TB97 our preferred solution. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Durech J.,Charles University | Kaasalainen M.,Tampere University of Technology | Herald D.,International Occultation Timing Association IOTA | Dunham D.,KinetX, Inc | And 8 more authors.
Icarus | Year: 2011

Asteroid sizes can be directly measured by observing occultations of stars by asteroids. When there are enough observations across the path of the shadow, the asteroid's projected silhouette can be reconstructed. Asteroid shape models derived from photometry by the lightcurve inversion method enable us to predict the orientation of an asteroid for the time of occultation. By scaling the shape model to fit the occultation chords, we can determine the asteroid size with a relative accuracy of typically ∼10%. We combine shape and spin state models of 44 asteroids (14 of them are new or updated models) with the available occultation data to derive asteroid effective diameters. In many cases, occultations allow us to reject one of two possible pole solutions that were derived from photometry. We show that by combining results obtained from lightcurve inversion with occultation timings, we can obtain unique physical models of asteroids. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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