WorldWideScience

Sample records for asteroids

  1. ASTEROIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Željko Andreić

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Asteroids are the largest minor bodies in the Solar System. Nowadays they are in the research focus due to several facts about them: first, a subclass of asteroids can collide with Earth, and consequences of such a collision are dramatic. Second, they are now seen as source of materials that are becoming scarce on Earth, and they will be needed in future space constructions anyway. Third, they are holding clues about the origin and evolution of the Solar System. In this article, a short overview of current knowledge about asteroids is presented. Last, but not least, as several Croatian scientists were recently honored by naming an asteroid after them, a short overview of the naming process is given.

  2. ASTEROIDS

    OpenAIRE

    Željko Andreić

    2016-01-01

    Asteroids are the largest minor bodies in the Solar System. Nowadays they are in the research focus due to several facts about them: first, a subclass of asteroids can collide with Earth, and consequences of such a collision are dramatic. Second, they are now seen as source of materials that are becoming scarce on Earth, and they will be needed in future space constructions anyway. Third, they are holding clues about the origin and evolution of the Solar System. In this article, a short overv...

  3. Asteroid team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, D. L.

    1986-09-01

    Work on asteroid classification continued was rewarded with the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids. The M class is rare and these are the first found among the near-Earth asteroids to have the spectral albedo characteristic of this class. The two asteroids are newly discovered 1986 DA and 1986 EB which were observed at N and Q bandpasses (i.e., 10 and 20 microns) with the 3 m IRTF telescope and at five wavelengths from 0.36 to 0.85 microns from Kitt peak National Observatory's 0.36 m telescope. The derived diameters are about 2 km for both objects. In the asteroid radiometry program N or Q photometry was obtained for more than 40 asteroids in Feb. 1986. Radiometric diameter calibration support were provided for stellar occultations of stars by 230 Athamantis and 129 Antigone. The data were reduced but not analyzed. Infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 microns) of 60 asteroids were reduced and are now ready for compositional analysis.

  4. Asteroid taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholen, David J.; Barucci, M. Antonietta

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectivity of asteroid surfaces over the wavelength range of 0.3 to 1.1 micron can be used to classify these objects into several broad groups with similar spectral characteristics. The three most recently developed taxonomies group the asteroids into 9, 11, or 14 different clases, depending on the technique used to perform the analysis. The distribution of the taxonomic classes shows that darker and redder objects become more dominant at larger heliocentric distances, while the rare asteroid types are found more frequently among the small objects of the planet-crossing population.

  5. Asteroids IV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.

    Asteroids are fascinating worlds. Considered the building blocks of our planets, many of the authors of this book have devoted their scientific careers to exploring them with the tools of our trade: ground- and spacebased observations, in situ space missions, and studies that run the gamut from theoretical modeling efforts to laboratory work. Like fossils for paleontologists, or DNA for geneticists, they allow us to construct a veritable time machine and provide us with tantalizing glimpses of the earliest nature of our solar system. By investigating them, we can probe what our home system was like before life or even the planets existed. The origin and evolution of life on our planet is also intertwined with asteroids in a different way. It is believed that impacts on the primordial Earth may have delivered the basic components for life, with biology favoring attributes that could more easily survive the aftermath of such energetic events. In this fashion, asteroids may have banished many probable avenues for life to relative obscurity. Similarly, they may have also prevented our biosphere from becoming more complex until more recent eras. The full tale of asteroid impacts on the history of our world, and how human life managed to emerge from myriad possibilities, has yet to be fully told. The hazard posed by asteroid impacts to our civilization is low but singular. The design of efficient mitigation strategies strongly relies on asteroid detection by our ground- and spacebased surveys as well as knowledge of their physical properties. A more positive motivation for asteroid discovery is that the proximity of some asteroids to Earth may allow future astronauts to harvest their water and rare mineral resources for use in exploration. A key goal of asteroid science is therefore to learn how humans and robotic probes can interact with asteroids (and extract their materials) in an efficient way. We expect that these adventures may be commonplace in the future

  6. Asteroid Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merline, W. J.

    2001-11-01

    Discovery and study of small satellites of asteroids or double asteroids can yield valuable information about the intrinsic properties of asteroids themselves and about their history and evolution. Determination of the orbits of these moons can provide precise masses of the primaries, and hence reliable estimates of the fundamental property of bulk density. This reveals much about the composition and structure of the primary and will allow us to make comparisons between, for example, asteroid taxonomic type and our inventory of meteorites. The nature and prevalence of these systems will also give clues as to the collisional environment in which they formed, and have further implications for the role of collisions in shaping our solar system. A decade ago, binary asteroids were more of a theoretical curiosity. In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft allowed the first undeniable detection of an asteroid moon, with the discovery of Dactyl, a small moon of Ida. Since that time, and particularly in the last year, the number of known binaries has risen dramatically. Previously odd-shaped and lobate near-Earth asteroids, observed by radar, have given way to signatures indicating, almost certainly, that at least four NEAs are binary systems. The tell-tale lightcurves of several other NEAs reveal a high likelihood of being double. Indications are that among the NEAs, there may be a binary frequency of several tens of percent. Among the main-belt asteroids, we now know of 6 confirmed binary systems, although their overall frequency is likely to be low, perhaps a few percent. The detections have largely come about because of significant advances in adaptive optics systems on large telescopes, which can now reduce the blurring of the Earth's atmosphere to compete with the spatial resolution of space-based imaging (which itself, via HST, is now contributing valuable observations). Most of these binary systems have similarities, but there are important exceptions. Searches among other

  7. The Active Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, David; Agarwal, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Some asteroids eject dust, producing transient, comet-like comae and tails; these are the active asteroids. The causes of activity in this newly-identified population are many and varied. They include impact ejection and disruption, rotational instabilities, electrostatic repulsion, radiation pressure sweeping, dehydration stresses and thermal fracture, in addition to the sublimation of asteroidal ice. These processes were either unsuspected or thought to lie beyond the realm of observation before the discovery of asteroid activity. Scientific interest in the active asteroids lies in their promise to open new avenues into the direct study of asteroid destruction, the production of interplanetary debris, the abundance of asteroid ice and the origin of terrestrial planet volatiles.

  8. Asteroid thermophysical modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Delbo, Marco; Emery, Joshua P; Rozitis, Ben; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The field of asteroid thermophysical modeling has experienced an extraordinary growth in the last ten years, as new thermal infrared data became available for hundreds of thousands of asteroids. The infrared emission of asteroids depends on the body's size, shape, albedo, thermal inertia, roughness and rotational properties. These parameters can therefore be derived by thermophysical modeling of infrared data. Thermophysical modeling led to asteroid size estimates that were confirmed at the few-percent level by later spacecraft visits. We discuss how instrumentation advances now allow mid-infrared interferometric observations as well as high-accuracy spectro-photometry, posing their own set of thermal-modeling challenges.We present major breakthroughs achieved in studies of the thermal inertia, a sensitive indicator for the nature of asteroids soils, allowing us, for instance, to determine the grain size of asteroidal regoliths. Thermal inertia also governs non-gravitational effects on asteroid orbits, requir...

  9. Cratering on Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, S.; Chapman, C. R.; Barnouin, O. S.; Richardson, J. E.; Vincent, J.-B.

    Impact craters are a ubiquitous feature of asteroid surfaces. On a local scale, small craters puncture the surface in a way similar to that observed on terrestrial planets and the Moon. At the opposite extreme, larger craters often approach the physical size of asteroids, thus globally affecting their shapes and surface properties. Crater measurements are a powerful means of investigation. Crater spatial and size distributions inform us of fundamental processes, such as asteroid collisional history. A paucity of craters, sometimes observed, may be diagnostic of mechanisms of erasure that are unique on low-gravity asteroids. Byproducts of impacts, such as ridges, troughs, and blocks, inform us of the bulk structure. In this chapter we review the major properties of crater populations on asteroids visited by spacecraft. In doing so we provide key examples to illustrate how craters affect the overall shape and can be used to constrain asteroid surface ages, bulk properties, and impact-driven surface evolution.

  10. An overview of the asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    1989-01-01

    An introductory overview of the field of asteroid science is presented, with emphasis placed on the accomplishments of the 1980s. Following the survey of known asteroids, attention is given to the observations of asteroids with the IRAS. Particular consideration is given to the origin and evolution of asteroids and their interrelations. Possible future directions of asteroid research are discussed together with the potential of the Hubble Space Telescope for providing new data on asteroid surface chemistry, geology, structure, and morphology.

  11. Modeling of Asteroid Shapes

    CERN Document Server

    Kokorev, Andrii

    2016-01-01

    In this article we consider different methods of modeling asteroid shapes, especially lightcurve inversion technique, and scattering laws used for it. We also introduce our program, which constructs lightcurves for a given asteroid shape model. It can be used to comparing shape model with observational data.

  12. Polarimetric properties of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shestopalov, D. I.; Golubeva, L. F.

    2015-11-01

    Quite frequently astronomic polarimetric observations of different celestial bodies do not guarantee a proper phase angle coverage that is required for estimating all of the attributes of their polarization phase curves with a high accuracy. To approximate the phase dependences of polarization observed for particulate surfaces, we use a simple empiric formula recently suggested by Shestopalov (2004). The efficiency of the approximating function in a wide range of phase angles is illustrated with the use of the results of polarimetric measurements of lunar areas, lunar samples, and near-Earth asteroids. For asteroids of various types, we can reproduce their negative polarization branches with adequate accuracy and roughly estimate a probable value of the maximum polarization degree at an appropriate phase angle. From the polarimetric database available at NASA PDS [Asteroid Polarimetric Database V7.0 (2012)] we calculated the main parameters of 153 polarimetric curves of asteroids in various spectral bands with the accuracy comparable to the observation errors. One more purpose of our analysis was to find correlations between the polarimetric and photometric properties of asteroids. For C-, M-, S-, E-type asteroids, the characteristics of the negative branch of polarization curves turned out to correlate closely with the phase coefficient of the photometric function of asteroids and the photometric roughness of asteroid surfaces. This implies that the complex geometry of the surface microrelief affects the polarization properties of asteroids. In particular, the data scattering around regression lines on the plots of the albedo versus the depth of negative polarization branch and the slope of the polarimetric function at inversion angle strongly depends on the differences in the photometric roughness of asteroid surfaces.

  13. Asteroid Family Physical Properties

    CERN Document Server

    Masiero, Joseph; Kasuga, Toshihiro; Parker, Alex H

    2015-01-01

    An asteroid family is typically formed when a larger parent body undergoes a catastrophic collisional disruption, and as such family members are expected to show physical properties that closely trace the composition and mineralogical evolution of the parent. Recently a number of new datasets have been released that probe the physical properties of a large number of asteroids, many of which are members of identified families. We review these data sets and the composite properties of asteroid families derived from this plethora of new data. We also discuss the limitations of the current data, and the open questions in the field.

  14. Asteroid Photometry: Tricky Business

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, J.

    2005-05-01

    Two nagging issues (among others) that tend to afflict asteroid photometrists (and others) are (1) concerns about just what a Flat is doing (and whether it makes things better or worse), and (2) how to handle those pesky stars that keep jumping into the path of the asteroid as it cruises across the field of view (FOV) using StarZap, a program written to subtract the offending stars. We'll discuss experiments done to get a handle on these two issues.

  15. Asteroids@Home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, Josef; Hanus, J.; Vanco, R.

    2012-10-01

    We present a new project called Asteroids@home (http://asteroidsathome.net/boinc). It is a volunteer-computing project that uses an open-source BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) software to distribute tasks to volunteers, who provide their computing resources. The project was created at the Astronomical Institute, Charles University in Prague, in cooperation with the Czech National Team. The scientific aim of the project is to solve a time-consuming inverse problem of shape reconstruction of asteroids from sparse-in-time photometry. The time-demanding nature of the problem comes from the fact that with sparse-in-time photometry the rotation period of an asteroid is not apriori known and a huge parameter space must be densely scanned for the best solution. The nature of the problem makes it an ideal task to be solved by distributed computing - the period parameter space can be divided into small bins that can be scanned separately and then joined together to give the globally best solution. In the framework of the the project, we process asteroid photometric data from surveys together with asteroid lightcurves and we derive asteroid shapes and spin states. The algorithm is based on the lightcurve inversion method developed by Kaasalainen et al. (Icarus 153, 37, 2001). The enormous potential of distributed computing will enable us to effectively process also the data from future surveys (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Gaia mission, etc.). We also plan to process data of a synthetic asteroid population to reveal biases of the method. In our presentation, we will describe the project, show the first results (new models of asteroids), and discuss the possibilities of its further development. This work has been supported by the grant GACR P209/10/0537 of the Czech Science Foundation and by the Research Program MSM0021620860 of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.

  16. Asteroids - NeoWs API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NeoWs (Near Earth Object Web Service) is a RESTful web service for near earth Asteroid information. With NeoWs a user can: search for Asteroids based on their...

  17. The Asteroid Impact Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnelli, Ian; Galvez, Andres; Mellab, Karim

    2016-04-01

    The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is a small and innovative mission of opportunity, currently under study at ESA, intending to demonstrate new technologies for future deep-space missions while addressing planetary defense objectives and performing for the first time detailed investigations of a binary asteroid system. It leverages on a unique opportunity provided by asteroid 65803 Didymos, set for an Earth close-encounter in October 2022, to achieve a fast mission return in only two years after launch in October/November 2020. AIM is also ESA's contribution to an international cooperation between ESA and NASA called Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA), consisting of two mission elements: the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and the AIM rendezvous spacecraft. The primary goals of AIDA are to test our ability to perform a spacecraft impact on a near-Earth asteroid and to measure and characterize the deflection caused by the impact. The two mission components of AIDA, DART and AIM, are each independently valuable but when combined they provide a greatly increased scientific return. The DART hypervelocity impact on the secondary asteroid will alter the binary orbit period, which will also be measured by means of lightcurves observations from Earth-based telescopes. AIM instead will perform before and after detailed characterization shedding light on the dependence of the momentum transfer on the asteroid's bulk density, porosity, surface and internal properties. AIM will gather data describing the fragmentation and restructuring processes as well as the ejection of material, and relate them to parameters that can only be available from ground-based observations. Collisional events are of great importance in the formation and evolution of planetary systems, own Solar System and planetary rings. The AIDA scenario will provide a unique opportunity to observe a collision event directly in space, and simultaneously from ground-based optical and

  18. Threat Mitigation: The Asteroid Tugboat

    OpenAIRE

    Schweickart, Russell; Chapman, Clark; Durda, Dan; Hut, Piet

    2006-01-01

    The Asteroid Tugboat (AT) is a fully controlled asteroid deflection concept using a robotic spacecraft powered by a high efficiency, electric propulsion system (ion or plasma) which docks with and attaches to the asteroid, conducts preliminary operations, and then thrusts continuously parallel to the asteroid velocity vector until the desired velocity change is achieved. Based on early warning, provided by ground tracking and orbit prediction, it would be deployed a decade or more prior to a ...

  19. Geography of the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, B. H.

    1978-01-01

    The CSM classification serves as the starting point on the geography of the asteroid belt. Raw data on asteroid types are corrected for observational biases (against dark objects, for instance) to derive the distribution of types throughout the belt. Recent work on family members indicates that dynamical families have a true physical relationship, presumably indicating common origin in the breakup of a parent asteroid.

  20. Asteroid science by Gaia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, Karri; Cellino, Alberto; Dell Oro, Aldo; Tanga, Paolo; Delbo, Marco; Mignard, Francois; Thuillot, William; Berthier, Jerome; Carry, Benoit; Hestroffer, Daniel; Granvik, Mikael; Fedorets, Grigori

    2016-07-01

    Since the start of its regular observing program in summer 2014, the Gaia mission has carried out systematic photometric, spectrometric, and astrometric observations of asteroids. In total, the unique capabilities of Gaia allow for the collection of an extensive and homogeneous data set of some 350,000 asteroids down to the limiting magnitude of G = 20.7 mag. The Gaia performance remains excellent over the entire available brightness range. Starting from 2003, a working group of European asteroid scientists has explored the main capabilities of the mission, defining the expected scientific impact on Solar System science. These results have served as a basis for developing the Gaia data reduction pipeline, within the framework of the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). We describe the distribution of the existing and forecoming Gaia observations in space and time for different categories of objects. We illustrate the peculiar properties of each single observation, as these properties will affect the subsequent exploitation of the mission data. We will review the expected performances of Gaia, basically as a function of magnitude and proper motion of the sources. We will further focus on the areas that will benefit from complementary observational campaigns to improve the scientific return of the mission, and on the involvement of the planetary science community as a whole in the exploitation of the Gaia survey. We will thus describe the current and future opportunities for ground-based observers and forthcoming changes brought by Gaia in some observational approaches, such as stellar occultations by transneptunian objects and asteroids. We will show first results from the daily, short-term processing of Gaia data, all the way from the onboard data acquisition to the ground-based processing. We illustrate the tools developed to compute predictions of asteroid observations, we discuss the procedures implemented by the daily processing, and we illustrate

  1. Threat Mitigation: The Asteroid Tugboat

    CERN Document Server

    Schweickart, R; Durda, D; Hut, P; Chapman, Clark; Durda, Dan; Hut, Piet; Schweickart, Russell

    2006-01-01

    The Asteroid Tugboat (AT) is a fully controlled asteroid deflection concept using a robotic spacecraft powered by a high efficiency, electric propulsion system (ion or plasma) which docks with and attaches to the asteroid, conducts preliminary operations, and then thrusts continuously parallel to the asteroid velocity vector until the desired velocity change is achieved. Based on early warning, provided by ground tracking and orbit prediction, it would be deployed a decade or more prior to a potential impact. On completion of the initial rendezvous with the near-Earth object (NEO) the AT would first reduce the uncertainty in the orbit of the asteroid via Earth tracking of its radio transponder while it is station keeping with the asteroid. If on analysis of tracking data a deflection is required the AT would execute a reconnaissance phase collecting and processing information about the physical characteristics of the asteroid to support subsequent operations. The AT would then dock at the appropriate pole (i....

  2. Asteroid Lightcurve Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, A. W.

    2004-05-01

    With the advent of modestly priced CCD cameras and computer controller and reduction software, amateurs can now do photometry on fainter targets than was possible even from large observatories only a decade or so ago. This has led to an explosion of lightcurve data that in turn has yielded rich results. We now have rotation periods for more than 1500 asteroids, extending down to objects only tens of meters in diameter, and well determined shapes and pole orientations of more than 100 objects. Among smaller asteroids, the dispersion in rotation rates ranges from minutes to months, with the slower ones mostly "tumbling," or in states of non-principal axis rotation. The fastest ones must be monolithic, as centrifugal force exceeds their gravity. But among those larger than a few hundred meters diameter, there is a "rotation barrier" at the rate where gravity and centrifugal force match, suggesting that most asteroids this large or larger are "rubble piles." The broad dispersion in spin rates, almost a bimodal distribution, has long been a mystery, but now appears likely to be due to thermal radiation torques from the randomly asymmetric shapes of small asteroids. This is a major paradigm shift from the past, where mutual collisions were considered to be the dominant (or only) evolutionary process affecting spins. Amateur observations have already contributed a great deal leading to this new view, and much remains to be done, providing abundant opportunities for amateur-professional collaborations.

  3. Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, Steven

    2015-08-01

    Asteroid impact missions can be carried out as a relatively low-cost add-ons to most asteroid rendezvous missions and such impact experiments have tremendous potential, both scientifically and in the arena of planetary defense.The science returns from an impactor demonstration begin with the documentation of the global effects of the impact, such as changes in orbit and rotation state, the creation and dissipation of an ejecta plume and debris disk, and morphological changes across the body due to the transmission of seismic waves, which might induce landslides and toppling of boulders, etc. At a local level, an inspection of the impact crater and ejecta blanket reveals critical material strength information, as well as spectral differences between the surface and subsurface material.From the planetary defense perspective, an impact demonstration will prove humankind’s capacity to alter the orbit of a potentially threatening asteroid. This technological leap comes in two parts. First, terminal guidance systems that can deliver an impactor with small errors relative to the ~100-200 meter size of a likely impactor have yet to be demonstrated in a deep space environment. Second, the response of an asteroid to such an impact is only understood theoretically due to the potentially significant dependence on the momentum carried by escaping ejecta, which would tend to enhance the deflection by tens of percent and perhaps as much as a factor of a few. A lack of validated understanding of momentum enhancement is a significant obstacle in properly sizing a real-world impactor deflection mission.This presentation will describe the drivers for asteroid impact demonstrations and cover the range of such concepts, starting with ESA’s pioneering Don Quijote mission concept and leading to a brief description of concepts under study at the present time, including the OSIRIS-REx/ISIS, BASiX/KIX and AIM/DART (AIDA) concepts.

  4. Multiple origins of asteroid pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A.

    2016-01-01

    Rotationally fissioned asteroids produce unbound asteroid pairs that have very similar heliocentric orbits. Backward integration of their current heliocentric orbits provides an age of closest proximity that can be used to date the rotational fission event. Most asteroid pairs follow a predicted theoretical relationship between the primary spin period and the mass ratio of the two pair members that is a direct consequence of the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis. If the progenitor asteroid has strength, asteroid pairs may have higher mass ratios or faster rotating primaries. However, the process of secondary fission leaves the originally predicted trend unaltered. We also describe the characteristics of pair members produced by four alternative routes from a rotational fission event to an asteroid pair. Unlike direct formation from the event itself, the age of closest proximity of these pairs cannot generally be used to date the rotational fission event since considerable time may have passed.

  5. Multiple origins of asteroid pairs

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth A

    2015-01-01

    Rotationally fissioned asteroids produce unbound daughter asteroids that have very similar heliocentric orbits. Backward integration of their current heliocentric orbits provides an age of closest proximity that can be used to date the rotational fission event. Most asteroid pairs follow a predicted theoretical relationship between the primary spin period and the mass ratio of the two pair members that is a direct consequence of the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis. If the progenitor asteroid has strength, asteroid pairs may have high mass ratios with possibly fast rotating primaries. However, secondary fission leaves the originally predicted trend unaltered. We also describe the characteristics of pair members produced by four alternative routes from a rotational fission event to an asteroid pair. Unlike direct formation from the event itself, the age of closest proximity of these pairs cannot generally be used to date the rotational fission event since considerable time may have passed.

  6. Asteroid Surface Geophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Murdoch, Naomi; Schwartz, Stephen R; Miyamoto, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    The regolith-covered surfaces of asteroids preserve records of geophysical processes that have occurred both at their surfaces and sometimes also in their interiors. As a result of the unique micro-gravity environment that these bodies posses, a complex and varied geophysics has given birth to fascinating features that we are just now beginning to understand. The processes that formed such features were first hypothesised through detailed spacecraft observations and have been further studied using theoretical, numerical and experimental methods that often combine several scientific disciplines. These multiple approaches are now merging towards a further understanding of the geophysical states of the surfaces of asteroids. In this chapter we provide a concise summary of what the scientific community has learned so far about the surfaces of these small planetary bodies and the processes that have shaped them. We also discuss the state of the art in terms of experimental techniques and numerical simulations that...

  7. Silicates in Alien Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates a common mineral on Earth. The data were taken primarily by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into its basic constituents. The yellow dots show averaged data from the spectrograph, while the orange triangles show older data from Spitzer's infrared array camera. The white dwarf is called GD 40.

  8. Asteroid Surface Geophysics

    OpenAIRE

    Murdoch, Naomi; Sanchez, Paul; Schwartz, Stephen R.; Miyamoto, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    The regolith-covered surfaces of asteroids preserve records of geophysical processes that have occurred both at their surfaces and sometimes also in their interiors. As a result of the unique micro-gravity environment that these bodies posses, a complex and varied geophysics has given birth to fascinating features that we are just now beginning to understand. The processes that formed such features were first hypothesised through detailed spacecraft observations and have been further studied ...

  9. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  10. Scientific mission to asteroid Phaethon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padevet, V.; Lala, P.; Bumba, V.

    1986-10-01

    The asteroid 3200 Phaethon (previously 1983 TB) is being suggested for direct research by interplanetary probe. The asteroid, in an Apollo-type orbit, coincides with Geminid meteor stream and is so far the only body known to have features of an asteroid as well as a comet. A special program has been prepared for a desk computer to analyze interplanetary orbits with which the asteroid could be reached by the year 2000. Direct trajectories as well as trajectories with a gravitational maneuver near Venus have been tested.

  11. Rotational properties of asteroids: CCD observations of nine small asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birlan, M.; Barucci, M. A.; Angeli, C. A.; Doressoundiram, A.; De Sanctis, M. C.

    1996-06-01

    The observational programme on small asteroids (diameter less than about 50 km) is continued to enlarge the available dataset of small asteroids. The results are presented of CCD observations of nine small asteroids ( D≤23 km), performed in France with the 1.2 m telescope at Haute Provence Observatory and with the 2 m telescope at Pic du Midi Observatory. A total of 27 single night lightcurves for nine asteroids were obtained. All the objects were observed for the first time and rotational periods have been determined for all of the observed asteroids: 1992 Galvarino ( Psyn = 7 h.004), 2419 Moldavia ( Psyn = 2 h.412), 2921 Sophocles ( Psyn = 4 h.778), 3247 Di Martino ( Psyn = 5 h.445), 3623 Chaplin ( Psyn = 8 h.361), 3986 Rozhkovskij ( Psyn = 4 h.26), 4436 1983 EX ( Psyn = 6 h.656), 5046 1981 DQ ( Psyn = 6 h.050) and 1992 YG3 ( Psyn = 8 h.91).

  12. Evolutionary Pathways for Asteroid Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth Andrew

    2015-08-01

    The YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis is a proposed mechanism for the creation of small asteroid binaries, which make up approximately 1/6-th of the near-Earth asteroid and small Main Belt asteroid populations. The YORP effect is a radiative torque that rotationally accelerates asteroids on timescales of thousands to millions of years. As asteroids rotationally accelerate, centrifugal accelerations on material within the body can match gravitational accelerations holding that material in place. When this occurs, that material goes into orbit. Once in orbit that material coalesces into a companion that undergoes continued dynamical evolution.Observations with radar, photometric and direct imaging techniques reveal a diverse array of small asteroid satellites. These systems can be sorted into a number of morphologies according to size, multiplicity of members, dynamical orbit and spin states, and member shapes. For instance, singly synchronous binaries have short separation distances between the two members, rapidly rotating oblate primary members, and tidally locked prolate secondary members. Other confirmed binary morphologies include doubly synchronous, tight asynchronous and wide asynchronous binaries. Related to these binary morphologies are unbound paired asteroid systems and bi-lobate contact binaries.A critical test for the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis is whether the binary asteroids produced evolve to the observed binary and related systems. In this talk I will review how this evolution is believed to occur according to gravitational dynamics, mutual body tides and the binary YORP effect.

  13. New Paradigms For Asteroid Formation

    CERN Document Server

    Johansen, Anders; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Gounelle, Matthieu

    2015-01-01

    Asteroids and meteorites provide key evidence on the formation of planetesimals in the Solar System. Asteroids are traditionally thought to form in a bottom-up process by coagulation within a population of initially km-scale planetesimals. However, new models challenge this idea by demonstrating that asteroids of sizes from 100 to 1000 km can form directly from the gravitational collapse of small particles which have organised themselves in dense filaments and clusters in the turbulent gas. Particles concentrate passively between eddies down to the smallest scales of the turbulent gas flow and inside large-scale pressure bumps and vortices. The streaming instability causes particles to take an active role in the concentration, by piling up in dense filaments whose friction on the gas reduces the radial drift compared to that of isolated particles. In this chapter we review new paradigms for asteroid formation and compare critically against the observed properties of asteroids as well as constraints from meteo...

  14. Asteroids and Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandez, Yanga R; Howell, Ellen S; Woodney, Laura M

    2015-01-01

    Asteroids and comets are remnants from the era of Solar System formation over 4.5 billion years ago, and therefore allow us to address two fundamental questions in astronomy: what was the nature of our protoplanetary disk, and how did the process of planetary accretion occur? The objects we see today have suffered many geophysically-relevant processes in the intervening eons that have altered their surfaces, interiors, and compositions. In this chapter we review our understanding of the origins and evolution of these bodies, discuss the wealth of science returned from spacecraft missions, and motivate important questions to be addressed in the future.

  15. Active Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Past activity from Near Earth Asteroids is recorded in the meteoroid streams that cause our meteor showers. Automated meteoroid orbit surveys by photographic, low-light video, specular radar, and head-echo radar reflections are providing the first maps of meteor shower activity at different particle sizes. There are distinct differences in particle size distributions among streams. The underlaying mechanisms that created these streams are illuminated: fragmentation from spin-up or thermal stresses, meteoroid ejection by water vapor drag, and ejection of icy particles by CO and CO2 sublimation. The distribution of the meteoroid orbital elements probe the subsequent evolution by planetary perturbations and sample the range of dynamical processes to which Near Earth Asteroids are exposed. The non-stream "sporadic" meteors probe early stages in the evolution from meteoroid streams into the zodiacal dust cloud. We see that the lifetime of large meteoroids is generally not limited by collisions. Results obtained by the CAMS video survey of meteoroid orbits are compared to those from other orbit surveys. Since October 2010, over 200,000 meteoroid orbits have been measured. First results from an expansion into the southern hemisphere are also presented, as are first results from the measurement of main element compositions. Among the many streams detected so far, the Geminid and Sextantid showers stand out by having a relatively high particle density and derive from parent bodies that appear to have originated in the main belt.

  16. Ion Beam Shepherd for Asteroid Deflection

    CERN Document Server

    Bombardelli, C

    2011-01-01

    We present a novel concept to impart a continuous thrust to an Earth threatening asteroid from a hovering spacecraft without need for physical attachment nor gravitational interaction with the asteroid. The concept involves an ion thruster placed at a distance of a few asteroid diameters directing a stream of quasi-neutral plasma against the asteroid surface resulting into a net transferred momentum. As the transmitted force is independent of the asteroid mass and size the method allows deflecting subkilometer asteroids with a spacecraft much lighter when compared to a gravity tractor spacecraft of equal deflection capability. The finding could make low-cost asteroid deflection missions possible in the coming years.

  17. Images of an Activated Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-08-01

    In late April of this year, asteroid P/2016 G1 (PANSTARRS) was discovered streaking through space, a tail of dust extending behind it. What caused this asteroids dust activity?Asteroid or Comet?Images of asteroid P/2016 G1 at three different times: late April, late May, and mid June. The arrow in the center panel points out an asymmetric feature that can be explained if the asteroid initially ejected material in a single direction, perhaps due to an impact. [Moreno et al. 2016]Asteroid P/2016 G1 is an interesting case: though it has the orbital elements of a main-belt asteroid it orbits at just under three times the EarthSun distance, with an eccentricity of e ~ 0.21 its appearance is closer to that of a comet, with a dust tail extending 20 behind it.To better understand the nature and cause of this unusual asteroids activity, a team led by Fernando Moreno (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, in Spain) performed deep observations of P/2016 G1 shortly after its discovery. The team used the 10.4-meter Great Canary Telescope to image the asteroid over the span of roughly a month and a half.A Closer Look at P/2016 G1P/2016 G1 lies in the inner region of the main asteroid belt, so it is unlikely to have any ices that suddenly sublimated, causing the outburst. Instead, Moreno and collaborators suggest that the asteroids tail may have been caused by an impact that disrupted the parent body.To test this idea, the team used computer simulations to model their observations of P/2016 G1s dust tail. Based on their models, they demonstrate that the asteroid was likely activated on February 10 2016 roughly 350 days before it reached perihelion in its orbit and its activity was a short-duration event, lasting only ~24 days. The teams models indicate that over these 24 days, the asteroid lost around 20 million kilograms of dust, and at its maximum activity level, it was ejecting around 8 kg/s!Comparison of the observation from late May (panel a) and two models: one in which

  18. Solar wind tans young asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    A new study published in Nature this week reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought -- in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid. This study has finally confirmed that the solar wind is the most likely cause of very rapid space weathering in asteroids. This fundamental result will help astronomers relate the appearance of an asteroid to its actual history and identify any after effects of a catastrophic impact with another asteroid. ESO PR Photo 16a/09 Young Asteroids Look Old "Asteroids seem to get a ‘sun tan' very quickly," says lead author Pierre Vernazza. "But not, as for people, from an overdose of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, but from the effects of its powerful wind." It has long been known that asteroid surfaces alter in appearance with time -- the observed asteroids are much redder than the interior of meteorites found on Earth [1] -- but the actual processes of this "space weathering" and the timescales involved were controversial. Thanks to observations of different families of asteroids [2] using ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla and the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, as well as telescopes in Spain and Hawaii, Vernazza's team have now solved the puzzle. When two asteroids collide, they create a family of fragments with "fresh" surfaces. The astronomers found that these newly exposed surfaces are quickly altered and change colour in less than a million years -- a very short time compared to the age of the Solar System. "The charged, fast moving particles in the solar wind damage the asteroid's surface at an amazing rate [3]", says Vernazza. Unlike human skin, which is damaged and aged by repeated overexposure to sunlight, it is, perhaps rather surprisingly, the first moments of exposure (on the timescale considered) -- the first million years -- that causes most of the aging in asteroids. By studying different families of asteroids, the team has also shown that an asteroid

  19. Near Earth Asteroid Scout Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In considering targets for human asteroid missions, there are several major factors that will make a significant difference in assessment of mission risks that...

  20. Asteroid named after CAS scientist

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ An asteroid has been named after CAS astronomy historian XI Zezong with the approval of the International Minor Planet Nomenclature Committee (IMPNC), announced China's National Astronomical Observatories at CAS (NAOC) on 17 August.

  1. Asteroids: up close and personal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Think of our solar system. The Sun, the Moon and the nine planets come to mind first, followed by the moons of other planets and other small bodies like asteroids. In 1991, almost 30 years after planetary exploration began, an asteroid was visited by a passing spacecraft for the first time. Nearly another decade elapsed before the first dedicated asteroid mission went into orbit around Eros, a city-sized object some 34 km long. And earlier this year, the NEAR, Shoemaker spacecraft daringly descended to the surface of Eros and landed safely. Asteroids have been pushed to the tail-end of the itinerary of solar-system exploration because of their diminutive sizes. Indeed, the wealth of low-gravity phenomena associated with asteroids has captured the imagination of both researchers and the public alike. In the June issue of Physics World Clark R Chapman of the Southwest Research Institute, US, explains how the landing of a spacecraft on the asteroid Eros earlier this year has given space scientists the best view yet of small planetary bodies and has opened a new window on the solar system. (U.K.)

  2. Asteroid Exploration and Exploitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John S.

    2006-01-01

    John S. Lewis is Professor of Planetary Sciences and Co-Director of the Space Engineering Research Center at the University of Arizona. He was previously a Professor of Planetary Sciences at MIT and Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology. Most recently, he was a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing for the 2005-2006 academic year. His research interests are related to the application of chemistry to astronomical problems, including the origin of the Solar System, the evolution of planetary atmospheres, the origin of organic matter in planetary environments, the chemical structure and history of icy satellites, the hazards of comet and asteroid bombardment of Earth, and the extraction, processing, and use of the energy and material resources of nearby space. He has served as member or Chairman of a wide variety of NASA and NAS advisory committees and review panels. He has written 17 books, including undergraduate and graduate level texts and popular science books, and has authored over 150 scientific publications.

  3. The small binary asteroid (939) Isberga

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Carry, B.; Matter, A.; Scheirich, Peter; Pravec, Petr; Molnar, L.; Mottola, S.; Carbognani, A.; Jehin, E.; Marciniak, A.; Binzel, R. P.; DeMeo, E.F.; Birlan, M.; Delbó, M.; Barbotin, E.; Behrend, R.; Bonnardeau, M.; Colas, F.; Farissier, P.; Fauvaud, M.; Fauvaud, S.; Gillier, C.; Gillon, M.; Hellmich, S.; Hirsch, R.; Leroy, A.; Manfroid, J.; Montier, J.; Morelle, E.; Richard, F.; Sobkowiak, K.; Strajnic, J.; Vachier, F.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 248, March (2015), s. 516-525. ISSN 0019-1035 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : asteroids * dynamics * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.038, year: 2014

  4. Asteroid secular dynamics: Ceres' fingerprint identified

    OpenAIRE

    Novaković, Bojan; Maurel, Clara; Tsirvoulis, Georgios; Knezević, Zoran

    2015-01-01

    Here we report on the significant role of a so far overlooked dynamical aspect, namely a secular resonance between the dwarf planet Ceres and other asteroids. We demonstrate that this type of secular resonance can be the dominant dynamical factor in certain regions of the main asteroid belt. Specifically, we performed a dynamical analysis of the asteroids belonging to the (1726) Hoffmeister family. To identify which dynamical mechanisms are actually at work in this part of the main asteroid b...

  5. Asteroid Systems: Binaries, Triples, and Pairs

    CERN Document Server

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Taylor, Patrick; Carry, Benoît; Jacobson, Seth

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, the number of known binary near-Earth asteroids has more than quadrupled and the number of known large main belt asteroids with satellites has doubled. Half a dozen triple asteroids have been discovered, and the previously unrecognized populations of asteroid pairs and small main belt binaries have been identified. The current observational evidence confirms that small (20 km) binaries with small satellites are most likely created during large collisions.

  6. A Gravitational Tractor for Towing Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Lu, E T; Lu, Edward T.; Categories, Stanley G. Love

    2005-01-01

    We present a concept for a spacecraft that can controllably alter the trajectory of an Earth threatening asteroid using gravity as a towline. The spacecraft hovers near the asteroid with thrusters angled outward so the exhaust does not impinge on the surface. This deflection method is insensitive to the structure, surface properties, and rotation state of the asteroid.

  7. Reflectance spectroscopy and asteroid surface mineralogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffey, Michael J.; Bell, Jeffrey F.; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    1989-01-01

    Information available from reflectance spectroscopy on the surface mineralogy of asteroids is discussed. Current spectral interpretive procedures used in the investigations of asteroid mineralogy are described. Present understanding of the nature and history of asteroids is discussed together with some still unresolved issues such as the source of ordinary chondrites.

  8. On the Astrid asteroid family

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, V

    2016-01-01

    Among asteroid families, the Astrid family is peculiar because of its unusual inclination distribution. Objects at $a\\simeq$~2.764 au are quite dispersed in this orbital element, giving the family a "crab-like" appearance. Recent works showed that this feature is caused by the interaction of the family with the $s-s_C$ nodal secular resonance with Ceres, that spreads the inclination of asteroids near its separatrix. As a consequence, the currently observed distribution of the $v_W$ component of terminal ejection velocities obtained from inverting Gauss equation is quite leptokurtic, since this parameter mostly depends on the asteroids inclination. The peculiar orbital configuration of the Astrid family can be used to set constraints on key parameters describing the strength of the Yarkovsky force, such as the bulk and surface density and the thermal conductivity of surface material. By simulating various fictitious families with different values of these parameters, and by demanding that the current value of ...

  9. Volcanism on differentiated asteroids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Dawn spacecraft's investigation of 4 Vesta, best-preserved of the early-forming differentiated asteroids, prompts a reappraisal of factors controlling igneous activity on such bodies. Analogy with melt transfer in zones of partial melting on Earth implies that silicate melts moved efficiently within asteroid mantles in complex networks of veins and dikes, so that only a few percent of the mantle consisted of melt at any one time. Thus even in cases where large amounts of mantle melting occurred, the melts did not remain in the mantle to form "magma oceans", but instead migrated to shallow depths. The link between magma flow rate and the stresses needed to keep fractures open and allow flow fast enough to avoid excessive cooling implies that only within asteroids with radii more than ~190-250 km would continuous magma flow from mantle to surface be possible. In all smaller asteroids (including Vesta) magma must have accumulated in sills at the base of the lithosphere (the conductively controlled ~10 km thick thermal boundary layer) or in crustal magma reservoirs near its base. Magma would then have erupted intermittently to the surface from these steadily replenished reservoirs. The average rates of eruption to the surface (or shallow intrusion) should balance the magma production rate, but since magma could accumulate and erupt intermittently from these reservoirs, the instantaneous eruption rates could be hundreds to thousands of cubic m/s, comparable to historic basaltic eruption rates on Earth and very much greater than the average mantle melting rate. The absence of asteroid atmospheres makes explosive eruptions likely even if magmas are volatile-poor. On asteroids with radii less than ~100 km, gases and sub-mm pyroclastic melt droplets would have had speeds exceeding the escape speed assuming a few hundred ppm volatiles, and only cm sized or larger clasts would have been retained. On larger bodies almost all pyroclasts will have returned to the surface

  10. AsteroidZoo: A New Zooniverse project to detect asteroids and improve asteroid detection algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, M.; Lewicki, C. A.; Smith, A.; Lintott, C.; Christensen, E.

    2013-12-01

    We present a new citizen science project: AsteroidZoo. A collaboration between Planetary Resources, Inc., the Zooniverse Team, and the Catalina Sky Survey, we will bring the science of asteroid identification to the citizen scientist. Volunteer astronomers have proved to be a critical asset in identification and characterization of asteroids, especially potentially hazardous objects. These contributions, to date, have required that the volunteer possess a moderate telescope and the ability and willingness to be responsive to observing requests. Our new project will use data collected by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), currently the most productive asteroid survey, to be used by anyone with sufficient interest and an internet connection. As previous work by the Zooniverse has demonstrated, the capability of the citizen scientist is superb at classification of objects. Even the best automated searches require human intervention to identify new objects. These searches are optimized to reduce false positive rates and to prevent a single operator from being overloaded with requests. With access to the large number of people in Zooniverse, we will be able to avoid that problem and instead work to produce a complete detection list. Each frame from CSS will be searched in detail, generating a large number of new detections. We will be able to evaluate the completeness of the CSS data set and potentially provide improvements to the automated pipeline. The data corpus produced by AsteroidZoo will be used as a training environment for machine learning challenges in the future. Our goals include a more complete asteroid detection algorithm and a minimum computation program that skims the cream of the data suitable for implemention on small spacecraft. Our goal is to have the site become live in the Fall 2013.

  11. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Naasz, Bo; Cichy, Benjamin

    2015-11-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the Moon. Once returned to cislunar space in the mid-2020s, astronauts will explore the boulder and return to Earth with samples. This Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is part of NASA’s plan to advance the technologies, capabilities, and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s. Subsequent human and robotic missions to the asteroidal material would also be facilitated by its return to cislunar space. Although ARM is primarily a capability demonstration mission (i.e., technologies and associated operations), there exist significant opportunities to advance our knowledge of small bodies in the synergistic areas of science, planetary defense, asteroidal resources and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and capability and technology demonstrations. In order to maximize the knowledge return from the mission, NASA is organizing an ARM Investigation Team, which is being preceded by the Formulation Assessment and Support Team. These teams will be comprised of scientists, technologists, and other qualified and interested individuals to help plan the implementation and execution of ARM. An overview of robotic and crewed segments of ARM, including the mission requirements, NEA targets, and mission operations, will be provided along with a discussion of the potential opportunities associated with the mission.

  12. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-07-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human spaceflight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human spaceflight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM). Mission Description: NASA's ARM consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the first robotic mission to visit a large (greater than ~100 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, demonstrate a planetary defense technique, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will take the Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic vehicle, conduct multiple extravehicular activities to explore the boulder, and return to Earth with samples. NASA's proposed

  13. Asteroids. Prospective energy and material resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Badescu, Viorel (ed.) [Bucharest Polytechnic Univ. (Romania). Candida Oancea Institute

    2013-11-01

    Recent research on Prospective Energy and Material Resources on Asteroids. Carefully edited book dedicated to Asteroids prospective energy and material resources. Written by leading experts in the field. The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power. Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth. Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space. This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions to old problems that could become reality in our life time. The book therefore is a great source of condensed information for specialists involved in current and impending asteroid-related activities and a good starting point for space researchers, inventors, technologists and potential investors. Written for researchers, engineers, and businessmen interested in asteroids' exploration and exploitation.

  14. Photometry of faint asteroids and satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The smaller asteroids, having diameters of about 1 km, appear to rotate faster than do the larger asteroids (approximately 200 km diameter). Most of the bodies may be nearly spherical, probably due to a collisional erosion process in the Main Belt of asteroids. The distributions of diameter versus number were studied for low albedo (C, for carbonaceous) and high albedo (S, for silicaceous) type asteroids in the main belt, down to diameters of 25 km. Among the smaller bodies the S type asteroids are relatively more abundant, probably due to greater crushing strength for S type asteroids. This indicates that both optical types have also different properties in the interior of the body. Areas with slightly different reflectivity over the surface of an asteroid were detected; the rotational light variation of asteroid 4 (Vesta) was found to be caused by spots on its surface. Colorimetry and infrared radiometry of some Hilda asteroids, Trojans and the fainter satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, all having diameters between 100 and 200 km, show that a mixture of types exist. If some asteroids are nearly expended nuclei of comets that lost most of their volatile gaseous material, then their cometary activity is expected to be extinct or at least weak. (Auth.)

  15. Near Earth Asteroid Characteristics for Asteroid Threat Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, J.; Wooden, D. H.; Bryson, K.; Ostrowski, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Information about the physical characteristics of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) is needed to model behavior during atmospheric entry, to assess the risk of an impact, and to model possible mitigation techniques. The intrinsic properties of interest to entry and mitigation modelers, however, rarely are directly measureable. Instead we measure other properties and infer the intrinsic physical properties, so determining the complete set of characteristics of interest is far from straightforward. In addition, for the majority of NEAs, only the basic measurements exist so often properties must be inferred from statistics of the population of more completely characterized objects. We will provide an assessment of the current state of knowledge about the physical characteristics of importance to asteroid threat assessment. In addition, an ongoing effort to collate NEA characteristics into a readily accessible database for use by the planetary defense community will be discussed.

  16. Designing Asteroid Impact Scenario Trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chodas, Paul

    2016-05-01

    In order to study some of the technical and geopolitical issues of dealing with an asteroid on impact trajectory, a number of hypothetical impact scenarios have been presented over the last ten years or so. These have been used, for example, at several of the Planetary Defense Conferences (PDCs), as well as in tabletop exercises with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with other government agencies. The exercise at the 2015 PDC involved most of the attendees, consisted of seven distinct steps (“injects”), and with all the presentations and discussions, took up nearly 10 hours of conference time. The trajectory for the PDC15 scenario was entirely realistic, and was posted ahead of the meeting. It was made available in the NEO Program’s Horizons ephemeris service so that users could , for example, design their own deflection missions. The simulated asteroid and trajectory had to meet numerous very exacting requirements: becoming observable on the very first day of the conference, yet remaining very difficult to observe for the following 7 years, and far enough away from Earth that it was out of reach of radar until just before impact. It had to be undetectable in the past, and yet provide multiple perihelion opportunities for deflection in the future. It had to impact in a very specific region of the Earth, a specific number of years after discovery. When observations of the asteroid are simulated to generate an uncertainty region, that entire region must impact the Earth along an axis that cuts across specific regions of the Earth, the “risk corridor”. This is important because asteroid deflections generally move an asteroid impact point along this corridor. One scenario had a requirement that the asteroid pass through a keyhole several years before impact. The PDC15 scenario had an additional constraint that multiple simulated kinetic impactor missions altered the trajectory at a deflection point midway between discovery and impact

  17. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-07-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human spaceflight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human spaceflight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM). Mission Description: NASA's ARM consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the first robotic mission to visit a large (greater than ~100 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, demonstrate a planetary defense technique, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will take the Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic vehicle, conduct multiple extravehicular activities to explore the boulder, and return to Earth with samples. NASA's proposed

  18. Earth-crossing asteroids - New discoveries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helin, E. F.

    1982-01-01

    An earth-crossing asteroid is an asteroid whose orbit will intersect the orbit of the earth as a result of secular perturbations. Astronomical observations have led to the discovery of 43 earth-crossing asteroids during the last fifty years. Nearly sixty percent of these were found in the decade 1971-1981. Noteworthy results of the last decade are discussed, taking into account the Aten asteroids, accidental rediscoveries, asteroids of possible cometary origin, candidates for rendezvous and sample return missions, and populations and collision rates with earth. The observed earth-crossing asteroids are listed in a table, and the orbits of earth, Mars, and four Atens projected on ecliptic plane are shown.

  19. Asteroids prospective energy and material resources

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power.   Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth.   Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space.   This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions t...

  20. Selecting asteroids for a targeted spectroscopic survey

    CERN Document Server

    Oszkiewicz, D A; Tomov, T; Birlan, M; Geier, S; Penttilä, A; Polińska, M

    2014-01-01

    Asteroid spectroscopy reflects surface mineralogy. There are few thousand asteroids whose surfaces have been observed spectrally. Determining the surface properties of those objects is important for many practical and scientific applications, such as for example developing impact deflection strategies or studying history and evolution of the Solar System and planet formation. The aim of this study is to develop a pre-selection method that can be utilized in searching for asteroids of any taxonomic complex. The method could then be utilized im multiple applications such as searching for the missing V-types or looking for primitive asteroids. We used the Bayes Naive Classifier combined with observations obtained in the course of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer surveys as well as a database of asteroid phase curves for asteroids with known taxonomic type. Using the new classification method we have selected a number of possible V-type candidates. Some of the candidates we...

  1. Migration of Near Earth Asteroid to Jovian-Crosser Asteroid:Case Study 3552 Don Quixote

    OpenAIRE

    Siregar, Suryadi

    2010-01-01

    It is generally recognized that main-belt asteroids (MBAs) and nuclei of extinct comets are the two main sources for the Near-Earth-Asteroids (NEAs). Theoretical studies of NEAs dynamics and numerical modelling of their orbital motions showed that the resonance mechanism for supplying NEAs is quite sufficient to sustain this population. Asteroid 1983 SA, also known as 3552 Don Quixote, is one of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the most probable candidates for NEAs of the cometary origin. In t...

  2. Anchoring a lander on an asteroid using foam stabilization Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has proposed several missions to land a craft on an asteroid and potentially to return samples from it. While large asteroids in the asteroid belt can exhibit...

  3. Families classification including multiopposition asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Andrea; Spoto, Federica; Knežević, Zoran; Novaković, Bojan; Tsirvoulis, Georgios

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we present the results of our new classification of asteroid families, upgraded by using catalog with > 500,000 asteroids. We discuss the outcome of the most recent update of the family list and of their membership. We found enough evidence to perform 9 mergers of the previously independent families. By introducing an improved method of estimation of the expected family growth in the less populous regions (e.g. at high inclination) we were able to reliably decide on rejection of one tiny group as a probable statistical fluke. Thus we reduced our current list to 115 families. We also present newly determined ages for 6 families, including complex 135 and 221, improving also our understanding of the dynamical vs. collisional families relationship. We conclude with some recommendations for the future work and for the family name problem.

  4. Asteroid Evolution: Role of Geotechnical Properties

    CERN Document Server

    Sánchez, Paul

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a brief review and latest results of the work that has been carried out by the Planetary Science community in order to understand that role of the geotechnical properties of granular asteroids (commonly known as "rubble-pile" asteroids) in their formation, evolution and possible disruption. As such, we will touch in aspects of the theoretical and numerical tools that have been used with this objective and how the obtained results compare to the observed asteroids.

  5. Stabilities of asteroid orbits in resonances

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    A map of the asteroid motion is studied carefully. An exponential diffusion law in the chaotic sea and an algebraic law in the mixed region are observed. The effects of perturbations on diffusion are also discussed. The fixed points, their stabilities and the diffusion properties of the map give qualitative explanations of the distribution of asteroids, i.e. the depletion and accumulation of asteroids in the outer main belt, particularly in the first order mean motion resonances with Jupiter.

  6. Composition of near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebofsky, Larry A.

    1992-01-01

    The continuing goal is to determine whether any of the near-Earth asteroids or the satellites of Mars contain hydrated phyllosilicate (clay) minerals. If these minerals are present, they would provide a ready source of water for propellant generation and use in life support systems. Many of the dark main belt asteroids have been shown to contain hydrated phyllosilicate minerals. Some of the near-Earth asteroids are also dark, but telescopic detection of water on these near-Earth asteroids is complicated because of the faintness of these small asteroids and because thermal emission masks the diagnostic spectral features beyond 3 microns due to water of hydration for objects within 2 AU of the Sun. New techniques for asteroid classification based on spectral reflectance and mineralogy will be necessary to determine whether the water absorption features are present on any of the near-Earth asteroids. This past year, better ways to classify 'wet' vs. 'dry' asteroids in the main belt were looked at. This new classification may allow us to determine the presence of water of hydration in the surface minerals of near-Earth asteroids even when we can only observe them at wavelengths that are not affected by thermal emission.

  7. Asteroid Models from Multiple Data Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, J.; Carry, B.; Delbo, M.; Kaasalainen, M.; Viikinkoski, M.

    In the past decade, hundreds of asteroid shape models have been derived using the lightcurve inversion method. At the same time, a new framework of three-dimensional shape modeling based on the combined analysis of widely different data sources -- such as optical lightcurves, disk-resolved images, stellar occultation timings, mid-infrared thermal radiometry, optical interferometry, and radar delay-Doppler data -- has been developed. This multi-data approach allows the determination of most of the physical and surface properties of asteroids in a single, coherent inversion, with spectacular results. We review the main results of asteroid lightcurve inversion and also recent advances in multi-data modeling. We show that models based on remote sensing data were confirmed by spacecraft encounters with asteroids, and we discuss how the multiplication of highly detailed three-dimensional models will help to refine our general knowledge of the asteroid population. The physical and surface properties of asteroids, i.e., their spin, three-dimensional shape, density, thermal inertia, and surface roughness, are among the least known of all asteroid properties. Apart from the albedo and diameter, we have access to the whole picture for only a few hundreds of asteroids. These quantities are nevertheless very important to understand, as they affect the nongravitational Yarkovsky effect responsible for meteorite delivery to Earth, as well as the bulk composition and internal structure of asteroids.

  8. Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Ishihara, Daisuke; Kataza, Hirokazu; Takita, Satoshi; Oyabu, Shinki; Ueno, Munetaka; Matsuhara, Hideo; Onaka, Takashi

    2011-10-01

    We present the results of an unbiased asteroid survey in the mid-infrared wavelength region with the Infrared Camera (IRC) on board the Japanese infrared satellite AKARI. About 20% of the point source events recorded in the AKARI All-Sky Survey observations are not used for the IRC Point Source Catalog (IRC-PSC) in its production process because of a lack of multiple detection by position. Asteroids, which are moving objects on the celestial sphere, remain in these ``residual events''. We identify asteroids out of the residual events by matching them with the positions of known asteroids. For the identified asteroids, we calculate the size and albedo based on the Standard Thermal Model. Finally we have a new brand of asteroid catalog, named the Asteroid Catalog Using AKARI (AcuA), which contains 5120 objects, about twice as many as the IRAS asteroid catalog. The catalog objects comprise 4953 main belt asteroids, 58 near-Earth asteroids, and 109 Jovian Trojan asteroids. The catalog is publicly available via the Internet.

  9. Migration of Near Earth Asteroid to Jovian-Crosser Asteroid:Case Study 3552 Don Quixote

    CERN Document Server

    Siregar, Suryadi

    2010-01-01

    It is generally recognized that main-belt asteroids (MBAs) and nuclei of extinct comets are the two main sources for the Near-Earth-Asteroids (NEAs). Theoretical studies of NEAs dynamics and numerical modelling of their orbital motions showed that the resonance mechanism for supplying NEAs is quite sufficient to sustain this population. Asteroid 1983 SA, also known as 3552 Don Quixote, is one of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the most probable candidates for NEAs of the cometary origin. In this work, an investigation on the evolution of the orbit is done by using the SWIFT subroutine package, where the gravitational perturbations of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are considered. Migration of asteroid 3552 Don Quixote from Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) to Jovian-crosser asteroid is found.

  10. Spectroscopy of near-Earth asteroids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, René; Nathues, Andreas; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    2006-01-01

    We present spectra and taxonomic classifications of 12 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and 2 inner Main Belt asteroids. The observations were carried out with the ESO 3.5 m NTT and the Danish 1.54 m telescope at La Silla, Chile. Eleven of the investigated NEAs belong to the S class while only one C...

  11. Organic matter on asteroid 130 Elektra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Brown, R. H.

    1987-01-01

    Infrared absorption spectra of a low-albedo water-rich asteroid appear to show a weak 3.4-micrometer carbon-hydrogen stretching mode band, which suggests the presence of hydrocarbons on asteroid 130 Elektra. The organic extract from the primitive carbonaceous chondritic Murchison meteorite shows similar spectral bands.

  12. Binary asteroid population. 1. Angular momentum content

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 190, č. 1 (2007), s. 250-259. ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.869, year: 2007

  13. The Compositional Structure of the Asteroid Belt

    CERN Document Server

    DeMeo, Francesca E; Walsh, Kevin J; Chapman, Clark R; Binzel, Richard P

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has brought major improvements in large-scale asteroid discovery and characterization with over half a million known asteroids and over 100,000 with some measurement of physical characterization. This explosion of data has allowed us to create a new global picture of the Main Asteroid Belt. Put in context with meteorite measurements and dynamical models, a new and more complete picture of Solar System evolution has emerged. The question has changed from "What was the original compositional gradient of the Asteroid Belt?" to "What was the original compositional gradient of small bodies across the entire Solar System?" No longer is the leading theory that two belts of planetesimals are primordial, but instead those belts were formed and sculpted through evolutionary processes after Solar System formation. This article reviews the advancements on the fronts of asteroid compositional characterization, meteorite measurements, and dynamical theories in the context of the heliocentric distribution of...

  14. On the Astrid asteroid family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruba, V.

    2016-09-01

    Among asteroid families, the Astrid family is peculiar because of its unusual inclination distribution. Objects at a ≃ 2.764 au are quite dispersed in this orbital element, giving the family a `crab-like' appearance. Recent works showed that this feature is caused by the interaction of the family with the s - sC nodal secular resonance with Ceres, that spreads the inclination of asteroids near its separatrix. As a consequence, the currently observed distribution of the vW component of terminal ejection velocities obtained from inverting Gauss equation is quite leptokurtic, since this parameter mostly depends on the asteroids inclination. The peculiar orbital configuration of the Astrid family can be used to set constraints on key parameters describing the strength of the Yarkovsky force, such as the bulk and surface density and the thermal conductivity of surface material. By simulating various fictitious families with different values of these parameters, and by demanding that the current value of the kurtosis of the distribution in vW be reached over the estimated lifetime of the family, we obtained that the thermal conductivity of Astrid family members should be ≃0.001 W m-1 K-1, and that the surface and bulk density should be higher than 1000 kg m-3. Monte Carlo methods simulating Yarkovsky and stochastic Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) evolution of the Astrid family show its age to be T = 140 ± 30 Myr old, in good agreement with estimates from other groups. Its terminal ejection velocity parameter is in the range V_{EJ}= 5^{+17}_{-5} m s-1. Values of VEJ larger than 25 m s-1 are excluded from constraints from the current inclination distribution.

  15. The Asteroid 2015 KA122

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto Quijano; Pereira, Mario Rojas

    2015-11-01

    The Asteroid “2015 KA122” was discovered on May 25/2015 by the Catalina Sky Survey. This object is not well known. Its absolute magnitude, of 23.2, indicates a diameter of about 70 meters. The asteroid was at aproximately 3.3 lunar distances from the Earth, on June 6/2015. It has an orbital period of 2.11 years. From our Observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we captured several pictures, videos and astrometry data during three days. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and also appears at the web page of NEODyS. Our observatory’s code at the MPC is “H78”. Pictures of the asteroid were captured with the following equipment: 14” LX200 GPS MEADE (f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope) and STL-1001 SBIG camera. Astrometry was carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements. We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity = 0.4089630 +/- 0.00189, semi-major axis = 1.64254884 +/- 0.00505 A.U, orbital inclination = 12.68490 +/- 0.039 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 73.14715 +/- 0.0013 deg, argument of perihelion = 214.82393 +/- 0.007 deg, orbital period = 2.11 years (768.90 days), mean motion = 0.46819485 +/- 0.00216 deg/d, perihelion distance = 0.97080706 +/- 0.000119 A.U, aphelion distance = 2.31429061 +/- 0.0103 A.U. The parameters were calculated based on 81 observations (2015 June 3-5) with mean residual = 0.343 arcseconds. Our videos appear in the following links:http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=113197http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=113238&PHPSESSID=f2lkigjogsfgcmi1rscc9jil36http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=113257

  16. Orbit Mechanics about Small Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, D. J.

    2007-01-01

    Space missions to small solar system bodies must deal with multiple perturbations acting on the spacecraft. These include strong perturbations from the gravity field and solar tide, but for small bodies the most important perturbations may arise from solar radiation pressure (SRP) acting on the spacecraft. Previous research has generally investigated the effect of the gravity field, solar tide, and SRP acting on a spacecraft trajectory about an asteroid in isolation and has not considered their joint effect. In this paper a more general theoretical discussion of the joint effects of these forces is given.

  17. Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids from Blue Mountains Observatory in 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oey, Julian

    2016-01-01

    Photometric observations of a number of asteroids were done from Blue Mountains Observatory in 2014. The observations were made in support of the binary asteroid and asteroid pairs campaigns by Petr Pravec, and to obtain new data at favorable apparitions for asteroids with poorly defined lightcurves.

  18. Working Group Reports and Presentations: Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John

    2006-01-01

    The study and utilization of asteroids will be an economical way to enable exploration of the solar system and extend human presence in space. There are thousands of near-earth objects (NEOs) that we will be able to reach. They offer resources, transportation, and exploration platforms, but also present a potential threat to civilization. Asteroids play a catastrophic role in the history of the Earth. Geological records indicate a regular history of massive impacts, which astronomical observations confirm is likely to continue with potentially devastating consequences. However, study and exploration of near earth asteroids can significantly increase advanced warning of an Earth impact, and potentially lead to the technology necessary to avert such a collision. Efforts to detect and prevent cataclysmic events would tend to foster and likely require international cooperation toward a unified goal of self-preservation. Exploration of asteroids will help us to understand our history and perhaps save our future. Besides the obvious and compelling scientific and security drivers for asteroid research and exploration, there are numerous engineering and industrial applications for near-term asteroid exploration. We have strong evidence that some asteroids are metal rich. Some are water and organic rich. They can be reached with a very low fuel cost compared to other solar system destinations. Once we reach them, there are efficient, simple extraction technologies available that would facilitate utilization. In addition, the costs of returning extracted resources from asteroids will be a fraction of the cost to return similar resources from the moon to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). These raw materials, extracted and shipped at relatively low cost, can be used to manufacture structures, fuel, and products which could be used to foster mankind s further exploration of the solar system. Asteroids also have the potential to offer transport to several destinations in the solar system

  19. Dynamical dispersal of primordial asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasil, P. I. O.; Roig, F.; Nesvorný, D.; Carruba, V.; Aljbaae, S.; Huaman, M. E.

    2016-03-01

    Many asteroid families are identified and well characterized all over the main asteroid belt. Interestingly, however, none of them are older than 4 Gyr. Many mechanisms have been proposed to disperse such old primordial asteroid families that presumably have existed, but only very few have really worked. Here we present a plausible mechanism for dispersing primordial asteroid families that is based on the 5-planet instability model known as jumping Jupiter. Using two different evolutions for the jumping-Jupiter model, we have numerically integrated orbits of eight putative primordial families. Our results show that the most important effect on the asteroid families' eccentricity and inclination dispersal is that of the secular resonances, in some cases associated with the mean motion resonances. As for the semimajor axes spreading we find that the principal effect is that of close encounters with the fifth giant planet whose orbit briefly overlaps with (part of) the main belt. Therefore, the existence of a fifth giant planet with the mass comparable with that of Uranus' or Neptune's could contribute in important ways to dispersal of the primordial asteroid families. To have that effect, the interloper planet should go into and considerably interact with the asteroids during the instability phase.

  20. Olivine-dominated Asteroids: Mineralogy and Origin

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Juan A; Kelley, Michael S; Cloutis, Edward A; Bottke, William F; Nesvorný, David; Lucas, Michael P; Hardersen, Paul S; Gaffey, Michael J; Abell, Paul A; Corre, Lucille Le

    2013-01-01

    Olivine-dominated asteroids are a rare type of objects formed either in nebular processes or through magmatic differentiation. The analysis of meteorite samples suggest that at least 100 parent bodies in the main belt experienced partial or complete melting and differentiation before being disrupted. However, only a few olivine-dominated asteroids, representative of the mantle of disrupted differentiated bodies, are known to exist. Due to the paucity of these objects in the main belt their origin and evolution have been a matter of great debate over the years. In this work we present a detailed mineralogical analysis of twelve olivine-dominated asteroids. Within our sample we distinguish two classes, one that we call pure-olivine asteroids and another referred to as olivine-rich asteroids. For the pure-olivine asteroids the olivine chemistry was found to range from ~ Fo49 to Fo70, consistent with the values measured for brachinites and R chondrites. In the case of the olivine-rich asteroids we determined thei...

  1. Precise measurement of asteroid sizes and shapes from occultations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The observational techniques (including photoelectric observations, television recordings, and visual timings) used to measure asteroid dimensions from occultations of stars by asteroids are discussed together with the methods of analysis appropriate to occultation data. Results are presented on the determinations of asteroid diameter, density, and internal structure measures learned from occultations of 36 asteroids. Prospects for continued effective applications of the occultation technique to asteroid studies are discussed. 80 refs

  2. Delivery of meteorites from the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Michael Craig

    The process of the delivery of meteorites to the surface of the Earth from plausible source regions such as the asteroid belt is currently understood in general terms, but important uncertainties and conflicts remain to be resolved. Stochastic effects of the rare disruptions of large asteroids on the population of meteorite-sized Earth-crossing asteroids can change the flux and the proportions of compositional types in the infalling meteorite population. These changes can be significant in magnitude over timescales of 108 years. Changes of the order of 1 percent can be expected on timescales of 105-106 y, consistent with small differences between the Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. The magnitude of changes depends strongly on poorly-understood details of collisions. Asteroids 961 Gaspra and 243 Ida were recently imaged by the Galileo spacecraft. I use a numerical hydrocode model to examine the outcomes of various sire impacts into targets the sizes of these asteroids. A shock wave fractures the asteroid in advance of crater excavation flow; thus, for impactors larger than 100 m, impacting at 5.3 km s-1, tensile strength is unimportant in these bodies, whether they are initially intact or are 'rubble piles'. Because of the shock-induced fracture, impact results are controlled by gravity. Therefore these asteroids are much more resistant to catastrophic disruption than predicted by previous estimates, which had assumed that strength was controlling these processes for rock targets. Fracture of km-size asteroids is different from fracture in terrestrial experiments using few-cm targets. The composition distribution of delivered meteorites depends on the outcomes of such asteroid impacts.

  3. A three-parameter asteroid taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.; Williams, James G.; Matson, Dennis L.; Veeder, Glenn J.; Gradie, Jonathan C.

    1989-01-01

    Broadband U, V, and x photometry together with IRAS asteroid albedos have been used to construct an asteroid classification system. The system is based on three parameters (U-V and v-x color indices and visual geometric albedo), and it is able to place 96 percent of the present sample of 357 asteroids into 11 taxonomic classes. It is noted that all but one of these classes are analogous to those previously found using other classification schemes. The algorithm is shown to account for the observational uncertainties in each of the classification parameters.

  4. Compositions of near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebofsky, L. A.; Nelson, M. L.

    1991-01-01

    The goal is to determine whether any of the near-earth asteroids contain water-bearing phyllosilicate (clay) minerals. If these minerals are present, they would provide a readily available source of water for propellant generation and use in life support systems. Telescopic detection of water on the near-earth asteroids is complicated because thermal emission from the asteroid itself masks the diagnostic absorption features for objects this close to the sun. Sophisticated thermal models are necessary to determine whether the absorption features are present. This year, development of these models was continued and more telescopic data to test the models was obtained.

  5. Asteroids: Their composition and impact threat

    OpenAIRE

    Burbine T H

    2002-01-01

    Impacts by near-Earth asteroids are serious threats to life as we know it. The energy of the impact will be a function of the mass of the asteroid and its impact velocity. The mass of an asteroid is very difficult to determine from Earth. One way to derive a near-Earth object's mass is by estimating the object's density from its surface composition. Reflectance spectra are the best way to determine an object's composition since many minerals (e.g. olivine, pyroxene, hydrated silicates) have c...

  6. Asteroids@home - A BOINC distributed computing project for asteroid shape reconstruction

    CERN Document Server

    Durech, Josef; Vanco, Radim

    2015-01-01

    We present the project Asteroids@home that uses distributed computing to solve the time-consuming inverse problem of shape reconstruction of asteroids. The project uses the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) framework to distribute, collect, and validate small computational units that are solved independently at individual computers of volunteers connected to the project. Shapes, rotational periods, and orientations of the spin axes of asteroids are reconstructed from their disk-integrated photometry by the lightcurve inversion method.

  7. The Cratering History of Asteroid (21) Lutetia

    CERN Document Server

    Marchi, S; Vincent, J -B; Morbidelli, A; Mottola, S; Marzari, F; Kueppers, M; Besse, S; Thomas, N; Barbieri, C; Naletto, G; Sierks, H

    2011-01-01

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft passed by the main belt asteroid (21) Lutetia the 10th July 2010. With its ~100km size, Lutetia is one of the largest asteroids ever imaged by a spacecraft. During the flyby, the on-board OSIRIS imaging system acquired spectacular images of Lutetia's northern hemisphere revealing a complex surface scarred by numerous impact craters, reaching the maximum dimension of about 55km. In this paper, we assess the cratering history of the asteroid. For this purpose, we apply current models describing the formation and evolution of main belt asteroids, that provide the rate and velocity distributions of impactors. These models, coupled with appropriate crater scaling laws, allow us to interpret the observed crater size-frequency distribution (SFD) and constrain the cratering history. Thanks to this approach, we derive the crater retention age of several regions on Lutetia, namely the time lapsed since their formation or global surface reset. We also investigate the influe...

  8. Properties of Near-Sun Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, David

    2013-01-01

    Asteroids near the Sun can attain equilibrium temperatures sufficient to induce surface modification from thermal fracture, desiccation and decomposition of hydrated silicates. We present optical observations of nine asteroids with perihelia <0.25 AU (sub-solar temperatures greater than/equal to 800 K) taken to search for evidence of thermal modification. We find that the broadband colors of these objects are diverse but statistically indistinguishable from those of planet-crossing asteroids having perihelia near 1 AU. Furthermore, images of these bodies taken away from perihelion show no evidence for on-going mass-loss (model-dependent limits roughly less than/equal to 1 kg /s) that might result from thermal disintegration of the surface. We conclude that, while thermal modification may be an important process in the decay of near-Sun asteroids and in the production of debris, our new data provide no evidence for it.

  9. Asteroid rotation excitation by subcatastrophic impacts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Henych, T.; Pravec, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 432, č. 2 (2013), s. 1623-1631. ISSN 0035-8711 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : numerical methods * minor planets * general asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 5.226, year: 2013

  10. Asteroid Lightcurves from the Preston Gott Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Maurice

    2012-04-01

    Results of analysis of CCD photometry observations obtained at the Preston Gott Observatory of asteroids 970 Primula, 3015 Candy, 3751 Kiang, 6746 Zagar, 7750 McEwen, 10046 Creighton, and 19251 Totziens are presented.

  11. Chelyabinsk: Portrait of an asteroid airburst

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kring, David A.; Boslough, Mark

    2014-09-01

    Video and audio from hundreds of smartphones and dashboard cameras combined with seismic, acoustic, and satellite measurements provide the first precise documentation of a 10 000-ton asteroid explosion.

  12. Collisional and Rotational Disruption of Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Walsh, Kevin J; Richardson, Derek C

    2009-01-01

    Asteroids are leftover pieces from the era of planet formation that help us understand conditions in the early Solar System. Unlike larger planetary bodies that were subject to global thermal modification during and subsequent to their formation, these small bodies have kept at least some unmodified primordial material from the solar nebula. However, the structural properties of asteroids have been modified considerably since their formation. Thus, we can find among them a great variety of physical configurations and dynamical histories. In fact, with only a few possible exceptions, all asteroids have been modified or completely disrupted many times during the age of the Solar System. This picture is supported by data from space mission encounters with asteroids that show much diversity of shape, bulk density, surface morphology, and other features. Moreover, the gravitational attraction of these bodies is so small that some physical processes occur in a manner far removed from our common experience on Earth....

  13. Chelyabinsk: Portrait of an asteroid airburst

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Video and audio from hundreds of smartphones and dashboard cameras combined with seismic, acoustic, and satellite measurements provide the first precise documentation of a 10 000-ton asteroid explosion

  14. Origins for the near-earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; Xu, Shui; Bus, Schelte J.; Bowell, Edward

    1992-01-01

    Because of their short dynamical lifetimes, the population of near-earth asteroids (NEAs) must be resupplied. Two sources have been hypothesized: main-belt asteroids and extinct comet nuclei. A new survey of physical properties for less than 5 kilometers diameter main-belt asteroids reveals that their spin rate and shape distributions are similar to those of NEAs, as is fully consistent with a main-belt origin for most NEAs. Physical data on comet nuclei are limited. If the existing sample is representative of the comet population, analysis of the asteroid and comet samples constrains the fraction of comet nuclei to between 0 and 40 percent of the total NEA population.

  15. Dynamics of the outer asteroid belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper considers the issue of modeling the dynamics of the outer asteroid belt. The hypotheses and assumptions of an asteroid-belt model are discussed together with their problems, of which gaps at some mean-motion resonances with Jupiter and the depletion of the outer belt are the most outstanding ones. Particular attention is given to the theory of the 2:1 gap, the depletion problem, and the mechanisms of dynamical protection against strong perturbations by Jupiter. It is suggested that the observed asteroids must have gone through a process of natural selection as a result of which all objects in unprotected orbits have been ejected from the system. Spectral observations show a reddening in spectral slope with increasing heliocentric distance; it is proposed that this is an evidence that outer-belt asteroids might be primordial objects. 41 refs

  16. Mineralogy and Surface Composition of Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Reddy, Vishnu; Thomas, Cristina A; Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Burbine, Thomas H

    2015-01-01

    Methods to constrain the surface mineralogy of asteroids have seen considerable development during the last decade with advancement in laboratory spectral calibrations and validation of our interpretive methodologies by spacecraft rendezvous missions. This has enabled the accurate identification of several meteorite parent bodies in the main asteroid belt and helped constrain the mineral chemistries and abundances in ordinary chondrites and basaltic achondrites. With better quantification of spectral effects due to temperature, phase angle, and grain size, systematic discrepancies due to non-compositional factors can now be virtually eliminated for mafic silicate-bearing asteroids. Interpretation of spectrally featureless asteroids remains a challenge. This paper presents a review of all mineralogical interpretive tools currently in use and outlines procedures for their application.

  17. Colors of Dynamically Associated Asteroid Pairs

    CERN Document Server

    Moskovitz, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Recent dynamical studies have identified pairs of asteroids that reside in nearly identical heliocentric orbits. Possible formation scenarios for these systems include dissociation of binary asteroids, collisional disruption of a single parent body, or spin-up and rotational fission of a rubble-pile. Aside from detailed dynamical analyses and measurement of rotational light curves, little work has been done to investigate the colors or spectra of these unusual objects. A photometric and spectroscopic survey was conducted to determine the reflectance properties of asteroid pairs. New observations were obtained for a total of 34 individual asteroids. Additional photometric measurements were retrieved from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Moving Object Catalog. Colors or spectra for a total of 42 pair components are presented here. The main findings of this work are: (1) the components in the observed pair systems have the same colors within the uncertainties of this survey, and (2) the color distribution of asteroi...

  18. Spectral investigation of two asteroidal fireballs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Borovička, Jiří

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 97, 3-4 (2006), s. 279-293. ISSN 0167-9295. [Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2005. Búzios, 07.08.2005-12.08.2005] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0543; GA ČR GA205/03/1404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * meteors * spectroscopy Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.252, year: 2006

  19. Collisional and Rotational Disruption of Asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Michel, Patrick; Richardson, Derek C.

    2009-01-01

    Asteroids are leftover pieces from the era of planet formation that help us understand conditions in the early Solar System. Unlike larger planetary bodies that were subject to global thermal modification during and subsequent to their formation, these small bodies have kept at least some unmodified primordial material from the solar nebula. However, the structural properties of asteroids have been modified considerably since their formation. Thus, we can find among them a great variety of ph...

  20. ISAM - an Interactive Service for Asteroid Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartczak, P.; Marciniak, A.

    2011-10-01

    We present an interactive web service for past and future physical ephemeris of polyhedral asteroid shape models obtained mainly with the lightcurve inversion method. Our tool allows for plane-of-sky views of the models, that can be then compared with asteroid images obtained using different techniques like occultations, radar or thermal infrared. Additionally, lightcurves, animated views, and stereoscopic images can be generated by the users. The service is available at the address: http://isam.astro.amu.edu.pl

  1. Rotational properties of the Maria asteroid family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, M.-J.; Byun, Y.-I. [Department of Astronomy, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, 120-749 Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Y.-J.; Moon, H.-K.; Hinse, T. C.; Park, J.-H. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, 776 Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, 305-348 Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Brosch, N. [Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Kaplan, M.; Kaynar, S.; Uysal, Ö.; Eker, Z. [Akdeniz Universitesi, Fen Fakultesi, Dumlupinar Bulvari, Kampus, 07058 Antalya (Turkey); Güzel, E. [Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences, University of Ege, Bornova, 35100 Izmir (Turkey); Behrend, R. [Geneva Observatory, Rue de Vermont 37, 1202 Geneva (Switzerland); Yoon, J.-N. [Chungbuk National University Observatory, 802-3 Euntan-ri, Jincheon-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do (Korea, Republic of); Mottola, S.; Hellmich, S., E-mail: skarma@galaxy.yonsei.ac.kr [German Aerospace Center (DLR), Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany)

    2014-03-01

    The Maria family is regarded as an old-type (∼3 ± 1 Gyr) asteroid family that has experienced substantial collisional and dynamical evolution in the main belt. It is located near the 3:1 Jupiter mean-motion resonance area that supplies near-Earth asteroids to the inner solar system. We carried out observations of Maria family asteroids during 134 nights from 2008 July to 2013 May and derived synodic rotational periods for 51 objects, including newly obtained periods of 34 asteroids. We found that there is a significant excess of fast and slow rotators in the observed rotation rate distribution. The one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test confirms that the spin rate distribution is not consistent with a Maxwellian at a 92% confidence level. From correlations among rotational periods, amplitudes of light curves, and sizes, we conclude that the rotational properties of Maria family asteroids have been changed considerably by non-gravitational forces such as the YORP effect. Using a light-curve inversion method, we successfully determined the pole orientations for 13 Maria members and found an excess of prograde versus retrograde spins with a ratio (N{sub p} /N{sub r} ) of 3. This implies that the retrograde rotators could have been ejected by the 3:1 resonance into the inner solar system since the formation of the Maria family. We estimate that approximately 37-75 Maria family asteroids larger than 1 km have entered near-Earth space every 100 Myr.

  2. Lightcurves of the Karin family asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Fumi; Ito, Takashi; Dermawan, Budi; Nakamura, Tsuko; Takahashi, Shigeru; Ibrahimov, Mansur A.; Malhotra, Renu; Ip, Wing-Huen; Chen, Wen-Ping; Sawabe, Yu; Haji, Masashige; Saito, Ryoko; Hirai, Masanori

    2016-05-01

    The Karin family is a young asteroid family formed by an asteroid breakup 5.8 Myr ago. Since the members of this family probably have not experienced significant orbital or collisional evolution yet, it is possible that they still preserve properties of the original family-forming event in terms of their spin state. We carried out a series of photometric observations of the Karin family asteroids, and here we report on the analysis of the lightcurves including the rotation period of eleven members. The mean rotation rate of the Karin family members turned out to be much lower than those of near-Earth asteroids or small main belt asteroids (diameter D 130 km). We investigated a correlation between the peak-to-trough variation and the rotation period of the eleven Karin family asteroids, and found a possible trend that elongated members have lower spin rates, and less elongated members have higher spin rates. However, this trend has to be confirmed by another series of future observations.

  3. An Early Warning System for Asteroid Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Tonry, John L

    2010-01-01

    Earth is bombarded by meteors, occasionally by one large enough to cause a significant explosion and possible loss of life. Although the odds of a deadly asteroid strike in the next century are low, the most likely impact is by a relatively small asteroid, and we suggest that the best mitigation strategy in the near term is simply to move people out of the way. We describe an "early warning" system that could provide a week's notice of most sizable asteroids or comets on track to hit the Earth. This system, dubbed "Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS), comprises two observatories separated by about 100km that simultaneously scan the visible sky twice a night, and can be implemented immediately for relatively low cost. The sensitivity of ATLAS permits detection of 140m asteroids (100 Mton impact energy) three weeks before impact, and 50m asteroids a week before arrival. An ATLAS alarm, augmented by other observations, should result in a determination of impact location and time that is accura...

  4. Asteroid 'Bites the Dust' Around Dead Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes upon the dusty remains of shredded asteroids around several dead stars. This artist's concept illustrates one such dead star, or 'white dwarf,' surrounded by the bits and pieces of a disintegrating asteroid. These observations help astronomers better understand what rocky planets are made of around other stars. Asteroids are leftover scraps of planetary material. They form early on in a star's history when planets are forming out of collisions between rocky bodies. When a star like our sun dies, shrinking down to a skeleton of its former self called a white dwarf, its asteroids get jostled about. If one of these asteroids gets too close to the white dwarf, the white dwarf's gravity will chew the asteroid up, leaving a cloud of dust. Spitzer's infrared detectors can see these dusty clouds and their various constituents. So far, the telescope has identified silicate minerals in the clouds polluting eight white dwarfs. Because silicates are common in our Earth's crust, the results suggest that planets similar to ours might be common around other stars.

  5. Asteroid Models from Multiple Data Sources

    CERN Document Server

    Durech, J; Delbo, M; Kaasalainen, M; Viikinkoski, M

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, hundreds of asteroid shape models have been derived using the lightcurve inversion method. At the same time, a new framework of 3-D shape modeling based on the combined analysis of widely different data sources such as optical lightcurves, disk-resolved images, stellar occultation timings, mid-infrared thermal radiometry, optical interferometry, and radar delay-Doppler data, has been developed. This multi-data approach allows the determination of most of the physical and surface properties of asteroids in a single, coherent inversion, with spectacular results. We review the main results of asteroid lightcurve inversion and also recent advances in multi-data modeling. We show that models based on remote sensing data were confirmed by spacecraft encounters with asteroids, and we discuss how the multiplication of highly detailed 3-D models will help to refine our general knowledge of the asteroid population. The physical and surface properties of asteroids, i.e., their spin, 3-D shape, densit...

  6. Asteroid secular dynamics: Ceres' fingerprint identified

    CERN Document Server

    Novaković, Bojan; Tsirvoulis, Georgios; Knezević, Zoran

    2015-01-01

    Here we report on the significant role of a so far overlooked dynamical aspect, namely a secular resonance between the dwarf planet Ceres and other asteroids. We demonstrate that this type of secular resonance can be the dominant dynamical factor in certain regions of the main asteroid belt. Specifically, we performed a dynamical analysis of the asteroids belonging to the (1726) Hoffmeister family. To identify which dynamical mechanisms are actually at work in this part of the main asteroid belt, i.e. to isolate the main perturber(s), we study the evolution of this family in time. The study is accomplished using numerical integrations of test particles performed within different dynamical models. The obtained results reveal that the post-impact evolution of the Hoffmeister asteroid family is a direct consequence of the nodal secular resonance with Ceres. This leads us to the conclusion that similar effects must exist in other parts of the asteroid belt. In this respect, the obtained results shed light on an i...

  7. Rotational properties of the Maria asteroid family

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Maria family is regarded as an old-type (∼3 ± 1 Gyr) asteroid family that has experienced substantial collisional and dynamical evolution in the main belt. It is located near the 3:1 Jupiter mean-motion resonance area that supplies near-Earth asteroids to the inner solar system. We carried out observations of Maria family asteroids during 134 nights from 2008 July to 2013 May and derived synodic rotational periods for 51 objects, including newly obtained periods of 34 asteroids. We found that there is a significant excess of fast and slow rotators in the observed rotation rate distribution. The one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test confirms that the spin rate distribution is not consistent with a Maxwellian at a 92% confidence level. From correlations among rotational periods, amplitudes of light curves, and sizes, we conclude that the rotational properties of Maria family asteroids have been changed considerably by non-gravitational forces such as the YORP effect. Using a light-curve inversion method, we successfully determined the pole orientations for 13 Maria members and found an excess of prograde versus retrograde spins with a ratio (Np /Nr ) of 3. This implies that the retrograde rotators could have been ejected by the 3:1 resonance into the inner solar system since the formation of the Maria family. We estimate that approximately 37-75 Maria family asteroids larger than 1 km have entered near-Earth space every 100 Myr.

  8. Near-Earth Asteroid Scout

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Leslie; Johnson, Les; Clardy, Dennon; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Frick, Andreas; Jones, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are an easily accessible object in Earth's vicinity. Detections of NEAs are expected to grow in the near future, offering increasing target opportunities. As NASA continues to refine its plans to possibly explore these small worlds with human explorers, initial reconnaissance with comparatively inexpensive robotic precursors is necessary. Obtaining and analyzing relevant data about these bodies via robotic precursors before committing a crew to visit a NEA will significantly minimize crew and mission risk, as well as maximize exploration return potential. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are jointly examining a mission concept, tentatively called 'NEA Scout,' utilizing a low-cost CubeSats platform in response to the current needs for affordable missions with exploration science value. The NEA Scout mission concept would be a secondary payload on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), the first planned flight of the SLS and the second un-crewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV).

  9. From Asteroids to Space Debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Moon, Hong-Kyu; Daassou, Ahmed; Jang-Hyun, Park; Lazrek, Mohamed

    2015-08-01

    Since 2011, the Oukaimeden Observatory (OUCA) located on the mountains of the Moroccan High Atlas has become one of the successful contributors in asteroid discovery in the world. The discovery statistics of the MOSS (Morocco Oukaimeden Sky Survey) telescope represents more than 2145 new designations to date for their credits. Its discoveries include three new NEOs and four new comets. The exceptional astro-climatic conditions in terms not only of number of clear nights, but also of atmospheric seeing are partly behind this success. Indeed the average number of observable nights is around 280 nights per year, while the average seeing is about 0.8 to 0.9 arcsec.In the meanwhile, the OUCA achieved construction and installation of a new facility in March 2015. It is a compact, 0.5 m aperture fast optics robotic telescope designed and implemented by the Optical Wide-field Patrol (OWL) team of Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). The primary object of the OWL project is to monitor national space-based assets, howevr either wide-field imaging- or fast data acquisition- capabilities enable to undertake observational program to catalog and follow-up various transient events in the night sky. We will brief future plan for this joint project between the OUCA and KASI.Our presentation aims to share the details of instrumentation implemented and cooperation opportunities it can arouse within the community for the data analysis and interpretation.

  10. SOFIA observations of dark asteroids: Evidence for hydrated minerals on asteroidal surfaces?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, Margaret; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Kelley, Michael S. P. T.

    2015-11-01

    We present results from recent SOFIA+FORCAST observations of three primitive asteroids and compare these to archived Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer) observations of similar objects. Three asteroids from a total of 12 have been observed with SOFIA+FORCAST in our Cycle-3 campaign. Currently, we have observed asteroids 38 Leda, 194 Prokne with both G111 and G227 grisms and asteroid 266 Aline with G227. Both wavelength regions (G111: 8.5-13.5-μm and G227: 17.6-27.7) have recently been shown to contain spectral features directly related degree of alteration of primitive meteorites, including unaltered CO and CV meteorites (McAdam, et al., 2015a ,b). Spectral features in the 17.6-27.7-μm region can be indicative of olivine (19.5-μm), hydrated minerals (21-μm) and silica glass (22-μm). Spitzer observed eight large, primitive, main-belt asteroids using both low-resolution modes (short-low, SL and long-low, LL) of the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) covering 8.5-38-μm. Additionally, Spitzer observed 22 dark primitive asteroids in the 8.5-13.5-μm region. Asteroids observed with Spitzer fall into three categories: asteroids with a 12-μm feature of 1-5% depth, interpreted as ~60-70% hydrated minerals (McAdam, et al., 2015a) asteroids with a broader 12-13-μm feature with strengths ranging from 4-6% with potential features between 19-22-μm (where observed) and asteroids with a strong 13-μm feature (5-10%), 15-μm and potentially 19-22-μm features (where observed) interpreted as olivine-rich. However, the uncertain calibration at the edges of the LL spectral orders complicates feature identification. 194 Prokne has a feature ~12-13-μm feature and potentially a broad feature between 20-22-μm. This is consistent with primitive asteroids observed with Spitzer that are interpreted as hydrated mineral-bearing. 38 Leda is largely featureless at the noise limit of the spectrum with a potential feature at 25-μm, unlike asteroids observed by Spitzer. 266 Aline has a weak

  11. CCD-Photometry and Pole Coordinates for Eight Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevchenko, V. G.; Tungalag, N.; Chiorny, V. G.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Krugly, Y. N.; Harris, A. W.; Young, J. W.

    2012-05-01

    The long time photometric observations were carried out for eight asteroids: (122) Gerda, (153) Hilda, (190) Ismene, (221) Eos, (411) Xanthe, (679) Pax, (700) Auravictrix, (787) Moskva. For the observed asteroids were determined new pole coordinates.

  12. A Fast Ellipsoid Model for Asteroids Inverted From Lightcurves

    CERN Document Server

    Lu, Xiaoping; You, Zhong

    2012-01-01

    The research about asteroids attracts more and more attention recently, especially focusing on their physical structures, such as the spin axis, the rotation period and the shape. The long distance between Earth observers and asteroids makes it impossible to get the shape and other parameters of asteroids directly with the exception of the NEAs (Near Earth Asteroids) and others passed by some spacecrafts. Generally photometric measurement is still the main way to obtain the research data for asteroids now, i.e. the lightcurves recording the brightness and positions of asteroids. Supposing that the shape of the asteroid is a triaxial ellipsoid with a stable spinning status, a new method is present in this article to reconstruct the shape models of asteroids from the lightcurves, with the other physical parameters together. By applying a special curvature function, the method calculates the brightness integration on a unit sphere and Lebedev Quadrature is employed for the discretization. At last the method sear...

  13. Brazil Nuts on Eros: Size-Sorting of Asteroid Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; King, P. J.; Swift, M. R.; Merrifield, M. R.

    2001-01-01

    We consider the hypothesis that frequent cratering produces size- or compositionally-sorted asteroid regolith, affecting the structure, texture, and in extreme cases the shape of asteroids. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Philosophy and updating of the asteroid photometric catalogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnusson, Per; Barucci, M. Antonietta; Capria, M. T.; Dahlgren, Mats; Fulchignoni, Marcello; Lagerkvist, C. I.

    1992-01-01

    The Asteroid Photometric Catalogue now contains photometric lightcurves for 584 asteroids. We discuss some of the guiding principles behind it. This concerns both observers who offer input to it and users of the product.

  15. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-28

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop AGENCY: National Aeronautics and... Administration announces that the agency will resume the NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis public..., Senior Technical Advisor, NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate:...

  16. Human Robotic Systems (HRS): Robotic Technologies for Asteroid Missions Element

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During 2014, the Robotic Technologies for Asteroid Missions activity has four tasks:Asteroid Retrieval Capture Mechanism Development and Testbed;Mission Operations...

  17. The Strength of Rubble Pile Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, D. J.; Sanchez, P.

    2012-12-01

    The rubble pile hypothesis for small asteroids in the Near Earth and Main Belt populations have been driven by several factors, including the observed high porosity of those bodies whose mass have been measured, the evident limitation on spin rate of asteroids larger than ~500 meters, and direct observation of the surface morphology of these bodies. Given these observations, it has been presumed that small asteroids should evolve as if they were cohesionless collections of grains. Detailed geophysical analysis of these bodies by Holsapple (Icarus 2010) show that cohesionless bodies will evolve under the addition of angular momentum by the YORP effect into more distended and, paradoxically, more slowly rotating bodies. Additional analysis in Holsapple (Icarus 2007) has shown that cohesional strength within a rubble pile could strengthen a collection of grains to the point where they could sustain rapid rotation. In our current talk we use the above as a starting point and incorporate new observations of the asteroid morphology driven by recent analysis of asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa science team and research on the mechanics of grains in the space environment (Scheeres et al. 2010). Analysis of images of Itokawa determined a measured size distribution of 1/d^3 for larger grains on asteroid Itokawa (Michikami et al., Earth Planets Space, 60, 13-20, 2008). Analysis of the sample shows the presence of micron sized dust on that asteroid's surface (Tsuchiyama et al., Science 333, 1125, 2011). Combining these observations provides a global indication of grain distribution within rubble piles. Even assuming a less steep distribution of 1/d^2 for dust grains smaller than 1 mm in size, the interior of Itokawa should still be dominated by the finest dust grains, with the mean grain size equal to ~ twice the smallest grain in the distribution. One implication of this result is that fines are present on the surface of the rubble pile Itokawa and thus should be distributed

  18. Photometric constraints on binary asteroid dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheirich, Peter

    2015-08-01

    To date, about 50 binary NEAs, 20 Mars-crossing and 80 small MB asteroids are known. We observe also a population of about 200 unbound asteroid systems (asteroid pairs). I will review the photometric observational data we have for the best observed cases and compare them with theories of binary and paired asteroids evolution.The observed characteristics of asteroid systems suggest their formation by rotational fission of parent rubble-pile asteroids after being spun up by the YORP effect. The angular momentum content of binary asteroids is close to critical. The orientations of satellite orbits of observed binary systems are non-random; the orbital poles concentrate near the obliquities of 0 and 180 degrees, i.e., near the YORP asymptotic states.Recently, a significant excess of retrograde satellite orbits was detected, which is not yet explained characteristic.An evolution of binary system depend heavily on the BYORP effect. If BYORP is contractive, the primary and secondary could end in a tidal-BYORP equilibrium. Observations of mutual events between binary components in at least four apparitions are needed for BYORP to be revealed by detecting a quadratic drift in mean anomaly of the satellite. I will show the observational evidence of single-synchronous binary asteroid with tidally locked satellite (175706 1996 FG3), i.e, with the quadratic drift equal to zero, and binary asteroid with contracting orbit (88710 2001 SL9), with positive value of the quadratic drift (the solution for the quadratic drift is ambiguous so far, with possible values of 5 and 8 deg/yr2).The spin configuration of the satellite play a crucial role in the evolution of the system under the influence of the BYORP effect. I will show that the rotational lightcurves of the satellites show that most of them have small libration amplitudes (up to 20 deg.), with a few interesting exceptions.Acknowledgements: This work has been supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, Grant P209

  19. Flyght Dynamics of Artificial Satellite of the Minor Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakharov, Alexander; Eismont, Natan; Ledkov, Anton; Simonov, Alexander; Pol, Vadim

    During last years the scientific interest to the asteroid is constantly growing. It may be explained by different reasons. One of the most important from them is confirmation of the fact that the asteroids present the real hazard to the Earth. The Chelyabinsk event demonstrates strong in support of this statement. Besides, the asteroids exploration promises to supply new data for understanding of the solar system origin and evolution. And the projects aimed to reach this goal have begun from the NASA NEAR mission to Eros. It was the first one when the spacecraft was landed on the surface of the asteroid. The other successive mission was fulfilled by JAXA with Hayabusa spacecraft which has returned to the Earth soil samples of Itokawa asteroid. In the nearest future the mission to RQ 36 asteroid is planned supposing landing and soil samples return. Unavoidable phase of such missions is the spacecraft flight in vicinity of the target asteroid, for example on the asteroid satellite orbit. It should be mentioned that quite visible number of asteroids has geometric form which is far from being sphere. Accordingly the gravity field of such asteroid cannot be presented as the one close to sphere. The problem is that prior to the mission to the asteroid one cannot receive good enough knowledge of its gravity field and even its gravity field constant. In the paper the flight dynamics problem of spacecraft moving along asteroid satellite orbit is explored. It is supposed that the asteroid is comparatively small with diameter (maximum size) about 300 m, like Apophis asteroid has, or less. To approximate the gravity field of asteroid the last is considered as totality of mass points. We assume such approach as more simple and effective as compared with the commonly accepted use of Legendre polynomial expansion. Different orbits near asteroid are analyzed with the sets of orbital parameters determining the size of orbit, its shape and position with respect to the Sun. The goal

  20. Detecting Mass Loss in Main Belt Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandberg, Erik; Rajagopal, Jayadev; Ridgway, Susan E.; Kotulla, Ralf C.; Valdes, Francisco; Allen, Lori

    2016-01-01

    Sandberg, E., Rajagopal, J., Ridgway, S.E, Kotulla, R., Valdes, F., Allen, L.The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the 4m Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is being used for a survey of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Here we attempt to identify mass loss in main belt asteroids (MBAs) from these data. A primary motivation is to understand the role that asteroids may play in supplying dust and gas for debris disks. This work focuses on finding methods to automatically pick out asteroids that have qualities indicating possible mass loss. Two methods were chosen: looking for flux above a certain threshold in the asteroid's radial profile, and comparing its PSF to that of a point source. After sifting through 490 asteroids, several have passed these tests and should be followed up with a more rigorous analysis.Sandberg was supported by the NOAO/KPNO Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program which is funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (AST-1262829)

  1. Thermal Tomography of Asteroid Surface Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Harris, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. We develop a means to estimate thermal inertia values of asteroids and use it to show that thermal inertia appears to increase with spin period in the case of main-belt asteroids (MBAs). Similar behavior is found on the basis of thermophysical modeling for near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. Our results are consistent with a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids and have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Eviden...

  2. Tracking a Very Near Earth Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruck, R.; Rashid, S.; Peppard, T.

    2013-09-01

    The potential effects of an asteroid passing within close proximity to the Earth were recently realized. During the February 16, 2013 event, Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed within an estimated 27,700 kilometers of the earth, well within the geosynchronous (GEO) orbital belt. This was the closest known approach of a planetoid of this size, in modern history. The GEO belt is a region that is filled with critical communications satellites which provide relays for essential government, business and private datum. On the day of the event, optical instruments at Detachment 3, 21OG, Maui GEODSS were able to open in marginal atmospheric conditions, locate and collect metric and raw video data on the asteroid as it passed a point of near heliocentric orbital propinquity to the Earth. Prior to the event, the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) used propagated trajectory data from NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to assess potential collisions with man-made objects in Earth orbit. However, the ability to actively track this asteroid through the populated satellite belt not only allowed surveillance for possible late orbital perturbations of the asteroid, but, afforded the ability to monitor possible strikes on all other orbiting bodies of anthropogenic origin either not in orbital catalogs or not recently updated in those catalogs. Although programmed only for tracking satellites in geocentric orbits, GEODSS was able to compensate and maintain track on DA14, collecting one hundred and fifty four metric observations during the event.

  3. The Dynamical Evolution of the Asteroid Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; O'Brien, David P; Minton, David A; Bottke, William F

    2015-01-01

    The asteroid belt is the leftover of the original planetesimal population in the inner solar system. However, currently the asteroids have orbits with all possible values of eccentricities and inclinations compatible with long-term dynamical stability, whereas the initial planetesimal orbits should have been quasi-circular and almost co-planar. The total mass in the asteroid population is a small fraction of that existing primordially. Also, asteroids with different chemical/mineralogical properties are not ranked in an orderly manner with mean heliocentric distance as one could expect from the existence of a radial gradient of the temperature in the proto-planetary disk, but they are partially mixed. These properties show that the asteroid belt has been severely sculpted by one or a series of processes during its lifetime. This paper reviews the processes that have been proposed so far, discussing the properties that they explain and the problems that they are confronted with. Emphasis is paid to the interpl...

  4. Standard Triaxial Ellipsoid Asteroids from AO Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Jack D.; Merline, W. J.; Conrad, A.; Dumas, C.; Carry, B.

    2008-09-01

    As part of our study of resolved asteroids using adaptive optics (AO) on large telescopes (>8; m), we have identified several that can serve as Standard Triaxial Ellipsoid Asteroids (STEAs), suitable for radar and thermo-physical calibration. These objects are modeled well as triaxial ellipsoids, having: 1) small uncertainties on their three dimensions as determined with AO; 2) rotational poles well determined from both lightcurves and AO; and 3) good sidereal periods from lightcurves. Although AO allows the opportunity to find an asteroid's dimensions and rotational pole in one night, we have developed a method to combine AO observations from different oppositions to pool into a global solution. The apparent orientation and sizes of STEAs can be predicted to within a few degrees and a few km over decades. Currently, we consider 511 Davida, 52 Europa, 2 Pallas, and 15 Eunomia as STEAs. Asteroids that are not well modeled as ellipsoids, clearly showing departures from ellipsoid figures in AO images, include 129 Antigone and 41 Daphne. We will show movies of images and models of these asteroids.

  5. A Fast Ellipsoid Model for Asteroids Inverted From Lightcurves

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Xiaoping; Zhao, Haibin; You, Zhong

    2012-01-01

    The research about asteroids attracts more and more attention recently, especially focusing on their physical structures, such as the spin axis, the rotation period and the shape. The long distance between Earth observers and asteroids makes it impossible to get the shape and other parameters of asteroids directly with the exception of the NEAs (Near Earth Asteroids) and others passed by some spacecrafts. Generally photometric measurement is still the main way to obtain the research data for ...

  6. Dynamical Evolution of the Hungaria Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuk, Matija; McEachern, F. M.; Stewart, S. T.

    2009-05-01

    Hungarias are a stable asteroid group of minor planets orbiting between Mars and the main asteroid belt, with high inclinations (16-30 deg), low eccentricities (eland on one of the Martian resonances. The majority of Hungarias should have crossed a Martian resonance in the past, requiring a much larger primordial population to sustain the losses. We propose an alternative scenario of continuous replenishment. We find that certain Mars-crossers can be trapped in Martian resonances for tens of millions of years, making it possible for the Yarkovsky effect to migrate them out of the resonance lock. If this exit happens while the asteroid's eccentricity (which is constantly evolving due to the resonance) is sufficiently low, a stable Hungaria is created. We speculate that S-types are more likely to have been "adopted" into the Hungaria group this way, while at least some of the E-types are likely to be primordial.

  7. AIDA: the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-07-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is a joint cooperation between European and US space agencies that consists of two separate and independent spacecraft that will be launched to a binary asteroid system, the near-Earth asteroid Didymos, to assess the possibility of deflecting an asteroid trajectory by using a kinetic impactor. The European Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is under Phase A/B1 study at ESA from March 2015 until summer 2016. AIM is set to rendez-vous with the asteroid system a few months prior to the impact by the US Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft to fully characterize the smaller of the two binary components. AIM is a unique mission as it will be the first time that a spacecraft will investigate the surface, subsurface, and internal properties of a small binary near Earth asteroid. In addition it will perform various important technology demonstrations that can serve other space missions: AIM will release a set of CubeSats in deep space and a lander on the surface of the smaller asteroid and for the first time, deep-space inter-satellite linking will be demonstrated between the main spacecraft, the CubeSats, and the lander, and data will also be transmitted from interplanetary space to Earth by a laser communication system. The knowledge obtained by this mission will have great implications for our understanding of the history of the Solar System. Small asteroids are believed to result from collisions and other processes (e.g., spinup, shaking) that made them what they are now. Having direct information on their surface and internal properties will allow us to understand how these processes work and transform these small bodies as well as, for this particular case, how a binary system forms. So far, our understanding of the collisional process and the validation of numerical simulations of the impact process rely on impact experiments at laboratory scales. With DART, thanks to the characterization of the

  8. The Potentially Dangerous Asteroid (101955 Bennu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Włodarczyk

    2014-01-01

    searching for close approaches with the earth, which can lead to possible impacts up to 2200. With the A2 nongravitational parameter in the motion of the asteroid (101955 Bennu we computed possible impact solutions using different JPL planetary and lunar ephemerides and different number of additional massive perturbed asteroids. The possible impact path of risk for 2175 is presented. Additionally, we computed possible impact solutions using the normal places method of the selection of Bennu’s astrometric observations. Moreover, we computed time evolution of the mean orbital elements and the orbital nodes of Bennu 5 kyr in the backwards and 1 kyr in the future using the Yarkovsky effects. We computed the mean motion and secular orbital resonances of the Bennu. We also computed the influence of the JPL planetary and lunar ephemerides DE403, DE405, DE406, DE414, and DE423 on the close approaches of the asteroid (101955 Bennu with the earth.

  9. Rock legends the asteroids and their discoverers

    CERN Document Server

    Murdin, Paul

    2016-01-01

    This book relates the history of asteroid discoveries and christenings, from those of the early pioneering giants of Hersehel and Piazzi to modern-day amateurs. Moving from history and anecdotal information to science, the book's structure is provided by the names of the asteroids, including one named after the author. Free from a need to conform to scientific naming conventions, the names evidence hero-worship, sycophancy, avarice, vanity, whimsy, erudition and wit, revealing the human side of astronomers, especially where controversy has followed the christening. Murdin draws from extensive historical records to explore the debate over these names. Each age reveals its own biases and preferences in the naming process. < Originally regarded as “vermin of the skies,” asteroids are minor planets, rocky scraps left over from the formation of the larger planets, or broken fragments of worlds that have collided. Their scientific classification as “minor” planets makes them seem unimportant, but over th...

  10. Orbital Mechanics near a Rotating Asteroid

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Yu Jiang; Hexi Baoyin

    2014-03-01

    This study investigates the different novel forms of the dynamical equations of a particle orbiting a rotating asteroid and the effective potential, the Jacobi integral, etc. on different manifolds. Nine new forms of the dynamical equations of a particle orbiting a rotating asteroid are presented, and the classical form of the dynamical equations has also been found. The dynamical equations with the potential and the effective potential in scalar form in the arbitrary body-fixed frame and the special body-fixed frame are presented and discussed. Moreover, the simplified forms of the effective potential and the Jacobi integral have been derived. The dynamical equation in coefficient-matrix form has been derived. Other forms of the dynamical equations near the asteroid are presented and discussed, including the Lagrange form, the Hamilton form, the symplectic form, the Poisson form, the Poisson-bracket form, the cohomology form, and the dynamical equations on Kähler manifold and another complex manifold. Novel forms of the effective potential and the Jacobi integral are also presented. The dynamical equations in scalar form and coefficient-matrix form can aid in the study of the dynamical system, the bifurcation, and the chaotic motion of the orbital dynamics of a particle near a rotating asteroid. The dynamical equations of a particle near a rotating asteroid are presented on several manifolds, including the symplectic manifold, the Poisson manifold, and complex manifolds, which may lead to novel methods of studying the motion of a particle in the potential field of a rotating asteroid.

  11. Capturing near-Earth asteroids around Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasnain, Zaki; Lamb, Christopher A.; Ross, Shane D.

    2012-12-01

    The list of detected near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is constantly growing. NEAs are likely targets for resources to support space industrialization, as they may be the least expensive source of certain needed raw materials. The limited supply of precious metals and semiconducting elements on Earth may be supplemented or even replaced by the reserves floating in the form of asteroids around the solar system. Precious metals make up a significant fraction NEAs by mass, and even one metallic asteroid of ˜1km size and fair enrichment in platinum-group metals would contain twice the tonnage of such metals already harvested on Earth. There are ˜1000 NEAs with a diameter of greater than 1 km. Capturing these asteroids around the Earth would expand the mining industry into an entirely new dimension. Having such resources within easy reach in Earth's orbit could provide an off-world environmentally friendly remedy for impending terrestrial shortages, especially given the need for raw materials in developing nations. In this paper, we develop and implement a conceptually simple algorithm to determine trajectory characteristics necessary to move NEAs into capture orbits around the Earth. Altered trajectories of asteroids are calculated using an ephemeris model. Only asteroids of eccentricity less than 0.1 have been studied and the model is restricted to the ecliptic plane for simplicity. We constrain the time of retrieval to be 10 years or less, based on considerations of the time to return on investment. For the heliocentric phase, constant acceleration is assumed. The acceleration required for transporting these asteroids from their undisturbed orbits to the sphere of influence of the Earth is the primary output, along with the impulse or acceleration necessary to effect capture to a bound orbit once the Earth's sphere of influence is reached. The initial guess for the constant acceleration is provided by a new estimation method, similar in spirit to Edelbaum's. Based on the

  12. Damage from the impacts of small asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hills, J.G.; Goda, M.P.

    1996-08-15

    The fragmentation of a small asteroid in the atmosphere greatly increases its aerodynamic drag and rate of energy dissipation. The differential atmospheric pressure across it disperses its fragments at a velocity that increases with atmospheric density and impact velocity and decreases with asteroid density. Extending our previous work, we use a spherical atmosphere and a fitted curve to its density profile to find the damage done by an asteroid entering the atmosphere at various zenith angles. In previous work we estimated the blast damage by scaling from data on nuclear explosions in the atmosphere during the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. This underestimated the blast from asteroid impacts because nuclear fireballs radiate away a larger fraction of their energy than do meteors, so less of their energy goes into the blast wave. We have redone the calculations to allow for this effect. We have found the area of destruction around the impact point in which the over pressure in the blast wave exceeds 4 pounds/inch{sup 2} = 2.8 X 10{sup 5} dynes/cm{sup 3}, which is enough to knock over trees and destroy buildings. About every 100 years an impactor should blast an area of 300 km{sup 2} or more somewhere on the land area of Earth. The optical flux from asteroids 60 meters or more in diameter is enough to ignite pine forests. However, the blast from an impacting asteroid goes beyond the radius within which the fire starts. It tends to blow out the fire, so it is likely that the impact will char the forest (as at Tunguska), but it will not produce a sustained fire. Because of the atmosphere, asteroids less than about 200 m in diameter are not effective in producing craters and earthquakes. They are also not effective in producing water waves and tsunami in ocean impacts. Tsunami is probably the most devastating type of damage for asteroids that are between 200 meters and 1 km in diameter.

  13. 6384 Kervin: A Possible Hungaria Binary Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.; Aznar Macia, Amadeo

    2016-04-01

    Analysis of CCD photometric observations in late 2015 of the Hungaria asteroid 6384 Kervin indicates that it may be a binary asteroid with a primary lightcurve of P1 = 3.6194 ± 0.0001 h, A1 = 0.06 ± 0.01 mag. The secondary lightcurve parameters are P2 = 15.94 ± 0.01 h, A2 = 0.03 ± 0.01 mag. No mutual events (occultations or eclipses) were observed. However, other indicators give an estimated diameter ratio on the order of Ds/Dp ~ 0.3, possibly greater.

  14. Gravitational Capture of Asteroids by Gas Drag

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Vieira Neto

    2009-01-01

    captured by the planet got its velocity reduced and could been trapped as an irregular satellite. It is well known that, depending on the time scale of the gas envelope, an asteroid will spiral and collide with the planet. So, we simulate the passage of the asteroid in the gas envelope with its density decreasing along the time. Using this approach, we found effective captures, and have a better understanding of the whole process. Finally, we conclude that the origin of the irregular satellites cannot be attributed to the gas drag capture mechanism alone.

  15. Asteroidal Quadruples in non Rooted Path Graphs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutierrez Marisa

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A directed path graph is the intersection graph of a family of directed subpaths of a directed tree. A rooted path graph is the intersection graph of a family of directed subpaths of a rooted tree. Rooted path graphs are directed path graphs. Several characterizations are known for directed path graphs: one by forbidden induced subgraphs and one by forbidden asteroids. It is an open problem to find such characterizations for rooted path graphs. For this purpose, we are studying in this paper directed path graphs that are non rooted path graphs. We prove that such graphs always contain an asteroidal quadruple.

  16. Characterization of the near-Earth Asteroid 2002NY40

    CERN Document Server

    Roberts, Lewis C; Lambert, John V; Africano, John L; Knox, Keith T; Barros, Jacob K; Hamada, Kris M; Liang, Dennis; Sydney, Paul F; Kervin, Paul

    2007-01-01

    In August 2002, the near-Earth asteroid 2002 NY40, made its closest approach to the Earth. This provided an opportunity to study a near-Earth asteroid with a variety of instruments. Several of the telescopes at the Maui Space Surveillance System were trained at the asteroid and collected adaptive optics images, photometry and spectroscopy. Analysis of the imagery reveals the asteroid is triangular shaped with significant self-shadowing. The photometry reveals a 20-hour period and the spectroscopy shows that the asteroid is a Q-type.

  17. Asteroid Shape and Spin Axis Modeling Via Light Curve Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friz, Paul; Gokhale, V.

    2013-01-01

    We present light curves and shape and spin axis models for the five asteroids: 291 Alice, 281 Lucretia, 321 Florentina, 714 Ulula, and 3169 Ostro. These models were obtained using data taken from the Truman Observatory, the Asteroid Photometric Catalogue, and the Minor Planet Center. Knowledge of individual asteroids shapes and spin axes is vital to understanding the solar system. However, currently only 213 out of the 500,000 asteroids with known orbits have been modeled. By taking many light curves of asteroids over several apparitions it is possible to determine their shapes and spin axes by a process known as light curve inversion.

  18. Guided asteroid deflection by kinetic impact: Mapping keyholes to an asteroid's surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, S.; Farnocchia, D.

    2014-07-01

    The kinetic impactor deflection approach is likely to be the optimal deflection strategy in most real-world cases, given the likelihood of decades of warning time provided by asteroid search programs and the probable small size of the next confirmed asteroid impact that would require deflection. However, despite its straightforward implementation, the kinetic impactor approach can have its effectiveness limited by the astrodynamics that govern the impactor spacecraft trajectory. First, the deflection from an impact is maximized when the asteroid is at perihelion, while an impact near perihelion can in some cases be energetically difficult to implement. Additionally, the asteroid change in velocity Δ V should aligned with the target's heliocentric velocity vector in order to maximize the deflection at a potential impact some years in the future. Thus the relative velocity should be aligned with or against the heliocentric velocity, which implies that the impactor and asteroid orbits should be tangent at the point of impact. However, for natural bodies such as meteorites colliding with the Earth, the relative velocity vectors tend to cluster near the sunward or anti- sunward directions, far from the desired direction. This is because there is generally a significant crossing angle between the orbits of the impactor and target and an impact at tangency is unusual. The point is that hitting the asteroid is not enough, but rather we desire to hit the asteroid at a point when the asteroid and spacecraft orbits are nearly tangent and when the asteroid is near perihelion. However, complicating the analysis is the fact that the impact of a spacecraft on an asteroid would create an ejecta plume that is roughly normal to the surface at the point of impact. This escaping ejecta provides additional momentum transfer that generally adds to the effectiveness of a kinetic deflection. The ratio β between the ejecta momentum and the total momentum (ejecta plus spacecraft) can

  19. Twenty-one Asteroid Lightcurves at Group Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS): Late 2015 to Early 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aznar Macias, Amadeo; Carreno Garcerain, Alfonso; Arce Masego, Enrique; Brines Rodriguez, Pedro; Lozano de Haro, Juan; Fornas Silva, Alvaro; Fornas Silva, Gonzalo; Mas Martinez, Vicente; Rodrigo Chiner, Onofre; Herrero Porta, David

    2016-07-01

    We report on the photometric analysis result of 21 mainbelt asteroids (MBA) done by Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database task initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions. This is a compilation of lightcurves obtained during last quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016.

  20. Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) - Design, Development and Delivery of a Small Asteroid Lander Aboard Hayabusa2

    OpenAIRE

    Grundmann, Jan Thimo; Auster, U.; Baturkin, Volodymyr; Bellion, Anthony; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Biele, Jens; Boden, Ralf; Bompis, Olivier; Borgs, Belinda; Bousquet, Pierre; Canalias, Elisabet; Celotti, Luca; Cenac-Morthe, Céline; Cordero, Federico; Deleuze, Muriel

    2015-01-01

    MASCOT is a small asteroid lander launched on December 3rd, 2014, aboard the Japanese HAYABUSA2 asteroid sample-return mission towards the 980 m diameter C-type near-Earth asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3. MASCOT carries four full-scale asteroid science instruments and an uprighting and relocation device within a shoebox-sized 10 kg spacecraft; a complete lander comparable in mass and volume to a medium-sized science instrument on interplanetary missions. Asteroid surface science will be ob...

  1. The infrared spectrum of asteroid 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, H. P.; Fink, U.; Treffers, R. R.; Gautier, T. N., III

    1976-01-01

    The mineralogical composition of asteroid Eros has been determined from its infrared spectrum (0.9-2.7 micrometers; 28/cm resolution). Major minerals include metallic Ni-Fe and pyroxene; no spectroscopic evidence for olivine or plagioclase feldspar was found. The IR spectrum of Eros is most consistent with a stony-iron composition.

  2. NASA hits back in asteroid spat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartlidge, Edwin

    2016-07-01

    Nathan Myhrvold, chief executive of the company Intellectual Ventures and a former chief technology officer of Microsoft, is at loggerheads with a group of NASA astrophysicists over the latter's ability to accurately measure the properties of tens of thousands of asteroids in the solar system.

  3. Eight billion asteroids in the Oort cloud

    CERN Document Server

    Shannon, Andrew; Veras, Dimitri; Wyatt, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The Oort cloud is usually thought of as a collection of icy comets inhabiting the outer reaches of the Solar system, but this picture is incomplete. We use simulations of the formation of the Oort cloud to show that ~4% of the small bodies in the Oort cloud should have formed within 2.5 au of the Sun, and hence be ice-free rock-iron bodies. If we assume these Oort cloud asteroids have the same size distribution as their cometary counterparts, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope should find roughly a dozen Oort cloud asteroids during ten years of operations. Measurement of the asteroid fraction within the Oort cloud can serve as an excellent test of the Solar system's formation and dynamical history. Oort cloud asteroids could be of particular concern as impact hazards as their high mass density, high impact velocity, and low visibility make them both hard to detect and hard to divert or destroy. However, they should be a rare class of object, and we estimate globally catastrophic collisions should only occur ...

  4. Asteroid models from the Lowell Photometric Database

    CERN Document Server

    Durech, J; Oszkiewicz, D; Vanco, R

    2016-01-01

    We use the lightcurve inversion method to derive new shape models and spin states of asteroids from the sparse-in-time photometry compiled in the Lowell Photometric Database. To speed up the time-consuming process of scanning the period parameter space through the use of convex shape models, we use the distributed computing project Asteroids@home, running on the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform. This way, the period-search interval is divided into hundreds of smaller intervals. These intervals are scanned separately by different volunteers and then joined together. We also use an alternative, faster, approach when searching the best-fit period by using a model of triaxial ellipsoid. By this, we can independently confirm periods found with convex models and also find rotation periods for some of those asteroids for which the convex-model approach gives too many solutions. From the analysis of Lowell photometric data of the first 100,000 numbered asteroids, we derived 328 new ...

  5. Polyhedron tracking and gravity tractor asteroid deflection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ummen, N.; Lappas, V.

    2014-11-01

    In the wake of the Chelyabinsk airburst, the defense against hazardous asteroids is becoming a topic of high interest. This work improves the gravity tractor asteroid deflection approach by tracking realistic small body shapes with tilted ion engines. An algorithm for polyhedron tracking was evaluated in a fictitious impact scenario. The simulations suggest a capability increase up to 38.2% with such improved tilting strategies. The long- and short-term effects within polyhedron tracking are illustrated. In particular, the orbital reorientation effect is influential when realistic asteroid shapes and rotations are accounted for. Also analyzed is the subject of altitude profiles, a way to tailor the gravity tractor performance, and to achieve a steering ability within the B-plane. A novel analytical solution for the classic gravity tractor is derived. It removes the simulation need for classic tractor designs to obtain comparable two body model Δv figures. This paper corroborates that the asteroid shape can be exploited for maximum performance. Even a single engine tilt adjustment at the beginning of deflection operations yields more deflection than a fixed preset tilt.

  6. Lightcurves of the Karin family asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Yoshida, Fumi; Dermawan, Budi; Nakamura, Tsuko; Takahashi, Shigeru; Ibrahimov, Mansur A; Malhotra, Renu; Ip, Wing Huen; Chen, Wen Ping; Sawabe, Yu; Haji, Masashige; Saito, Ryoko; Hirai, Masanori; Miyasaka, Seidai; Fukushima, Hideo; Sato, Hideo; Sato, Yusuke

    2012-01-01

    The Karin family is the first recognized very young asteroid family that was created by an asteroid breakup only 5.8 Myr ago. As the members of this family probably have not experienced significant orbital or collisional evolution yet, it is possible that they still preserve properties of the original collisional event in terms of their rotational status and surface color. We have been carrying out a series of photometric observations of the Karin family asteroids, and here we report the analysis result of lightcurves including the rotation period of eleven members as well as those of an interloper asteroid: (832) Karin, (4507) 1990 FV (an interloper), (7719) 1997 GT36, (10783) 1999 RB9, (11728) Einer, (13765) Nansmith, (16706) Svojsik, (28271) 1999 CK16, (40917) 1999 TR171, (43032) 1999 VR26, (69880) 1998 SQ81, and (71031) 1999 XE68. As for four of them we estimated their absolute magnitudes H_R and the slope parameter G_R of the solar phase curves: (832) Karin, (4507) 1990 FV, (13765) Nansmith, and (69880) ...

  7. The Bering small vehicle asteroid mission concept

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, Rene; Andersen, Anja; Haack, Henning;

    2004-01-01

    targets. The dilemma obviously being the resolution versus distance and the statistics versus DeltaV requirements. Using advanced instrumentation and onboard autonomy, we have developed a space mission concept whose goal is to map the flux, size, and taxonomy distributions of asteroids. The main focus is...

  8. A note on cement in asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Bilalbegovic, G

    2016-01-01

    Cement mineral tobermorite was formed in hydrothermal experiments on alternation of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Unidentified bands at 14 microns were measured for CAIs and the matrix of the Allende meteorite sample, as well as for Hektor and Agamemnon asteroids. The presence of cement nanoparticles may explain the feature at 14 microns.

  9. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System. PMID:19129845

  10. Small asteroids - rubble piles or boulders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan W.

    2013-10-01

    The asteroid rotation spin barrier at ~2.2 h period among asteroids 10 km > D > 200 m doesn’t prove all such asteroids are rubble piles, and the faster rotations among smaller asteroids doesn’t require monolithic strength, either. Only a very modest strength, perhaps no more than van der Waals force, might suffice to hold regolith together on a small super-fast rotator (Sanchez & Scheeres, 2013, arXif:1306.1622v1). The problem is that for a constant or only slowly varying strength with respect to diameter, the spin barrier becomes proportional to 1/D below the size where material strength is dominant, or perhaps a bit steeper if strength increases with decreasing D. What we observe in the distribution of asteroid spins versus diameter is that below D ~ 200 m, the spin barrier goes up at least ~D-3.5, if not abruptly. Models with constant or slowly varying strength fail to fit this observation, and the abrupt transition cannot be an observational selection effect: the void in the phase space of rotations would be among the easiest rotations to observe, e.g. the one conspicuous exception, 2001 OE84 (D ~ 0.7 km, P = 0.5 h) was easily and unambiguously measured (Pravec, et al. 2002, Proc. ACM 2002, ESA SP-500, 743-745). This abrupt transition is most easily explained as a real transition in material properties of asteroids in the size range ~200 m diameter, from “rubble pile” to “boulder”, although neither term may be fully descriptive of the actual structure. Two other lines of evidence suggest that this transition in properties is real: the dip in the size-frequency distribution of NEAs is maximum at ~150 m, suggesting that a transition to stronger material structure occurs about there, and we observe, e.g., Tunguska and the recent Chelyabinsk bolide, that bodies in the tens of meters size range entering the atmosphere behave more like solid rocks than rock piles (Boslough & Crawford 2008, Int. J. Imp. Eng. 35, 1441-1448). I encourage those doing computer

  11. Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Some types of meteorites - most irons, stony irons, some achondrites - hail from asteroids that were heated to the point where magmatism occurred within a very few million years of the formation of the earliest solids in the solar system. The largest clan of achondrites, the howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites, represent the crust of their parent asteroid]. Diogenites are cumulate harzburgites and orthopyroxenites from the lower crust whilst eucrites are basalts, diabases and cumulate gabbros from the upper crust. Howardites are impact-engendered breccias mostly of diogenites and eucrites. There remains only one large asteroid with a basaltic crust, 4 Vesta, which is thought to be the source of the HED clan. Differentiation models for Vesta are based on HED compositions. Proto-Vesta consisted of chondritic materials containing Al-26, a potent, short-lived heat source. Inferences from compositional data are that Vesta was melted to high degree (=50%) allowing homogenization of the silicate phase and separation of a metallic core. Convection of the silicate magma ocean allowed equilibrium crystallization, forming a harzburgitic mantle. After convective lockup occurred, melt collected between the mantle and the cool thermal boundary layer and underwent fractional crystallization forming an orthopyroxene-rich (diogenite) lower crust. The initial thermal boundary layer of chondritic material was replaced by a mafic upper crust through impact disruption and foundering. The mafic crust thickened over time as additional residual magma intrudes and penetrates the mafic crust forming plutons, dikes, sills and flows of cumulate and basaltic eucrite composition. This magmatic history may have taken only 2-3 Myr. This magma ocean scenario is at odds with a model of heat and magma transport that indicates that small degrees of melt would be rapidly expelled from source regions, precluding development of a magma ocean. Constraints from radiogenic Mg-26 distibutions

  12. Asteroid Evolution: Role of geotechnical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez Lana, Diego P.

    2015-08-01

    Over the last decade of Planetary research, the scientific community has made many advances in their understanding of the evolution of asteroids in the Solar System. One particular area of fruitful study started with the bold idea that these small planetary bodies could be gravitational aggregates and initially motivated by several different observations and early simulations.If we start with the idea that asteroids are aggregates of different sized components, and not singular monolithic bodies, it is possible to study them with some of the tools that have been used in the fields of Soil Mechanics and Granular Dynamics. In them, parameters such as porosity, cohesive and tensile strength, angles of friction and repose, particle size distributions, stress states, heterogeneity and yield criteria among others, determine how these granular systems will react when subjected to different, changing, external factors. These external factors are believed to have produced and shaped the asteroids that now exist around us and include solar photon momentum, gravitational tides, micro- and macro-impacts and internal energy dissipation.In this presentation we will review what is known about the surface and interiors of rubble pile asteroids, how different theoretical, experimental and simulation tools have been used to study them, how space mission and ground-based observations have shaped our understanding of their physical reality, and what we expect to learn from future missions. The talk will also touch on some of the latest findings obtained by different groups. In particular we will discuss the rotational evolution of self-gravitating aggregates under the influence of the YORP effect and how their angles of friction, tensile strength, porosity, internal structure and density give rise to different disruption modes and the role they play in the formation of asteroids pairs, tumblers and binary systems.

  13. Asteroid occultations today and tomorrow: toward the GAIA era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanga, P.; Delbo, M.

    2007-11-01

    Context: Observation of star occultations is a powerful tool to determine shapes and sizes of asteroids. This is key information necessary for studying the evolution of the asteroid belt and to calibrate indirect methods of size determination, such as the models used to analyze thermal infrared observations. Up to now, the observation of asteroid occultations is an activity essentially secured by amateur astronomers equipped with small, portable equipments. However, the accuracy of the available ephemeris prevents accurate predictions of the occultation events for objects smaller than ~100 km. Aims: We investigate current limits in predictability and observability of asteroid occultations, and we study their possible evolution in the future, when high accuracy asteroid orbits and star positions (such as those expected from the mission Gaia of the European Space Agency) will be available. Methods: We use a simple model for asteroid ephemeris uncertainties and numerical algorithms for estimating the limits imposed by the instruments, assuming realistic CCD performances and asteroid size distribution, to estimate the expected occultation rate under different conditions. Results: We show that high accuracy ephemerides which will be available in the future will extend toward much smaller asteroids the possibility of observing asteroid occultations, greatly increasing the number of events and objects involved. A complete set of size measurements down to ~10 km main belt asteroids could be obtained in a few years, provided that a small network of ground-based 1m telescopes are devoted to occultation studies.

  14. Another Option for the Asteroid Sample of the Asteroid Redirect Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Xiyun; Tang, Jingshi; Liu, Lin; Xin, Xiaosheng

    2016-07-01

    The asteroid redirect mission (ARM) consists of two phases: the asteroid redirect robotic mission (ARRM) and the asteroid redirect crewed mission (ARCM). The ARRM phase aims at capturing a boulder from the surface of an asteroid of hundred meters in diameter and returning it back to the Earth-Moon system. Currently, the option for the orbit of the returned sample is a large lunar distant retrograde orbit (LDRO) around the Moon. After the sample is returned to this LDRO, then the ARCM phase will send astronauts to the sample. The total energy cost consists of two parts: (1) from the orbit of an near-Earth asteroid to the LDRO, here as part I; (2) from the parking low Earth orbit (LEO) to the LDRO, here as part II. In the authors' work for stable motions in the real Earth-Moon system, we found that there are stable motions around the triangular libration points (TLP). Theoretically, these orbits can also be used as candidate orbits to hold the returned sample. Our previous preliminary works show that the energy of sending a manned probe from the LEO to these orbits is comparable to the option of sending it from the LEO to the LDRO. Besides, it's also possible for the sample to be returned from the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid to these stable orbits, with very small delta-V corrections. In this work, we'll study the energy cost of this option (i.e., using the stable orbits around the TLP as the orbits for the asteroid sample) in detail and compare this option with the LDRO option.

  15. Photometry and models of selected main belt asteroids. IX. Introducing interactive service for asteroid models (ISAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciniak, A.; Bartczak, P.; Santana-Ros, T.; Michałowski, T.; Antonini, P.; Behrend, R.; Bembrick, C.; Bernasconi, L.; Borczyk, W.; Colas, F.; Coloma, J.; Crippa, R.; Esseiva, N.; Fagas, M.; Fauvaud, M.; Fauvaud, S.; Ferreira, D. D. M.; Hein Bertelsen, R. P.; Higgins, D.; Hirsch, R.; Kajava, J. J. E.; Kamiński, K.; Kryszczyńska, A.; Kwiatkowski, T.; Manzini, F.; Michałowski, J.; Michałowski, M. J.; Paschke, A.; Polińska, M.; Poncy, R.; Roy, R.; Santacana, G.; Sobkowiak, K.; Stasik, M.; Starczewski, S.; Velichko, F.; Wucher, H.; Zafar, T.

    2012-09-01

    Context. The shapes and spin states of asteroids observed with photometric techniques can be reconstructed using the lightcurve inversion method. The resultant models can then be confirmed or exploited further by other techniques, such as adaptive optics, radar, thermal infrared, stellar occultations, or space probe imaging. Aims: During our ongoing work to increase the set of asteroids with known spin and shape parameters, there appeared a need for displaying the model plane-of-sky orientations for specific epochs to compare models from different techniques. It would also be instructive to be able to track how the complex lightcurves are produced by various asteroid shapes. Methods: Basing our analysis on an extensive photometric observational dataset, we obtained eight asteroid models with the convex lightcurve inversion method. To enable comparison of the photometric models with those from other observing/modelling techniques, we created an on-line service where we allow the inversion models to be orientated interactively. Results: Our sample of objects is quite representative, containing both relatively fast and slow rotators with highly and lowly inclined spin axes. With this work, we increase the sample of asteroid spin and shape models based on disk-integrated photometry to over 200. Three of the shape models obtained here are confirmed by the stellar occultation data; this also allowed independent determinations of their sizes to be made. Conclusions: The ISAM service can be widely exploited for past and future asteroid observations with various, complementary techniques and for asteroid dimension determination. http://isam.astro.amu.edu.pl Photometric data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/545/A131

  16. Tracing meteorite source regions through asteroid spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina Ana

    By virtue of their landing on Earth, meteorites reside in near-Earth object (NEO) orbits prior to their arrival. Thus the population of observable NEOs, in principle, gives the best representation of meteorite source bodies. By linking meteorites to NEOs, and linking NEOs to their most likely main-belt source locations, we seek to gain insight into the original solar system formation locations for different meteorite classes. To forge the first link between meteorites and NEOs, we have developed a three dimensional method for quantitative comparisons between laboratory measurements of meteorites and telescopic measurements of near-Earth objects. We utilize meteorite spectra from the Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) database and NEO data from the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Using the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) as a mathematical tool, we treat asteroid and meteorite spectra identically in the calculation of 1-micron and 2-micron geometric band centers and their band area ratios (BARs). Using these identical numerical parameters we quantitatively compare the spectral properties of S-, Sq-, Q- and V-type NEOs with the spectral properties of the meteorites in the H, L, LL and HED meteorite classes. For each NEO spectrum, we assign a set of probabilities for it being related to each of these meteorite classes. Our NEO- meteorite correlation probabilities are then convolved with NEO-source region probabilities to yield a final set of meteorite-source region correlations. An apparent (significant at the 2.1-sigma level) source region signature is found for the H chondrites to be preferentially delivered to the inner solar system through the 3:1 mean motion resonance. A 3:1 resonance H chondrite source region is consistent with the short cosmic ray exposure ages known for H chondrites. The spectroscopy of asteroids is subject to several sources of inherent error. The source region model used a variety of S-type spectra without

  17. Reverse Asteroids: Searching for an Effective Tool to Combat Asteroid Belt Misconceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, F.; Eisenhamer, B.

    2014-12-01

    The public 'knows' that asteroid belts are densely packed and dangerous for spaceships to cross. Visuals from "Star Wars" to, unfortunately, the recent "Cosmos" TV series have firmly established this astronomical misconception. However, even scientifically correct graphics, such as the Minor Planet Center's plot of the inner solar system, reinforces that view. Each pixel in the image is more than a million kilometers in width, making an accurate representation of the object density impossible.To address this widespread misconception, we are investigating an educational exercise built around a computer interactive that we call "Reverse Asteroids". In the arcade classic video game, the asteroids came to the player's spaceship. For our reverse implementation, we consider an inquiry-based activity in which the spaceship must go hunting for the asteroids, using a database of real objects in our solar system. Both 3D data visualization and basic statistical analysis play crucial roles in bringing out the true space density within the asteroid belt, and perhaps a reconciliation between imagination and reality. We also emphasize that a partnership of scientists and educators is fundamental to the success of such projects.

  18. Asteroid occultations today and tomorrow: toward the GAIA era

    CERN Document Server

    Tanga, P

    2008-01-01

    Context: Observation of star occultations is a powerful tool to determine shapes and sizes of asteroids. This is key information necessary for studying the evolution of the asteroid belt and to calibrate indirect methods of size determination, such as the models used to analyze thermal infrared observations. Up to now, the observation of asteroid occultations is an activity essentially secured by amateur astronomers equipped with small, portable equipments. However, the accuracy of the available ephemeris prevents accurate predictions of the occultation events for objects smaller than ~100 km. Aims: We investigate current limits in predictability and observability of asteroid occultations, and we study their possible evolution in the future, when high accuracy asteroid orbits and star positions (such as those expected from the mission Gaia of the European Space Agency) will be available. Methods: We use a simple model for asteroid ephemeris uncertainties and numerical algorithms for estimating the limits impo...

  19. MICROLENS SURVEYS ARE A POWERFUL PROBE OF ASTEROIDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    While of order of a million asteroids have been discovered, the number in rigorously controlled samples that have precise orbits and rotation periods, as well as well-measured colors, is relatively small. In particular, less than a dozen main-belt asteroids with estimated diameters D < 3 km have excellent rotation periods. We show how existing and soon-to-be-acquired microlensing data can yield a large asteroid sample with precise orbits and rotation periods, which will include roughly 6% of all asteroids with maximum brightness I < 18.1 and lying within 10° of the ecliptic. This sample will be dominated by small and very small asteroids, down to D ∼ 1 km. We also show how asteroid astrometry could turn current narrow-angle OGLE proper motions of bulge stars into wide-angle proper motions. This would enable one to measure the proper-motion gradient across the Galactic bar.

  20. Asteroid rotation and orbit control via laser ablation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetrisano, Massimo; Colombo, Camilla; Vasile, Massimiliano

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents an approach to control the rotational motion of an asteroid while a spacecraft is deflecting its trajectory through laser ablation. During the deflection, the proximity motion of the spacecraft is coupled with the orbital and rotational motion of the asteroid. The combination of the deflection acceleration, solar radiation pressure, gravity field and plume impingement will force the spacecraft to drift away from the asteroid. In turn, a variation of the motion of the spacecraft produces a change in the modulus and direction of the deflection action which modifies the rotational and orbital motion of the asteroid. An on-board state estimation and control algorithm is then presented that simultaneously provides an optimal proximity control and a control of the rotational motion of the asteroid. It will be shown that the simultaneous control of the rotational and proximity motions of asteroid and spacecraft has a significant impact on the required deflection time.

  1. Asteroid Deflection Using a Spacecraft in Restricted Keplerian Motion

    CERN Document Server

    Ketema, Yohannes

    2016-01-01

    A method for asteroid deflection that makes use of a spacecraft moving back and forth on a segment of an appropriate Keplerian orbit about the asteroid is described and evaluated. It is shown that, on average, the spacecraft describing such a trajectory can exert a significantly larger force on the asteroid than e.g. a stationary gravity tractor, thereby reducing the time needed to effect a desired velocity change for the asteroid. Furthermore, the current method does not require canted thrusters on the spacecraft (unlike a stationary gravity tractor), markedly reducing the amount of fuel needed to create a given change in the asteroid velocity. In addition, the method allows for the simultaneous use of several spacecraft, further strengthening the overall tugging effect on the asteroid, and distributing the thrust requirement among the spacecraft.

  2. Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Jianghui; Zhao, Yuhui; Wang, Su; Yu, Liangliang

    2015-01-01

    On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.

  3. Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Jianghui; Jiang, Yun; Zhao, Yuhui; Wang, Su; Yu, Liangliang

    2016-01-01

    On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.

  4. Ancient asteroids enriched in refractory inclusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunshine, J M; Connolly, H C; McCoy, T J; Bus, S J; La Croix, L M

    2008-04-25

    Calcium- and aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) occur in all classes of chondritic meteorites and contain refractory minerals predicted to be the first condensates from the solar nebula. Near-infrared spectra of CAIs have strong 2-micrometer absorptions, attributed to iron oxide-bearing aluminous spinel. Similar absorptions are present in the telescopic spectra of several asteroids; modeling indicates that these contain approximately 30 +/- 10% CAIs (two to three times that of any meteorite). Survival of these undifferentiated, large (50- to 100-kilometer diameter) CAI-rich bodies suggests that they may have formed before the injection of radiogenic 26Al into the solar system. They have also experienced only modest post-accretionary alteration. Thus, these asteroids have higher concentrations of CAI material, appear less altered, and are more ancient than any known sample in our meteorite collection, making them prime candidates for sample return. PMID:18356491

  5. Speckle interferometry of asteroids. I - 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, J. D.; Cocke, W. J.; Hege, E. K.; Strittmatter, P. A.; Lambert, J. V.

    1985-01-01

    Analytical expressions are derived for the semimajor and semiminor axes and orientation angle of the ellipse projected by a triaxial asteroid, and the results are applied speckle-interferometry observations of the 433 Eros asteroid. The expressions were calculated as functions of the dimensions and pole of the body and of the asterocentric position of the earth and the sun. On the basis of the analytical expressions, the dimensions of 433 Eros are obtained. The light curve from December 18, 1981 is compared to the dimensions to obtain a geometric albedo of 0.156 (+ or - 0.010). A series of two-dimensional power spectra and autocorrelation functions for 433 Eros show that it is spinning in space.

  6. EVIDENCE OF AN ASTEROID ENCOUNTERING A PULSAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brook, P. R.; Karastergiou, A. [Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Buchner, S. [Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 443, Krugersdorp 1740 (South Africa); Roberts, S. J. [Information Engineering, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PJ (United Kingdom); Keith, M. J.; Johnston, S.; Shannon, R. M., E-mail: paul.brook@astro.ox.ac.uk [CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia Telescope National Facility, P.O. Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710 (Australia)

    2014-01-10

    Debris disks and asteroid belts are expected to form around young pulsars due to fallback material from their original supernova explosions. Disk material may migrate inward and interact with a pulsar's magnetosphere, causing changes in torque and emission. Long-term monitoring of PSR J0738–4042 reveals both effects. The pulse shape changes multiple times between 1988 and 2012. The torque, inferred via the derivative of the rotational period, changes abruptly from 2005 September. This change is accompanied by an emergent radio component that drifts with respect to the rest of the pulse. No known intrinsic pulsar processes can explain these timing and radio emission signatures. The data lead us to postulate that we are witnessing an encounter with an asteroid or in-falling debris from a disk.

  7. The detectability of asteroids and comets before earth impact

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hills, J.

    1996-09-01

    In this final report of a 1-y LDRD project at LANL, requirements were investigated for detecting asteroids and comets in the final years before they impact Earth. Equipment and strategies were determined for detecting impacting asteroids and comets in all their permitted orbits. When this information is combined with possible mechanisms for diverting asteroids, it will determine the degree of readiness and minimum capability of deflection mechanisms required to prevent impact of these objects with Earth.

  8. Pole orientation, sidereal period, and sense of rotation of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, R. C.; Gehrels, T.

    1986-01-01

    Pole orientations of asteroids were determined. The method, called photometric astrometry, takes precise epochs of lightcurves into account. Pole determination research on asteroids 532 Herculina, 45 Eugenia, and 3 Juno continues. Discrepancies between various pole determination techniques presently being used are analyzed. The study of asteroid shapes and creating a generalized master pole determination technique also continues which will incorporate the best features of several current methods.

  9. NEA 2015 VY105: A New Tumbling Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbognani, Albino; Buzzi, Luca

    2016-04-01

    We present the results of photometric observations on near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 2015 VY105. Lightcurve analysis shows that it is a tumbling asteroid with synodic rotation periods P1 = 0.0386 ± 0.0001 h with amplitude A1 = 0.96 mag and P2 = 0.061 ± 0.001 h with amplitude A2 = 0.57 mag. After 2008 TC3, this NEA is the fastest and smallest tumbling asteroid.

  10. Orbital perturbation analysis of earth-crossing asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Knudson, Wade E.

    1995-01-01

    Earth Crossing Asteroids (ECAs) are those asteroids whose orbit cross section can intersect the capture cross section of the Earth as a result of secular gravitational perturbations. This thesis provides a framework for understanding the origin, nature, and types of ECAs. The change in velocity requirements to achieve a two Earth radii deflection for long and short term warning scenarios are developed. Next, a method of developing hypothetical Earth colliding asteroid orbits is presented. The...

  11. Small asteroid fragments in earth-crossing orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duha, J.; Afonso, G. B.

    2014-10-01

    The meteorite that fell in Chelyabinsk, Russia, naturally made many people think it could be a smaller companion of the Asteroid 2012 DA14, which passed close to Earth on that same day. Some asteroid specialists discarded this hypothesis for two main reasons: The meteorite was too far away from the asteroid, because the collision happened sixteen hours before the asteroid passed close to Earth. Moreover, it was not traveling, similarly to asteroid DA14, from south to north. However the possibility of the meteorite being a companion of the Asteroid 2012 DA14 cannot be completely discarded. The Asteroid 2012 DA14, with a diameter of 45 meters, is very small. It can be considered an asteroids fragment, which is usually accompanied by other smaller fragments, scattered in space, practically in the same orbit and possibly being separated from each other by long distances. Assuming that 2012 DA14 is not an isolated asteroid, but the biggest remaining fragment from a previous impact, we developed a model to study the dynamics of an asteroid fragment, similar to DA14, and its companions, the smaller fragments. This dynamically interesting encounter with planet Earth is addressed and the orbital changes that could explain the Chelyabinsk event are discussed. As a result we find that, there could be a collision of a meteorite before, during, or after the Asteroid 2012 DA14 passing by, the same way that happens with meteorite showers, which can last several days. Therefore, it would be very interesting to look for asteroid fragments also, close to the larger fragments, more easily found.

  12. International collaboration leads to new Aten asteroid discovery, 1984 QA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helin, E. F.; Dunbar, R. S.; Barucci, M. A.

    1986-01-01

    A new earth-crossing asteroid of the Aten type (orbit smaller than earth's) was discovered on August 30, 1984 at Palomar. The asteroid, designated 1984 QA, is the fourth known member of the Aten type and the first discovered since 1978. The discovery of this object was the highlight of a collaboration between the JPL Asteroid Search Team and an ESA scientist, and demonstrates one aspect of an ongoing joint search effort with other Schmidt observers.

  13. Example Solar Electric Propulsion System asteroid tours using variational calculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, R. R.

    1985-01-01

    Exploration of the asteroid belt with a vehicle utilizing a Solar Electric Propulsion System has been proposed in past studies. Some of those studies illustrated multiple asteroid rendezvous with trajectories obtained using approximate methods. Most of the inadequacies of those approximations are overcome in this paper, which uses the calculus of variations to calculate the trajectories and associated payloads of four asteroid tours. The modeling, equations, and solution techniques are discussed, followed by a presentation of the results.

  14. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year One: Preliminary Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    CERN Document Server

    Nugent, C R; Masiero, J; Bauer, J; Cutri, R M; Grav, T; Kramer, E; Sonnett, S; Stevenson, R; Wright, E L

    2015-01-01

    We present preliminary diameters and albedos for 7,959 asteroids detected in the first year of the NEOWISE Reactivation mission. 201 are near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). 7,758 are Main Belt or Mars-crossing asteroids. 17% of these objects have not been previously characterized using WISE or NEOWISE thermal measurements. Diameters are determined to an accuracy of ~20% or better. If good-quality H magnitudes are available, albedos can be determined to within ~40% or better.

  15. Design of MGA trajectories for main belt asteroid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔祜涛; 乔栋; 崔平远; 栾恩杰

    2003-01-01

    Asteroid exploration is one of the most sophisticated missions currently being investigated. Gravityassist trajectories have proven valuable in interplanetary missions such as the Pioneer, Voyager and Galileo. In this paper, we design interplanetary trajectory for main belt asteroid exploration mission with the Mars gravityassist (MGA) using "pork chop" plots and patched-conic theory and give some initial valuable trajectory parameters on main belt asteroid exploration mission with MGA.

  16. Formation of asteroid pairs by rotational fission

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Vokrouhlický, D.; Polishook, D.; Scheeres, D.J.; Harris, A. W.; Galád, Adrián; Vaduvescu, O.; Pozo, F.; Barr, A.; Longa, P.; Vachier, F.; Colas, F.; Pray, D. P.; Pollock, J.; Reichart, D. E.; Ivarsen, K.M.; Haislip, J.B.; LaCluyze, A.; Kušnirák, Peter; Henych, Tomáš; Marchis, F.; Macomber, B.; Jacobson, S.A.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Sergeev, A.V.; Leroy, A.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 466, č. 7310 (2010), s. 1085-1088. ISSN 0028-0836 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/1107; GA ČR GD205/08/H005 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : full 2-body problem * binary asteroids * stability Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 36.101, year: 2010

  17. Asteroids in the service of humanity

    CERN Document Server

    Crawford, Ian A

    2013-01-01

    There are at least three compelling reasons for the human race to initiate a major programme to explore and better understand the 'minor planets' of the Solar System: (1) Enhancing scientific knowledge; (2) Mitigating the impact hazard; and (3) Utilizing extraterrestrial resources. Strong synergies exist between all three. Moreover, all these activities would benefit from greater international cooperation in space exploration by the World's space agencies, and the recognition that asteroids are important targets for human and robotic exploration.

  18. Alien Asteroid Belt Compared to our Own

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Band of Light Comparison This artist's concept illustrates what the night sky might look like from a hypothetical alien planet in a star system with an asteroid belt 25 times as massive as the one in our own solar system (alien system above, ours below; see Figure 1). NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence for such a belt around the nearby star called HD 69830, when its infrared eyes spotted dust, presumably from asteroids banging together. The telescope did not find any evidence for a planet in the system, but astronomers speculate one or more may be present. The movie begins at dusk on the imaginary world, when HD 69830, like our Sun, has begun to set over the horizon. Time is sped up to show the onset of night and the appearance of a brilliant band of light. This light comes from dust in a massive asteroid belt, which scatters sunlight. In our solar system, anybody observing the skies on a moonless night far from city lights can see the sunlight that is scattered by dust in our asteroid belt. Called zodiacal light and sometimes the 'false dawn,' this light appears as a dim band stretching up from the horizon when the Sun is about to rise or set. The light is faint enough that the disk of our Milky Way galaxy remains the most prominent feature in the sky. (The Milky Way disk is shown perpendicular to the zodiacal light in both pictures.) In contrast, the zodiacal light in the HD 69830 system would be 1,000 times brighter than our own, outshining even the Milky Way.

  19. The Cratering History of Asteroid (2867) Steins

    CERN Document Server

    Marchi, S; Kueppers, M; Marzari, F; Davidsson, B; Keller, H U; Besse, S; Lamy, P; Mottola, S; Massironi, M; Cremonese, G

    2010-01-01

    The cratering history of main belt asteroid (2867) Steins has been investigated using OSIRIS imagery acquired during the Rosetta flyby that took place on the 5th of September 2008. For this purpose, we applied current models describing the formation and evolution of main belt asteroids, that provide the rate and velocity distributions of impactors. These models coupled with appropriate crater scaling laws, allow the cratering history to be estimated. Hence, we derive Steins' cratering retention age, namely the time lapsed since its formation or global surface reset. We also investigate the influence of various factors -like bulk structure and crater erasing- on the estimated age, which spans from a few hundred Myrs to more than 1Gyr, depending on the adopted scaling law and asteroid physical parameters. Moreover, a marked lack of craters smaller than about 0.6km has been found and interpreted as a result of a peculiar evolution of Steins cratering record, possibly related either to the formation of the 2.1km ...

  20. Near Earth Asteroids with measurable Yarkovsky effect

    CERN Document Server

    Farnocchia, D; Vokrouhlicky, D; Milani, A; Spoto, F

    2012-01-01

    We seek evidence of the Yarkovsky effect among Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) by measuring the Yarkovsky-related orbital drift from the orbital fit. To prevent the occurrence of unreliable detections we employ a high precision dynamical model, including the Newtonian attraction of 16 massive asteroids and the planetary relativistic terms, and a suitable astrometric data treatment. We find 21 NEAs whose orbital fits show a measurable orbital drift with a signal to noise ratio (SNR) greater than 3. The best determination is for asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36, resulting in the recovery of one radar apparition and an orbit improvement by two orders of magnitude. In addition, we find 16 cases with a lower SNR that, despite being less reliable, are good candidates for becoming stronger detections in the future. In some cases it is possible to constrain physical quantities otherwise unknown by means of the detected orbital drift. Furthermore, the distribution of the detected orbital drifts shows an excess of retrograde ro...

  1. UBV photometry of asteroid 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, R. L.; Bowell, E.; Thompson, D. T.

    1976-01-01

    UBV observations of asteroid 433 Eros were conducted on 17 nights during the winter of 1974/75. The peak-to-peak amplitude of the lightcurve varied from about 0.3 mag to nearly 1.4 mag. The absolute V mag at maximum light, extrapolated to zero phase, is 10.85. Phase coefficients of 0.0233 mag/degree, 0.0009 mag/degree, and 0.0004 mag/degree were derived for V, B-V and U-B, respectively. The zero-phase color of Eros (B-V = 0.88, U-B = 0.50) is representative of an S (silicaceous) compositional type asteroid. The color does not vary with rotation. The photometric behavior of Eros can be modeled by a cylinder with rounded ends having an axial ratio of about 2.3:1. The asteroid is rotating about a short axis with the north pole at 15 deg ecliptic longitude and 9 deg ecliptic latitude.

  2. DISINTEGRATING ASTEROID P/2013 R3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David; Li, Jing [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Agarwal, Jessica [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Weaver, Harold [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Mutchler, Max [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Larson, Stephen, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States)

    2014-03-20

    Splitting of the nuclei of comets into multiple components has been frequently observed but, to date, no main-belt asteroid has been observed to break up. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we find that main-belt asteroid P/2013 R3 consists of 10 or more distinct components, the largest up to 200 m in radius (assumed geometric albedo of 0.05) each of which produces a coma and comet-like dust tail. A diffuse debris cloud with total mass ∼2 × 10{sup 8} kg further envelopes the entire system. The velocity dispersion among the components, ΔV ∼ 0.2-0.5 m s{sup –1}, is comparable to the gravitational escape speeds of the largest members, while their extrapolated plane-of-sky motions suggest a break up between 2013 February and September. The broadband optical colors are those of a C-type asteroid. We find no spectral evidence for gaseous emission, placing model-dependent upper limits to the water production rate ≤1 kg s{sup –1}. Breakup may be due to a rotationally induced structural failure of the precursor body.

  3. How to find metal-rich asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Harris, Alan W

    2014-01-01

    The metal content of asteroids is of great interest, not only for theories of their origins and the evolution of the solar system but, in the case of near-Earth objects (NEOs), also for impact mitigation planning and endeavors in the field of planetary resources. However, since the reflection spectra of metallic asteroids are largely featureless, it is difficult to identify them and relatively few are known. We show how data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)/NEOWISE thermal-infrared survey and similar surveys, fitted with a simple thermal model, can reveal objects likely to be metal rich. We provide a list of candidate metal-rich NEOs. Our results imply that future infrared surveys with the appropriate instrumentation could discover many more metal-rich asteroids, providing valuable data for assessment of the impact hazard and the potential of NEOs as reservoirs of vital materials for future interplanetary space activities and, eventually perhaps, for use on Earth.

  4. How Many Ore-Bearing Asteroids?

    CERN Document Server

    Elvis, Martin

    2013-01-01

    A simple formalism is presented to assess how many asteroids contain ore, i.e. commercially profitable material, and not merely a high concentration of a resource. I apply this formalism to two resource cases: platinum group metals (PGMs) and water. Assuming for now that only Ni-Fe asteroids are of interest for PGMs, then 1% of NEOs are rich in PGMs. The dearth of ultra-low delta-v (= US$1 B and the population of near-Earth objects (NEOs) larger than 100 m diameter is ~20,000 (Mainzer et al. 2011) the total population of PGM ore-bearing NEOs is roughly 10. I stress that this is a conservative and highly uncertain value. For example, an order of magnitude increase in PGM ore-bearing NEOs occurs if delta-v can as large as 5.7 km s-1. Water ore for utilization in space is likely to be found in ~1/1100 NEOs. NEOs as small as 18 m diameter can be water-ore-bodies because of the high richness of water (~20%) expected in ~25% of carbonaceous asteroids, bringing the number of water-ore-bearing NEOs to ~9000 out of th...

  5. The preventive destruction of a hazardous asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksandrova, A. G.; Galushina, T. Yu.; Prishchepenko, A. B.; Kholshevnikov, K. V.; Chechetkin, V. M.

    2016-06-01

    One means of countering a hazardous asteroid is discussed: destruction of the object using a nuclear charge. Explosion of such an asteroid shortly before its predicted collision would have catastrophic consequences, with numerous highly radioactive fragments falling onto the Earth. The possibility of exploding the asteroid several years before its impact is also considered. Such an approach is made feasible because the vast majority of hazardous objects pass by the Earth several times before colliding with it. Computations show that, in the 10 years following the explosion, only a negligible number of fragments fall onto the Earth, whose radioactivity has substantially reduced during this time. In most cases, none of these fragments collides with the Earth. Thus, this proposed method for eliminating a threat from space is reasonable in at least two cases: when it is not possible to undergo a soft removal of the object from the collisional path, and to destroy objects that are continually returning to near-Earth space and require multiple removals from hazardous orbits.

  6. Formation and Evolution of Binary Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Walsh, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Satellites of asteroids have been discovered in nearly every known small body population, and a remarkable aspect of the known satellites is the diversity of their properties. They tell a story of vast differences in formation and evolution mechanisms that act as a function of size, distance from the Sun, and the properties of their nebular environment at the beginning of Solar System history and their dynamical environment over the next 4.5 Gyr. The mere existence of these systems provides a laboratory to study numerous types of physical processes acting on asteroids and their dynamics provide a valuable probe of their physical properties otherwise possible only with spacecraft. Advances in understanding the formation and evolution of binary systems have been assisted by: 1) the growing catalog of known systems, increasing from 33 to nearly 250 between the Merline et al. (2002) Asteroids III chapter and now, 2) the detailed study and long-term monitoring of individual systems such as 1999 KW4 and 1996 FG3, 3...

  7. New active asteroid 313P/Gibbs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present initial observations of the newly discovered active asteroid 313P/Gibbs (formerly P/2014 S4), taken to characterize its nucleus and comet-like activity. The central object has a radius ∼0.5 km (geometric albedo 0.05 assumed). We find no evidence for secondary nuclei and set (with qualifications) an upper limit to the radii of such objects near 20 m, assuming the same albedo. Both aperture photometry and a morphological analysis of the ejected dust show that mass-loss is continuous at rates ∼0.2–0.4 kg s−1, inconsistent with an impact origin. Large dust particles, with radii ∼50–100 μm, dominate the optical appearance. At 2.4 AU from the Sun, the surface equilibrium temperatures are too low for thermal or desiccation stresses to be responsible for the ejection of dust. No gas is spectroscopically detected (limiting the gas mass-loss rate to <1.8 kg s−1). However, the protracted emission of dust seen in our data and the detection of another episode of dust release near perihelion, in archival observations from 2003, are highly suggestive of an origin by the sublimation of ice. Coincidentally, the orbit of 313P/Gibbs is similar to those of several active asteroids independently suspected to be ice sublimators, including P/2012 T1, 238P/Read, and 133P/Elst–Pizarro, suggesting that ice is abundant in the outer asteroid belt.

  8. Polarization of asteroid (387) Aquitania: the newest member of a class of large inversion angle asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Masiero, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    We present new imaging polarimetric observations of two Main Belt asteroids, (234) Barbara and (387) Aquitania, taken in the first half of 2008 using the Dual-Beam Imaging Polarimeter on the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope, located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Barbara had been previously shown to exhibit a very unusual polarization-phase curve by Cellino, et al. (2006). Our observations confirm this result and add Aquitania to the growing class of large inversion angle objects. Interestingly, these asteroids show spinel features in their IR spectra suggesting a mineralogical origin to the phase angle-dependent polarimetric features. As spinel is associated with calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions and carbonaceous chondrites, these large inversion angle asteroids may represent some of the oldest surfaces in the solar system. Circular as well as linear polarization measurements were obtained but circular polarization was not detected.

  9. The Nature of C Asteroid Regolith from Meteorite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M.; Mikouchi, T.; Hagiya, K.; Ohsumi, K.; Komatsu, M.; Jenniskens, P.; Le, L.; Yin, Q.-Z; Kebukawa, Y.; Fries, M.

    2013-01-01

    Regolith from C (and related) asteroid bodies are a focus of the current missions Dawn at Ceres, Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. An asteroid as large as Ceres is expected to be covered by a mature regolith, and as Hayabusa demonstrated, flat and therefore engineeringly-safe ponded deposits will probably be the sampling sites for both Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. Here we examine what we have learned about the mineralogy of fine-grained asteroid regolith from recent meteorite studies and the examination of the samples harvested from asteroid Itokawa by Hayabusa.

  10. Photometric geodesy of main-belt asteroids. III. Additional lightcurves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A total of 107 complete or partial lightcurves are presented for 59 different asteroids over the 1982-1989 period. Unusual lightcurves with unequal minima and maxima at large amplitudes are preferentially seen for M-type asteroids. Some asteroids, such as 16 Psyche and 201 Penelope, exhibit lightcurves combining large amplitude with very unequal brightness for both maxima and both minima, even at small phase angles. An M-type asteroid is believed to consist of a metal core of a differentiated parent body that has had its rocky mantle completely removed by one or more large impacts. 39 refs

  11. A fast ellipsoid model for asteroids inverted from lightcurves

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Ping Lu; Hai-Bin Zhao; Zhong You

    2013-01-01

    Research about asteroids has recently attracted more and more attention,especially focusing on their physical structures,such as their spin axis,rotation period and shape.The long distance between observers on Earth and asteroids makes it impossible to directly calculate the shape and other parameters of asteroids,with the exception of Near Earth Asteroids and others that have passed by some spacecrafts.Photometric measurements are still generally the main way to obtain research data on asteroids,i.e.the lightcurves recording the brightness and positions of asteroids.Supposing that the shape of the asteroid is a triaxial ellipsoid with a stable spin,a new method is presented in this article to reconstruct the shape models of asteroids from the lightcurves,together with other physical parameters.By applying a special curvature function,the method calculates the brightness integration on a unit sphere and Lebedev quadrature is employed for the discretization.Finally,the method searches for the optimal solution by the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to minimize the residual of the brightness.By adopting this method,not only can related physical parameters of asteroids be obtained at a reasonable accuracy,but also a simple shape model of an ellipsoid can be generated for reconstructing a more sophisticated shape model.

  12. A fast ellipsoid model for asteroids inverted from lightcurves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Research about asteroids has recently attracted more and more attention, especially focusing on their physical structures, such as their spin axis, rotation period and shape. The long distance between observers on Earth and asteroids makes it impossible to directly calculate the shape and other parameters of asteroids, with the exception of Near Earth Asteroids and others that have passed by some spacecrafts. Photometric measurements are still generally the main way to obtain research data on asteroids, i.e. the lightcurves recording the brightness and positions of asteroids. Supposing that the shape of the asteroid is a triaxial ellipsoid with a stable spin, a new method is presented in this article to reconstruct the shape models of asteroids from the lightcurves, together with other physical parameters. By applying a special curvature function, the method calculates the brightness integration on a unit sphere and Lebedev quadrature is employed for the discretization. Finally, the method searches for the optimal solution by the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to minimize the residual of the brightness. By adopting this method, not only can related physical parameters of asteroids be obtained at a reasonable accuracy, but also a simple shape model of an ellipsoid can be generated for reconstructing a more sophisticated shape model.

  13. Detecting Extrasolar Asteroid Belts Through Their Microlensing Signatures

    CERN Document Server

    Lake, Ethan; Dong, Subo

    2016-01-01

    We propose that extrasolar asteroid belts can be detected through their gravitational microlensing signatures. Asteroid belt + star lens systems create so-called "pseudo-caustics", regions in the source plane where the magnification exhibits a finite but discontinuous jump. These features allow such systems to generate distinctive microlensing light curves across a wide region of belt parameter space and possess remarkably large lensing cross-sections. Sample light curves for a range of asteroid belt parameters are presented. In the near future, space-based microlensing surveys (e.g., WFIRST) may be able to discover extrasolar asteroid belts with masses of the order of $0.1 M_{\\oplus}$.

  14. Photometric geodesy of main-belt asteroids. III - Additional lightcurves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidenschilling, S. J.; Chapman, C. R.; Davis, D. R.; Greenberg, R.; Levy, D. H.

    1990-01-01

    A total of 107 complete or partial lightcurves are presented for 59 different asteroids over the 1982-1989 period. Unusual lightcurves with unequal minima and maxima at large amplitudes are preferentially seen for M-type asteroids. Some asteroids, such as 16 Psyche and 201 Penelope, exhibit lightcurves combining large amplitude with very unequal brightness for both maxima and both minima, even at small phase angles. An M-type asteroid is believed to consist of a metal core of a differentiated parent body that has had its rocky mantle completely removed by one or more large impacts.

  15. Capturing asteroids into bound orbits around the earth: Massive early return on an asteroid terminal defense system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nuclear explosives may be used to capture small asteroids (e.g., 20--50 meters in diameter) into bound orbits around the earth. The captured objects could be used for construction material for manned and unmanned activity in Earth orbit. Asteroids with small approach velocities, which are the ones most likely to have close approaches to the Earth, require the least energy for capture. They are particularly easy to capture if they pass within one Earth radius of the surface of the Earth. They could be intercepted with intercontinental missiles if the latter were retrofit with a more flexible guiding and homing capability. This asteroid capture-defense system could be implemented in a few years at low cost by using decommissioned ICMs. The economic value of even one captured asteroid is many times the initial investment. The asteroid capture system would be an essential part of the learning curve for dealing with larger asteroids that can hit the earth

  16. Photometry of asteroids: Lightcurves of 24 asteroids obtained in 1993 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiorny, V. G.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Velichko, F. P.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.

    2007-05-01

    The results of 1993-2005 photometric observations for 24 main-belt asteroids: 24 Themis, 51 Nemausa, 89 Julia, 205 Martha, 225 Henrietta, 387 Aquitania, 423 Diotima, 505 Cava, 522 Helga, 543 Charlotte, 663 Gerlinde, 670 Ottegebe, 693 Zerbinetta, 694 Ekard, 713 Luscinia, 800 Kressmania, 1251 Hedera, 1369 Ostanina, 1427 Ruvuma, 1796 Riga, 2771 Polzunov, 4908 Ward, 6587 Brassens and 16541 1991 PW18 are presented. The rotation periods of nine of these asteroids have been determined for the first time and others have been improved.

  17. Deflection by kinetic impact: Sensitivity to asteroid properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruck Syal, Megan; Michael Owen, J.; Miller, Paul L.

    2016-05-01

    Impacting an asteroid with a spacecraft traveling at high speed delivers an impulsive change in velocity to the body. In certain circumstances, this strategy could be used to deflect a hazardous asteroid, moving its orbital path off of an Earth-impacting course. However, the efficacy of momentum delivery to asteroids by hypervelocity impact is sensitive to both the impact conditions (particularly velocity) and specific characteristics of the target asteroid. Here we numerically model asteroid response to kinetic impactors under a wide range of initial conditions, using an Adaptive Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code. Impact velocities spanning 1-30 km/s were investigated, yielding, for a particular set of assumptions about the modeled target material, a power-law dependence consistent with a velocity-scaling exponent of μ = 0.44. Target characteristics including equation of state, strength model, porosity, rotational state, and shape were varied, and corresponding changes in asteroid response were documented. The kinetic-impact momentum-multiplication factor, β, decreases with increasing asteroid cohesion and increasing porosity. Although increased porosity lowers β, larger porosities result in greater deflection velocities, as a consequence of reduced target masses for asteroids of fixed size. Porosity also lowers disruption risk for kinetic impacts near the threshold of disruption. Including fast (P = 2.5 h) and very fast (P = 100 s) rotation did not significantly alter β but did affect the risk of disruption by the impact event. Asteroid shape is found to influence the efficiency of momentum delivery, as local slope conditions can change the orientation of the crater ejecta momentum vector. These results emphasize the need for asteroid characterization studies to bracket the range of target conditions expected at near-Earth asteroids while also highlighting some of the principal uncertainties associated with the kinetic-impact deflection strategy.

  18. Seven Asteroids Studied from Modra Observatory in the Course of Binary Asteroid Photometric Campaign

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Galád, Adrián; Pravec, Petr; Kornoš, L.; Gajdoš, Š.; Világi, J.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 101, 1-2 (2007), s. 17-25. ISSN 0167-9295 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.558, year: 2007

  19. Electromagnetic spacecraft used for magnetic navigation within asteroid belt, mining concepts and asteroid magnetic classification

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kletetschka, Günther; Adachi, T.; Mikula, V.

    League City: Lunar and Planetary Institute, 2007 - (Mackwell, S.). Art. 1093-Art. 1093 [Lunar and Planetary Science /38./. 12.03.2007-16.03.2007, League City] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : magnetic navigation * mining concepts * asteroid classification Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  20. Photometry and models of selected main belt asteroids: IX. Introducing interactive service for asteroid models (ISAM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marciniak, A.; Bartczak, P.; Santana-Ros, T.; Michałowski, T.; Borczyk, W.; Fagas, M.; Hirsch, R.; Kamiński, K.; Kryszczyńska, A.; Kwiatkowski, T.; Polińska, M.; Sobkowiak, K.; Stasik, M.; Antonini, P.; Behrend, R.; Bembrick, C.; Bernasconi, L.; Colas, F.; Coloma, J.; Crippa, R.; Manzini, F.; Esseiva, N.; Santacana, G.; Wucher, H.; Fauvaud, M.; Fauvaud, S.; Ferreira, Desiree Della Monica; Hein Bertelsen, R.P.; Higgins, D.; Kajava, J.J.E.; Michałowski, J.; Michałowski, M.J.; Paschke, A.; Poncy, R.; Roy, R.; Starczewski, S.; Velichko, F.; Zafar, T.

    2012-01-01

    Context. The shapes and spin states of asteroids observed with photometric techniques can be reconstructed using the lightcurve inversion method. The resultant models can then be confirmed or exploited further by other techniques, such as adaptive optics, radar, thermal infrared, stellar occultat...

  1. Physical properties of asteroids in comet-like orbits in infrared asteroid survey catalogs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Yoonyoung; Ishiguro, Masateru [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Gwanak, Seoul 151-742 (Korea, Republic of); Usui, Fumihiko [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan)

    2014-07-10

    We investigated the population of asteroids in comet-like orbits using available asteroid size and albedo catalogs of data taken with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, AKARI, and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer on the basis of their orbital properties (i.e., the Tisserand parameter with respect to Jupiter, T{sub J}, and the aphelion distance, Q). We found that (1) there are 123 asteroids in comet-like orbits by our criteria (i.e., Q > 4.5 AU and T{sub J} < 3), (2) 80% of them have low albedo, p{sub v} < 0.1, consistent with comet nuclei, (3) the low-albedo objects among them have a size distribution shallower than that of active comet nuclei, that is, the power index of the cumulative size distribution is around 1.1, and (4) unexpectedly, a considerable number (i.e., 25 by our criteria) of asteroids in comet-like orbits have high albedo, p{sub v} > 0.1. We noticed that such high-albedo objects mostly consist of small (D < 3 km) bodies distributed in near-Earth space (with perihelion distance of q < 1.3 AU). We suggest that such high-albedo, small objects were susceptible to the Yarkovsky effect and drifted into comet-like orbits via chaotic resonances with planets.

  2. Asteroid collisional evolution - Evidence for a much larger early population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C. R.; Davis, D. R.

    1975-01-01

    The present population of asteroids is a remnant of a vastly larger one that contained perhaps a planetary mass, dominantly distributed in planetesimals approximately 500 kilometers or less in diameter. It constituted a large reservoir of objects that plausibly were responsible for cratering the moon, Mars, and Mercury. Much asteroidal dust may have accumulated on Mars and other planets.

  3. Investigating the Phyllosilicate Mineralogy of Low Albedo Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, C.; Gaffey, M. J.; Henderson, G.; Bergeron, M. A.

    2002-01-01

    Methodology and calibrations are being developed to identify specific clay mineral species in the CCD spectra of dark asteroids. This will constrain the geologic processes within their parent bodies and the production or alteration of organic molecules within such asteroids. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. Earth-approaching asteroids: Populations, origin, and compositional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Helin, E. F.

    1978-01-01

    Origin, physical properties, and discovery history of smaller asteroids are reviewed. They appear to link the main belt objects, namely the comets and meteorites. Physical observations suggest that a wide variety of compositional types are represented among the near-earth asteroids; the apparent rarity of carbonaceous objects is stated.

  5. Implications of NEAR results for asteroid structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A.

    The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft orbited the near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros from February, 2000 to February, 2001, finally landing on the asteroid and returning additional data from the surface. The NEAR Multispectral Imager, Laser Rangefinder, and Radio Science investigations obtained extensive observations pertinent to structure and morphology. These investigations revealed Eros to be a deeply fractured but largely intact body. The NEAR Infrared Spectrometer, X-ray Spectrometer and Gamma Ray Spectrometer also mapped surface compositions and did not find any evidence of compositional heterogeneity. Evidence from NEAR pertaining to the structure of Eros includes the following, reported by the NEAR team. Eros's average density of 2.67 gm/cc is less than the average bulk density of ordinary chondrites, indicating that bulk Eros is significantly porous and/or fractured. The interior of Eros is nearly uniform in density, as inferred from its gravity field, which is similar to that which would be expected from a uniform density object of the same shape. There is a small center of mass offset from the center of figure which may be consistent with an underdense regolith layer of up to 100 m depth. Surface morphology indicates a regolith up to tens of meters thick in places, inferred from the dearth of small craters (blocks and boulders in varying states of burial, and evidence for burial of small craters and for mass wasting. Craters on Eros are typically shallower than craters of the same diameter on the Moon. Tectonic features are found on Eros, as are structurally controlled craters. Aligned linear structures are common, and some of these are coherent on global scales. These results are compared to those reported by the NEAR team from asteroid 253 Mathilde. In both asteroids, giant craters are found in close proximity to one another. MathildeSs porosity is greater than that of Eros; MathildeSs average density is 1.3 gm/cc. This low density suggests a rubble pile structure

  6. Why we need asteroid sample return mission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, Maria Antonietta

    2016-07-01

    Small bodies retain evidence of the primordial solar nebula and the earliest solar system processes that shaped their evolution. They may also contain pre-solar material as well as complex organic molecules, which could have a major role to the development of life on Earth. For these reasons, asteroids and comets have been targets of interest for missions for over three decades. However, our knowledge of these bodies is still very limited, and each asteroid or comet visited by space mission has revealed unexpected scientific results, e.g. the structure and nature of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) visited by the Rosetta mission. Only in the laboratory can instruments with the necessary precision and sensitivity be applied to individual components of the complex mixture of materials that forms a small body regolith, to determine their precise chemical and isotopic composition. Such measurements are vital for revealing the evidence of stellar, interstellar medium, pre-solar nebula and parent body processes that are retained in primitive material, unaltered by atmospheric entry or terrestrial contamination. For those reasons, sample return missions are considered a high priority by a number of the leading space agencies. Abundant within the inner Solar System and the main impactors on terrestrial planets, small bodies may have been the principal contributors of the water and organic material essential to create life on Earth. Small bodies can therefore be considered to be equivalent to DNA for unravelling our solar system's history, offering us a unique window to investigate both the formation of planets and the origin of life. A sample return mission to a primitive Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) has been study at ESA from 2008 in the framework of ESA's Cosmic Vision (CV) programme, with the objective to answer to the fundamental CV questions "How does the Solar System work?" and "What are the conditions for life and planetary formations?". The returned material

  7. Landslides and Mass Shedding on Spinning Spheroidal Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Scheeres, D J

    2014-01-01

    Conditions for regolith landslides to occur on spinning, gravitating spheroidal asteroids and their aftermath are studied. These conditions are developed by application of classical granular mechanics stability analysis to the asteroid environment. As part of our study we determine how slopes evolve across the surface of these bodies as a function of spin rate, the dynamical fate of material that exceeds the angle of repose, and an analysis of how the shape of the body may be modified based on these results. We find specific characteristics for body surfaces and shapes when spun near the surface disruption limit and develop what their observable implications are. The small, oblate and rapidly spinning asteroids such as 1999 KW4 Alpha and 2008 EV5 exhibit some of these observable traits. The detailed mechanisms outlined here can also provide insight and constraints on the recently observed active asteroids such as P/2013 P5, and the creation of asteroidal meteor streams.

  8. The Strength of Regolith and Rubble Pile Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Sánchez, Paul

    2013-01-01

    We explore the hypothesis that, due to small van der Waals forces between regolith grains, the strength of small rubble pile asteroids is constant. This creates a scale dependence, with relative strength increasing as size decreases. This counters classical theory that rubble pile asteroids should behave as scale-independent cohesionless collections of rocks. We explore a simple model for asteroid strength that is based on these weak forces, validate it through granular mechanics simulations and comparisons with properties of lunar regolith, and then show its implications and ability to explain and predict observed properties of small asteroids in the NEA and Main Belt populations. A conclusion is that the population of rapidly rotating asteroids consists of both distributions of smaller grains (i.e., rubble piles) and of monolithic boulders whose surfaces may still retain a size distribution of finer grains, potentially of size up to centimeters.

  9. New active asteroid 313P/Gibbs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David; Hui, Man-To; Li, Jing [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Agarwal, Jessica [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Peixinho, Nuno [Unidad de Astronomía, Fac. de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avda. U. de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta (Chile); Weaver, Harold [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland, MD 20723 (United States); Mutchler, Max [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Larson, Stephen, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Blvd. Tucson AZ 85721-0092 (United States)

    2015-02-01

    We present initial observations of the newly discovered active asteroid 313P/Gibbs (formerly P/2014 S4), taken to characterize its nucleus and comet-like activity. The central object has a radius ∼0.5 km (geometric albedo 0.05 assumed). We find no evidence for secondary nuclei and set (with qualifications) an upper limit to the radii of such objects near 20 m, assuming the same albedo. Both aperture photometry and a morphological analysis of the ejected dust show that mass-loss is continuous at rates ∼0.2–0.4 kg s{sup −1}, inconsistent with an impact origin. Large dust particles, with radii ∼50–100 μm, dominate the optical appearance. At 2.4 AU from the Sun, the surface equilibrium temperatures are too low for thermal or desiccation stresses to be responsible for the ejection of dust. No gas is spectroscopically detected (limiting the gas mass-loss rate to <1.8 kg s{sup −1}). However, the protracted emission of dust seen in our data and the detection of another episode of dust release near perihelion, in archival observations from 2003, are highly suggestive of an origin by the sublimation of ice. Coincidentally, the orbit of 313P/Gibbs is similar to those of several active asteroids independently suspected to be ice sublimators, including P/2012 T1, 238P/Read, and 133P/Elst–Pizarro, suggesting that ice is abundant in the outer asteroid belt.

  10. Super-Comet or Big Asteroid Belt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Spectrograph of HD 69830 This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope demonstrates that the dust around a nearby star called HD 69830 (upper line) has a very similar composition to that of Comet Hale-Bopp. Spitzer spotted large amounts of this dust in the inner portion of the HD 69830 system. The bumps and dips seen in these data, or spectra, represent the 'fingerprints' of various minerals. Spectra are created when an instrument called a spectrograph spreads light out into its basic parts, like a prism turning sunlight into a rainbow. These particular spectra reveal the presence of the silicate mineral called olivine, and more specifically, a type of olivine called forsterite, which is pictured in the inset box. Forsterite is a bright-green gem found on Earth, on the 'Green Sand Beach' of Hawaii among other places; and in space, in comets and asteroids. Because the dust around HD 69830 has a very similar make-up to that of Comet Hale-Bopp, astronomers speculate that it might be coming from a giant comet nearly the size of Pluto. Such a comet may have been knocked into the inner solar system of HD 69830, where it is now leaving in its wake a trail of evaporated dust. Nonetheless, astronomers say the odds that Spitzer has caught a 'super-comet' spiraling in toward its star - an unusual and relatively short-lived event - are slim. Instead, they favor the theory that the observed dust is actually the result of asteroids banging together in a massive asteroid belt. The data of HD 69830's dust were taken by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph. The data of Comet Hale-Bopp were taken by the European Space Agency's Infrared Observatory Satellite. The picture of forsterite comes courtesy of Dr. George Rossman, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

  11. Impulsive orbit control for spacecraft around asteroid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔祜涛; 崔平远; 栾恩杰

    2003-01-01

    An impulse feedback control law to change the mean orbit elements of spacecraft around asteroid is presented. First, the mean orbit elements are transferred to the osculating orbit elements at the burning time.Then, the feedback control law based on Gauss' s perturbation equations of motion is given. And the impulse control for targeting from the higher circulation orbit to the specified periapsis is developed. Finally, the numerical simulation is performed and the simulation results show that the presented impulse control law is effective.

  12. Spin rate distribution of small asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Warner, B. D.; Kušnirák, Peter; Hornoch, Kamil; Pray, D. P.; Higgins, D.; Oey, J.; Galád, Adrián; Gajdoš, Š.; Kornoš, L.; Világi, J.; Husárik, M.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Chiorny, V. G.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Cooney jr., W. R.; Gross, J.; Terrell, D.; Stephens, R.; Dyvig, R.; Reddy, V.; Ries, J.G.; Colas, F.; Lecacheux, J.; Durkee, R.; Masi, G.; Koff, R.; Goncalves, R.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 197, č. 2 (2008), s. 497-504. ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Grant ostatní: NASA (US) NAG5-13244; NASA (US) NNG06GI32G; VEGA(SK) 1/3074/06; VEGA(SK) 1/3067/06; VEGA(SK) 2/7009/27 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids rotation * photometry * near-Earth objects Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.268, year: 2008

  13. Space Weathering Trends Among Carbonaceous Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Kaluna, Heather M; Meech, Karen J

    2015-01-01

    We present visible spectroscopic and albedo data of the 2.3 Gyr old Themis family and the 15 km) and small (< 15 km) Themis members suggest these phyllosilicate feature and albedo trends result from regolith variations as a function of diameter. Observations of the Beagle asteroids show a small, but notable fraction of members with phyllosilicate features. The presence of phyllosilicates and the dynamical association of the main-belt comet 133P/Elst-Pizarro with the Beagle family imply the Beagle parent body was a heterogenous mixture of ice and aqueously altered minerals.

  14. An optimal Mars Trojan asteroid search strategy

    OpenAIRE

    Todd, M; Tanga, P.; Coward, D. M.; Zadnik, M. G.

    2012-01-01

    Trojan asteroids are minor planets that share the orbit of a planet about the Sun and librate around the L4 or L5 Lagrangian points of stability. Although only three Mars Trojans have been discovered, models suggest that at least ten times this number should exist with diameters >= 1 km. We derive a model that constrains optimal sky search areas and present a strategy for the most efficient use of telescope survey time that maximizes the probability of detecting Mars Trojans. We show that the...

  15. Super-catastrophic disruption of asteroids at small perihelion distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granvik, Mikael; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Jedicke, Robert; Bolin, Bryce; Bottke, William F.; Beshore, Edward; Vokrouhlický, David; Delbò, Marco; Michel, Patrick

    2016-02-01

    Most near-Earth objects came from the asteroid belt and drifted via non-gravitational thermal forces into resonant escape routes that, in turn, pushed them onto planet-crossing orbits. Models predict that numerous asteroids should be found on orbits that closely approach the Sun, but few have been seen. In addition, even though the near-Earth-object population in general is an even mix of low-albedo (less than ten per cent of incident radiation is reflected) and high-albedo (more than ten per cent of incident radiation is reflected) asteroids, the characterized asteroids near the Sun typically have high albedos. Here we report a quantitative comparison of actual asteroid detections and a near-Earth-object model (which accounts for observational selection effects). We conclude that the deficit of low-albedo objects near the Sun arises from the super-catastrophic breakup (that is, almost complete disintegration) of a substantial fraction of asteroids when they achieve perihelion distances of a few tens of solar radii. The distance at which destruction occurs is greater for smaller asteroids, and their temperatures during perihelion passages are too low for evaporation to explain their disappearance. Although both bright and dark (high- and low-albedo) asteroids eventually break up, we find that low-albedo asteroids are more likely to be destroyed farther from the Sun, which explains the apparent excess of high-albedo near-Earth objects and suggests that low-albedo asteroids break up more easily as a result of thermal effects.

  16. Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Isaac Aznar Observatory Aras De Los Olmos, Valencia, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias, Amadeo Aznar

    2015-01-01

    The Isaac Aznar Observatory conducts astrometric and photometric studies of asteroids. This paper contains the photometric results of four asteroids obtained from 2014 April to August. These asteroids were selected from the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (CALL) web site: 1088 Mitaka, 2956 Yeomans, 3894 Williamcooke, and (4555) 1974QL.

  17. Can Asteroid Airbursts Cause Dangerous Tsunami?.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boslough, Mark B. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2015-10-01

    I have performed a series of high-resolution hydrocode simulations to generate “source functions” for tsunami simulations as part of a proof-of-principle effort to determine whether or not the downward momentum from an asteroid airburst can couple energy into a dangerous tsunami in deep water. My new CTH simulations show enhanced momentum multiplication relative to a nuclear explosion of the same yield. Extensive sensitivity and convergence analyses demonstrate that results are robust and repeatable for simulations with sufficiently high resolution using adaptive mesh refinement. I have provided surface overpressure and wind velocity fields to tsunami modelers to use as time-dependent boundary conditions and to test the hypothesis that this mechanism can enhance the strength of the resulting shallow-water wave. The enhanced momentum result suggests that coupling from an over-water plume-forming airburst could be a more efficient tsunami source mechanism than a collapsing impact cavity or direct air blast alone, but not necessarily due to the originally-proposed mechanism. This result has significant implications for asteroid impact risk assessment and airburst-generated tsunami will be the focus of a NASA-sponsored workshop at the Ames Research Center next summer, with follow-on funding expected.

  18. Modeling Asteroid Spin-up with Cohesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Richardson, D. C.; Michel, P.

    2008-09-01

    Recent work has shown that the gradual spin-up of cohesionless gravitational aggregates produces a wide range of outcomes depending on the specific configuration of the body, such as particle size distribution. One important outcome is the creation of binary asteroids, which requires bodies that can maintain spherical/oblate shapes as the body is spun to rapid rotation (Walsh et al., 2008, Nature, 454, 188-191). Our recent work includes a similar model which also models cohesion within the gravitational aggregate by way of a spring-like restoring force between neighboring particles that vanishes under high strain. We will present early results of gradual spin-up tests on gravitational aggregates covering a large range of starting conditions including the initial body shape and size, as well as varying configurations for the cohesion properties. These results will be compared to previous spin-up work as well as analytical theory. KJW and PM had the support of the French Programme National de Planétologie and the ACT Team of ESA and Ariadna Study 07/4111"Asteroid Rotational Fragmentation". KJW is also supported by the Henri Poincaré fellowship at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Nice, France, and Rotary International -- District 1730. DCR acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant AST0708110 and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX08AM39G.

  19. The Orbit of Asteroid 1994 PC1

    CERN Document Server

    Balkoski, Sophia Jane; Wang, Milly KeQi

    2011-01-01

    Near-Earth Asteroids can be hazardous to the Earth, due to their orbital characteristics and proximity to inner Solar System planets. Using three sets of CCD images collected in June and July 2011, the orbital elements of asteroid 1994 PC1 were determined at solar opposition. The body's specific right ascension and declination were calculated through least squares plate reduction (taking parallax into account) and compared to those of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These data were then used to find 1994 PC1's orbital elements, as well as any statistical uncertainty. This research points to an eccentricity of 0.3272 (+0.00009 or -0.0005), a semi major axis of 1.3401 AU (+0.0001 AU or -0.0004 AU), an inclination angle of 33.30^{\\circ} (+0.05^{\\circ} or -0.01^{\\circ}), a longitude of the ascending node of 118.01^{\\circ} (+0.09^{\\circ} or -0.02^{\\circ}), an argument of perihelion of 47.14^{\\circ} (+0.005^{\\circ} or -0.08^{\\circ}), and a time of last perihelion of JD 2455642.88 (+0.007 or -0.03).

  20. The Albedo Distribution of Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Edward L.

    2016-01-01

    The cryogenic WISE mission in 2010 was extremely sensitive to asteroids and not biased against detecting dark objects. Mainzer et al (2011, ApJ, 743, 156) fit the distribution of albedos of the 428 NEAs observed by WISE with a double Gaussian function with 5 parameters.This note describes a 3 parameter function that fits as well as the double Gaussian: a sum of two Rayleigh distributions. The Rayleigh distribution is zero for negative values, and follows f(x) = x exp[-x2/(2σ2)]/σ2 for positive x. The peak value is at x=σ, so the position and width are tied together. The three parameters are the fraction of the objects in the dark population, the position of the dark peak, and the position of the normal peak. 25.1% of the NEAs observed by WISE are in a very dark population peaking at pV = 0.03, while the other 74.9% of the NEAs seen by WISE are in a moderately dark population peaking at pV = 0.167.A consequence of this bimodal distribution is that the Congressional mandate to find 90% of all NEOs larger than 140 m diameter cannot be satisfied by surveying to H=22 mag, since a 140 m diameter asteroid at the very dark peak has H=23.7 mag, and more than 10% of NEAs are darker than pV = 0.03.

  1. Asteroid Regolith Simulants: Development, Characteristics, and Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, D. T.

    2015-12-01

    As part of a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to the University of Central Florida and Deep Space Industries, we are developing a family of asteroid regolith simulants based on meteorite mineralogies but using terrestrial materials, to support NASAs exploration goals for asteroids. We are planning on developing five types of simulant based on the following meteorite types: CI-carbonaceous chondrite, CM-carbonaceous chondrite, Tagish Lake, L-ordinary chondrite, and iron. To the greatest extent reasonable (based on input costs and health/safety) we will duplicate the mineralogy, chemistry, oxidation state, hydration state, and particle size distribution found in regolith meteorites of each type. The major limitations on the fidelity of simulant will be health and safety issues for the users of the simulants. For example, much of the organic component of volatile-rich carbonaceous chondrites are in the form of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are essentially combustion residues, possibly of complex regolith processing, with more carbon atoms than hydrogen. However, many PAHs are toxic, carcinogenic, and/or mutagenic. Several are banned in the European Union and California. This sort of material would endanger users, be impossible to distribute, and not make a useable regolith simulant. There are several reasonable, no-toxic alternatives to PAHs. We will report on the status of simulant development and the progress of our validation experiments.

  2. Galileo photometry of asteroid 243 Ida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.; Thomas, P.C.; Simonelli, D.P.; Klaasen, K.; Johnson, T.V.; Fanale, F.; Granahan, J.; McEwen, A.S.; Belton, M.; Chapman, C.

    1996-01-01

    Galileo imaging observations over phase angles 19.5?? to 109.8?? are combined with near-opposition Earth-based data to derive the photometric properties of Ida. To first order these properties are uniform over the surface and well modeled at ?? = 0.55 ??m by Hapke parameters ????0 = 0.22, h = 0.020, B0 = 1.5, g = -0.33, and ?? = 18?? with corresponding geometric albedo p = 0.21??0.030.01 and Bond albedo AB = 0.081??0.0170.008. Ida's photometric properties are more similar to those of "average S-asteroids" (P. Helfenstein and J. Veverka 1989, Asteroids II, Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson) than are those of 951 Gaspra. Two primary color units are identified on Ida: Terrain A exhibits a spectrum with relatively shallower 1-??m absorption and a relatively steeper red spectral slope than average Ida, while Terrain B has a deeper 1-??m absorption and a less steep red slope. The average photometric properties of Ida and Terrain A are similar while those of Terrain B differ mostly in having a slightly higher value of ????0 (0.22 versus 0.21), suggesting that Terrain B consists of slightly brighter, more transparent regolith particles. Galileo observations of Ida's satellite Dactyl over phase angles 19.5?? to 47.6?? suggest photometric characteristics similar to those of Ida, the major difference being Dactyl's slightly lower albedo (0.20 compared to 0.21). ?? 1990 Academic Press, Inc.

  3. The Albedo Distribution of Near Earth Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Wright, Edward L; Masiero, Joseph; Grav, Tommy; Bauer, James

    2016-01-01

    The cryogenic WISE mission in 2010 was extremely sensitive to asteroids and not biased against detecting dark objects. The albedos of 428 Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) observed by WISE during its fully cryogenic mission can be fit quite well by a 3 parameter function that is the sum of two Rayleigh distributions. The Rayleigh distribution is zero for negative values, and follows $f(x) = x \\exp[-x^2/(2\\sigma^2)]/\\sigma^2$ for positive x. The peak value is at x=\\sigma, so the position and width are tied together. The three parameters are the fraction of the objects in the dark population, the position of the dark peak, and the position of the brighter peak. We find that 25.3% of the NEAs observed by WISE are in a very dark population peaking at $p_V = 0.03$, while the other 74.7% of the NEAs seen by WISE are in a moderately dark population peaking at $p_V = 0.168$. A consequence of this bimodal distribution is that the Congressional mandate to find 90% of all NEAs larger than 140 m diameter cannot be satisfied by...

  4. Asteroidal companions in the visible: HST data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrs, Alex; Vilas, Faith; Landis, Rob; Gaffey, Michael J.; Makhoul, Khaldoun; Davis, MIke; Richmond, Mike

    2016-01-01

    We present a reanalysis of HST images of five asteroids with known companions (45 Eugenia, 87 Sylvia, 93 Minerva, 107 Camilla, 121 Hermione). It is remarkable that all of these companion bodies are much redder in the visible region than their primary bodies. Storrs et al. (2009, BAAS vol. 41, no. 4, p 189) attributed this to space weathering, however, all of these bodies belong to dark C- or X-type groups. Current modeling of space weathering effects are limited to bright asteroids (e.g. Cloutis et al., Icarus 252, pp. 39-82, 2015) and show little change on the scale reported here. We suggest that the interaction of dark, possibly organic-rich surfaces with the solar wind produces reddening on a much greater scale than is observed in bright, silica-rich surfaces, and that this effect is easily reset by collisions. Thus, while both the parent and companion object accumulate the effects, the parent is much more likely to be "reset" by small collisions than the companion, due to the differences in their cross-sections.

  5. Spectral Similarity of Unbound Asteroid Pairs

    CERN Document Server

    Wolters, Stephen D; Christou, Apostolis; Duddy, Samuel R; Lowry, Stephen C

    2014-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy between 0.8 and 2.5 microns has been obtained for both components of three unbound asteroid pairs, using the NASA-IRTF with the SpeX instrument. Pair primary (2110) Moore-Sitterly is classified as an S-type following the Bus-DeMeo taxonomy; the classification for secondary (44612) 1999 RP27 is ambiguous: S/Sq/Q/K/L-type. Primary (10484) Hecht and secondary (44645) 1999 RC118 are classified as V-types. IR spectra for Moore-Sitterly and Hecht are each linked with available visual photometry. The classifications for primary (88604) 2001 QH293 and (60546) 2000 EE85 are ambiguous: S/Sq/Q/K/L-type. Subtle spectral differences between them suggest the primary may have more weathered material on its surface. Dynamical integrations have constrained the ages of formation: 2110-44612 > 782 kyr; 10484-44645 = 348 (+823,-225) kyr; 88604-60546 = 925 (+842,-754) kyr. The spectral similarity of seven complete pairs is ranked in comparison with nearby background asteroids. Two pairs, 17198-229056 and 192...

  6. Size distributions of member asteroids in seven Hirayama families

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The size distributions of asteroids in the seven Hirayama families are studied for newly assigned member asteroids in the diameter range of about 10 to 100 km. The size distributions for the different families are expressed by the power-law functions with distinctly different power-law indices. The power-law indices for families with small mean orbital inclinations are about 2.5 to 3.0. On the other hand, the power-law indices for families with large mean orbital inclinations are significantly smaller than 2.5. This indicates that the smaller asteroids were removed preferentially from these families after their formation. It is thought that the smaller asteroids left behind the families were dispersed into the main belt. It is consistent with the fact that the power-law index for the size distribution of asteroids with diameters smaller than 25 km in the main belt is larger than the power-law indices for the size distributions of asteroids in the families. This segregation due to the asteroid size can be caused by a drag force caused by the ambient matter deposited on the invariable place of the solar system during the early evolutionary stage. (author)

  7. On the dynamical dispersal of primordial asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivo de Oliveira Brasil, Pedro; Roig, Fernando; Nesvorný, David; Carruba, Valerio; Aljbaae, Safwan; Espinoza Hauman, Mariela

    2015-11-01

    Many asteroid families are identified and well characterized all over the main belt asteroid. Interestingly, however, none of them are older than ~4 Gyr. Many mechanisms have been proposed to disperse such old primordial asteroid families that presumably have existed, but none have really worked. Here we present a plausible mechanism for dispersing primordial asteroid families that is based on the 5-planet instability model known as jumping Jupiter. Using two different evolutions for the jumping-Jupiter model, we have numerically integrated orbits of eight primordial families. Our results show that the most important effect on the asteroid families' eccentricity and inclination dispersal is that of the secular resonances, in some cases associated with the mean motion resonances. As for the semimajoraxes spreading we find that the principal effect is that of close encounters with the fifth giant planet whose orbit briefly overlaps with (part of) the main belt. Therefore, the existence of a fifth giant planet with the mass comparable with that of Uranus' or Neptune's could contribute in important ways to dispersal of the primordial asteroid families. To have that effect, the interloper planet should penetrate and considerably interact with the asteroids during the instability phase.

  8. JOVIAN EARLY BOMBARDMENT: PLANETESIMAL EROSION IN THE INNER ASTEROID BELT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turrini, D.; Coradini, A.; Magni, G., E-mail: diego.turrini@ifsi-roma.inaf.it [Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF-IAPS, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133, Rome (Italy)

    2012-05-01

    The asteroid belt is an open window on the history of the solar system, as it preserves records of both its formation process and its secular evolution. The progenitors of the present-day asteroids formed in the Solar Nebula almost contemporary to the giant planets. The actual process producing the first generation of asteroids is uncertain, strongly depending on the physical characteristics of the Solar Nebula, and the different scenarios produce very diverse initial size-frequency distributions (SFDs). In this work, we investigate the implications of the formation of Jupiter, plausibly the first giant planet to form, on the evolution of the primordial asteroid belt. The formation of Jupiter triggered a short but intense period of primordial bombardment, previously unaccounted for, which caused an early phase of enhanced collisional evolution in the asteroid belt. Our results indicate that this Jovian Early Bombardment caused the erosion or the disruption of bodies smaller than a threshold size, which strongly depends on the SFD of the primordial planetesimals. If the asteroid belt was dominated by planetesimals less than 100 km in diameter, the primordial bombardment would have caused the erosion of bodies smaller than 200 km in diameter. If the asteroid belt was instead dominated by larger planetesimals, the bombardment would have resulted in the destruction of bodies as big as 500 km.

  9. Mission Designs for Demonstrating Gravity Tractor Asteroid Deflection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, M.; Faber, N.; Eggl, S.; Morrison, D.; Clark, A.; Frost, C.; Jaroux, B. A.; Khetawat, V.

    2015-12-01

    Gravity tractor asteroid deflection relies on the gravitational attraction between the target and a nearby spacecraft; using low-thrust propulsion to change the target's trajectory slowly but continuously. Our team, based at the NASA Ames Mission Design Center, prepared designs for a Gravity Tractor Demonstration Mission (GTDM) for the European Commission's NEOShield initiative. We found five asteroids with well-known orbits and opportunities for efficient stand-alone demonstrations in the 2020s. We selected one object, 2000 FJ10, for a detailed design analysis. Our GTDM design has a 4 kW solar-electric propulsion system and launch mass of 1150 kg. For a nominal asteroid mass of 3 x 109 kg and diameter 150 m, and a hovering altitude 125 m above the asteroid's surface, GTDM would change FJ10's semi-major axis by 10 km over 2 years. To measure the deflection clearly and to permit safe hovering by the spacecraft, several months of survey and characterization are required prior to the active tractoring phase of the mission. Accurate tracking is also required after the tractoring phase, to ensure that the asteroid has indeed been deflected as intended. The GTDM design includes both spacecraft and Earth-based observations of FJ10 to verify the deflection. The estimated cost of GTDM is $280 million. Trajectory analysis for GTDM confirmed that the outcome of a deflection of any asteroid depends on when that deflection is performed. Compared to kinetic impactor deflection, the gradual deflection from a gravity tractor produces comparable results for a given total momentum transfer. However, a gravity tractor can have greater flexibility in the direction in which the target asteroid can be deflected. Asteroid deflection scenarios must be modeled carefully on a case-to-case basis. We will review implications of the results of the GTDM study to other proposed gravity tractor demonstrations, such as that included in NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission.

  10. Cyclical Regolith Processes on Hydrous Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M. E.

    1995-09-01

    Carbonaceous chondrites experienced and recorded a very wide range of chemical and physical processing in both nebular and asteroidal settings. Among the features arising from asteroidal processes are the following: (1) most of these meteorites are breccias; (2) some CV3s and CMs contain flattened chondrules and exhibit foliation; (3) veins are found in some CIs, CMs, CV3 dark inclusions; (4) CR2s, all CIs, some CR2s and CMs display weak alignment of matrix phyllosilicates, and (5) shearing (mylonitization) around lithic fragments. While these features have generally been assumed to have involved impact deformation in asteroidal regoliths, a process sometimes referred to as regolith or impact gardening, we suggest here that all of these particular features would have arisen naturally from cycles of wet-dry and freeze-thaw environmental conditions in asteroid regoliths. All of the extensively (Y82042, ALH 83100, Cold Bokkeveld, Y891198, EET 90047) and completely (ALH 88045, EET 83334, Kaidun CM1 lithology) altered CMs contain rounded to elliptical aggregates of phyllosilicates, carbonates, spinels (chromite and magnetite), Fe-Ni sulfides, and embayed olivines and pyroxenes, which we interpret as relict chondrules [1]; these sometimes define a definite foliation direction generally ascribed to impact shock [2&3]. We examined all available relict olivines from CMs showing the most pronounced chondrule flattening and foliation, and found only a few planar fractures in a single olivine grain in one sample (EET 90047), and no sign of shock effects in the others. We therefore suggest that static burial pressure was agent responsible for chondrule flattening in this case, and believe that the processes involved in burial compaction deserve more attention than they have hitherto received in the asteroid literature. It is probable that even in the wettest regions of an asteroid dry periods were experienced during the periodic breaching of an icy surficial rind [4], which

  11. Sample return from asteroids --- Hayabusa2 and the next

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshikawa, M.; Kuninaka, H.; Inaba, N.; Tsuda, Y.; Watanabe, S.; Mori, O.; Yano, H.; Nakamura, R.; Kawaguchi, J.

    2014-07-01

    In 2006, a few years before the Earth return of Hayabusa, which is the first asteroid sample-return mission in the world, we started to consider the next asteroid sample-return mission, Hayabusa2. Hayabusa was a mission for engineering, but Hayabusa2 focuses also on the science. The scientific purpose of Hayabusa2 is to learn about the origin and evolution of the solar system, especially, the origin of water and organic matters. It is considered that C-type asteroids contain more organic matters and hydrated minerals than S-type asteroids like Itokawa. Therefore, the C-type asteroid (162173) 1999 JU_3 was selected as the target. From the technological point of view, the purpose of Hayabusa2 is to make a more reliable and robust system for sample-return exploration. The scale of the spacecraft is similar to Hayabusa, but many parts are modified so that we will not have to face the trouble that we experienced in Hayabusa. We will try new things, too. One of them is the impactor, which creates a small crater on the surface of the asteroid. Then, we can sample the sub-surface material as shown in the figure. We are now preparing the spacecraft for launch at the end of 2014. Hayabusa2 will arrive at the asteroid in June 2018. It will stay there for about one and half years. Then, it will leave the asteroid in December 2019, and will come back to the Earth in December 2020 [1]. We have already started to consider the next sample-return mission after Hayabusa2. In this future mission, the target asteroid is a Jupiter Trojan, which is a more primitive asteroid (D/P-type asteroid) than the S-type Itokawa and C-type 1999 JU_3. We use the solar-power-sail technique, which was demonstrated successfully by IKAROS. IKAROS means Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun, and it was the first interplanetary solar sail in the world. The science purpose of this Jupiter Trojan mission is to study the various kinds of issues related to the planetary formation, such

  12. Dust productivity and impact collision of the asteroid (596) Scheila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neslusan, L.; Ivanova, O.; Husarik, M.; Svoren, J.; Krisandova, Z. Seman

    2016-06-01

    Photometric observations of asteroid (596) Scheila were obtained during and after its 2010 outburst. The estimated radius of the body (spherical approximation of the asteroidal body) was 51.2±3.0 km and 50.6±3.0 km for different methods. The ejected dust mass from the asteroid ranged from 2.5 ×107 to 3.4 ×107 kg for different methods. An impact mechanism for triggering Scheila's activity is discussed. A few days before the impact, Scheila passed through the corridors of two potential cometary streams.

  13. Photometry and shape modeling of Mars crosser asteroid (1011 Laodamia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apostolovska G.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available An analysis of photometric observations of Mars crosser asteroid 1011 Laodamia conducted at Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen over a twelve year interval (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013 is made. Based on the obtained lightcurves the spin vector, sense of rotation, and preliminary shape model of (1011 Laodamia have been determined using the lightcurve inversion method. The aim of this investigation is to increase the set of asteroids with known spin and shape parameters and to contribute in improving the model in combination with other techniques and sparse data produced by photometric asteroid surveys such as Pan-STARRS or GAIA.

  14. Overview of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chodas, Paul W.; Muirhead, Brian; Gates, Michele

    2015-08-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is a proposed mission to develop an advanced Solar Electric Propulsion spacecraft, and test it by capturing a large mass of asteroidal material in interplanetary space and returning it to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit where it can be explored by a crew of astronauts visiting in an Orion spacecraft. This paper provides a summary of the ARM concept development, including the mission architecture, flight system concepts, the advanced solar electric propulsion system, and the asteroid capture system concepts. Extensibility to future human exploration of the Solar System will also be discussed.

  15. Asteroid Shape Models Refined By Stellar Occultation Silhouettes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, J.; Kaasalainen, M.

    2004-12-01

    We present shape models of asteroids 2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 39 Laetitia, 41 Daphne, 52 Europa, 85 Io, 129 Antigone, and 208 Lacrimosa derived from their lightcurves and stellar occultation silhouettes. Lightcurve inversion shape models and rotation states of those asteroids were already published. The occultation silhouettes give direct information about the size and shape of asteroid's projected cross-section. We process the lightcurve and occultation data simultaneously and derive more detailed shape models, remove possible ambiguities in the pole directions, and calibrate the models to absolute dimensions.

  16. Polarization of asteroid (387) Aquitania: the newest member of a class of large inversion angle asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Masiero, Joseph; Cellino, Alberto

    2008-01-01

    We present new imaging polarimetric observations of two Main Belt asteroids, (234) Barbara and (387) Aquitania, taken in the first half of 2008 using the Dual-Beam Imaging Polarimeter on the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope, located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Barbara had been previously shown to exhibit a very unusual polarization-phase curve by Cellino, et al. (2006). Our observations confirm this result and add Aquitania to the growing class of large inversion angle objects. Interestingl...

  17. New study reveals twice as many asteroids as previously believed

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-05-01

    The ISO satellite Credits: ESA ISO An artist's impression of the ISO spacecraft. The ISO Deep Asteroid Search indicates that there are between 1.1 million and 1.9 million 'space rocks' larger than 1 kilometre in diameter in the so-called 'main asteroid belt', about twice as many as previously believed. However, astronomers think it is premature to revise current assessments of the risk of the Earth being hit by an asteroid. Despite being in our own Solar System, asteroids can be more difficult to study than very distant galaxies. With sizes of up to one thousand kilometres in diameter, the brightness of these rocky objects may vary considerably in just a few minutes. They move very quickly with respect to the stars - they have been dubbed 'vermin of the sky' because they often appear as trails on long exposure images. This elusiveness explains why their actual number and size distribution remains uncertain. Most of the almost 40,000 asteroids catalogued so far (1) orbit the Sun forming the 'main asteroid belt', between Mars and Jupiter, too far to pose any threat to Earth. However, space-watchers do keep a closer eye on another category of asteroids, the 'Near Earth Asteroids' or 'NEAs', which are those whose orbits cross, or are likely to cross, that of our planet. The ISO Deep Asteroid Search (IDAS), the first systematic search for these objects performed in infrared light, focused on main belt asteroids. Because it is impossible to simply point the telescope at the whole main belt and count, astronomers choose selected regions of the belt and then use a theoretical model to extrapolate the data to the whole belt. Edward Tedesco (TerraSystems, Inc., New Hampshire, United States) and François-Xavier Desert (Observatoire de Grenoble, France) observed their main belt selected areas in 1996 and 1997 with ESA's ISO. They found that in the middle region of the belt the density of asteroids was 160 asteroids larger than 1 kilometre per square degree - an area of the

  18. Spin-Spin Coupling in Asteroidal Binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batygin, Konstantin; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2015-11-01

    Gravitationally bound binaries constitute a substantial fraction of the small body population of the solar system, and characterization of their rotational states is instrumental to understanding their formation and dynamical evolution. Unlike planets, numerous small bodies can maintain a perpetual aspheroidal shape, giving rise to a richer array of non-trivial gravitational dynamics. In this work, we explore the rotational evolution of triaxial satellites that orbit permanently deformed central objects, with specific emphasis on quadrupole-quadrupole interactions. Our analysis shows that in addition to conventional spin-orbit resonances, both prograde and retrograde spin-spin resonances naturally arise for closely orbiting, highly deformed bodies. Application of our results to the illustrative examples of (87) Sylvia and (216) Kleopatra multi-asteroid systems implies capture probabilities slightly below ~10% for leading-order spin-spin resonances. Cumulatively, our results suggest that spin-spin coupling may be consequential for highly elongated, tightly orbiting binary objects.

  19. Detecting stars, galaxies, and asteroids with Gaia

    CERN Document Server

    de Bruijne, J H J; Azaz, S; Krone-Martins, A; Prod'homme, T; Hestroffer, D

    2015-01-01

    (Abridged) Gaia aims to make a 3-dimensional map of 1,000 million stars in our Milky Way to unravel its kinematical, dynamical, and chemical structure and evolution. Gaia's on-board detection software discriminates stars from spurious objects like cosmic rays and Solar protons. For this, parametrised point-spread-function-shape criteria are used. This study aims to provide an optimum set of parameters for these filters. We developed an emulation of the on-board detection software, which has 20 free, so-called rejection parameters which govern the boundaries between stars on the one hand and sharp or extended events on the other hand. We evaluate the detection and rejection performance of the algorithm using catalogues of simulated single stars, double stars, cosmic rays, Solar protons, unresolved galaxies, and asteroids. We optimised the rejection parameters, improving - with respect to the functional baseline - the detection performance of single and double stars, while, at the same time, improving the rejec...

  20. Physical properties of asteroid 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, B.

    1976-01-01

    Newly available photometric, polarimetric, spectroscopic, thermal-radiometric, radar, and occultation results are synthesized in order to derive a coherent model for Eros. The geometric albedo is 0.19 plus or minus 0.01 at the visual wavelength, and the overall dimensions are approximately 13 by 15 by 36 km. The rotation is about the short axis, in the direct sense, with a sidereal period of 5 hr 16 min 13.4 sec. The pole of rotation lies within a few degrees of ecliptic coordinates 16 deg longitude and beta = +11 deg latitude. Eros is uniformly coated with a particulate surface layer several millimeters thick. It has an iron-bearing silicate composition, similar to that of a minority of main-belt asteroids, and probably identifiable with H-type ordinary chondrites.

  1. Asteroid orbital error analysis: Theory and application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, K.; Bowell, Edward

    1992-01-01

    We present a rigorous Bayesian theory for asteroid orbital error estimation in which the probability density of the orbital elements is derived from the noise statistics of the observations. For Gaussian noise in a linearized approximation the probability density is also Gaussian, and the errors of the orbital elements at a given epoch are fully described by the covariance matrix. The law of error propagation can then be applied to calculate past and future positional uncertainty ellipsoids (Cappellari et al. 1976, Yeomans et al. 1987, Whipple et al. 1991). To our knowledge, this is the first time a Bayesian approach has been formulated for orbital element estimation. In contrast to the classical Fisherian school of statistics, the Bayesian school allows a priori information to be formally present in the final estimation. However, Bayesian estimation does give the same results as Fisherian estimation when no priori information is assumed (Lehtinen 1988, and reference therein).

  2. Grasping the Nature of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perna, D.; Dotto, E.; Ieva, S.; Barucci, M. A.; Bernardi, F.; Fornasier, S.; De Luise, F.; Perozzi, E.; Rossi, A.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Micheli, M.; Deshapriya, J. D. P.

    2016-01-01

    Through their delivery of water and organics, near-Earth objects (NEOs) played an important role in the emergence of life on our planet. However, they also pose a hazard to the Earth, as asteroid impacts could significantly affect our civilization. Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) are those that, in principle, could possibly impact the Earth within the next century, producing major damage. About 1600 PHAs are currently known, from an estimated population of 4700 ± 1450. However, a comprehensive characterization of the PHA physical properties is still missing. Here we present spectroscopic observations of 14 PHAs, which we have used to derive their taxonomy, meteorite analogs, and mineralogy. Combining our results with the literature, we investigated how PHAs are distributed as a function of their dynamical and physical properties. In general, the “carbonaceous” PHAs seem to be particularly threatening, because of their high porosity (limiting the effectiveness of the main deflection techniques that could be used in space) and low inclination and minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) with the Earth (favoring more frequent close approaches). V-type PHAs also present low MOID values, which can produce frequent close approaches (as confirmed by the recent discovery of a limited space weathering on their surfaces). We also identified those specific objects that deserve particular attention because of their extreme rotational properties, internal strength, or possible cometary nature. For PHAs and NEOs in general, we identified a possible anti-correlation between the elongation and the rotational period, in the range of Prot ≈ 5-80 hr. This would be compatible with the behavior of gravity-dominated aggregates in rotational equilibrium. For periods ≳80-90 hr, such a trend stops, possibly under the influence of the YORP effect and collisions. However, the statistics is very low, and further observational and theoretical work is required to characterize

  3. Composition of Near-Earth Asteroid (4179) Toutatis

    OpenAIRE

    Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan Andreas; Gaffey, Michael; Abell, Paul; Corre, Lucille Le; Hardersen, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Surface composition of near-Earth asteroid (4179) Toutatis is consistent with an undifferentiated L-chondrite composition. This is inconsistent with early observations that suggested high pyroxene iron content and a differentiated body.

  4. The principle of equivalence and the Trojan asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An analysis of the Trojan asteroids motion has been carried out in order to set limits to possible violations to the principle of equivalence. Preliminary results, in agreement with general relativity, are reported. (author)

  5. Asteroid Spin Vector Compilation V5.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryszczynska, A.; Magnussen, P.

    2008-07-01

    This is a comprehensive tabulation of asteroid spin vector determinations, compiled by Agnieszka Kryszczynska and based on the earlier compilation by Per Magnusson. This is the Oct. 21, 2007 version of the compilation, containing 863 spin vector determinations.

  6. Sizes, Shapes, and Satellites of Asteroids from Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, David W.; Herald, David; Preston, Steve; Timerson, Brad; Maley, Paul; Frappa, Eric; Hayamizu, Tsutomu; Talbot, John; Poro, Atila

    2016-01-01

    For 40 years, the sizes and shapes of many dozens of asteroids have been determined from observations of asteroidal occultations, and over a thousand high-precision positions of the asteroids relative to stars have been measured. Some of the first evidence for satellites of asteroids was obtained from the early efforts; now, the orbits and sizes of some satellites discovered by other means have been refined from occultation observations. Also, several close binary stars have been discovered, and the angular diameters of some stars have been measured from analysis of these observations. The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) coordinates this activity worldwide, from predicting and publicizing the events, to accurately timing the occultations from as many stations as possible, and publishing and archiving the observations.

  7. Constraints on the original ejection velocity fields of asteroid families

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, Valerio

    2016-01-01

    Asteroid families form as a result of large-scale collisions among main belt asteroids. The orbital distribution of fragments after a family-forming impact could inform us about their ejection velocities. Unfortunately, however, orbits dynamically evolve by a number of effects, including the Yarkovsky drift, chaotic diffusion, and gravitational encounters with massive asteroids, such that it is difficult to infer the ejection velocities eons after each family's formation. Here we analyze the inclination distribution of asteroid families, because proper inclination can remain constant over long time intervals, and could help us to understand the distribution of the component of the ejection velocity that is perpendicular to the orbital plane ($v_{W}$). From modeling the initial breakup, we find that the distribution of $v_{W}$ of the fragments, which manage to escape the parent body's gravity, should be more peaked than a Gaussian distribution (i.e., be leptokurtic) even if the initial distribution was Gaussia...

  8. Long-term Stable Equilibria for Synchronous Binary Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth A

    2011-01-01

    We present theoretical evidence for the existence of a long-term stable equilibrium solution for synchronous binary asteroids accounting for mutual body tides, the binary YORP (BYORP) effect and dynamics. The observed population of small (0.1 - 10 km diameter), synchronous binaries may be in static configurations that are no longer evolving. This would be confirmed by a lack of migration in the observational tests for the BYORP effect. The existence of this equilibrium and a shape model of the secondary of the system enables the direct study of asteroid geophysics through tidal theory for the first time. Analysis of the equilibrium shows that a "monolithic" geophysical model does not satisfactorily explain the observed synchronous asteroid population. While the "rubble pile" geophysical model proposed by Goldreich and Sari (2009) is sufficient, it does not provide the best fit to the size dependance of the tidal Love number, motivating future work understanding asteroid geophsyics. Ongoing BYORP detection cam...

  9. Low-energy capture of asteroids onto KAM tori

    CERN Document Server

    Verrier, Patricia E

    2015-01-01

    We present a new method for engineering the artificial capture of asteroids. Based on theories of the chaos-assisted capture of natural satellites of the giant planets, we show how an unbound asteroid that passes close to a regular region of phase space can be easily moved onto the nearby KAM tori and essentially permanently captured with the Earth's Hill sphere without closing the zero velocity curves. The method has the advantages of a relatively low delta-v requirement and no need for control strategies. An illustration of the method is given for an example asteroid trajectory, demonstrating that it is a viable strategy for the final capture stage of asteroids in the Earth's neighbourhood.

  10. Collisional origin of asteroid families: effects of the target's gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The outcomes of asteroidal catastrophic collisions are strongly affected by the target asteroid's gravity, since only the fragments escaping with initial velocities higher than the target's escape velocity are not reaccumulated into 'rubble pile' remnants. This idea can be compared with the observational evidence on the properties of family asteroids in several ways: (1) the shape and spin period of the 'reaccumulated' family asteroids will roughly fit the relationships valid for self-gravitating fluid bodies; (2) the relative velocities of the few escaping fragments arising from a breakup event marginally overcoming self-gravity will often have an anisotropic distribution, affecting the final distribution of orbital elements; (3) the amount of mass which in a given family escaped to 'infinity' will be correlated with the target's size, since only for objects larger than approx. 100 km self-gravity plays an important role. These predictions are discussed and compared with the available data. (Auth.)

  11. Mineralogy of Asteroids from Observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, J. P.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Cleve, J. Van; Stansberry, J. A.

    2005-01-01

    Visible and near-infrared (approximately 0.3 to 4.0 microns) spectroscopy has been successfully employed since the early 1970 s to infer the surface compositions of asteroids. Spectroscopic observations in the thermal infrared (approximately 5 to 40 microns) are similarly promising. Silicate spectra in this range are dominated by Si-O stretch and bend fundamentals, and other minerals have similarly diagnostic bands. Observations in this spectral range are difficult from the ground due to strong telluric absorptions and background emission. Nevertheless, spectral structure has been detected on a few asteroids in the 8 to 14-micron range from the ground, as well as from orbit with the ISO satellite. The Spitzer Space Telescope can observe asteroids with much higher sensitivity over a broader wavelength range than is possible from the ground or was possible with ISO. We present results of measurements of asteroids with the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope.

  12. A polarimetric study of asteroids: Fitting phase - polarization curves

    CERN Document Server

    Cellino, A; Gil-Hutton, R; Tanga, P; Canada-Assandri, M; Tedesco, E F

    2015-01-01

    By considering all asteroid linear polarization data available in the literature, it is possible to obtain updated phase - polarization curves for several tens of objects. In a separate paper (Cellino et al., 2015a, MNRAS, 451, 3473) we have produced new calibrations of different relations between the geometric albedo and several polarimetric parameters, based on an analysis of a limited sample of asteroids for which the albedo is known with sufficient accuracy. In this paper, we present the main polarization parameters and corresponding albedos for a larger dataset of asteroids which we did not use for calibration purposes. We find a good agreement between the albedo values computed using different polarization parameters. Conversely, in the case of the so-called Barbarian asteroids the situation is rather unclear. Moreover, we present an updated analysis of the distributions of different polarimetric parameters, including the so-called inversion angle and the solar phase angle corresponding to the extreme v...

  13. Small Near-Earth Asteroids as a Source of Meteorites

    CERN Document Server

    Borovička, Jiří; Brown, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Small asteroids intersecting Earth's orbit can deliver extraterrestrial rocks to the Earth, called meteorites. This process is accompanied by a luminous phenomena in the atmosphere, called bolides or fireballs. Observations of bolides provide pre-atmospheric orbits of meteorites, physical and chemical properties of small asteroids, and the flux (i.e. frequency of impacts) of bodies at the Earth in the centimeter to decameter size range. In this chapter we explain the processes occurring during the penetration of cosmic bodies through the atmosphere and review the methods of bolide observations. We compile available data on the fireballs associated with 22 instrumentally observed meteorite falls. Among them are the heterogeneous falls Almahata Sitta (2008 TC$_3$) and Bene\\v{s}ov, which revolutionized our view on the structure and composition of small asteroids, the P\\v{r}\\'{\\i}bram-Neuschwanstein orbital pair, carbonaceous chondrite meteorites with orbits on the asteroid-comet boundary, and the Chelyabinsk fal...

  14. Comment on "ancient asteroids enriched in refractory inclusions".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hezel, Dominik C; Russell, Sara S

    2008-11-14

    Sunshine et al. (Reports, 25 April 2008, p. 514) reported that certain asteroids contain 30 +/- 10 volume percent calcium- and aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs). We contend that the amount of CAIs in CV chondrites is two to three times as low as the 10 volume percent assumed by the authors; thus, we question whether the CAI-rich bodies they studied are indeed older than known asteroids or formed before the injection of (26)Al into the solar nebula. PMID:19008430

  15. Asteroid detection at millimetric wavelengths with the Planck survey

    OpenAIRE

    G. Cremonese; Marzari, F.; Burigana, C.; Maris, M.

    2002-01-01

    The Planck mission, originally devised for cosmological studies, offers the opportunity to observe Solar System objects at millimetric and submillimetric wavelengths. We concentrate in this paper on the asteroids of the Main Belt. We intend to estimate the number of asteroids that can can be detected during the mission and to evaluate the strength of their signal. We have rescaled the instrument sensitivities, calculated by the LFI and HFI teams for sources fixed in the sky, introducing some ...

  16. Small Near-Earth Asteroids as a Source of Meteorites

    OpenAIRE

    Borovička, Jiří; Spurný, Pavel; Brown, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Small asteroids intersecting Earth's orbit can deliver extraterrestrial rocks to the Earth, called meteorites. This process is accompanied by a luminous phenomena in the atmosphere, called bolides or fireballs. Observations of bolides provide pre-atmospheric orbits of meteorites, physical and chemical properties of small asteroids, and the flux (i.e. frequency of impacts) of bodies at the Earth in the centimeter to decameter size range. In this chapter we explain the processes occurring durin...

  17. A radar survey of M- and X-class asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shepard, M.K.; Clark, B. E.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Magri, C.; Giorgini, J. D.; Benner, L. A. M.; Ostro, S. J.; Harris, A. W.; Warner, B. D.; Pray, D. P.; Pravec, Petr; Fauerbach, M.; Bennett, T.; Klotz, A.; Behrend, R.; Correia, H.; Coloma, J.M.; Casulli, S.; Rivkin, A. S.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 195, č. 1 (2008), s. 184-205. ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Grant ostatní: NSF(US) AST-0605903; NSF(US) AST-0606704; NSF(US) AST-0607505; NASA (US) NNG06GI32G Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * asteroids composition * surfaces Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.268, year: 2008

  18. On the maximum amplitude of harmonics of an asteroid lightcurve

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Harris, A. W.; Pravec, Petr; Galád, Adrián; Skiff, B.A.; Warner, B. D.; Világi, J.; Gajdoš, Š.; Carbognani, A.; Hornoch, Kamil; Kušnirák, Peter; Cooney jr., W. R.; Gross, J.; Terrell, D.; Higgins, D.; Bowell, E.; Koehn, B.W.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 235, June (2014), s. 55-59. ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/12/0229 Grant ostatní: SAV(SK) Vega 1/0670/13; NASA (US) NNX13AP56G Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : asteroids * asteroids rotation * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.038, year: 2014

  19. A radar survey of M- and X-class asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Michael K.; Clark, Beth Ellen; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Magri, Christopher; Giorgini, Jon D.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Ostro, Steven J.; Harris, Alan W.; Warner, Brian; Pray, Donald; Pravec, Petr; Fauerbach, Michael; Bennett, Thomas; Klotz, Alain; Behrend, Raoul; Correia, Horacio; Coloma, Josep; Casulli, Silvano; Rivkin, Andrew

    2008-05-01

    We observed ten M- and X-class main-belt asteroids with the Arecibo Observatory's S-band (12.6 cm) radar. The X-class asteroids were targeted based on their albedos or other properties which suggested they might be M-class. This work brings the total number of main-belt M-class asteroids observed with radar to 14. We find that three of these asteroids have rotation rates significantly different from what was previously reported. Based on their high radar albedo, we find that only four of the fourteen—16 Psyche, 216 Kleopatra, 758 Mancunia, and 785 Zwetana—are almost certainly metallic. 129 Antigone has a moderately high radar albedo and we suggest it may be a CH/CB/Bencubbinite parent body. Three other asteroids, 97 Klotho, 224 Oceana, and 796 Sarita have radar albedos significantly higher than the average main belt asteroid and we cannot rule out a significant metal content for them. Five of our target asteroids, 16 Psyche, 129 Antigone, 135 Hertha, 758 Mancunia, and 785 Zwetana, show variations in their radar albedo with rotation. We can rule out shape and composition in most cases, leaving variations in thickness, porosity, or surface roughness of the regolith to be the most likely causes. With the exception of 129 Antigone, we find no hydrated M-class asteroids (W-class; Rivkin, A.S., Howell, E.S., Lebofsky, L.A., Clark, B.E., Britt, D.T., 2000. Icarus 145, 351-368) to have high radar albedos.

  20. Rotation and photometric properties of E-type asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevchenko, V. G.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Chiorny, V. G.; Belskaya, I. N.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.

    2003-08-01

    The results of photometric observations of seven E-type asteroids 64 Angelina, 214 Aschera, 1025 Riema, 1103 Sequoia, 1251 Hedera, 2035 Stearns, and 2248 Dwornik are presented. New rotation periods have been determined for asteroids 1025 Riema (6.557±0.001 h) , 1251 Hedera (15.015±0.010 h) , 2035 Stearns (85.0±0.1 h), and 2048 Dwornik (3.664±0.001 h) . Two new poles have been estimated for 214 Aschera (274±8°; 64±4°) and 1025 Riema (141±10°, 11±6°) and pole has been redefined for 64 Angelina (138±10°, 31±5°). Using all available data on rotation periods, the spin rates of E-type asteroids have been analyzed. The distribution of the spin rates has maximum corresponding to the period of about 6.2 h. The shapes of E-asteroids are more elongated than the shapes of small-size S-asteroids. The average values of color indexes, albedo and G parameter for E-type asteroids have also been determined.

  1. Dynamical transport of asteroid fragments from the nu6 resonance

    CERN Document Server

    Ito, T; Ito, Takashi; Malhotra, Renu

    2006-01-01

    A large disruption in the main asteroid belt can cause a large flux, an "asteroid shower", on the terrestrial planets. We quantitatively examine the hypothesis that such an event was the cause of the lunar late heavy bombardment (LHB). We performed numerical integrations of about 20000 test particles starting in the vicinity of the nu6 secular resonance in the main asteroid belt. The purpose of these integrations is to calculate, for each of the terrestrial planets, the collision probability of asteroids coming from an asteroid break-up event in the inner part of the main belt. Compared with previous studies, we simulate nearly two orders of magnitude larger number of particles, and we include the orbital effects of the eight planets, Mercury to Neptune. We also examined in detail the orbital evolution of asteroid fragments once they enter the Earth's activity sphere, including the effect of the Earth-Moon orbit. We obtained the collision probability, the distributions of impact velocities, impact positions, ...

  2. Establishing different size distributions in the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2016-05-01

    While gas is present in the protoplanetary disk, aerodynamic drag circularizes, equatorializes and shrinks planetesimal orbits. The strength of this effect is size-dependent effecting smaller planetesimals more severely. During planet formation debris from giant impacts amongst the growing terrestrial embryos can be transported to the asteroid belt via scattering events and secular resonances. The effectiveness of this transport is strongly size dependent due to the aforementioned gas drag. Thus transported debris in the asteroid belt can have a strong size sorting. Further processing due to collisions and YORP-induced rotational fission during the lifetime of the solar system must be taken into account before a model population of debris can be compared to suspected planetary debris in the asteroid belt, such as the A-type asteroids. Furthermore, scenarios such as the Grand Tack may establish size distributions since they predict that S-type asteroids are transported from an inner planetesimal disk while C-type asteroids are transporeted from an outer planetesimal disk.

  3. Asteroid and comet flux in the neighborhood of the earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Significant advances in the knowledge and understanding of the flux of large solid objects in the neighborhood of Earth have occurred. The best estimates of the collision rates with Earth of asteroids and comets and the corresponding production of impact craters are presented. Approximately 80 Earth-crossing asteroids were discovered through May 1988. Among 42 new Earth-crossing asteroids found in the last decade, two-thirds were discovered from observations at Palomar Observatory and 15 were discovered or independently detected in dedicated surveys with the Palomar Observatory and 15 were discovered or independently detected in dedicated surveys with the Palomar 46 cm Schmidt. Probabilities of collision with Earth have been calculated for about two-thirds of the known Earth-crossing asteroids. When multiplied by the estimated population of Earth-crossers, this yields an estimated present rate of collision about 65 pct higher than that previously reported. Spectrophotometric data obtained chiefly in the last decade show that the large majority of obvserved Earth-crossers are similar to asteroids found in the inner part of the main belt. The number of discovered Earth-crossing comets is more than 4 times greater than the number of known Earth-crossing asteroids, but reliable data on the sizes of comet nuclei are sparse. The flux of comets almost certainly was highly variable over late geologic time, owing to the random perturbation of the Oort comet cloud by stars in the solar neighborhood

  4. Identification of Magnetite in B-type Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Bin

    2010-01-01

    Spectrally blue (B-type) asteroids are rare, with the second discovered asteroid Pallas being the largest and most famous example. We conducted a focused, infrared spectroscopic survey of B-type asteroids to search for water-related features in these objects. Our results show that the negative optical spectral slope of some B-type asteroids is due to the presence of a broad absorption band centered near 1.0 micron. The 1-micron band can be matched in position and shape using magnetite (Fe3O4), which is an important indicator of past aqueous alteration in the parent body. Furthermore, our observations of B-type asteroid (335) Roberta in the 3-micron region reveal an absorption feature centered at 2.9 micron, which is consistent with the absorption due to phyllosilicates (another hydration product) observed in CI chondrites. The new observations suggest that at least some B-type asteroids are likely to have incorporated significant amounts of water ice and to have experienced intensive aqueous alteration.

  5. On the puzzle of space weathering alteration of basaltic asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Marchi, S; Lazzarin, M; Magrin, S

    2010-01-01

    The majority of basaltic asteroids are found in the inner main belt, although a few have also been observed in the outer main belt and near-Earth space. These asteroids -referred to as V-types- have surface compositions that resemble that of the 530km sized asteroid Vesta. Besides the compositional similarity, dynamical evidence also links many V-type asteroids to Vesta. Moreover, Vesta is one of the few asteroids to have been identified as source of specific classes of meteorites, the howardite, eucrite, diogenite achondrites (HEDs). Despite the general consensus on the outlined scenario, several questions remain unresolved. In particular, it is not clear if the observed spectral diversity among Vesta, V-types and HEDs is due to space weathering, as is thought to be the case for S-type asteroids. In this paper, SDSS photometry is used to address the question of whether the spectral diversity among candidate V-types and HEDs can be explained by space weathering. We show that visible spectral slopes of V-types...

  6. Science case for the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM): A component of the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick; Cheng, A.; Küppers, M.; Pravec, P.; Blum, J.; Delbo, M.; Green, S. F.; Rosenblatt, P.; Tsiganis, K.; Vincent, J. B.; Biele, J.; Ciarletti, V.; Hérique, A.; Ulamec, S.; Carnelli, I.; Galvez, A.; Benner, L.; Naidu, S. P.; Barnouin, O. S.; Richardson, D. C.; Rivkin, A.; Scheirich, P.; Moskovitz, N.; Thirouin, A.; Schwartz, S. R.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Yu, Y.

    2016-06-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is a joint cooperation between European and US space agencies that consists of two separate and independent spacecraft that will be launched to a binary asteroid system, the near-Earth asteroid Didymos, to test the kinetic impactor technique to deflect an asteroid. The European Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is set to rendezvous with the asteroid system to fully characterize the smaller of the two binary components a few months prior to the impact by the US Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft. AIM is a unique mission as it will be the first time that a spacecraft will investigate the surface, subsurface, and internal properties of a small binary near-Earth asteroid. In addition it will perform various important technology demonstrations that can serve other space missions. The knowledge obtained by this mission will have great implications for our understanding of the history of the Solar System. Having direct information on the surface and internal properties of small asteroids will allow us to understand how the various processes they undergo work and transform these small bodies as well as, for this particular case, how a binary system forms. Making these measurements from up close and comparing them with ground-based data from telescopes will also allow us to calibrate remote observations and improve our data interpretation of other systems. With DART, thanks to the characterization of the target by AIM, the mission will be the first fully documented impact experiment at asteroid scale, which will include the characterization of the target's properties and the outcome of the impact. AIDA will thus offer a great opportunity to test and refine our understanding and models at the actual scale of an asteroid, and to check whether the current extrapolations of material strength from laboratory-scale targets to the scale of AIDA's target are valid. Moreover, it will offer a first check of the

  7. The Main Asteroid Belt: The Crossroads of the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, main belt asteroids are leftover planetary building blocks that never accreted enough material to become planets. They are therefore keys to understanding how the Solar System formed and evolved. They may also provide clues to the origin of life, as similar bodies may have delivered organics and water to the early Earth.Strong associations between asteroids and meteorites emerged thanks to multi-technique observations, modeling, in situ and sample return analyses. Spacecraft images revolutionized our knowledge of these small worlds. Asteroids are stunning in their diversity in terms of physical properties. Their gravity varies by more orders of magnitude than its variation among the terrestrial planets, including the Moon. Each rendezvous with an asteroid thus turned our geological understanding on its head as each asteroid is affected in different ways by a variety of processes such as landslides, faulting, and impact cratering. Composition also varies, from ice-rich to lunar-like to chondritic.Nearly every asteroid we see today, whether of primitive or evolved compositions, is the product of a complex history involving accretion and one or more episodes of catastrophic disruption that sometimes resulted in families of smaller asteroids that have distinct and indicative petrogenic relationships. These families provide the best data to study the impact disruption process at scales far larger than those accessible in laboratory. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of early asteroids grew large enough to thermally differentiate. Their traces are scattered pieces of their metal-rich cores and, more rarely, their mantles and crusts.Asteroids represent stages on the rocky road to planet formation. They have great stories to tell about the formation and evolution of our Solar System as well as other planetary systems: asteroid belts seem common around Sun-like stars. We will review our current knowledge on their properties, their link to

  8. The Rosetta Fly-by at Asteroid (2867) Steins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, R.; Accomazzo, A.; Küppers, M.; Schwehm, G.; Wirth, K.

    2009-05-01

    The International Rosetta Mission is one of ESA's Planetary Cornerstone Missions on its way to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. On route to the comet Rosetta has encountered its first asteroid target, main belt asteroid (2867) Steins. Closest approach occurred on 5 September 2008, 18:38:20 UT at a distance of 802.6 km. The spacecraft passed on the sunlit side of the asteroid with a relative velocity of 8.6 km/s in the plane defined by the relative velocity vector and the Sun direction. This fly-by strategy allowed continuous pointing on the asteroid before, during and after closest approach as well as passing through a phase angle close to zero. The minimum phase angle (0.27°) was reached at 18:36:23, about 2 minutes before closest approach. Optical navigation on the asteroid started already on 4 August 2008 as the spacecraft had to target the small asteroid (effective radius ~ 5 km) within accuracy better than 2 km to keep it in the field of view of the science instruments during closest approach. In addition an attitude flip manoeuvre of 20 minutes duration was performed before autonomous tracking on asteroid (2867) Steins started. Altogether 14 instruments were switched on during the fly-by, providing spatially resolved multi-wavelength observations of the asteroid and in-situ measurements of its dust, plasma, magnetic, and radiation environment. Its detailed characterization will add to the understanding the different types of asteroids and to solving the puzzle of how the solar system formed and evolved. (2867) Steins was Rosetta's first nominal scientific target in its 11.5-year mission. The next scientific encounter is however already in view. In July 2010 Rosetta will fly-by at asteroid (21) Lutetia, a 100 km-sized object (95.5 ± 4.1 km) before moving out to Jupiter's orbit to meet and explore the nucleus of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

  9. 3200 Phaethon, Asteroid or Comet Nucleus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boice, Daniel C.; Benkhoff, Johannes

    2015-08-01

    Physico-chemical modeling is central to understand the important physical processes in small solar system bodies. We have developed a computer simulation, SUISEI, that includes the physico-chemical processes relevant to comets within a global modeling framework. Our goals are to gain valuable insights into the intrinsic properties of cometary nuclei so we can better understand observations and in situ measurements. SUISEI includes a 3-D model of gas and heat transport in porous sub-surface layers in the interior of the nucleus.We present results on the application of SUISEI to the near-Sun object, Phaethon. Discovered in 1983 and classified as an asteroid, it has recently exhibited an active dust coma. Phaethon has long been associated as the source of the Geminids meteor shower so the dust activity provides a clear link to the meteor shower. The observed dust activity would traditionally lead to Phaethon being also classified as a comet (e.g., 2060-95P/Chiron, 133P/Elst-Pizarro). This is unusual since the orbit of Phaethon has a perihelion of 0.14 AU, resulting in surface temperatures of more than 1025K, much too hot for water ice or other volatiles to exist near the surface and drive the activity. This situation and others such as the “Active Asteroids” necessitates a revision of how we understand and classify these small asteroid-comet transition objects.We conclude the following for Phaethon:1. It is likely to contain relatively pristine volatiles in its interior despite repeated near perihelion passages of 0.14 AU during its history in its present orbit,2. Steady water gas fluxes at perihelion and throughout its orbit are insufficient to entrain the currently observed dust production,3. Thermal gradients into the surface as well as those caused by diurnal rotation are consistent with the mechanism of dust release due to thermal fracture,4. The initial large gas release during the first perihelion passage may be sufficient to produce enough dust to explain

  10. Negative Searches for Evidence of Aqueous Alteration on Asteroid Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, F.

    2005-01-01

    Small bodies in the Solar System preserve evidence of the processes occurring during early Solar System formation, unlike the larger planets that undergo continuous churning of their surfaces. We study these bodies to understand what processes affected different stages of Solar System formation. The action of aqueous alteration (the alteration of material by the interaction of that material with liquid formed by the melting of incorporated ice) of near-subsurface material has been inferred to occur on many asteroids based on the spectrophotometric evidence of phyllosilicates and iron alteration minerals. The definitive indication of aqueous alteration is the 3.0- micron absorption feature attributed to structural hydroxyl (OH) and interlayer and adsorbed water (H2O) in phyllosilicates (clays) (hereafter water of hydration). A weak absorption feature centered near 0.7 microns attributed to an Fe (2+) right arrow Fe (3+) charge transfer transition in oxidized iron in phyllosilicates has been observed in the reflectance spectra and photometry of approximately 50% of the main-belt C-class asteroids. An approximately 85% correlation between this 0.7- micron feature and the 3.0- micron water of hydration absorption feature was found among the low-albedo asteroids. The feature is usually centered near 0.68 microns in asteroid spectra, and ranges in wavelength from approximately 0.57 to 0.83 microns. Serendipitously, three of the Eight Color Asteroid Survey filters the v (0.550 microns), w (0.701 microns), and x (0.853 microns)-bracket this feature well, and can be used to determine the presence of this feature in the reflectance properties of an asteroid, and probe the aqueous alteration history of larger samples of asteroid data. Two efforts to search for evidence of aqueous alteration based on the presence of this 0.7- micron absorption feature are presented here.

  11. Max Wolf's Discovery of Near-Earth Asteroid 887 Alinda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Martin; Mandel, Holger; Demleitner, Markus; Heidelberg Digitized Astronomical Plates Project

    2016-01-01

    Max Wolf, director of the Heidelberg Observatory (Landessternwarte Königsstuhl), was the most prodigious discoverer of asteroids in the early twentieth century. He is now best known for the discovery of the Trojan asteroids associated with Jupiter in 1906, but was a pioneer in the application of photographic techniques to astronomy, particularly for conducting asteroid surveys. His attention to detail and perseverance also led to the discovery of the near-Earth asteroid 887 Alinda, which is the eponym of an orbital class in 3:1 resonance with Jupiter. Alinda class contains several potentially hazardous asteroids, and has been particularly instructive in development of theories of eccentricity increase for resonant asteroids. Alinda was discovered on January 3, 1918, on the very edge of one of two plates taken with the 40 cm aperture Bruce double astrograph. The inability to reduce a long trail going off the plate meant that only one month later could the object again be found with the Bruce telescope, and later observed with the follow-up instrument, the 72 cm aperture Waltz reflector. In what Wolf referred to as "the greatest embarrassment of my life", reflector observations had him conclude that Alinda had a satellite. At a time when plates had to be exposed for several hours, laboriously developed and analyzed, and in the case of high eccentricity objects like Alinda, predicted with inadequate theories, Wolf's persistence allowed it never to be lost. Despite this, its essential resonant nature was not determined until 1969, despite the pioneering work by Brown (1911) on resonance in the asteroid belt and the knowledge dating to the late nineteenth century work of Kirkwood that commensurabilities were important in its structure. The majority of Wolf's plates are available as online scans through the Heidelberg Digitized Astronomical Plates project of the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory, but the Alinda discovery plate, which was broken, was scanned

  12. Physical studies of small asteroids and cometary cores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The main goal of the research is to carry on an extensive study of physical properties (colors and variability) of asteroids in the 1 to 10 km diameter range and of cometary cores, with the use of a charge coupled device (CCD) camera, PMT photometer, or both. Particular attention is paid to asteroids being observed by radar because the greatest gain is found from the combination of radar results with the data obtained by optical techniques. To satisfy the goal, 100 nights/year have been scheduled on the 2.3 m and 1.5 m telescopes. During the past 2 years small asteroids were observed. Out of 22 asteroids for which periods of rotation could be precisely measured, 17 have periods of rotation less than 5 hours. This indicates that small objects rotate faster. By now researchers know 14 asteroids with rotation periods in the 2 hour range. At the same time they confirmed the existence of a number of exceptionally slow rotators e.g., 1367 Nongoma with P = 5.65 days. Taxonomic observations lead to a conclusion that Apollo, Amor, and Aten asteroids represent a variety of classes and are not predominantly of class S. Apollo asteroid 3361 Orpheus was found to belong to the rare class V. In collaboration with Dr A. Harris of JPL the opposition effect was studied for 30 Urania and 64 Angelina. Seven comets: P/Helin, P/Brooks 2, P/Klemola, P/Borrelly, Wilson (1986 1) and Shoemaker (1987 o) were monitored for variability. The results were negative with the exception of P/Brooks 2 for which 0.35 mag amplitude was detected

  13. Discovery of a Satellite around a Near-Earth Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    In the course of the major observational programme of asteroids by the Institute of Planetary Exploration of the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) [1] in Berlin, two of the staff astronomers, Stefano Mottola and Gerhard Hahn , have discovered a small satellite (moon) orbiting the asteroid (3671) Dionysus. The new measurements were obtained with the DLR CCD Camera attached at the 60-cm Bochum telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile. This is only the second known case of an asteroid with a moon. Moons and planets Until recently, natural satellites were only known around the major planets . The Moon orbits the Earth, there are two tiny moons around Mars, each of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune has many more, and even the smallest and outermost, Pluto, is accompanied by one [2]. However, the new discovery now strengthens the belief of many astronomers that some, perhaps even a substantial number of the many thousands of minor planets (asteroids) in the solar system may also possess their own moons. The first discovery of a satellite orbiting an asteroid was made by the NASA Galileo spacecraft, whose imagery, obtained during a fly-by of asteroid (253) Ida in August 1993, unveiled a small moon that has since been given the name Dactyl. (3671) Dionysus: an Earth-crossing asteroid In the framework of the DLR asteroid monitoring programme, image sequences are acquired to measure an asteroid's brightness variations caused by the changing amount of sunlight reflected from the asteroid's illuminated surface as it spins, due to its irregular shape. The brightness variations may be used to derive the asteroid's rotational properties, such as speed of rotation and spin axis orientation. Asteroid Dionysus [3] was put on the observing list because it belongs to a special class of asteroids, the members of which occasionally come very close to the Earth and have a small, but non-negligible chance of colliding with our planet. Most of

  14. Asteroid hyalosis: clinical review of 58 cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Nuno Vargas Galveia

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Understand the behavior, functional repercussion and relationship with epidemiological factors of asteroid hyalosis (AH and retrospective observational case series. METHODS: Fifty-eight patients diagnosed with AH (24 women and 34 men were studied. All patients were submitted to a thorough ophthalmological examination. RESULTS: We observed a statistical association between the presence of AH and male sex (p=0,042. An increase in prevalence of this pathology was observed with increasing age. We determined an odds ration of 5,24 of a patient over 50 years old having AH, when compared to patients bellow this threshold. Eighty-six percent of patients had unilateral vitreous deposits. We measured a lower IOP in the affected eye, with the difference being in average 2,68 ± 1,45 mmHg (p=0,037. We observed no statistical association between AH and age related macular degeneration, diabetes or glaucoma. Five eyes were submitted to facoemulsification combined with pars plana vitrectomy with an average gain of 7 lines (Snellen in visual acuity (p=0,03. CONCLUSION: In our sample a clear association between AH, ageing and male sex was observed. The majority of patients had unilateral vitreous deposits. Vitrectomy in association with facoemulsification is a safe and effective intervention in this group of patients.

  15. Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Leslie; Johnson, Les; Kahn, Peter; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Frick, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are the most easily accessible bodies in the solar system, and detections of NEAs are expected to grow exponentially in the near future, offering increasing target opportunities. As NASA continues to refine its plans to possibly explore these small worlds with human explorers, initial reconnaissance with comparatively inexpensive robotic precursors is necessary. Obtaining and analyzing relevant data about these bodies via robotic precursors before committing a crew to visit a NEA will significantly minimize crew and mission risk, as well as maximize exploration return potential. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are jointly examining a potential mission concept, tentatively called 'NEAScout,' utilizing a low-cost platform such as CubeSat in response to the current needs for affordable missions with exploration science value. The NEAScout mission concept would be treated as a secondary payload on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), the first planned flight of the SLS and the second un-crewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV).

  16. Gravity gradient torque of spacecraft orbiting asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Yue

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This paper presents a full fourth-order model of the gravity gradient torque of spacecraft around asteroids by taking into consideration of the inertia integrals of the spacecraft up to the fourth order, which is an improvement of the previous fourth-order model of the gravity gradient torque. Design, methodology and approach: The fourth-order gravitational potential of the spacecraft is derived based on Taylor expansion. Then the expression of the gravity gradient torque in terms of gravitational potential derivatives is derived. By using the formulation of the gravitational potential, explicit formulations of the full fourth-order gravity gradient torque are obtained. Then a numerical simulation is carried out to verify our model. Findings: We find that our model is more sound and precise than the previous fourth-order model due to the consideration of higher-order inertia integrals of the spacecraft. Numerical simulation results show that the motion of the previous fourth-order model is quite diff...

  17. The Complex History of Trojan Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Emery, Joshua P; Morbidelli, Alessandro; French, Linda M; Grav, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    The Trojan asteroids provide a unique perspective on the history of Solar System. As a large population of small bodies, they record important gravitational interactions and dynamical evolution of the Solar System. In the past decade, significant advances have been made in understanding physical properties, and there has been a revolution in thinking about the origin of Trojans. The ice and organics generally presumed to be a significant part of Trojan compositions have yet to be detected directly, though low density of the binary system Patroclus (and possibly low density of the binary/moonlet system Hektor) is consistent with an interior ice component. By contrast, fine-grained silicates that appear to be similar to cometary silicates in composition have been detected, and a color bimodality may indicate distinct compositional groups among the Trojans. Whereas Trojans had traditionally been thought to have formed near 5 AU, a new paradigm has developed in which the Trojans formed in the proto-Kuiper Belt, a...

  18. Robotic Asteroid Prospector (RAP) Staged from L-1: Start of the Deep Space Economy Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objectives of the Robotic Asteroid Prospector (RAP) project are to examine and evaluate the feasibility of asteroid mining in terms of means, methods, and...

  19. Slowly increasing elongations of non-spherical asteroids caused by collisions

    CERN Document Server

    Henych, T

    2015-01-01

    Asteroids are frequently colliding with small projectiles. Although each individual small collision is not very important, their cumulative effect can substantially change topography and also the overall shape of an asteroid. We run simulations of random collisions onto a single target asteroid represented by triaxial ellipsoid. We investigated asteroids of several hundred meters to about 18 km in diameter for which we assumed all material excavated by the collision to escape the asteroid. The cumulative effect of these collisions is an increasing elongation of the asteroid figure. However, the estimated timescale of this process is much longer than the collisional lifetime of asteroids. Therefore, we conclude that small collisions are probably not responsible for the overall shape of small asteroids.

  20. The WISE Survey of the Albedo Distribution of Main Belt Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masiero, J.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Delbó, M.; Mueller, M.; WISE Team, [No Value

    2010-01-01

    Using date from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) we investigate the albedo distribution across the main belt of asteroids. When complete WISE will measure albedos and diameters for ~100,000 asteroids.

  1. The expected Gaia revolution in asteroid science: Photometry and spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cellino, A.

    2014-07-01

    Gaia is expected to produce a major revolution in our knowledge of the asteroids. Apart from a huge improvement in the accuracy of the orbital elements of these objects, something which is a ''natural'' consequence of the unprecedented astrometric accuracy of Gaia, we can also expect that the photometric and spectrophotometric performances of the Gaia detectors will be such to substantially move ahead the frontier of the domain of physical characterization of asteroids by means of remote observations. A list of physical properties, that will be derived from the analysis of the detections corresponding to different observed transits of each object in the Gaia focal plane during five years of operational activity, includes masses, sizes, average densities, spin properties, reflectance spectra, albedos, as well as a new taxonomic classification. In this review, the focus will be on Gaia photometry and spectrophotometry. The method of photometric inversion of sparse photometric data developed to reduce Gaia photometric data of asteroids will be described, and its expected performances will be discussed. In particular, the choice of assuming for the objects the shapes of ideal triaxial ellipsoids, fairly simplistic in an era in which much more refined shape models are currently used in photometric inversion methods, will be justified by the need of minimizing the CPU time needed to process data for hundreds of thousands of objects in a reasonable time. The processing of spectrophotometric data will be also described. These data will produce a huge data set of reflectance spectra of asteroids. A particular advantage of these data will be that of including also the blue part of the spectrum, which has been substantially lost since the epoch in which the CCD detectors have replaced the older photomultipliers used for UBVRI photometry. The big data set of new asteroid spectra will be also used to develop a new asteroid taxonomy, used new algorithms developed for this

  2. Rosetta fly-by at asteroid (21) Lutetia: An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, R.; Sierks, H.; Küppers, M.; Accomazzo, A.

    2012-06-01

    On the journey to its target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko the ESA Rosetta spacecraft had a close fly-by at the main-belt asteroid (21) Lutetia at a heliocentric distance of r=2.72 AU, and a geocentric distance of Δ=3.05 AU. Closest approach occurred on 10 July 2010, 15:45 UT at a distance of ˜3170 km. Rosetta passed the asteroid with a relative fly-by velocity of 15 km/s. The fly-by strategy allowed continuous observations of (21) Lutetia before, during and for 30 min after closest approach, and the spacecraft to go through zero phase angle 18 min before closest approach at a distance of 16400 km from the asteroid. Most of the scientific instruments on board Rosetta were switched on obtaining imaging and spectral observations covering wavelengths from the UV to sub-mm, as well as in-situ measurements of the asteroid and its direct environment. A brief summary of the fly-by is provided concentrating mainly on an overview of the instrument operations, the visual appearance of the asteroid during the encounter, and a synopsis of the fly-by results published in this special issue.

  3. Constraints on the original ejection velocity fields of asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruba, V.; Nesvorný, D.

    2016-04-01

    Asteroid families form as a result of large-scale collisions among main belt asteroids. The orbital distribution of fragments after a family-forming impact could inform us about their ejection velocities. Unfortunately, however, orbits dynamically evolve by a number of effects, including the Yarkovsky drift, chaotic diffusion, and gravitational encounters with massive asteroids, such that it is difficult to infer the ejection velocities eons after each family's formation. Here, we analyse the inclination distribution of asteroid families, because proper inclination can remain constant over long time intervals, and could help us to understand the distribution of the component of the ejection velocity that is perpendicular to the orbital plane (vW). From modelling the initial break up, we find that the distribution of vW of the fragments, which manage to escape the parent body's gravity, should be more peaked than a Gaussian distribution (i.e. be leptokurtic) even if the initial distribution was Gaussian. We surveyed known asteroid families for signs of a peaked distribution of vW using a statistical measure of the distribution peakedness or flatness known as kurtosis. We identified eight families whose vW distribution is significantly leptokurtic. These cases (e.g. the Koronis family) are located in dynamically quiet regions of the main belt, where, presumably, the initial distribution of vW was not modified by subsequent orbital evolution. We suggest that, in these cases, the inclination distribution can be used to obtain interesting information about the original ejection velocity field.

  4. Planet-crossing asteroids: Interrelationships within the solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcfadden, L. A.; Ahearn, M. F.

    1986-01-01

    Near-infrared reflectance spectra 0.6 to 2.5 micrometer were acquired of asteroids 1627 Ivar (Amor), 43 Ariadne, 335 Roberta, 386 Siegena and 695 Bella (3:1 Kirkwood Gap) with the IRTF, Mauna Kea. CCD spectra 0.5-1.0 micrometer were acquired of 1866 Sisyphus (Apollo), 17 Thetis, 695 Bella, 797 Montana, and 877 Walkure (3:1 Kirkwood Gap) using facilities at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. An upper limit on the production rate of CN in asteroid 3200 Phaeton of < 4 x 10 to the 23rd power sec was determined based on photometric measurements at 3871A using facilities at Lowell Observatory. This value is in the range of the lowest production rate measured for a comet, however, it does not constitute a positive detection of CN in this asteroid. A first attempt of look for companion objects or evidence of dust debris associated with this asteroid was made with a CCD camera. Whereas the search extended to 19th magnitude (corresponding to 150m and 330m for albedos of 0.15 and 0.03 respectively), a look close enough to the asteroid was not attained to definitively eliminate the presence of coorbiting dust debris.

  5. Spin Axis Distribution of the Hungaria Asteroids via Lightcurve Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.

    2015-05-01

    In the past decade or so, the influence on small asteroids of the YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) effect, which is the asymmetric thermal emission of received sunlight, has been firmly established. The two strongest pieces of evidence are the nearly flat distribution of rotation rates of small asteroids and the distribution of spin axes (poles). YORP theory says that the spin axes, barring outside influences, are eventually forced to low obliquities, i.e., the poles are located near the north or south ecliptic poles. This would seem natural for objects with low orbital inclinations. However, for objects with high orbital inclinations, such as the Hungarias, there are some questions if this would still be the case. The authors and other observers have accumulated dense lightcurves of the Hungaria asteroids for more than a decade. The combination of these dense lightcurves and sparse data from asteroid search surveys has allowed using lightcurve inversion techniques to determine the spin axes for almost 75 Hungaria asteroids. The results confirm earlier works that show an anisotropic distribution of spin axes that favors the ecliptic poles and, as predicted for the Hungarias, a preponderance of retrograde rotators.

  6. Hungaria Asteroid Family as the Source of Aubrite Meteorites

    CERN Document Server

    Ćuk, Matija; Nesvorný, David

    2014-01-01

    The Hungaria asteroids are interior to the main asteroid belt, with semimajor axes between 1.8 and 2 AU, low eccentricities and inclinations of 16-35 degrees. Small asteroids in the Hungaria region are dominated by a collisional family associated with (434) Hungaria. The dominant spectral type of the Hungaria group is the E or X-type (Warner et al, 2009), mostly due to the E-type composition of Hungaria and its genetic family. It is widely believed the E-type asteroids are related to the aubrite meteorites, also known as enstatite achondrites (Gaffey et al, 1992). Here we explore the hypothesis that aubrites originate in the Hungaria family. In order to test this connection, we compare model Cosmic Ray Exposure ages from orbital integrations of model meteoroids with those of aubrites. We show that long CRE ages of aubrites (longest among stony meteorite groups) reflect the delivery route of meteoroids from Hungarias to Earth being different than those from main-belt asteroids. We find that the meteoroids from...

  7. PRODUCTION OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS ON RETROGRADE ORBITS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenstreet, S.; Gladman, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada); Ngo, H. [Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy, Queen' s University, Kingston, Ontario (Canada); Granvik, M. [Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki (Finland); Larson, S., E-mail: sarahg@phas.ubc.ca [Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (United States)

    2012-04-20

    While computing an improved near-Earth object (NEO) steady-state orbital distribution model, we discovered in the numerical integrations the unexpected production of retrograde orbits for asteroids that had originally exited from the accepted main-belt source regions. Our model indicates that {approx}0.1% (a factor of two uncertainty) of the steady-state NEO population (perihelion q < 1.3 AU) is on retrograde orbits. These rare outcomes typically happen when asteroid orbits flip to a retrograde configuration while in the 3:1 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter and then live for {approx}0.001 to 100 Myr. The model predicts, given the estimated near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population, that a few retrograde 0.1-1 km NEAs should exist. Currently, there are two known MPC NEOs with asteroidal designations on retrograde orbits which we therefore claim could be escaped asteroids instead of devolatilized comets. This retrograde NEA population may also answer a long-standing question in the meteoritical literature regarding the origin of high-strength, high-velocity meteoroids on retrograde orbits.

  8. Modelling evolution of asteroid's rotation due to the YORP effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golubov, Oleksiy; Lipatova, Veronika; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2016-05-01

    The Yarkovsky--O'Keefe--Radzievskii--Paddack (or YORP) effect is influence of light pressure on rotation of asteroids. It is the most important factor for evolution of rotation state of small asteroids, which can drastically alter their rotation rate and obliquity over cosmologic timescales.In the poster we present our program, which calculates evolution of ratation state of small asteroids subject to the YORP effect. The program accounts for both axial and obliquity components of YORP, takes into account the thermal inertia of the asteroid's soil, and the tangential YORP. The axial component of YORP is computed using the model by Steinberg and Sari (AJ, 141, 55). The thermal inertia is accounted for in the framework of Golubov et al. 2016 (MNRAS, stw540). Computation of the tangential YORP is based on a siple analytical model, whose applicability is verified via comparison to exact numeric simulations.We apply the program to different shape models of asteroids, and study coupled evolution of their rotation rate and obliquity.

  9. Spins of Asteroids: The tale of the long tail

    CERN Document Server

    Steinberg, Elad

    2014-01-01

    The Asteroid Belt and the Kuiper Belt are relics from the formation of our solar system. Understanding the size and spin distribution of the two belts is crucial for a deeper understanding of the formation of our solar system and the dynamical process that govern it. In this paper, we investigate the effect of collisions on the evolution of the spin distribution of asteroids and KBO's. We find that the power law nature of the impactors' size distribution leads to a L\\'evy distribution of the spin rates. This results in a power law tail of the spin distribution, in stark contrast to the usually quoted Maxwellian distribution. We show that for bodies larger than 10 km, collisions alone lead to spin rates peaking at 0.15-0.5 revolutions per day. Comparing that to the observed spin rates of large asteroids ($R>50$ km), we find that the spins of large asteroids, peaking at $\\sim1-2$ revolutions per day, are dominated by a primordial component that reflects the formation mechanism of the asteroids. Similarly, the K...

  10. The Explored Asteroids: Science and Exploration in the Space Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.

    2015-11-01

    Interest in asteroids is currently high in view of their scientific importance, the impact hazard, and the in situ resource opportunities they offer. They are also a case study of the intimate relationship between science and exploration. A detailed review of the twelve asteroids that have been visited by eight robotic spacecraft is presented here. While the twelve explored asteroids have many features in common, like their heavily cratered and regolith covered surfaces, they are a remarkably diverse group. Some have low-eccentricity orbits in the main belt, while some are potentially hazardous objects. They range from dwarf planets to primary planetesimals to fragments of larger precursor objects to tiny shards. One has a moon. Their surface compositions range from basaltic to various chondrite-like compositions. Here their properties are reviewed and what was confirmed and what was newly learned is discussed, and additionally the explored asteroids are compared with comets and meteorites. Several topics are developed. These topics are the internal structure of asteroids, water distribution in the inner solar system and its role in shaping surfaces, and the meteoritic links.

  11. ASTEX – an in-situ exploration mission to two near-Earth asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Nathues, A.; Boehnhardt, H.; Harris, A. W.; Goetz, W.; Gritzner, C.; Jentsch, C.; Schmitz, N.; Schaeff, S.; Weischede, F.; Wiegand, A.

    2008-01-01

    ASTEX is a feasibility study of an in-situ exploration mission to two near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) funded by the German Space Agency DLR. The mission objectives call for targets with different mineralogical compositions: one asteroid should be of “primitive'' nature, the other one should be a fragment of a differentiated asteroid. The goals of the mission are to explore the physical, geological and mineralogical nature of the asteroids and to provide information and constraints on the formatio...

  12. Geo-Statistical Approach to Estimating Asteroid Exploration Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lincoln, William; Smith, Jeffrey H.; Weisbin, Charles

    2011-01-01

    NASA's vision for space exploration calls for a human visit to a near earth asteroid (NEA). Potential human operations at an asteroid include exploring a number of sites and analyzing and collecting multiple surface samples at each site. In this paper two approaches to formulation and scheduling of human exploration activities are compared given uncertain information regarding the asteroid prior to visit. In the first approach a probability model was applied to determine best estimates of mission duration and exploration activities consistent with exploration goals and existing prior data about the expected aggregate terrain information. These estimates were compared to a second approach or baseline plan where activities were constrained to fit within an assumed mission duration. The results compare the number of sites visited, number of samples analyzed per site, and the probability of achieving mission goals related to surface characterization for both cases.

  13. Chelyabinsk meteorite explains unusual spectral properties of Baptistina Asteroid Family

    CERN Document Server

    Reddy, Vishnu; Bottke, William; Cloutis, Ed; Izawa, Matt; O'Brien, Dave; Mann, Paul; Cuddy, Matt; Corre, Lucille Le; Gaffey, Michael; Fujihara, Gary

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the spectral and compositional properties of Chelyabinsk meteorite to identify its possible parent body in the main asteroid belt. Our analysis shows that the meteorite contains two spectrally distinct but compositionally indistinguishable components of LL5 chondrite and shock blackened/impact melt material. Our X-ray diffraction analysis confirms that the two lithologies of the Chelyabinsk meteorite are extremely similar in modal mineralogy. The meteorite is compositionally similar to LL chondrite and its most probable parent asteroid in the main belt is a member of the Flora family. Intimate mixture of LL5 chondrite and shock blackened/impact melt material from Chelyabinsk provides a spectral match with (8) Flora, the largest asteroid in the Flora family. The Baptistina family and Flora family overlap each other in dynamical space. Mineralogical analysis of (298) Baptistina and 9 small family members shows that their surface compositions are similar to LL chondrites, although their absorptio...

  14. Collisions, Cosmic Radiation and the Colors of the Trojan Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Melita, M D; Bar-Nun, A

    2009-01-01

    The Trojan asteroids orbit about the Lagrangian points of Jupiter and the residence times about their present location are very long for most of them. If these bodies originated in the outer Solar System, they should be mainly composed of water ice, but, in contrast with comets, all the volatiles close to the surface would have been lost long ago. Irrespective of the rotation period, and hence the surface temperature and ice sublimation rate, a dust layer exists always on the surface. We show that the timescale for resurfacing the entire surface of the Trojan asteroids is similar to that of the flattening of the red spectrum of the new dust by solar-proton irradiation. This, if the cut-off radius of the size distribution of the impacting objects is between 1mm and 1m and its slope is -3, for the entire size-range. Therefore, the surfaces of most Trojan asteroids should be composed mainly of unirradiated dust.

  15. Five-color photoelectric photometry of asteroid 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miner, E.; Young, J.

    1976-01-01

    Five-color (UVBGR) photoelectric light curves of Eros are presented which were obtained on nine nights during the asteroid's 1974/75 close apparition. Indications that three reversals occurred in the relative depths of the two minima between late December 1974 and late January 1975 are noted along with definite evidence of phase reddening. The maximum amplitude observed was 1.44 magnitudes, and the absolute visual magnitude at primary maximum (corrected to zero phase and to 1 AU from the earth and the sun) was about 10.8 magnitudes. Since the observations indicate that Eros has no significant rotational color variations, it is suggested that the light-curve amplitudes are due primarily to the asteroid's shape and to shadowing effects. Based on its colors relative to the sun, it is concluded that Eros appears to be an S-type asteroid.

  16. Near-field effects of asteroid impacts in deep water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gisler, Galen R [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Weaver, Robert P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Gittings, Michael L [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-06-11

    Our previous work has shown that ocean impacts of asteroids below 500 m in diameter do not produce devastating long-distance tsunamis. Nevertheless, a significant portion of the ocean lies close enough to land that near-field effects may prove to be the greatest danger from asteroid impacts in the ocean. Crown splashes and central jets that rise up many kilometres into the atmosphere can produce, upon their collapse, highly non-linear breaking waves that could devastate shorelines within a hundred kilometres of the impact site. We present illustrative calculations, in two and three dimensions, of such impacts for a range of asteroid sizes and impact angles. We find that, as for land impacts, the greatest dangers from oceanic impacts are the short-term near-field, and long-term atmospheric effects.

  17. Reflectance of Asteroid 4179 Toutatis Based on Space Optical Image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D. F.; Liu, P.; Zhao, W.; Huang, C. N.; Zhang, H. W.; Tang, X. L.

    2016-01-01

    On 2012 December 13, Chang'e-2 probe made a success flyby for Asteroid 4179 Toutatis in deep space of about 7 million kilometers away from the earth, and acquired a series of optical images with high resolution better than 3 m. In this paper, we process the radiation calibration data of imaging camera by least square fitting method, to obtain the absolute calibration coefficient and relative calibration correction matrix, and to recover original intensity of asteroid and its real surface radiance. According to the Nicodemus' reflectance definition proposed by Hapke, the directional-hemispherical reflectance of Toutatis is obtained. The average surface albedo in R, G, and B spectrum bands are 0.2083, 0.1269, and 0.1346, respectively, and the asteroid's surface albedo is 0.1566. Data indicate that, Toutatis is, somewhat, a red body in visible spectrum.

  18. Competitive Oxidation and Hydration During Aqueous Alteration of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolotov, M. Y.; Mironenko, M. V.; Shock, E. L.

    2005-01-01

    Introduction: Studies of chondrites show that incorporation of H2O ice during formation of asteroids followed by radioactive heating caused partial oxidation and hydration of primary reduced and anhydrous rocks. Oxidation of kamacite, phosphides, troilite and organic polymers occurred through consumption of water s oxygen and release of H2. Hydration caused formation of serpentine, saponite, chlorite, talc and hydrated salts. Since H2O was the major reactant in oxidation and hydration, these processes could have been competitive. Redox reactions in asteroids should have been closely connected to hydration (dehydration) during aqueous alteration and thermal metamorphism. For example, dehydration and reduction release H2O that can be consumed in oxidation and hydration, respectively. We model asteroidal processes in order to quantify the fate of H2O and water s oxygen in major redox and hydration/dehydration reactions. Model: Equilibrium compositions in the gas-solid-liquid

  19. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    CERN Document Server

    Nugent, C R; Bauer, J; Cutri, R M; Kramer, E A; Grav, T; Masiero, J; Sonnett, S; Wright, E L

    2016-01-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission continues to detect, track, and characterize minor planets. We present diameters and albedos calculated from observations taken during the second year since the spacecraft was reactivated in late 2013. These include 207 near-Earth asteroids and 8,885 other asteroids. $84\\%$ of the near-Earth asteroids did not have previously measured diameters and albedos by the NEOWISE mission. Comparison of sizes and albedos calculated from NEOWISE measurements with those measured by occultations, spacecraft, and radar-derived shapes shows accuracy consistent with previous NEOWISE publications. Diameters and albedos fall within $ \\pm \\sim20\\%$ and $\\pm\\sim40\\%$, 1-sigma, respectively, of those measured by these alternate techniques. NEOWISE continues to preferentially discover near-Earth objects which are large ($>100$ m), and have low albedos.

  20. The daily processing of asteroid observations by Gaia

    CERN Document Server

    Tanga, Paolo; Oro, Aldo Dell; Muinonen, Karri; Pauwels, Thierry; Thuillot, William; Berthier, Jerome; Cellino, Alberto; Hestroffer, Daniel; Petit, Jean-Marc; Carry, Benoit; David, Pedro; Delbo, Marco; Fedorets, Grigori; Galluccio, Laurent; Granvik, Mikael; Ordenovic, Christophe; Pentikainen, Hanna

    2015-01-01

    The Gaia mission started its regular observing program in the summer of 2014, and since then it is regularly obtaining observations of asteroids. This paper draws the outline of the data processing for Solar System objects, and in particular on the daily "short-term" processing, from the on-board data acquisition to the ground-based processing. We illustrate the tools developed to compute predictions of asteroid observations, we discuss the procedures implemented by the daily processing, and we illustrate some tests and validations of the processing of the asteroid observations. Our findings are overall consistent with the expectations concerning the performances of Gaia and the effectiveness of the developed software for data reduction.

  1. On the oldest asteroid families in the main belt

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, V; Aljbaae, S; Domingos, R C; Huaman, M

    2016-01-01

    Asteroid families are groups of minor bodies produced by high-velocity collisions. After the initial dispersions of the parent bodies fragments, their orbits evolve because of several gravitational and non-gravitational effects,such as diffusion in mean-motion resonances, Yarkovsky and YORP effects, close encounters of collisions, etc. The subsequent dynamical evolution of asteroid family members may cause some of the original fragments to travel beyond the conventional limits of the asteroid family. Eventually, the whole family will dynamically disperse and no longer be recognizable. A natural question that may arise concerns the timescales for dispersion of large families. In particular, what is the oldest still recognizable family in the main belt? Are there any families that may date from the late stages of the Late Heavy Bombardment and that could provide clues on our understanding of the primitive Solar System? In this work, we investigate the dynamical stability of seven of the allegedly oldest familie...

  2. Passive Sorting of Asteroid Material Using Solar Radiation Pressure

    CERN Document Server

    Yárnoz, Daniel García; McInnes, Colin R

    2014-01-01

    Understanding dust dynamics in the vicinity of asteroids is key for future science missions and, in the long-term, for asteroid exploitation. This paper analyzes the feasibility of manipulating asteroid material by means of solar radiation pressure. A novel method is proposed for passively sorting material as a function of its grain size or density, where solar radiation pressure is used as a passive in-situ "mass spectrometer". A simplified analysis shows that in principle this method allows an effective sorting of regolith material. This could have immediate applications for a sample return mission, and for industrial scale in-situ resource utilization to separate and concentrate regolith according to particle size or composition.

  3. On the asteroidal conductivities as inferred from meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solar wind interactions with planetary bodies without intrinsic magnetic fields depend to a large extent on the electrical conductivities of the objects in question. If the combined (i.e., ionospheric and interior) electrical conductivities are large, as in the case of Venus, the solar wind interaction is strong due to the generation of a large electrical current flow. It is suggested here that a similar interaction may occur at some asteroids, if their interior conductivity can be approximated by the conductivities of carbonaceous or iron-bearing meteorites. This interaction, in turn, can be used as a tool for remote sensing of the asteroidal interior properties in a spacecraft mission to asteroids. (Auth.)

  4. Automatic Detection of Asteroids and Meteoroids - A Wide Field Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Vereš, P; Jedicke, R; Tonry, J; Denneau, L; Wainscoat, R; Kornoš, L; Šilha, J

    2014-01-01

    We propose a low-cost robotic optical survey aimed at $1-300$ m Near Earth Objects (NEO) based on four state-of-the-art telescopes having extremely wide field of view. The small Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA) represent a potential risk but also easily accessible space resources for future robotic or human space in-situ exploration, or commercial activities. The survey system will be optimized for the detection of fast moving - trailed - asteroids, space debris and will provide real-time alert notifications. The expected cost of the system including 1-year development and 2-year operation is 1,000,000 EUR. The successful demonstration of the system will promote cost-efficient ADAM-WFS (Automatic Detection of Asteroids and Meteoroids - A Wide Field Survey) systems to be built around the world.

  5. Cosmic Roulette: Comets In The Main Belt Asteroid Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beech, Martin; Gauer, Kai

    2002-08-01

    We have produced top ten ranked lists of impact velocity, mainbelt asteroid region dwell times and impact probabilities for a selection of short period comets. The comet with the combined highest ranking with respect to impact probability and impact velocity is Comet C/1766 G1 Helfenzrieder. Since it is not clear that this comet still exists, the highest ranked, presently active, comet with respect to the likelihood of suffering impacts from meter-sized objects while in the main belt asteroid region is Comet 28P/Neujmin 1. We find no evidence to support the existence of a distinctive sub-set of the short period comets liable to show repeated outburst or splitting behavioursdue to small body, meter-sized, asteroid impacts.

  6. A Cubesat Asteroid Mission: Propulsion Trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Bur, Michael J.; Burke, Laura M.; Fittje, James E.; Kohout, Lisa L.; Fincannon, James; Packard, Thomas W.; Martini, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    A conceptual design was performed for a 6-U cubesat for a technology demonstration to be launched on the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) test launch EM-1, to be launched into a free-return translunar trajectory. The mission purpose was to demonstrate use of electric propulsion systems on a small satellite platform. The candidate objective chosen was a mission to visit a Near-Earth asteroid. Both asteroid fly-by and asteroid rendezvous missions were analyzed. Propulsion systems analyzed included cold-gas thruster systems, Hall and ion thrusters, incorporating either Xenon or Iodine propellant, and an electrospray thruster. The mission takes advantage of the ability of the SLS launch to place it into an initial trajectory of C3=0.

  7. Galileo Photometry of Asteroid 951 Gaspra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.; Thomas, P.C.; Simonelli, D.P.; Lee, P.; Klaasen, K.; Johnson, T.V.; Breneman, H.; Head, J.W.; Murchie, S.; Fanale, F.; Robinson, M.; Clark, B.; Granahan, J.; Garbeil, H.; McEwen, A.S.; Kirk, R.L.; Davies, M.; Neukum, G.; Mottola, S.; Wagner, R.; Belton, M.; Chapman, C.; Pilcher, C.

    1994-01-01

    Galileo images of Gaspra make it possible for the first time to determine a main-belt asteroid's photometric properties accurately by providing surface-resolved coverage over a wide range of incidence and emission angles and by extending the phase angle coverage to phases not observable from Earth. We combine Earth-based telescopic photometry over phase angles 2?? ??? ?? ??? 25?? with Galileo whole-disk and disk-resolved data at 33?? ??? ?? ??? 51?? to derive average global photometric properties in terms of Hapke's photometric model. The microscopic texture and particle phase-function behavior of Gaspra's surface are remarkably like those of other airless rocky bodies such as the Moon. The macroscopic surface roughness parameter, ??̄ = 29??, is slightly larger than that reported for typical lunar materials. The particle single scattering albedo, ??́0 = 0.36 ?? 0.07, is significantly larger than for lunar materials, and the opposition surge amplitude, B0 = 1.63 ?? 0.07, is correspondingly smaller. We determine a visual geometric albedo pv = 0.22 ?? 0.06 for Gaspra, in close agreement with pv = 0.22 ?? 0.03 estimated from Earth-based observations. Gaspra's phase integral is 0.47, and the bolometric Bond albedo is estimated to be 0.12 ?? 0.03. An albedo map derived by correcting Galileo images with our average global photometric function reveals subdued albedo contrasts of ??10% or less over Gaspra's northern hemisphere. Several independent classification algorithms confirm the subtle spectral heterogeneity reported earlier (S. Mottola, M. DiMartino, M. Gonano-Beurer, H. Hoffman, and G. Neukum, 1993, Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, pp. 421-424; M. J. S. Belton et al., 1992, Science 257, 1647-1652). Whole-disk colors (0.41 ??? ?? ??? 0.99 ??m) vary systematically with longitude by about ??5%, but color differences as large as 30% occur locally. Colors vary continuously between end-member materials whose areal distribution correlates with regional topography. Infrared

  8. Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Asteroid(4) Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-Yang; Bodewits, Dennis; Feaga, Lori M.; Landsman, Wayne; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Mutchler, Max J.; Russell, Christopher T.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Raymond, Carol A.

    2011-01-01

    We report a comprehensive review of the UV-visible spectrum and rotational lightcurve of Vesta combining new observations by Hubble Space Telescope and Swift with archival International Ultraviolet Explorer observations. The geometric albedos of Vesta from 220 nm to 953 nm arc derived by carefully comparing these observations from various instruments at different times and observing geometries. Vesta has a rotationally averaged geometric albedo of 0.09 at 250 nm, 0.14 at 300 nm, 0.26 at 373 nm, 0.38 at 673 nm, and 0.30 at 950 nm. The linear spectral slope in the ultraviolet displays a sharp minimum ncar sub-Earth longitude of 20deg, and maximum in the eastern hemisphere. This is completely consistent with the distribution of the spectral slope in the visible wavelength. The uncertainty of the measurement in the ultraviolet is approx.20%, and in the visible wavelengths better than 10%. The amplitude of Vesta's rotational lightcurves is approx.10% throughout the range of wavelengths we observed, but is smaller at 950 nm (approx.6%) ncar the 1-micron mafic band center. Contrary to earlier reports, we found no evidence for any difference between the phasing of the ultraviolet and visible/ncar-infrared lightcurves with respect to sub-Earth longitude. Vesta's average spectrum between 220 and 950 nm can well be described by measured reflectance spectra of fine particle howardite-like materials of basaltic achondrite meteorites. Combining this with the in-phase behavior of the ultraviolet, visible. and ncar-infrared lightcurves, and the spectral slopes with respect to the rotational phase, we conclude that there is no global ultraviolet/visible reversal on Vesta. Consequently, this implies lack of global space weathering on Vesta. Keyword,: Asteroid Vesta; Spectrophotometry; Spectroscopy; Ultraviolet observations; Hubble Space Telescope observations

  9. Threat from Rubble-Pile Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, P. H.

    2015-12-01

    While chondrites are the most common meteoroids to enter our atmosphere, they represent a small fraction of recovered falls. Most stony meteorites disrupt during entry, consumed by ablation or lost by weathering; in contrast, small iron meteorites (entry at altitude; (c) no accessory meteorite falls; (d) "explosion" (not low-speed compression) crater; (e) infrasound/seismic data indicating a high-speed entry/collision; and (f) petrologic evidence for shock deformation/melting in breccias indicative of speeds >4 km/s. Although a monolithic chondrite (~ 10 m across) might allow surviving entry, most objects of this size contain multiple flaws, ensuring atmospheric disruption. Hence, an alternative "needle model" was proposed wherein a small rubble-pile object gradually re-shaped itself during entry [Schultz, 2008], a process that minimizes drag, thermal signatures of entry, and catastrophic disruption. First proposed to account for smaller than expected craters on Venus [Schultz, 1992], such a process resembles subsequent Shoemaker-Levy entry models [Boslough and Crawford, 1997] that predicted much deeper entry than standard models. Laboratory experiments at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range simulated this process by breaking-up hypervelocity projectiles into a cloud of debris and tracking its path at near-full atmospheric pressure. The resulting cloud of fragments exhibited less deceleration than a solid sphere at the same speed. Moreover, shadowgraphs revealed constituent fragments "surfing" the pressure jump within the mach cone/column. Previous models proposed that crater-forming impacts must be >50-100 m in diameter in order to survive entry [Bland and Artemieva, 2004]. The "needle model" for the Carancas meteorite entry, however, raises questions about this lower limit for threats by rubble-pile asteroids, e.g., Itokawa. Consequently, we modeled the fate of a rubble-pile entering earth's atmosphere using GEODYN, an Eulerian code with adaptive mesh refinement

  10. Spatial Reasoning Training Through Light Curves Of Model Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziffer, Julie; Nakroshis, Paul A.; Rudnick, Benjamin T.; Brautigam, Maxwell J.; Nelson, Tyler W.

    2015-11-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that spatial reasoning skills, long known to be crucial to math and science success, are teachable. Even short stints of training can improve spatial reasoning skills among students who lack them (Sorby et al., 2006). Teaching spatial reasoning is particularly valuable to women and minorities who, through societal pressure, often doubt their spatial reasoning skill (Hill et al., 2010). We have designed a hands on asteroid rotation lab that provides practice in spatial reasoning tasks while building the student’s understanding of photometry. For our tool, we mount a model asteroid, with any shape of our choosing, on a slowly rotating motor shaft, whose speed is controlled by the experimenter. To mimic an asteroid light curve, we place the model asteroid in a dark box, shine a movable light source upon our asteroid, and record the light reflected onto a moveable camera. Students may then observe changes in the light curve that result from varying a) the speed of rotation, b) the model asteroid’s orientation with respect to the motor axis, c) the model asteroid’s shape or albedo, and d) the phase angle. After practicing with our tool, students are asked to pair new objects to their corresponding light curves. To correctly pair objects to their light curves, students must imagine how light scattering off of a three dimensional rotating object is imaged on a ccd sensor plane, and then reduced to a series of points on a light curve plot. Through the use of our model asteroid, the student develops confidence in spatial reasoning skills.

  11. A Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout for the AIDA Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Tra Mi; Lange, Caroline; Grimm, Christian; Thimo Grundmann, Jan; Rößler, Johannes; Schröder, Silvio; Skoczylas, Thomas; Ziach, Christian; Biele, Jens; Cozzoni, Barbara; Krause, Christian; Küchemann, Oliver; Maibaum, Michael; Ulamec, Stephan; Lange, Michael; Mierheim, Olaf; Maier, Maximilian; Herique, Alain; Mascot Study Team

    2016-04-01

    The Asteroid Impact Deflection, AIDA, mission is composed of a kinetic impactor, DART and an observer, the Asteroid Impact Monitor, AIM, carrying among other payload a surface package, MASCOT2 (MSC2). Its proposed concept is based on the MASCOT lander onboard the HAYABUSA2 Mission (JAXA) to near-Earth asteroid (162173) Ryugu. MASCOT is a compact platform ('shoe box size') carrying a suite of 4 scientific instruments and has a landed mass of ~10kg. Equipped with a mobility mechanism, the MASCOT lander is able to upright and relocate on the targeted asteroid; thus providing in-situ data at more than one site. In the context of the AIDA Mission, the MASCOT2 lander would be carried by the AIM spacecraft and delivered onto Didymoon, the secondary object in the (65803) Didymos binary near-Earth asteroid system. Since the mission objectives of the AIM mission within the joint AIDA mission concept differ from JAXA's sample return mission HAYABUSA2, several design changes need to be studied and implemented. To support one of the prime objectives of the AIM mission, the characterization of the bulk physical properties of Didymoon, the main scientific payload of MSC2 is a low-frequency radar (LFR) to investigate the internal structure of the asteroid moon. Since the total science payload on MASCOT2 is limited to approximately 2.3 kg, the mass remaining for a suite of other experiments is in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 kg per instrument. Further requirements have a significant impact on the MSC2 design which will be presented. Among these are the much longer required operational lifetime than for MASCOT on HAYABUSA2, and different conditions on the target body such as an extremely low gravity due to its small size of Ø_[Didymoon] ~ 150m.

  12. NASA's asteroid redirect mission: Robotic boulder capture option

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-07-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar-electric-propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (˜4--10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is also examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (˜1--5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (˜100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. The Robotic Boulder Capture (RBC) option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well-characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU_3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. This ARM option reduces mission risk and provides increased benefits for science, human exploration, resource utilization, and planetary defense.

  13. On the degradation of asteroid astrometry due to background objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivantsov, Anatoliy; Eggl, Siegfried; Hestroffer, Daniel; Thuillot, William; Assafin, Marcelo

    2015-08-01

    The fact that images where an asteroid is apparently close to a star or another background object can cause a potential degradation of astrometric accuracy has received little attention so far. The reason for this bias lies in the non-zero background gradient that will change the brightness distribution in the image of the asteroid. This leads to an apparent shift in its position in the direction of the nearby object. In the worst case reduction software suites can no longer differentiate between the sources representing the asteroid and the background star which results in a complete misidentification. Since today many astrometric measurements are conducted on an automated basis, such a problem has to be taken seriously. While there is a possibility for observers to identify these problematic measurements using the observational notes by the IAU Minor Planet Centre (MPC) in the current observational format, this option has not been used efficiently. In fact, we have conducted a search for problematic configurations in all asteroid positions observed during the last 30 years that are listed in the MPC database. To this end we have cataloged stars and non-stellar objects from the PPMXL, UCAC4, NOMAD, USNO-B1.0, SDSS catalogs within 8″ of all astrometric measurements of asteroids. We have found more than 2 million cases within 3.5″ where astrometric measurements should have been compromised. Using statistics on residuals from observations of the MPC, and some assumptions, we have identified those observations which may contain the aforementioned bias. The elimination of this error is possible by jointly modeling the images of the asteroid and the background stars present in the measuring aperture. We provide an expression for the correction of this error using additional information about the measurement details. We recommend that images containing background sources close to the asteroid's position should either receive lower weights in the orbital fitting

  14. Polarization of the reflected light of asteroid 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, B.; Gradie, J.

    1976-01-01

    Linear polarizations measured for asteroid 433 Eros at various wavelengths and at solar phase angles ranging from 9 to 53 deg are presented. The polarization results are entirely typical of main-belt S asteroids, and indicate a dusty surface with geometric albedo 0.20. The derived effective diameter at photometric maximum is 21 km. Eros is quite uniform polarimetrically; no dependence on aspect is detected, and the polarization is shown to be constant during a single rotation with a precision of one part in forty.

  15. 3-D Printed Asteroids for Outreach Astronomy Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, April

    2015-11-01

    3-D printed asteroids provide new opportunities for outreach astronomy education due to their low cost, interactive potential, and high interest value. Telescopes are expensive, bulky, fragile, and cannot be used effectively during the day. 3-D printing of asteroids combines exciting new technology with astronomy, appealing to a broader audience. The printed models are scientifically accurate, as their shapes have been modeled using light-curve inversion techniques using and occultation data to provide a jumping off point for discussions of these advanced and exciting topics.

  16. Detection of earth-approaching asteroids in near real time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, D. L.

    1991-01-01

    Computer software, called the Moving Object Detection Program (MODP), is described which detects earth-approaching asteroids in near real time. The software runs on a workstation linked to the output of the drift-scanning CCD camera of the Spacewatch Telescope. MOPD recognizes trailed images, detects motion, and accurately determines angular positions and rates of motion for moving objects in the scan images. The results are obtained a few seconds after the image signals are shifted out of the CCD. During 2 months of trial observations with this system, 304 asteroids were detected down to a limiting apparent magnitude for untrailed images of V = 20.5.

  17. ALMA Observations of Asteroid 3 Juno at 60 Kilometer Resolution

    OpenAIRE

    Partnership, ALMA; Hunter, T.R.; Kneissl, R.; Moullet, A.; Brogan, C. L.; Fomalont, E. B.; Vlahakis, C; Asaki, Y.; Barkats, D.; Dent, W.R.F.; R. Hills; Hirota, A.; Hodge, J. A.; Impellizzeri, C. M. V.; Liuzzo, E.

    2015-01-01

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 1.3 mm continuum images of the asteroid 3 Juno obtained with an angular resolution of 0.042 arcseconds (60 km at 1.97 AU). The data were obtained over a single 4.4 hr interval, which covers 60% of the 7.2 hr rotation period, approximately centered on local transit. A sequence of ten consecutive images reveals continuous changes in the asteroid's profile and apparent shape, in good agreement with the sky projection of the three-dim...

  18. Discovering asteroids temporarily captured by the Earth with LSST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorets, Grigori; Granvik, Mikael; Jones, Lynne; Jedicke, Robert

    2015-08-01

    Granvik et al. (2012, Icarus 218) predict that there is a population of small asteroids orbiting the Earth at any given time. These asteroids have been temporarily captured by the Earth from the much larger population of near-Earth asteroids. Temporarily-captured asteroids have elliptic geocentric orbits and come to within 0.03 au from the Earth. We divide the population into temporarily-captured orbiters (TCOs, or minimoons) that make at least one full revolution around the Earth, and into temporarily-captured flybys (TCFs) which make less than one revolution around the Earth. Recent results suggest that at any given time there is one 2--3-meter-diameter asteroid captured on a geocentric orbit within 0.03 au from the Earth (Fedorets et al., in preparation). At any given time, there is a dozen 1-meter-diameter captured asteroids, 2--3 of which are TCFs.The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will become operational in early 2020's. LSST is expected cover the available sky from its location in Chile every 4 nights for the duration of a 10 years. The observational cadence combined with the expected limited magnitude, r=24.5, suggest that LSST will detect a new minimoon once a month (Bolin et al. 2014, Icarus 241). Only one minimoon, asteroid 2006 RH120, has so far been discovered (Kwiatkowski et al. 2009, A&A 495).Whereas Bolin et al. (2014, Icarus 241) investigated possibilities for detecting minimoons by current and upcoming survey telescopes we extend the analysis to include the linking of minimoon detections, that is, aiming at extracting minimoon trajectories and, further, minimoon orbits from LSST data. We will test the performance of the current LSST pipeline with simulated TCO and TCF data assuming a realistic magnitude distribution derived from a novel NEO model by Granvik et al. (in preparation).Proving that minimoons can be discovered using LSST data will increase the scientific interest towards them, perhaps primarily as a population of asteroids in

  19. Nuclear cycler: An incremental approach to the deflection of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasile, Massimiliano; Thiry, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    This paper introduces a novel deflection approach based on nuclear explosions: the nuclear cycler. The idea is to combine the effectiveness of nuclear explosions with the controllability and redundancy offered by slow push methods within an incremental deflection strategy. The paper will present an extended model for single nuclear stand-off explosions in the proximity of elongated ellipsoidal asteroids, and a family of natural formation orbits that allows the spacecraft to deploy multiple bombs while being shielded by the asteroid during the detonation.

  20. Evidence for Gas from a Disintegrating Extrasolar Asteroid

    CERN Document Server

    Xu, S; Dufour, P; Zuckerman, B

    2015-01-01

    We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations of WD 1145+017 -- a white dwarf that recently has been found to be transitted by multiple asteroid-sized objects within its tidal radius. We have discovered numerous circumstellar absorption lines with linewidths of $\\sim$ 300 km s$^{-1}$ from Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe and Ni, possibly from several gas streams produced by collisions among the actively disintegrating objects. The atmosphere of WD 1145+017 is polluted with 11 heavy elements, including O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V:, Cr, Mn, Fe and Ni. Evidently, we are witnessing the active disintegration and subsequent accretion of an extrasolar asteroid.

  1. Guide to the universe asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets-those small bodies that revolve the Sun-and provides readers with the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of scientific knowledge about them. Scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the smallest celestial bodies in the solar system.||The book will introduce students to all of the areas of research surrounding the subject, answering many intr

  2. Histogram Filter for Attitude Determination of Small Asteroid Lander

    OpenAIRE

    Schlotterer, Markus; Findlay, Ross; Ho, Tra-Mi; Witte, Lars; Ziach, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) is a small landing package build by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) jointly with the French Space Agency (CNES). MASCOT will fly onboard the Japanese space probe Hayabusa-II, built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and is scheduled to be launched in late 2014 on a 5-year sample return mission to the Near-Earth Asteroid 1999 JU3. The lander is equipped with four science instruments which will take detailed close-up pictures and mak...

  3. Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    OpenAIRE

    Ji, Jianghui; Jiang, Yun; Zhao, Yuhui; Wang, Su; Yu, LiangLiang

    2015-01-01

    On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about thi...

  4. M-type asteroids - Rotational properties of 16 objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotto, E.; Barucci, M. A.; Fulchignoni, M.; di Martino, M.; Rotundi, A.; Burchi, R.; di Paolantonio, A.

    1992-10-01

    We present the results of photometric observations of 16 M-type asteroids performed from 1984 through 1990. We determine for the first time a reliable rotational period for the asteroids 369 Aeria, 785 Zwetana, and 798 Ruth. We estimate the shape and the pole coordinates of 135 Hertha and 250 Bettina and also check those of 16 Psyche, 21 Lutetia, 22 Kalliope, 129 Antigone and 216 Kleopatra. Composite lightcurves are derived for nine of the observed objects (83 Beatrix, 97 Klotho, 110 Lydia, 129 Antigone, 135 Hertha, 216 Kleopatra, 369 Aeria, 785 Zwetana and 798 Ruth).

  5. Multiple main-belt asteroid mission options for a Mariner Mark II spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, Carl G., Jr.; Yen, Chen-Wan L.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents the trajectory options available for a MMII spacecraft mission to asteroids and introduces systematic methods of uncovering attractive mission opportunities. The analysis presented considers multiple synchronous gravity assists of Mars and introduces a terminal resonant or phasing orbit; a concept useful for both increasing the number of asteroid rendezvous targets attainable during a launch opportunity, and also in increasing the number of potential asteroid flybys. Systematic examinations of the requirements for superior asteroidal alignments are made and a comprehensive set of asteroid rendezvous opportunities for the 1998 to 2010 period are presented. Examples of candidate missions involving one or more rendezvous and several flybys are also presented.

  6. Consequences of impacts of small asteroids and comets with Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, J. G.

    The fragmentation of a small asteroid in the atmosphere greatly increases its cross sections for aerodynamic braking and energy dissipation. At a typical impact velocity of 22 km/s, the atmosphere absorbs more than half the kinetic energy of stony meteoroids with diameters, D(sub m), less than 220 m and iron meteoroids with D(sub m) less than 80 m. The corresponding diameter for comets with impact velocity 50 km/s is D(sub m) less than 1600 m. Most of the atmospheric energy dissipation occurs in a fraction of a scale height, so large meteors appear to 'explode' or 'flare' at the end of their visible paths. This dissipation of energy in the atmosphere protects the earth from direct impact damage (e.g., craters), but it produces a blast wave that can do considerable damage. The area of destruction around the impact point in which the over-pressure in the blast wave exceeds 4 lb/sq in = 2.8 x 10(exp 5) dynes/cu cm, which is enough to knock over trees and destroy buildings, increases rapidly from zero for chondritic meteoroids less than 56 m in diameter (15 megatons) to about 200 sq km for those 80 m in diameter (48 megatons); the probable diameter of the tunguska impactor of 1908 is about 80 m. Crater formation and earthquakes are not significant in land impacts by stony asteroids less than about 200 m in diameter because of the air protection. A tsunami is probably the most devastating type of damage for asteroids 200 m to 1 km in diameter. An impact by an asteroid this size anywhere in the Atlantic would devastate coastal areas on both sides of the ocean. An asteroid a few kilometers across would produce a tsunami that would reach the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the upper half of the East Coast of the United States. Most of Florida is protected from a tsunami by the gradual slope of the ocean off its coast, which causes most of the tsunami energy to be reflected back into the Atlantic. The atmosphere plume produced by asteroids with diameters exceeding

  7. Consequences of impacts of small asteroids and comets with Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, J. G.

    1994-01-01

    The fragmentation of a small asteroid in the atmosphere greatly increases its cross sections for aerodynamic braking and energy dissipation. At a typical impact velocity of 22 km/s, the atmosphere absorbs more than half the kinetic energy of stony meteoroids with diameters, D(sub m), less than 220 m and iron meteoroids with D(sub m) less than 80 m. The corresponding diameter for comets with impact velocity 50 km/s is D(sub m) less than 1600 m. Most of the atmospheric energy dissipation occurs in a fraction of a scale height, so large meteors appear to 'explode' or 'flare' at the end of their visible paths. This dissipation of energy in the atmosphere protects the earth from direct impact damage (e.g., craters), but it produces a blast wave that can do considerable damage. The area of destruction around the impact point in which the over-pressure in the blast wave exceeds 4 lb/sq in = 2.8 x 10(exp 5) dynes/cu cm, which is enough to knock over trees and destroy buildings, increases rapidly from zero for chondritic meteoroids less than 56 m in diameter (15 megatons) to about 200 sq km for those 80 m in diameter (48 megatons); the probable diameter of the tunguska impactor of 1908 is about 80 m. Crater formation and earthquakes are not significant in land impacts by stony asteroids less than about 200 m in diameter because of the air protection. A tsunami is probably the most devastating type of damage for asteroids 200 m to 1 km in diameter. An impact by an asteroid this size anywhere in the Atlantic would devastate coastal areas on both sides of the ocean. An asteroid a few kilometers across would produce a tsunami that would reach the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the upper half of the East Coast of the United States. Most of Florida is protected from a tsunami by the gradual slope of the ocean off its coast, which causes most of the tsunami energy to be reflected back into the Atlantic. The atmosphere plume produced by asteroids with diameters exceeding

  8. Simulations of impacts on rubble-pile asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deller, J.; Snodgrass, C.; Lowry, S.; Price, M.; Sierks, H.

    2014-07-01

    Rubble-pile asteroids can contain a high level of macroporosity. For some asteroids, porosities of 40 % or even more have been measured [1]. While little is known about the exact distribution of the voids inside rubble-pile asteroids, assumptions have to be made for the modeling of impact events on these bodies. Most hydrocodes do not distinguish between micro- and macroporosity, instead describing brittle material by a constitutive model as homogeneous. We developed a method to model rubble-pile structures in hypervelocity impact events explicitly. The formation of the asteroid is modelled as a gravitational aggregation of spherical `pebbles', that form the building blocks of our target. This aggregate is then converted into a high-resolution Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) model, which also accounts for macroporosity inside the pebbles. We present results of a study that quantifies the influence of our model parameters on the outcome of a typical impact event of two small main-belt asteroids. The existence of void space in our model increases the resistance against collisional disruption, a behavior observed before [2]. We show that for our model no a priori knowledge of the rubble-pile constituents in the asteroid is needed, as the choice of the corresponding parameters does not directly correlate with the impact outcome. The size distribution of the pebbles used as building blocks in the formation of an asteroid is only poorly constrained. As a starting point, we use a power law N(>r) ∝ r^α to describe the distribution of radii of the pebbles. Reasonable values for the slope α range around α=-2.5, as found in the size distribution of main-belt objects [3,4]. The cut-off values for pebbles, r_{min} and r_{max} are given by practical considerations: In the SPH formalism, properties are represented by weighted averages of particles within their smoothing length h, preventing the resolution of structures below that scale. Using spheres with radius in the

  9. The Physical Characterization of the Potentially-Hazardous Asteroid 2004 BL86: A Fragment of a Differentiated Asteroid

    OpenAIRE

    Reddy, Vishnu; Gary, Bruce L.; Sanchez, Juan A; Takir, Driss; Thomas, Cristina A.; Hardersen, Paul S.; Ogmen, Yenal; Benni, Paul; Thomas G Kaye; Gregorio, Joao; Garlitz, Joe; Polishook, David; Corre, Lucille Le; Nathues, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The physical characterization of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) is important for impact hazard assessment and evaluating mitigation options. Close flybys of PHAs provide an opportunity to study their surface photometric and spectral properties that enable identification of their source regions in the main asteroid belt. We observed PHA (357439) 2004 BL86 during a close flyby of the Earth at a distance of 1.2 million km (0.0080 AU) on January 26, 2015, with an array of ground-based tel...

  10. AcuA: the AKARI/IRC Mid-infrared Asteroid Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Usui, Fumihiko; Mueller, Thomas G; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Ishihara, Daisuke; Kataza, Hirokazu; Takita, Satoshi; Oyabu, Shinki; Ueno, Munetaka; Matsuhara, Hideo; Onaka, Takashi

    2011-01-01

    We present the results of an unbiased asteroid survey in the mid-infrared wavelength with the Infrared Camera (IRC) onboard the Japanese infrared satellite AKARI. About 20% of the point source events recorded in the AKARI All-Sky Survey observations are not used for the IRC Point Source Catalog (IRC-PSC) in its production process because of the lack of multiple detection by position. Asteroids, which are moving objects on the celestial sphere, remain in these "residual events". We identify asteroids out of the residual events by matching them with the positions of known asteroids. For the identified asteroids, we calculate the size and albedo based on the Standard Thermal Model. Finally we have a brand-new catalog of asteroids, named the Asteroid Catalog Using Akari (AcuA), which contains 5,120 objects, about twice as many as the IRAS asteroid catalog. The catalog objects comprise 4,953 main belt asteroids, 58 near Earth asteroids, and 109 Jovian Trojan asteroids. The catalog will be publicly available via th...

  11. Capillary action in a crack on the surface of asteroids with an application to 433 Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yu; Baoyin, Hexi

    2016-08-01

    Some asteroids contain water ice, and a space mission landing on an asteroid may take liquid to the surface of the asteroid. Gas pressure is very weak on the surface of asteroids. Here we consider the capillary action in a crack on the surface of irregular asteroids. The crack is modeled as a capillary which has a fixed radius. An asteroid's irregular gravitational potential influences the height of the liquid in the capillary. The height of the liquid in the capillary on the surface of such asteroids is derived from the asteroid's irregular gravitational potential. Capillary mechanisms are expected to produce an inhomogeneaous distribution of emergent liquid on the surface. This result is applied to asteroid 433 Eros, which has an irregular, elongated, and concave shape. Two cases are considered: (1) we calculate the height of the liquid in the capillary when the direction of the capillary is perpendicular to the local surface of the asteroid; (2) we calculate the height of the liquid in the capillary when the direction of the capillary is parallel to the vector from the center of mass to the surface position. The projected height in the capillary on the local surface of the asteroid seems to depend on the assumed direction of the capillary.

  12. Earth-crossing asteroids - Orbital classes, collision rates with earth, and origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Williams, J. G.; Helin, E. F.; Wolfe, R. F.

    1979-01-01

    Asteroids that can intersect the orbit of the earth are discussed, which include Aten asteroids (semimajor axis (a) less than 1 AU, aphelion greater than 0.983 AU), Apollo asteroids (a greater than 1 AU, perihelion less than 1.017 AU), and Amor asteroids (perihelion distance between 1.017 and 1.3 AU). The principal sources of earth-crossing asteroids appear to be extinct comet nuclei and collision fragments from regions in the main asteroid belt. The total population of earth-crossers is estimated at 13,000, of which approximately 8% are Atens, 50% are Apollos, and 40% are Amors,and the present collision rate of such asteroids with the earth is estimated at about 3.5 objects, to absolute magnitude 18, per million years.

  13. Digital Tracking Observations Can Discover Asteroids Ten Times Fainter than Conventional Searches

    CERN Document Server

    Heinze, Aren; Trollo, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    We describe digital tracking, a method for asteroid searches that greatly increases the sensitivity of a telescope to faint unknown asteroids. It has been previously used to detect faint Kuiper Belt objects using the Hubble Space Telescope and large ground-based instruments, and to find a small, fast-moving asteroid during a close approach to Earth. We complement this earlier work by developing digital tracking methodology for detecting asteroids using large-format CCD imagers. We demonstrate that the technique enables the ground-based detection of large numbers of new faint asteroids. Our methodology resolves or circumvents all major obstacles to the large-scale application of digital tracking for finding main belt and near-Earth asteroids. We find that for both asteroid populations, digital tracking can deliver a factor of ten improvement over conventional searches. Digital tracking has long been standard practice for deep Kuiper Belt surveys, but even there our methodology enables deeper integrations than ...

  14. Preliminary design of an asteroid hopping mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheppa, Michael D.

    In 2010, NASA announced that its new vision is to support private space launch operations. It is anticipated that this new direction will create the need for new and innovative ideas that push the current boundaries of space exploration and contain the promise of substantial gain, both in research and capital. The purpose of the study is to plan and estimate the feasibility of a mission to visit a number of near Earth asteroids (NEAs). The mission would take place before the end of the 21st century, and would only use commercially available technology. Throughout the mission design process, while holding astronaut safety paramount, it was the goal to maximize the return while keeping the cost to a minimum. A mission of the nature would appeal to the private space industry because it could be easily adapted and set into motion. The mission design was divided into three main parts; mission timeline, vehicle design and power sources, with emphasis on nuclear and solar electric power, were investigated. The timeline and associated trajectories were initially selected using a numerical estimation and then optimized using Satellite Tool Kit (STK) 9.s's Design Explorer Optimizer [1]. Next, the spacecraft was design using commercially available parts that would support the mission requirements. The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) was and instrumental piece in maximizing the number of NEAs visited. Once the spacecraft was designed, acceptable power supply options were investigated. The VASIMR VX-200 requires 200 kilowatts of power to maintain thrust. This creates the need for a substantial power supply that consists of either a nuclear reactor of massive solar arrays. STK 9.1's Design Explorer Optimizer was able to create a mission time line that allowed for the exploration of seven NEAs in under two years, while keeping the total mission DeltaV under 71 kilometers per second. Based on these initial findings, it is determined that a mission of this

  15. Footprints of a possible Ceres asteroid paleo-family

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, V; Marchi, S; Aljbaae, S

    2016-01-01

    Ceres is the largest and most massive body in the asteroid main belt. Observational data from the Dawn spacecraft reveal the presence of at least two impact craters about 280~km in diameter on the Ceres surface, that could have expelled a significant number of fragments. Yet, standard techniques for identifying dynamical asteroid families have not detected any Ceres family. In this work, we argue that linear secular resonances with Ceres deplete the population of objects near Ceres. Also, because of the high escape velocity from Ceres, family members are expected to be very dispersed, with a considerable fraction of km-sized fragments that should be able to reach the pristine region of the main belt, the area between the 5J:-2A and 7J:-3A mean-motion resonances, where the observed number of asteroids is low. Rather than looking for possible Ceres family members near Ceres, here we propose to search in the pristine region. We identified 156 asteroids whose taxonomy, colors, albedo could be compatible with bein...

  16. Delivery of Organic Material and Water through Asteroid Impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Frantseva, Kateryna; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2014-01-01

    Meteorites, specifically carbonaceous chondrites, are frequently invoked as the primary source of Earth's water and organic materials, crucial ingredients for the formation of life. We have started developing a dynamical model of the delivery of their parent bodies, primitive low-albedo asteroids, f

  17. SIMULTANEOUS LINEAR AND CIRCULAR OPTICAL POLARIMETRY OF ASTEROID (4) VESTA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    From a single 3.8 hr observation of the asteroid (4) Vesta at 13.°7 phase angle with the POlarimeter at Lick for Inclination Studies of Hot jupiters 2 (POLISH2) at the Lick Observatory Shane 3 m telescope, we confirm rotational modulation of linear polarization in the B and V bands. We measure the peak-to-peak modulation in the degree of linear polarization to be ΔP = (294 ± 35) × 10−6 (ppm) and time-averaged ΔP/P = 0.0575 ± 0.0069. After rotating the plane of linear polarization to the scattering plane, asteroidal rotational modulation is detected with 12σ confidence and observed solely in Stokes Q/I. POLISH2 simultaneously measures Stokes I, Q, U (linear polarization), and V (circular polarization), but we detect no significant circular polarization with a 1σ upper limit of 78 ppm in the B band. Circular polarization is expected to arise from multiple scattering of sunlight by rough surfaces, and it has previously been detected in nearly all other classes of solar system bodies except for asteroids. Subsequent observations may be compared with surface albedo maps from the Dawn Mission, which may allow the identification of compositional variation across the asteroidal surface. These results demonstrate the high accuracy achieved by POLISH2 at the Lick 3 m telescope, which is designed to directly detect scattered light from spatially unresolvable exoplanets

  18. Multi-wavelength observations of Asteroid 2100 Ra-Shalom

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shepard, M.K.; Clark, B. E.; Nolan, M. C.; Benner, L. A. M.; Ostro, S. J.; Giorgini, J. D.; Vilas, F.; Jarvis, K.; Lederer, S.; Lim, L.F.; McConnochie, T.; Bell, J.; Margot, J. L.; Rivkin, A. S.; Magrik, C.; Scheeres, D.J.; Pravec, Petr

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 193, č. 1 (2008), s. 20-38. ISSN 0019-1035 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids composition * radar observations Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.268, year: 2008

  19. Magnetic susceptibility as a tool to match asteroids and meteorites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Elbra, T.; Pesonen, L. J.; Schnabl, Petr; Šlechta, Stanislav

    Helsinki : Geofysiikan seura, 2007 - (Kaila, K.; Korja, T.), s. 69-73 ISSN 0358-2981. - (Geofysiikan päivät). [Geofysics days /13./. Oulu (FI), 23.05.2007-24.05.2007] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : magnetic susceptibility * meteorite physical properties * asteroid Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  20. WISE Albedos for Tens of Thousands of Main Belt Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R.; Dailey, J.; Delbo, M.; Grav, T.; McMillan, R. S.; Mueller, M.; Walker, R.; Wright, E.; WISE Science Team, [No Value

    2010-01-01

    Using thermal IR data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission we have calculated diameters for tens of thousands of previously known Main Belt asteroids. Using archival optical observations we have also determined albedos for each object. We present our results from this investig

  1. Close Encounters of Asteroids and Comets to Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hills, J.G.; Goda, M.P.; Solem, J.C.

    1999-07-09

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The authors find by numerical simulations that the elongated-potato shape that is characteristic of Earth-crossing asteroids (ECAs) is likely the result of previous close tidal encounters with Earth. Some meteoroids graze the atmosphere of Earth before returning to space (at reduced speed). They used a spherical atmospheric model to study such grazers to find the condition under which they are captured into gravitationally bound orbits around Earth. They find that for about every thousand iron asteroids that hit the Earth, one is captured into a gravitational-bound orbit. Some fraction of these captured objects will have their orbits stabilized for many revolutions by tidal encounters with the Moon and the sun. They have also studied how the damage produced by such grazing and near-grazing asteroids differs from that produced by asteroids that hit Earth more directly.

  2. Asteroid families classification: exploiting very large data sets

    CERN Document Server

    Milani, Andrea; Knezevic, Zoran; Novakovic, Bojan; Spoto, Federica; Paolicchi, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    The number of asteroids with accurately determined orbits increases fast. The catalogs of asteroid physical observations have also increased, although the number of objects is still smaller than in the orbital catalogs. We developed a new approach to the asteroid family classification by combining the Hierarchical Clustering Method (HCM) with a method to add new members to existing families. This procedure makes use of the much larger amount of information contained in the proper elements catalogs, with respect to classifications using also physical observations for a smaller number of asteroids. Our work is based on the large catalog of the high accuracy synthetic proper elements (available from AstDyS). We first identify a number of core families; to these we attribute the next layer of smaller objects. Then, we remove all the family members from the catalog, and reapply the HCM to the rest. This gives both halo families which extend the core families and new independent families, consisting mainly of small...

  3. On the Title of Moriarty's 'Dynamics of an Asteroid'

    CERN Document Server

    Jenkins, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    We propose an explanation of the title of Prof. James Moriarty's treatise_Dynamics of an Asteroid_, a scientific work mentioned by Sherlock Holmes in_The Valley of Fear_ and prominently featured in Guy Ritchie's 2011 film_Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows_. Our views on the subject differ from those expressed in Isaac Asimov's "The Ultimate Crime".

  4. Lightcurves from the Initial Discovery of Four Hungaria Binary Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.; Pravec, Petr; Kusnirak, Peter; Harris, Alan W.; Cooney, Walter R., Jr.; Gross, John; Terrell, Dirk; Nudds, Shannon; Vilagi, Josef; Gajdos, Stefan; Masi, Gianluca; Pray, Donald P.; Dyvig, Ron; Reddy, Vishnu

    2011-04-01

    Lightcurves from the initial discovery of four Hungaria binary asteroids are presented: 3309 Brorfeld, (5477) 1989 UH2, 9069 Hovland, and (76818) 2000 RG79. Announcements and some web postings were made at the time of the discoveries but the lightcurves were not formally published.

  5. SIMULTANEOUS LINEAR AND CIRCULAR OPTICAL POLARIMETRY OF ASTEROID (4) VESTA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Nofi, Larissa A., E-mail: sloanew@ucolick.org [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2015-02-10

    From a single 3.8 hr observation of the asteroid (4) Vesta at 13.°7 phase angle with the POlarimeter at Lick for Inclination Studies of Hot jupiters 2 (POLISH2) at the Lick Observatory Shane 3 m telescope, we confirm rotational modulation of linear polarization in the B and V bands. We measure the peak-to-peak modulation in the degree of linear polarization to be ΔP = (294 ± 35) × 10{sup −6} (ppm) and time-averaged ΔP/P = 0.0575 ± 0.0069. After rotating the plane of linear polarization to the scattering plane, asteroidal rotational modulation is detected with 12σ confidence and observed solely in Stokes Q/I. POLISH2 simultaneously measures Stokes I, Q, U (linear polarization), and V (circular polarization), but we detect no significant circular polarization with a 1σ upper limit of 78 ppm in the B band. Circular polarization is expected to arise from multiple scattering of sunlight by rough surfaces, and it has previously been detected in nearly all other classes of solar system bodies except for asteroids. Subsequent observations may be compared with surface albedo maps from the Dawn Mission, which may allow the identification of compositional variation across the asteroidal surface. These results demonstrate the high accuracy achieved by POLISH2 at the Lick 3 m telescope, which is designed to directly detect scattered light from spatially unresolvable exoplanets.

  6. Footprints of a possible Ceres asteroid paleo-family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruba, V.; Nesvorný, D.; Marchi, S.; Aljbaae, S.

    2016-05-01

    Ceres is the largest and most massive body in the asteroid main belt. Observational data from the Dawn spacecraft reveal the presence of at least two impact craters about 280 km in diameter on the Ceres surface, that could have expelled a significant number of fragments. Yet, standard techniques for identifying dynamical asteroid families have not detected any Ceres family. In this work, we argue that linear secular resonances with Ceres deplete the population of objects near Ceres. Also, because of the high escape velocity from Ceres, family members are expected to be very dispersed, with a considerable fraction of km-sized fragments that should be able to reach the pristine region of the main belt, the area between the 5J:-2A and 7J:-3A mean-motion resonances, where the observed number of asteroids is low. Rather than looking for possible Ceres family members near Ceres, here we propose to search in the pristine region. We identified 156 asteroids whose taxonomy, colours, albedo could be compatible with being fragments from Ceres. Remarkably, most of these objects have inclinations near that of Ceres itself.

  7. Physical modeling of near-Earth Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Busch, M.W.; Giorgini, J. D.; Ostro, S. J.; Benner, L. A. M.; Jurgens, R. F.; Rose, R.; Hicks, M. D.; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Ireland, M.J.; Scheeres, D.J.; Broschart, S.B.; Magri, C.; Nolan, M. C.; Hine, A. A.; Margot, J. L.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 190, č. 2 (2007), s. 608-621. ISSN 0019-1035 Grant ostatní: GA ČR(CZ) GA208/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * composition * dynamics * rotation Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.869, year: 2007

  8. Bayesian Statistical Approach To Binary Asteroid Orbit Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmitrievna Kovalenko, Irina; Stoica, Radu S.

    2015-08-01

    Orbit determination from observations is one of the classical problems in celestial mechanics. Deriving the trajectory of binary asteroid with high precision is much more complicate than the trajectory of simple asteroid. Here we present a method of orbit determination based on the algorithm of Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC). This method can be used for the preliminary orbit determination with relatively small number of observations, or for adjustment of orbit previously determined.The problem consists on determination of a conditional a posteriori probability density with given observations. Applying the Bayesian statistics, the a posteriori probability density of the binary asteroid orbital parameters is proportional to the a priori and likelihood probability densities. The likelihood function is related to the noise probability density and can be calculated from O-C deviations (Observed minus Calculated positions). The optionally used a priori probability density takes into account information about the population of discovered asteroids. The a priori probability density is used to constrain the phase space of possible orbits.As a MCMC method the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm has been applied, adding a globally convergent coefficient. The sequence of possible orbits derives through the sampling of each orbital parameter and acceptance criteria.The method allows to determine the phase space of every possible orbit considering each parameter. It also can be used to derive one orbit with the biggest probability density of orbital elements.

  9. The H and G magnitude system for asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dymock, R.

    2007-12-01

    This article is based on a presentation given at the Observers' Workshop held at the Open University in Milton Keynes on 2007 February 24. It can be viewed on the Asteroids and Remote Planets Section website at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/roger.dymock/index.htm

  10. Spectral properties of the largest asteroids associated with Taurid Complex

    CERN Document Server

    Popescu, M; Nedelcu, D A; Vaubaillon, J; Cristescu, C P

    2014-01-01

    We obtained spectra of six of the largest asteroids (2201, 4183, 4486, 5143, 6063, and 269690) associated with Taurid complex. The observations were made with the IRTF telescope equipped with the spectro-imager SpeX. Their taxonomic classification is made using Bus-DeMeo taxonomy. The asteroid spectra are compared with the meteorite spectra from the Relab database. Mineralogical models were applied to determine their surface composition. All the spectral analysis is made in the context of the already published physical data. Five of the objects studied in this paper present spectral characteristics similar to the S taxonomic complex. The spectra of ordinary chondrites (spanning H, L, and LL subtypes) are the best matches for these asteroid spectra. {\\bf The asteroid} (269690) 1996 RG3 presents a flat featureless spectrum which could be associated to a primitive C-type object. The increased reflectance above 2.1 microns constrains its geometrical albedo to a value around 0.03. While there is an important dynam...

  11. Magnetic susceptibility as a tool for asteroid exploration

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Britt, D.

    s. l. : Lunar and Planetary Institute, 2011. s. 1-2. [Lunar and Planetary Science Conference /42./. 07.03.2011-11.03.2011, Woodlans] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : magnetic susceptibility * meteorite * asteroid Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2011/pdf/1517.pdf

  12. Thermal infrared observations of asteroid (99942) Apophis with Herschel

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Müller, T. G.; Kiss, C.; Scheirich, Peter; Pravec, Petr; O'Rourke, L.; Vilenius, E.; Altieri, B.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 566, June (2014), A22/1-A22/10. ISSN 0004-6361 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/12/0229; GA MŠk LG12001 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : minor planets * asteroids: individual * radiation mechanisms Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 4.378, year: 2014

  13. Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission: Robotic Boulder Capture Option Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Merrill, Raymond G.; Belbin, Scott P.; Reeves, David M.; Earle, Kevin D.; Naasz, Bo J.; Abell, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently studying an option for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) that would capture a multi-ton boulder (typically 2-4 meters in size) from the surface of a large (is approximately 100+ meter) Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and return it to cislunar space for subsequent human and robotic exploration. This alternative mission approach, designated the Robotic Boulder Capture Option (Option B), has been investigated to determine the mission feasibility and identify potential differences from the initial ARRM concept of capturing an entire small NEA (4-10 meters in size), which has been designated the Small Asteroid Capture Option (Option A). Compared to the initial ARRM concept, Option B allows for centimeter-level characterization over an entire large NEA, the certainty of target NEA composition type, the ability to select the boulder that is captured, numerous opportunities for mission enhancements to support science objectives, additional experience operating at a low-gravity planetary body including extended surface contact, and the ability to demonstrate future planetary defense strategies on a hazardous-size NEA. Option B can leverage precursor missions and existing Agency capabilities to help ensure mission success by targeting wellcharacterized asteroids and can accommodate uncertain programmatic schedules by tailoring the return mass.

  14. The Red Edge Problem in asteroid band parameter analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Sean S.; Dunn, Tasha L.; Emery, Joshua P.; Bowles, Neil E.

    2016-04-01

    Near-infrared reflectance spectra of S-type asteroids contain two absorptions at 1 and 2 μm (band I and II) that are diagnostic of mineralogy. A parameterization of these two bands is frequently employed to determine the mineralogy of S(IV) asteroids through the use of ordinary chondrite calibration equations that link the mineralogy to band parameters. The most widely used calibration study uses a Band II terminal wavelength point (red edge) at 2.50 μm. However, due to the limitations of the NIR detectors on prominent telescopes used in asteroid research, spectral data for asteroids are typically only reliable out to 2.45 μm. We refer to this discrepancy as "The Red Edge Problem." In this report, we evaluate the associated errors for measured band area ratios (BAR = Area BII/BI) and calculated relative abundance measurements. We find that the Red Edge Problem is often not the dominant source of error for the observationally limited red edge set at 2.45 μm, but it frequently is for a red edge set at 2.40 μm. The error, however, is one sided and therefore systematic. As such, we provide equations to adjust measured BARs to values with a different red edge definition. We also provide new ol/(ol+px) calibration equations for red edges set at 2.40 and 2.45 μm.

  15. Circumpulsar Asteroids: Inferences from Nulling Statistics and High Energy Correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Ryan; Cordes, J. M.

    2006-12-01

    We have proposed that some classes of radio pulsar variability are associated with the entry of neutral asteroidal material into the pulsar magnetosphere. The region surrounding neutron stars is polluted with supernova fall-back material, which collapses and condenses into an asteroid-bearing disk that is stable for millions of years. Over time, collisional and radiative processes cause the asteroids to migrate inward until they are heated to the point of ionization. For older and cooler pulsars, asteroids ionize within the large magnetospheres and inject a sufficient amount of charged particles to alter the electrodynamics of the gap regions and modulate emission processes. This extrinsic model unifies many observed phenomena of variability that occur on time scales that are disparate with the much shorter time scales associated with pulsars and their magnetospheres. One such type of variability is nulling, in which certain pulsars exhibit episodes of quiescence that for some objects may be as short as a few pulse periods, but, for others, is longer than days. Here, in the context of this model, we examine the nulling phenomenon. We analyze the relationship between in-falling material and the statistics of nulling. In addition, as motivation for further high energy observations, we consider the relationship between the nulling and other magnetospheric processes.

  16. Simulations of asteroid surfaces and interiors using geometric optics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkki, Anne; Muinonen, Karri; Penttilä, Antti

    2014-11-01

    We simulate electromagnetic scattering from a realistic model of an asteroid using an algorithm of geometric optics with Fresnelian reflection and refraction as well as diffuse scattering (Muinonen et al. 2009). The goal is to understand and constrain, which physical properties of the asteroid surface affect the radar parameters and how. The results show the simulated circular-polarization ratios and radar albedos compared to radar observations of asteroids.Two types of diffuse media will be studied: the first one is a uniform, internal diffuse medium inside a host body, and the second one is an external layer on the surface. The host body is large relative to the size of the diffuse scatterers and the wavelength (3-70 cm). Previously, we have utilized spheres and aggregates of spheres of different sizes as the diffuse scatterers. Now, we move on to more complex shapes, i.e., Gaussian random particles that mimic irregular boulders of 10-80 cm in size. In this study, we show how the type of the diffuse medium, including the mean free path or the optical thickness, affects the radar parameters. As for materials, we utilize the electric permittivities of solid and fractured rocks and ice. The applications of the study can be extended from asteroids also to comets and moons.References: Muinonen et al., Light scattering by Gaussian particles with internal inclusions and roughened surfaces using ray optics, JQSRT 110 (2009) 1628-1639.

  17. Comparative analysis of redirection methods for asteroid resource exploitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzocchi, Michael C. F.; Emami, M. Reza

    2016-03-01

    An in-depth analysis and systematic comparison of asteroid redirection methods are performed within a resource exploitation framework using different assessment mechanisms. Through this framework, mission objectives and constraints are specified for the redirection of an asteroid from a near-Earth orbit to a stable orbit in the Earth-Moon system. The paper provides a detailed investigation of five redirection methods, i.e., ion beam, tugboat, gravity tractor, laser sublimation, and mass ejector, with respect to their capabilities for a redirection mission. A set of mission level criteria are utilized to assess the performance of each redirection method, and the means of assigning attributes to each criterion is discussed in detail. In addition, the uncertainty in physical characteristics of the asteroid population is quantified through the use of Monte Carlo analysis. The Monte Carlo simulation provides insight into the performance robustness of the redirection methods with respect to the targeted asteroid range. Lastly, the attributes for each redirection method are aggregated using three different multicriteria assessment approaches, i.e., the Analytical Hierarchy Process, a utility-based approach, and a fuzzy aggregation mechanism. The results of each assessment approach as well as recommendations for further studies are discussed in detail.

  18. On the possible origin of the asteroid (1) Ceres

    CERN Document Server

    Rogozin, Yury I

    2014-01-01

    The last three decades the asteroid (1) Ceres is an object of the intensive ground-and space-based observations. A new unusual contributing to these studies represents the recent detection of localized sources of water vapour releasing from its surface at a rate about 6 kg s-1 (K\\"uppers et al 2014). A drastic distinction between asteroid (1) Ceres and nearest the large asteroid (4) Vesta in terms of their composition and appearance emphasizes an urgent state of a problem of the possible origin of Ceres in the main asteroid belt. By analogy with the early assumptions of some well-known astronomers of Mercury and Mars as the escaped satellites of their host planets we have put forward and semi-empirically have justified a hypothesis for the plausible origin of Ceres as the satellite of a disrupted planet in the past orbited the Sun of ~ 5 AU. The orbital location of this host of Ceres beyond the snow line of the Solar System explains a formation the icy mantle of Ceres, which appears may be a water vapour sour...

  19. Radar Observations of Main-Belt M-class Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shepard, Michael K.; Clark, B. E.; Ockert-Bell, M.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Magri, C.; Giorgini, J. D.; Benner, L. A. M.; Ostro, S. J.; Harris, A. W.; Warner, B. D.; Stephens, R. D.; Mueller, M.

    2009-01-01

    Using the S-band radar at Arecibo Observatory, we have observed 19 Tholen M-class asteroids. The mean radar albedo for all our targets is 0.28 ± 0.13, considerably higher than the mean radar albedo of every other class (Magri et al. 2007, Icarus 186, 126-151). We find approximately one-third (six) o

  20. Visible-Wavelength Integrated Spectroscopy of Binary Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, A. E.; Marchis, F.; Emery, J. P.

    2009-12-01

    Binary asteroid systems consist of two small planetary bodies orbiting a common center of mass. To date, approximately 65 systems have been imaged using adaptive optics, Hubble Space Telescope observations, and various radar imaging methods. An additional 100 binaries are suspected to exist based on light curve analysis and new discoveries are being announced every month. One important task involved in the study of these systems is the classification of their surface mineralogy. The compositional characterization of asteroid surfaces requires observations across a wide wavelength range. A number of rigorous classification methods have been used to group asteroids into classes based on their observed characteristics. Most recently, a feature-based taxonomy was developed by Bus and Binzel [Bus S. J. and Binzel R. P. (2002) Icarus 158, 146-177]. Bus and Binzel decomposed the visible-wavelength (0.44 - 0.92 μm) spectra of asteroids into three major groups—complexes C-, S-, and X-. Each complex was then further refined into 26 sub-classes associated with distinct mineralogical surface features. Using the Shane 3-meter telescope at Lick Observatory, we observed twelve binary asteroid systems with the KAST double spectrograph. The primary observations were conducted on three nights between May and July of 2009 as a part of an observation program to complete the Virtual Observatory Binary Asteroids Database (VOBAD). The spectrograph at the Shane telescope provides wavelength coverage between 0.3 and 1.0 μm using both blue (0.3-0.57 μm) and red (0.53-1.0 μm) channels, with each spectrograph optimized for its wavelength range. Using this instrument, we obtained a comprehensive measurement of our targets' visible spectra, exceeding the wavelength range over which Bus and Binzel taxonomy is based. We obtained visible-wavelength (0.3 - 1.0 μm) spectra for twelve binary asteroid systems, including six objects not previously classified using Bus and Binzel taxonomic

  1. The Spherical Brazil Nut Effect and its Significance to Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Viranga; Jackson, Alan P.; Asphaug, Erik; Ballouz, Ronald-Louis

    2015-11-01

    Asteroids are intriguing remnant objects from the early solar system. They can inform us on how planets formed, they could possibly impact the earth in the future, and they likely contain precious metals; for those reasons, there will be future exploration and mining space missions to them. Telescopic observations and spacecraft data have helped us understand basic properties such as their size, mass, spin rate, orbital elements, and their surface properties. However, their interior structures have remained elusive. In order to fully characterize the interiors of these bodies, seismic data will be necessary. However, we can infer their interior structures by combining several key factors that we know about them: 1). Past work has shown that asteroids between 150 m to 10 km in size are rubble-piles that are a collection of particles held together by gravity and possibly cohesion. 2). Asteroid surfaces show cratering that suggests that past impacts would have seismically shaken these bodies. 3). Spacecraft images show that some asteroids have large protruding boulders on their surfaces. A rubble-pile object made of particles of different sizes and that undergoes seismic shaking will experience granular flow. Specifically, a size sorting effect known as the Brazil Nut Effect will lead larger particles to move towards the surface while smaller particles will move downwards. Previous work has suggested that this effect could possibly explain not only why there are large boulders on the surfaces of some asteroids but also might suggest that the interior particles of these bodies would be organized by size. Previous works have conducted computer simulations and lab experiments; however, all the particle configurations used have been either cylindrical or rectangular boxes. In this work we present a spherical configuration of self-gravitating particles that is a better representation of asteroids. Our results indicate that while friction is not necessary for the Brazil Nut

  2. Spitzer observations of two mission-accessible, tiny asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, M.; Hora, J.; Farnocchia, D.; Chesley, S.; Vokrouhlicky, D.; Trilling, D.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A.; Smith, H.; Fazio, G.

    2014-07-01

    Small asteroids are most likely collisional fragments of larger objects and make up a large fraction of the near-Earth-object (NEO) population. Despite their abundance, little is known about the physical properties of these objects, which is mainly due to their faintness, which also impedes their discovery. We report on Spitzer Space Telescope observations of two small NEOs, both of which are of interest as potential spacecraft targets. We observed NEOs 2009 BD using 25 hrs and 2011 MD using ˜20 hrs of Spitzer Infrared Array Camera Channel 2 time. For each target, we have combined the data into maps in the moving frame of the target, minimizing the background confusion. We did not detect 2009 BD and place an upper limit on its flux density, but we detected 2011 MD as a 2.2σ detection. We have analyzed the data on both objects in a combined model approach, using an asteroid thermophysical model and a model of non-gravitational forces acting on the object. As a result, we are able to constrain the physical properties of both objects. In the case of 2009 BD (Mommert et al. 2014), a wealth of existing astrometry data significantly constrains the physical properties of the object. We find two physically possible solutions. The first solution shows 2009 BD as a 2.9±0.3 m-sized massive rock body (bulk density ρ=2.9±0.5 g cm^{-3}) with an extremely high albedo of 0.85_{-0.10}^{+0.20} that is covered with regolith-like material, causing it to exhibit a low thermal inertia (thermal inertia Γ=30_{-10}^{+20} SI units). The second solution suggests 2009 BD to be a 4±1 m-sized asteroid with p_{V}=0.45_{-0.15}^{+0.35} that consists of a collection of individual bare rock slabs (Γ = 2000±1000 SI units, ρ = 1.7_{-0.4}^{+0.7} g cm^{-3}). We are unable to rule out either solution based on physical reasoning. The preliminary analysis of 2011 MD shows this object as a ˜6 m-sized asteroid with an albedo of ˜0.3. Additional constraints on the physical properties of these

  3. An Overview of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Reeves, D. M.; Chodas, P. W.; Gates, M. M.; Johnson, L. N.; Ticker, R. L.

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) as a capability demonstration for future human exploration, including use of high-power solar electric propulsion, which allows for the efficient movement of large masses through deep space. The ARM will also demonstrate the capability to conduct proximity operations with natural space objects and crewed operations beyond the security of quick Earth return. The Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), currently in formulation, will visit a large near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, conduct a demonstration of a slow push planetary defense technique, and redirect the multi-ton boulder into a stable orbit around the Moon. Once returned to cislunar space in the mid-2020s, astronauts aboard an Orion spacecraft will dock with the robotic vehicle to explore the boulder and return samples to Earth. The ARM is part of NASA's plan to advance technologies, capabilities, and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s. The ARM and subsequent availability of the asteroidal material in cis-lunar space, provide significant opportunities to advance our knowledge of small bodies in the synergistic areas of science, planetary defense, and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). NASA established the Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST), comprised of scientists, engineers, and technologists, which supported ARRM mission requirements formulation, answered specific questions concerning potential target asteroid physical properties, and produced a publically available report. The ARM Investigation Team is being organized to support ARM implementation and execution. NASA is also open to collaboration with its international partners and welcomes further discussions. An overview of the ARM robotic and crewed segments, including mission requirements, NEA targets, and mission operations, and a discussion

  4. New Heating Mechanism of Asteroids in Protoplanetary Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Raymond L.; Roberge, W. G.

    2013-10-01

    Heating of asteroids in the early solar system has been mainly attributed to two mechanisms: the decay of short-lived radionuclides and the unipolar induction mechanism originally proposed in a classic series of papers by Sonett and collaborators. As originally conceived, unipolar induction heating is the result of the dissipation of current inside the body driven by a “motional electric field”, which appears in the asteroid’s reference frame when it is immersed in a fully-ionized, magnetized T-Tauri solar wind. However we point out a subtle conceptual error in the way that the electric field is calculated. Strictly speaking, the motional electric field used by Sonett et al. is the electric field in the free-streaming plasma far from the asteroid. For realistic assumptions about the plasma density in protoplanetary disks, the interaction between the plasma and asteroid cause the formation of a shear layer, in which the motional electric field decreases and even vanishes at the asteroid surface. We reexamine and improve the induction heating mechanism by: (1) correcting this conceptual error by using non-ideal multifluid MHD to self consistently calculate the velocity, magnetic, and electric fields in and around the shear layer; and (2) considering more realistic environments and scenarios that are consistent with current theories about protoplanetary disks. We present solutions for two highly idealized flows, which demonstrate that the electric field inside the asteroid is actually produced by magnetic field gradients in the shear layer, and can either vanish or be comparable to the fields predicted by Sonett et al. depending on the flow geometry. We term this new mechanism “electrodynamic heating”, calculate its possible upper limits, and compare them to heating generated by the decay of short-lived radionuclides.

  5. On the oldest asteroid families in the main belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruba, V.; Nesvorný, D.; Aljbaae, S.; Domingos, R. C.; Huaman, M.

    2016-06-01

    Asteroid families are groups of minor bodies produced by high-velocity collisions. After the initial dispersions of the parent bodies fragments, their orbits evolve because of several gravitational and non-gravitational effects, such as diffusion in mean-motion resonances, Yarkovsky and Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effects, close encounters of collisions, etc. The subsequent dynamical evolution of asteroid family members may cause some of the original fragments to travel beyond the conventional limits of the asteroid family. Eventually, the whole family will dynamically disperse and no longer be recognizable. A natural question that may arise concerns the time-scales for dispersion of large families. In particular, what is the oldest still recognizable family in the main belt? Are there any families that may date from the late stages of the late heavy bombardment and that could provide clues on our understanding of the primitive Solar system? In this work, we investigate the dynamical stability of seven of the allegedly oldest families in the asteroid main belt. Our results show that none of the seven studied families has a nominally mean estimated age older than 2.7 Gyr, assuming standard values for the parameters describing the strength of the Yarkovsky force. Most `paleo-families' that formed between 2.7 and 3.8 Gyr would be characterized by a very shallow size-frequency distribution, and could be recognizable only if located in a dynamically less active region (such as that of the Koronis family). V-type asteroids in the central main belt could be compatible with a formation from a paleo-Eunomia family.

  6. The geologic mapping of asteroid Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, D.; Yingst, A.; Garry, B.

    2014-07-01

    As part of NASA's Dawn mission [1,2] we conducted a geologic mapping campaign to provide a systematic, cartography-based initial characterization of the global and regional geology of asteroid Vesta. The goal of geological maps is to place observations of surface features into their stratigraphic context to develop a geologic history of the evolution of planetary surfaces. Geologic mapping reduces the complexity of heterogeneous planetary surfaces into comprehensible portions, defining and characterizing discrete material units based upon physical attributes related to the geologic processes that produced them, and enabling identification of the relative roles of various processes (impact cratering, tectonism, volcanism, erosion and deposition) in shaping planetary surfaces [3,4]. The Dawn Science Team produced cartographic products of Vesta from the Framing Camera images, including global mosaics as well as 15 regional quadrangles [5], which served as bases for the mapping. We oversaw the geologic mapping campaign during the Nominal Mission, including production of a global geologic map at scale 1:500,000 using images from the High Altitude Mapping Orbit [6] and 15 quadrangle geologic maps at scale 1:250,000 using images from the Low Altitude Mapping Orbit [7]. The goal was to support the Dawn Team by providing geologic and stratigraphic context of surface features and supporting the analysis of data from the Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (VIR) and the Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND). Mapping was done using ArcGIS™ software, in which quadrangle mapping built on interpretations derived from the global geologic map but were updated and modified to take advantage of the highest spatial resolution data. Despite challenges (e.g., Vesta's highly sloped surface [8] deforms impact craters and produces mass movements that buries contacts), we were successfully able to map the whole surface of Vesta and identify a geologic history as represented in our maps and

  7. Capillary Action in a Crack on the Surface of Asteroids with an Application to 433 Eros

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Some asteroids contain water ice, and a space mission landing on an asteroid may take liquid to the surface of the asteroid. Gas pressure is very weak on the surface of asteroids. Here we consider the capillary action in a crack on the surface of irregular asteroids. The crack is modelled as a capillary which has a fixed radius. An asteroid s irregular gravitational potential influences the height of the liquid in the capillary. The height of the liquid in the capillary on the surface of such asteroids is derived from the asteroid s irregular gravitational potential. Capillary mechanisms are expected to produce an inhomogeneaous distribution of emergent liquid on the surface. This result is applied to asteroid 433 Eros, which has an irregular, elongated, and concave shape. Two cases are considered 1) we calculate the height of the liquid in the capillary when the direction of the capillary is perpendicular to the local surface of the asteroid; 2) we calculate the height of the liquid in the capillary when the...

  8. Two cubesat mission to study the Didymos asteroid system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlund, J.-E.; Vinterhav, E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; Hallmann, M.; Barabash, S.; Ivchenko, N.

    2015-10-01

    Among the growing interest about asteroid impact hazard mitigation in our community the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will be the first space experiment to use a kinetic impactor to demonstrate its capability as reliable deflection system [1]. As a part of the AIDA mission, we have proposed a set of two three-axis stabilized 3U CubeSats (with up to 5 science sensors) to simultaneously rendezvous at close range (continued science operation. The science sensors consist of a dual fluxgate magnetometer (MAG), one miniaturized volatile composition analyser (VCA), a narrow angle camera (NAC) and a Video Emission Spectrometer (VES) with a diffraction grating for allowing a sequential chemical study of the emission spectra associated with the impact flare and the expanding plume. Consequently, the different envisioned instruments onboard the CubeSats can provide significant insight into the complex response of asteroid materials during impacts that has been theoretically studied using different techniques [2]. The two CubeSats will remain stowed in CubeSat dispensers aboard the main AIM spacecraft. They will be deployed and commissioned before the AIM impactor reaches the secondary and record the impact event from a closer vantage point than the main spacecraft. The two CubeSats are equipped with relative navigation systems capable of estimating the spacecraft position relative to the asteroids and propulsion system that allow them to operate close to the asteroid bodies. The two CubeSats will rely on mapping data relayed via the AIM main spacecraft but operate autonomously and individually based on schedules and navigation maps uploaded from ground. AIDA's target is the binary Apollo asteroid 65803 Didymos that is also catalogued as Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) because it experiences close approaches to Earth. Didymos' primary has a diameter of ˜800 meters and the secondary is ˜150 m across. Both bodies are separated about 1.1 km [3

  9. Discovery of the first asteroid, Ceres historical studies in asteroid research

    CERN Document Server

    Cunningham, Clifford

    2016-01-01

    Based on extensive primary sources, many never previously translated into English, this is the definitive account of the origins of Ceres as it went from being classified as a new planet to reclassification as the first of a previously unknown group of celestial objects. Cunningham opens this critical moment of astronomical discovery to full modern analysis for the first time. This book includes all the voluminous correspondence, translated into English, between the astronomers of Europe about the startling discovery of Ceres by Piazzi in 1801. It covers the period up to March 1802, at which time Pallas was discovered. Also included are Piazzi's two monographs about Ceres, and the sections of two books dealing with Ceres, one by Johann Bode, the other by Johann Schroeter. The origin of the word 'asteroid' is explained, along with several chapters on the antecedents of the story going back to ancient Greek times. The formulation of Bode's Law is given, as are the details on the efforts of Baron von Zach to org...

  10. On Near-Earth Asteroid Study at Department of Astronomy, Bandung Institute of Technology

    CERN Document Server

    Siregar, S

    2010-01-01

    Since1984 asteroid study is conducted at Department of Astronomy, Bandung Institute of Technology. At present there are two main streams in our research, dynamical and physical study. Astronomers determine the orbital elements of more than 12000 asteroids, and the number is increasing. In the distribution of orbital elements of asteroids, there are several features such as Kirkwood gap, groups, and families. To know the dynamical evolution of asteroids, it is very important to study these features. Recently some small bodies of our solar system have been approached to the Earth, one of them was Toutatis. These objects are interested to study. Based on 2384 asteroids taken from NASA.File the phenomenon of orbital elements a, e, i, {\\Omega}, {\\omega} and Tisserand invariant, T of Near-Earth asteroids are briefly described.

  11. Growth of asteroids, planetary embryos and Kuiper belt objects by chondrule accretion

    CERN Document Server

    Johansen, Anders; Lacerda, Pedro; Bizzarro, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Chondrules are millimeter-sized spherules that dominate primitive meteorites (chondrites) originating from the asteroid belt. The incorporation of chondrules into asteroidal bodies must be an important step in planet formation, but the mechanism is not understood. We show that the main growth of asteroids can result from gas-drag-assisted accretion of chondrules. The largest planetesimals of a population with a characteristic radius of 100 km undergo run-away accretion of chondrules within ~3 Myr, forming planetary embryos up to Mars sizes along with smaller asteroids whose size distribution matches that of main belt asteroids. The aerodynamical accretion leads to size-sorting of chondrules consistent with chondrites. Accretion of mm-sized chondrules and ice particles drives the growth of planetesimals beyond the ice line as well, but the growth time increases above the disk life time outside of 25 AU. The contribution of direct planetesimal accretion to the growth of both asteroids and Kuiper belt objects is...

  12. Modeling the onset of photosynthesis after the Chicxulub asteroid impact

    CERN Document Server

    Perez, Noel; Martin, Osmel; Rojas, Reinaldo

    2012-01-01

    We do a preliminary modelling of the photosynthetic rates of phytoplankton at the very beginning of the Paleogene, just after the impact of the Chicxulub asteroid, which decisively contributed to the last known mass extinction of the Phanerozoic eon. We assume the worst possible scenario from the photobiological point of view: an already clear atmosphere with no ozone, as the timescale for soot and dust settling (years) is smaller than that of the full ozone regeneration (decades). Even in these conditions we show that most phytoplankton species would have had reasonable potential for photosynthesis in all the three main optical ocean water types. This modelling could help explain why the recovery of phytoplankton was relatively rapid after the huge environmental stress of that asteroid impact. In a more general scope, it also reminds us of the great resilience of the unicellular biosphere against huge environmental perturbations.

  13. Asteroids and Dwarf Planets and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Dymock, Roger

    2010-01-01

    ASTRONOMERS’ OBSERVING GUIDES provide up-to-date information for amateur astronomers who want to know all about what it is they are observing. This is the basis of the first part of the book. The second part details observing techniques for practical astronomers, working with a range of different instruments. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ We live in a violent universe. The media constantly remind us of the possibility of an object suddenly appearing and hitting Earth. A hit by an asteroid is believed to have spelled the end of the dinosaurs. Such a collision by an object from space could cause another extinction event, if the object were large enough. And such objects are definitely out there. Often called “the vermin of the sky,” asteroids roam our Solar System often unseen. Many have been tracked, and their orbits calculated. But there are still many to be discovered and assessed. Many amateur astronomers are helping in this effo...

  14. The distribution and source of boulders on asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yun; Ji, Jianghui; Huang, Jiangchuan; Marchi, Simone; Li, Yuan; Ip, Wing-Huen

    2016-01-01

    Boulders are ubiquitous on the surfaces of asteroids and their spatial and size distributions provide information for the geological evolution and collisional history of parent bodies. We identify more than 200 boulders on near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis based on images obtained by Chang'e-2 flyby. The cumulative boulder size frequency distribution (SFD) gives a power-index of -4.4 +/- 0.1, which is clearly steeper than those of boulders on Itokawa and Eros, indicating much high degree of fragmentation. Correlation analyses with craters suggest that most boulders cannot solely be produced as products of cratering, but are probably survived fragments from the parent body of Toutatis, accreted after its breakup. Similar to Itokawa, Toutatis probably has a rubble-pile structure, but owns a different preservation state of boulders.

  15. Dynamical study of the Atira group of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, A. O.; Roig, F.; De Prá, M. N.; Carvano, J. M.; DeSouza, S. R.

    2016-06-01

    We study the dynamics of the group of Atira asteroids, characterized by aphelion distance Q Earth. Here, we construct dynamical maps of the region between 0.2 and 0.98 au using a simple chaos indicator, the mean standard deviation in semimajor axis, and also analyse the behaviour of the real Atira orbits by means of the diffusion coefficient in semimajor axis. Our results indicate that Atira asteroids are located in the most unstable regions of the inner Solar system, and their stability is determined by close encounters and collisions with Mercury, Venus, and the Earth. A fraction of the known Atiras may represent a potential threat to the Earth over a few 105 yr of evolution. We found two islands of low-eccentricity stable orbits that might harbour a long-lasting sub-population of Atiras not yet observed.

  16. Coordinated observations of asteroids 1219 Britta and 1972 Yi Xing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; Cochran, Anita L.; Barker, Edwin S.; Tholen, David J.; Barucci, Antonella

    1987-01-01

    A coordinated observational program conducted for asteroids 1219 Britta and 1972 Yi Xing has yielded a sidereal rotation period of 5.57497 + or - 0.00013 h for the former, which has retrograde rotation and may be classified as an S-type asteroid on the basis of its spectra and albedo. The 1972 Yi Xing synodic period is found to be 14.183 + or - 0.003 h, with an observed light-curve amplitude amplitude of 0.18 mag; its five-color measurements also appear consistent with an S-type classification. A light-curve maximum absolute magnitude of 13.32 + or - 0.01 is also obtained.

  17. Physical and orbital properties of the Trojan asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Melita, M D; Jones, D C; Williams, I P

    2008-01-01

    All the Trojan asteroids orbit about the Sun at roughly the same heliocentric distance as Jupiter. Differences in the observed visible reflection spectra range from neutral to red, with no ultra-red objects found so far. Given that the Trojan asteroids are collisionally evolved, a certain degree of variability is expected. Additionally, cosmic radiation and sublimation are important factors in modifying icy surfaces even at those large heliocentric distances. We search for correlations between physical and dynamical properties, we explore relationships between the following four quantities; the normalised visible reflectivity indexes ($S'$), the absolute magnitudes, the observed albedos and the orbital stability of the Trojans. We present here visible spectroscopic spectra of 25 Trojans. This new data increase by a factor of about 5 the size of the sample of visible spectra of Jupiter Trojans on unstable orbits. The observations were carried out at the ESO-NTT telescope (3.5m) at La Silla, Chile, the ING-WHT ...

  18. The Formation of the Wide Asynchronous Binary Asteroid Population

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth A; McMahon, Jay

    2013-01-01

    We propose and analyze a new mechanism for the formation of the wide asynchronous binary population. These binary asteroids have wide semi-major axes relative to most near-Earth and Main Belt asteroid systems. Confirmed members have rapidly rotating primaries and satellites that are not tidally locked. Previously suggested formation mechanisms from impact ejecta, planetary flybys and directly from rotational fission events cannot satisfy all of the observations. The newly hypothesized mechanism works as follows: (i) these systems are formed from rotational fission, (ii) their satellites are tidally locked, (iii) their orbits are expanded by the BYORP effect, (iv) their satellites de-synchronize due to the adiabatic invariance between the libration of the secondary and the mutual orbit, and (v) the secondary avoids resynchronization due to the the YORP effect. This seemingly complex chain of events is a natural pathway for binaries with satellites that have particular shapes, which define the BYORP effect torq...

  19. DIFFUSION CHARACTERS OF THE ORBITS IN THE ASTEROID MOTION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周礼勇; 孙义燧; 周济林

    2001-01-01

    A symplectic mapping is studied carefully. The exponential diffusion law in developed chaotic region and algebraic law in mixed region were observed. An area was found where the diffusion follows a logarithmic law. It is shown in the vicinity of an island,the logarithm of the escape time decreases linearily as the initial position moves away from the island. But when approaching close to the island, the escape time goes up very quickly,consistent with the superexponential stability of the invariant curve. When applied to the motion of asteroid, this mapping' s fixed points and their stabilities give an explanation of the distribution of asteroids. The diffusion velocities in 4: 3, 3: 2 and 2: 1 jovian resonances are also investigated.

  20. Asteroid orbits with Gaia using random-walk statistical ranging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, Karri; Fedorets, Grigori; Pentikäinen, Hanna; Pieniluoma, Tuomo; Oszkiewicz, Dagmara; Granvik, Mikael; Virtanen, Jenni; Tanga, Paolo; Mignard, François; Berthier, Jérôme; Dell`Oro, Aldo; Carry, Benoit; Thuillot, William

    2016-04-01

    We describe statistical inverse methods for the computation of initial asteroid orbits within the data processing and analysis pipeline of the ESA Gaia space mission. Given small numbers of astrometric observations across short time intervals, we put forward a random-walk ranging method, in which the orbital-element phase space is uniformly sampled, up to a limiting χ2-value, with the help of the Markov-chain Monte Carlo technique (MCMC). The sample orbits obtain weights from the a posteriori probability density value and the MCMC rejection rate. For the first time, we apply the method to Gaia astrometry of asteroids. The results are nominal in that the method provides realistic estimates for the orbital uncertainties and meets the efficiency requirements for the daily, short-term processing of unknown objects.

  1. Moon Search Algorithms for NASA's Dawn Mission to Asteroid Vesta

    CERN Document Server

    Memarsadeghi, Nargess; Skillman, David; McLean, Brian; Mutchler, Max; Carsenty, Uri; Palmer, Eric E; 10.1117/12.915564

    2013-01-01

    A moon or natural satellite is a celestial body that orbits a planetary body such as a planet, dwarf planet, or an asteroid. Scientists seek understanding the origin and evolution of our solar system by studying moons of these bodies. Additionally, searches for satellites of planetary bodies can be important to protect the safety of a spacecraft as it approaches or orbits a planetary body. If a satellite of a celestial body is found, the mass of that body can also be calculated once its orbit is determined. Ensuring the Dawn spacecraft's safety on its mission to the asteroid (4) Vesta primarily motivated the work of Dawn's Satellite Working Group (SWG) in summer of 2011. Dawn mission scientists and engineers utilized various computational tools and techniques for Vesta's satellite search. The objectives of this paper are to 1) introduce the natural satellite search problem, 2) present the computational challenges, approaches, and tools used when addressing this problem, and 3) describe applications of various...

  2. The discovery of cometary activity in near-earth asteroid (3552) don quixote

    OpenAIRE

    Mommert, Michael; Hora, Joseph L.; Harris, Alan W.; Reach, William T.; Emery, Joshua P.; Thomas, Cristina A.; Mueller, Michael; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Trilling, David E.; Delbo', Marco; Smith, Howard A.

    2014-01-01

    The near-Earth object (NEO) population, which mainly consists of fragments from collisions between asteroids in the main asteroid belt, is thought to include contributions from short-period comets as well. One of the most promising NEO candidates for a cometary origin is near-Earth asteroid (3552) Don Quixote, which has never been reported to show activity. Here we present the discovery of cometary activity in Don Quixote based on thermal–infrared observations made with the Spitzer S...

  3. Asteroids in the Inner Solar System II - Observable Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Evans, N. W.; Tabachnik, S. A.

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents synthetic observations of long-lived, coorbiting asteroids of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and Mars. Our sample is constructed by taking the limiting semimajor axes, differential longitudes and inclinations for long-lived stability provided by simulations. The intervals are randomly populated with values to create initial conditions. These orbits are re-simulated to check that they are stable and then re-sampled every 2.5 years for 1 million years. The Mercurian sample contai...

  4. Earth resonant Gravity Assists for Asteroid Retrieval Missions

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez, J.P.; Alessi, E.M.; D. G. Yarnoz; McInnes, C. R.

    2013-01-01

    Asteroids and comets are of strategic importance for science in an effort to uncover the formation, evolution and composition of the Solar System. Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are of particular interest because of their accessibility from Earth, but also because of their speculated wealth of material resources. The possibility of retrieving entire NEOs from accessible heliocentric orbits and moving them into the Earth’s neighbourhood is today a credible possibility considered by NASA, within its...

  5. Photometric analysis of asteroids and comets from space observations

    OpenAIRE

    La Forgia, Fiorangela

    2014-01-01

    The European space mission Rosetta, during its still ongoing journey to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, on 10 July 2010 made an intermediate stop flying close to the asteroid 21 Lutetia at a distance of less than 3200 km and observed it from a varying observing point, otherwise inaccessible from Earth. Less than four months later, on 4 November 2010, the EPOXI mission, extension of the NASA Deep Impact mission, offered another unexpected opportunity approaching the small hyperactive Jupi...

  6. Method for improved extraction of DNA from Nocardia asteroides.

    OpenAIRE

    Loeffelholz, M. J.; Scholl, D R

    1989-01-01

    In a variation of standard DNA extraction methods, Nocardia asteroides was repeatedly exposed to sodium dodecyl sulfate at 60 degrees C for 30 min; each extraction was followed by centrifugation, removal of the nucleic acid-rich supernatant, and suspension of the cell pellet in fresh sodium dodecyl sulfate. The pooled supernatants contained a substantially higher amount of DNA than the first supernatant alone. The possible implications of this procedure on the development of DNA probes are di...

  7. Frequencies of occultations of stars by planets, satellites, and asteroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, B.

    1972-01-01

    Calculations show that several occultations of stars by the large satellites of the outer planets, Pluto, and the large asteroids could be observed each decade with existing equipment at earth-based telescopes. A systematic program of occultation predictions and observations is urged in order to improve our knowledge about the atmospheres, sizes, shapes, topography, and positions of these poorly understood bodies, in support of forthcoming spacecraft missions to the outer solar system.

  8. Is the reddening of asteroids still a dilemma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moretti, P. F.:; Maras, A.; Folco, L.

    The association of the most abundant population of meteorites the ordinary chondrites and their parent bodies through the comparison of their reflected spectra has been a long debate In fact many of the asteroids show reddened spectra when observed in the visible and near-infrared range Gaffey 1976 Cloutis et al 1990 This reddening first observed in lunar mature soils has been demonstrated to be caused by the presence of metallic nano-particles Pieters et al 2000 Noble et al 2004 Though laboratory experiments reproduced the formation of such npFe as due to the vaporization of Fe-bearing silicates caused by the bombardment of micro meteoroids Sasaki et al 2001 the close-up observations of S-type asteroids obtained by the NEAR mission proposed a new mystery to be solved In fact if the continuous exposition to the space conditions should in principle darken and redden the surface of asteroids the slopes of the Psyche crater on Eros shows redder but brighter spectra when compared to the proposed associated meteorites Clark et al 2001 This result asked for a mechanism capable to redden much more than darken Very recently an alternative process has been suggested for surface alteration of airless bodies In fact metallic nano-particles have been demonstrated to be formed in Fe-Ni regions of ordinary chondrites where shock-induced transformation occurred Moretti et al 2005 Even if this last mechanism is capable to redden almost instantaneously localized regions on asteroids surfaces the distribution of the spectral slopes

  9. Asteroid Rendezvous Mission Design Using Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    A new preliminary trajectory design method for asteroid rendezvous mission using multiobjective optimization techniques is proposed. This method can overcome the disadvantages of the widely employed Pork-Chop method. The multiobjective integrated launch window and multi-impulse transfer trajectory design model is formulated, which employes minimum-fuel cost and minimum-time transfer as two objective functions. The multiobjective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) is employed to locate the Pa...

  10. Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Elephant Head Observatory: 2013 August- October

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkema, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Photometric observations of two main-belt asteroids, 541 Deborah and 1468 Zomba, were made from Elephant Head Observatory during 2013 August to October. The period and amplitude results are, respectively, P = 29.368 ± 0.005 h, A = 0.10 ± 0.01 mag; P = 2.773 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.34 ± 0.02 mag.

  11. Asteroid Discovery and Characterization with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. Lynne; Jurić, Mario; Ivezić, Željko

    2016-01-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will be a ground-based, optical, all-sky, rapid cadence survey project with tremendous potential for discovering and characterizing asteroids. With LSST's large 6.5m diameter primary mirror, a wide 9.6 square degree field of view 3.2 Gigapixel camera, and rapid observational cadence, LSST will discover more than 5 million asteroids over its ten year survey lifetime. With a single visit limiting magnitude of 24.5 in r band, LSST will be able to detect asteroids in the Main Belt down to sub-kilometer sizes. The current strawman for the LSST survey strategy is to obtain two visits (each `visit' being a pair of back-to-back 15s exposures) per field, separated by about 30 minutes, covering the entire visible sky every 3-4 days throughout the observing season, for ten years. The catalogs generated by LSST will increase the known number of small bodies in the Solar System by a factor of 10-100 times, among all populations. The median number of observations for Main Belt asteroids will be on the order of 200-300, with Near Earth Objects receiving a median of 90 observations. These observations will be spread among ugrizy bandpasses, providing photometric colors and allow sparse lightcurve inversion to determine rotation periods, spin axes, and shape information. These catalogs will be created using automated detection software, the LSST Moving Object Processing System (MOPS), that will take advantage of the carefully characterized LSST optical system, cosmetically clean camera, and recent improvements in difference imaging. Tests with the prototype MOPS software indicate that linking detections (and thus `discovery') will be possible at LSST depths with our working model for the survey strategy, but evaluation of MOPS and improvements in the survey strategy will continue. All data products and software created by LSST will be publicly available.

  12. Coordinated Time Resolved Spectrophotometry of Asteroid 163249 (2002 GT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Erin L.; Woodward, C.; Gordon, M.; Wagner, M. R.; Chesley, S.; Hicks, M.; Pittichova, J.; Pravec, P.

    2013-10-01

    The near-Earth asteroid 163249 (2002 GT), classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA), has been identified a potential rendezvous target for the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft on 4 Jan 2020. As part of a coordinated international effort to study this asteroid during its 2013 apparition (J. Pittichová et al. DPS 2013), we obtained simultaneous Sloan r-band photometry at the Steward Observatory Bok 2.3-m telescope (+90Prime) and optical spectroscopic observations covering a wavelength interval from ~5400 to ~8500 Angstrom at the MMT 6.5-m (+RedChannel spectrograph) on 2013 June 16 and 17 UT near close Earth approach (heliocentric distance ~1.07 AU; geocentric distance ~0.13 AU) at 180 sec intervals over the ~3.76 hr rotational period. Our objective was to obtain a temporal sequence of spectra to assess surface mineralogy (seeking to potentially detect the 0.7 micron absorption bands attributed to phylosilicate materials) and to determine whether variations in the spectral slope and/or surface mineralogy are evident as a function of rotational period. Here we present initial analysis of these datasets, describing the light-curve and the reflectance spectra as a function of rotational phase. These datasets will be incorporated into a larger compendium describing the characteristics of asteroid 163249. Acknowledgement: This research supported in part by NASA 12-PAST-12-0010 grant NNX13AJ11G , and an appointment (E.L.R.) to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Goddard Space Flight Center, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. Observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona. P.P. was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, Grant P209/12/0229.

  13. Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT): First Year Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helin, E. F.; Rabinowitz, D. L.; Pravdo, S. H.; Lawrence, K. J.

    1997-07-01

    The successful detection of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) has been demonstrated by the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during its first year of operation. The NEAT CCD camera system is installed on the U. S. Air Force 1-m GEODSS telescope in Maui. Using state-of-the-art software and hardware, the system initiates nightly transmitted observing script from JPL, moves the telescopes for successive exposures of the selected fields, detects moving objects as faint as V=20.5 in 40 s exposures, determines their astrometric positions, and downloads the data for review at JPL in the morning. The NEAT system is detecting NEAs larger than 200m, comets, and other unique objects at a rate competitive with current operating systems, and bright enough for important physical studies on moderate-sized telescopes. NEAT has detected over 10,000 asteroids over a wide range of magnitudes, demonstrating the excellent capability of the NEAT system. Fifty-five percent of the detections are new objects and over 900 of them have been followed on a second night to receive designation from the Minor Planet Center. 14 NEAs (9 Amors, 4 Apollos, and 1 Aten) have been discovered since March 1996. Also, 2 long period comets and 1996 PW, an asteroidal object with an orbit of a long-period comet, with an eccentricity of 0.992 and orbital period of 5900 years. Program discoveries will be reviewed along with analysis of results pertaining to the discovery efficiency, distribution on the sky, range of orbits and magnitudes. Related abstract: Lawrence, K., et al., 1997 DPS

  14. A photometric search for activity among asteroids and Centaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa Oyarzabal, A.; Mammana, L.; Fernández, J. A.

    2014-07-01

    We present the first results of a long-term observational campaign focused on the detection of activity in selected asteroids and centaurs. Our observational targets are near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (cf. [2]), the so called ''main-belt comets'' or ''active asteroids'' (well-known objects as well as potential candidates), and bright centaurs with good orbits, all close to their perihelion passages. In those objects with a former detection of activity, our aim is to contribute to a better physical knowledge of them, and determine, for instance, if the observed activity is transient or permanent. To achieve our goals, we analyzed CCD-filtered images of each observable target acquired with the 2.15-m telescope ''Jorge Sahade'' at CASLEO (San Juan, Argentina), during two runs of three consecutive nights each (during August 2013 and January 2014, respectively). Our study will be completed by future runs with the same instrumentation already assigned to our campaign. As preliminary results, we observed activity in the main-belt comets P/2013 P5 (PANSTARRS) and 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro. We also observed the main-belt comet (596) Scheila, which showed an unequivocally stellar appearance. We observed the main-belt comet candidate (3646) Aduatiques (cf. [1]), and noticed in this object a curious feature whose connection to some kind of activity is not well determined yet. We also observed the near-Earth asteroid in cometary orbit 2006 XL_5 (cf. [3]), and the centaurs (281371) 2008 FC_{76}, (332685) 2009 HH_{36}), (382004) 2010 RM_{64}, 2010 XZ_{78}, and 2011 UR_{402}. We have not detected activity in these objects, but an improved analysis is still in progress. %Corresponding author: Andrea Sosa (asosa@fisica.edu.uy)

  15. Asteroid 951 Gaspra Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer Radiance Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granahan, J. C., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Five radiance spectra of asteroid 951 Gaspra have been archived in the Small Bodies Node of the NASA Planetary Data System [Granahan, 2014]. The radiance spectra were created from uncalibrated Galileo spacecraft Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer files archived in the Imaging Node of the NASA Planetary Data System. The NASA Galileo spacecraft observed asteroid 951 Gaspra on October 29, 1991 with the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) at wavelengths ranging from 0.7 - 5.2 micrometers [Carlson et al., 1992]. The five radiance spectra consist of two 17, two 100, and one 329 spectral channel data sets. They record data that was acquired by NIMS at ranges between 27232.6 to 14723.8 kilometers from asteroid 951 Gaspra. The uncalibrated NIMS data were converted into radiance spectra using calibration coefficients obtained during the Galileo mission's first Earth encounter on December 8, 1990. The archived radiance spectral data is located at the URL (Universal Record Locator): http://sbn.psi.edu/pds/resource/gaspraspec.html and contains radiance, solar, incidence over flux, and data documentation. This archived data set contains a variety of spectral signatures. These signatures include absorptions near 1.0, 2.0, 2.8, 3.4, and 4.5 micrometers. The 1.0 and 2.0 micrometer features are indicators of olivine and pyroxene on the asteroid surface. The 2.8 micrometer feature has a shape similar to the combined spectra of multiple iron bearing phyllosilicates. The 3.4 micrometer feature is in the same location as absorptions created by a carbon-hydrogen bond. The 4.5 micrometer feature, present only in the 329 channel data set, corresponds in position to absorptions detected in sulfate minerals. Carlson, R. W., et al. (1992) Bull. of the A.A.S., 24, 932. Granahan, J. C. (2014), GO-A-NIMS-3-GASPRASPEC-V1.0, NASA Planetary Data System.

  16. SPH-based simulation of multi-material asteroid collisions

    CERN Document Server

    Maindl, Thomas I; Speith, Roland; Süli, Áron; Forgács-Dajka, Emese; Dvorak, Rudolf

    2013-01-01

    We give a brief introduction to smoothed particle hydrodynamics methods for continuum mechanics. Specifically, we present our 3D SPH code to simulate and analyze collisions of asteroids consisting of two types of material: basaltic rock and ice. We consider effects like brittle failure, fragmentation, and merging in different impact scenarios. After validating our code against previously published results we present first collision results based on measured values for the Weibull flaw distribution parameters of basalt.

  17. The recovery of asteroid 2008 TC[subscript 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shaddad, Muawia H.; Jenniskens, Peter; Numan, Diyaa; Kudoda, Ayman M.; Elsir, Saadia; Riyad, Ihab F.; Ali, Awad Elkareem; Alameen, Mohammed; Alameen, Nada M.; Eid, Omer; Osman, Ahmed T.; AbuBaker, Mohamed I.; Yousif, Mohamed; Chesley, Steven R.; Chodas, Paul W.; Albers, Jim; Edwards, Wayne N.; Brown, Peter G.; Kuiper, Jacob; Friedrich, Jon M. (CIT); (Juba); (RNMI-Netherlands); (Khartoum); (UWO); (SETI); (Fordham)

    2011-09-06

    On October 7, 2008, asteroid 2008 TC{sub 3} impacted Earth and fragmented at 37 km altitude above the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan. The area surrounding the asteroid's approach path was searched, resulting in the first recovery of meteorites from an asteroid observed in space. This was also the first recovery of remains from a fragile 'cometary' PE = IIIa/b type fireball. In subsequent searches, over 600 mostly small 0.2-379 g meteorites (named 'Almahata Sitta') with a total mass 10.7 kg were recovered from a 30 x 7 km area. Meteorites fell along the track at 1.3 kg km{sup -1}, nearly independent of mass between 1 and 400 g, with a total fallen mass of 39 {+-} 6 kg. The strewn field was shifted nearly 1.8 km south from the calculated approach path. The influence of winds on the distribution of the meteorites, and on the motion of the dust train, is investigated. The majority of meteorites are ureilites with densities around 2.8 g cm{sup -3}, some of an anomalous (porous, high in carbon) polymict ureilite variety with densities as low as 1.5 g cm{sup -3}. In addition, an estimated 20-30% (in mass) of recovered meteorites were ordinary, enstatite, and carbonaceous chondrites. Their fresh look and matching distribution of fragments in the strewn field imply that they were part of 2008 TC{sub 3}. For that reason, they are all referred to as 'Almahata Sitta.' No ureilite meteorites were found that still held foreign clasts, suggesting that the asteroid's clasts were only loosely bound.

  18. Near-Earth Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) study

    OpenAIRE

    Brophy, John R.; Muirhead, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) concept brings together the capabilities of the science, technology, and the human exploration communities on a grand challenge combining robotic and human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit. This paper addresses the key aspects of this concept and the options studied to assess its technical feasibility. Included are evaluations of the expected number of potential targets, their expected discovery rate, the necessity to adequately chara...

  19. Size Distribution of Main-Belt Asteroids with High Inclination

    CERN Document Server

    Terai, Tsuyoshi

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the size distribution of high-inclination main-belt asteroids (MBAs) to explore asteroid collisional evolution under hypervelocity collisions of around 10 km/s. We performed a wide-field survey for high-inclination sub-km MBAs using the 8.2-m Subaru Telescope with the Subaru Prime Focus Camera (Suprime-Cam). Suprime-Cam archival data were also used. A total of 616 MBA candidates were detected in an area of 9.0 deg^2 with a limiting magnitude of 24.0 mag in the SDSS r filter. Most of candidate diameters were estimated to be smaller than 1 km. We found a scarcity of sub-km MBAs with high inclination. Cumulative size distributions (CSDs) were constructed using Subaru data and published asteroid catalogs. The power-law indexes of the CSDs were 2.17 +/- 0.02 for low-inclination ( 15 deg) MBAs in the 0.7-50 km diameter range. The high-inclination MBAs had a shallower CSD. We also found that the CSD of S-like MBAs had a small slope with high inclination, whereas the slope did not vary with inclinatio...

  20. ALMA Observations of Asteroid 3 Juno at 60 Kilometer Resolution

    CERN Document Server

    Partnership, ALMA; Kneissl, R; Moullet, A; Brogan, C L; Fomalont, E B; Vlahakis, C; Asaki, Y; Barkats, D; Dent, W R F; Hills, R; Hirota, A; Hodge, J A; Impellizzeri, C M V; Liuzzo, E; Lucas, R; Marcelino, N; Matsushita, S; Nakanishi, K; Perez, L M; Phillips, N; Richards, A M S; Toledo, I; Aladro, R; Broguiere, D; Cortes, J R; Cortes, P C; Dhawan, V; Espada, D; Galarza, F; Garcia-Appadoo, D; Guzman-Ramirez, L; Hales, A S; Humphreys, E M; Jung, T; Kameno, S; Laing, R A; Leon, S; Marconi, G; Nikolic, B; Nyman, L -A; Radiszcz, M; Remijan, A; Rodon, J A; Sawada, T; Takahashi, S; Tilanus, R P J; Vilaro, B Vila; Watson, L C; Wiklind, T; de Gregorio, I; Di Francesco, J; Mangum, J; Francke, H; Gallardo, J; Garcia, J; Gonzalez, S; Hill, T; Kaminski, T; Kurono, Y; Lopez, C; Morales, F; Plarre, K; Randall, S; van kempen, T; Videla, L; Villard, E; Andreani, P; Hibbard, J E; Tatematsu, K

    2015-01-01

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 1.3 mm continuum images of the asteroid 3 Juno obtained with an angular resolution of 0.042 arcseconds (60 km at 1.97 AU). The data were obtained over a single 4.4 hr interval, which covers 60% of the 7.2 hr rotation period, approximately centered on local transit. A sequence of ten consecutive images reveals continuous changes in the asteroid's profile and apparent shape, in good agreement with the sky projection of the three-dimensional model of the Database of Asteroid Models from Inversion Techniques. We measure a geometric mean diameter of 259pm4 km, in good agreement with past estimates from a variety of techniques and wavelengths. Due to the viewing angle and inclination of the rotational pole, the southern hemisphere dominates all of the images. The median peak brightness temperature is 215pm13 K, while the median over the whole surface is 197pm15 K. With the unprecedented resolution of ALMA, we find that the brightness temperature varies ...

  1. Footprints of the YORP effect in asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolicchi, Paolo; Knežević, Zoran

    2016-08-01

    The YORP effect affects not only the rotation rate, but also the spin orientation of asteroids. For this reason, due to Yarkovsky effect, it influences also the evolution of the semimajor axis with time. In asteroid dynamical families, the combined outcome can be a depletion of objects in the central part of the family, shown by the absolute magnitude vs. semimajor axis so-called V-plot. A reclassification of asteroid families, extended to a very large database of proper elements, has recently been performed by Milani et al. [2014] (Icarus, 239, 46-73). Only some of the related V-plots, used to estimate the age of several families, exhibit the depletion predicted above. In this paper we discuss the problem, introducing the concept of the YORP-eye and a general method of analysis. We show that the effect may sometimes be located in the low H tail, and thus difficult to detect. Moreover, it may be hindered by several anomalous physical properties of the family (asymmetry, cratering origin, multiple collisions history and so on). With a new method of analysis, we identify the footprints of the effect for most of the analysed families, obtaining also an independent estimate of the age of the family. In spite of the uncertainties, we obtain a very good agreement between these ages and those estimated on the basis of the slope of the V-plot: a result which supports both methods and the underlying physics.

  2. Water delivery to the Moon by asteroidal and cometary impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svetsov, V. V.; Shuvalov, V. V.

    2015-11-01

    Recent spacecraft missions detected presence of hydroxyl or water over large areas on the lunar surface. Several craters near the lunar poles have increased concentrations of hydrogen suggesting impact delivery of water. Using a numerical model, we have carried out computer simulations of the impacts of asteroids and comets in order to estimate the fate of water that can be contained in the projectiles. We find that at impact velocities below ~10 km/s a significant fraction of a stony projectile remains in the crater and is heated to temperatures below 1000 K. At these velocities hydrated minerals contained in carbonaceous projectiles decompose only partly. We conclude that the impacts of water-bearing carbonaceous asteroids could produce deposits of free and chemically bound water inside some lunar craters. The relative number of these craters may reach several percent. In contrast to asteroids, water from cometary impacts, even at low velocities, is vaporized, and vapor plume expands and disperses over the lunar surface.

  3. Asteroid Rendezvous Mission Design Using Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya-zhong Luo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A new preliminary trajectory design method for asteroid rendezvous mission using multiobjective optimization techniques is proposed. This method can overcome the disadvantages of the widely employed Pork-Chop method. The multiobjective integrated launch window and multi-impulse transfer trajectory design model is formulated, which employes minimum-fuel cost and minimum-time transfer as two objective functions. The multiobjective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO is employed to locate the Pareto solution. The optimization results of two different asteroid mission designs show that the proposed approach can effectively and efficiently demonstrate the relations among the mission characteristic parameters such as launch time, transfer time, propellant cost, and number of maneuvers, which will provide very useful reference for practical asteroid mission design. Compared with the PCP method, the proposed approach is demonstrated to be able to provide much more easily used results, obtain better propellant-optimal solutions, and have much better efficiency. The MOPSO shows a very competitive performance with respect to the NSGA-II and the SPEA-II; besides a proposed boundary constraint optimization strategy is testified to be able to improve its performance.

  4. Near Earth Asteroids- Prospection, Orbit Modification and Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandl, W.; Bazso, A.

    2014-04-01

    The number of known Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) has increased continuously during the last decades. Now we understand the role of asteroid impacts for the evolution of life on Earth. To ensure that mankind will survive in the long run, we have to face the "asteroid threat" seriously. On one hand we will have to develop methods of detection and deflection for Hazardous Asteroids, on the other hand we can use these methods to modify their orbits and exploit their resources. Rare-earth elements, rare metals like platinum group elements, etc. may be extracted more easily from NEAs than from terrestrial soil, without environmental pollution or political and social problems. In a first step NEAs, which are expected to contain resources like nickel-iron, platinum group metals or rare-earth elements, will be prospected by robotic probes. Then a number of asteroids with a minimum bulk density of 2 g/cm^3 and a diameter of 150 to 500 m will be selected for mining. Given the long duration of an individual mission time of 10-20 years, the authors propose a "pipeline" concept. While the observation of NEAs can be done in parallel, the precursor missions of the the next phase can be launched in short intervals, giving time for technical corrections and upgrades. In this way a continuous data flow is established and there are no idle times. For our purpose Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) seem to be a favorable choice for the following reasons: They have frequent closeencounters to Earth, their minimum orbit intersection distance is less than 0.05 AU (Astronomic Units) and they have diameters exceeding 150 meters. The necessary velocity change (delta V) for a spaceship is below 12 km/s to reach the PHA. The authors propose to modify the orbits of the chosen PHAs by orbital maneuvers from solar orbits to stable Earth orbits beyond the Moon. To change the orbits of these celestial bodies it is necessary to develop advanced propulsion systems. They must be able to deliver high

  5. Sensitivity to Uncertainty in Asteroid Impact Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathias, D.; Wheeler, L.; Prabhu, D. K.; Aftosmis, M.; Dotson, J.; Robertson, D. K.

    2015-12-01

    The Engineering Risk Assessment (ERA) team at NASA Ames Research Center is developing a physics-based impact risk model for probabilistically assessing threats from potential asteroid impacts on Earth. The model integrates probabilistic sampling of asteroid parameter ranges with physics-based analyses of entry, breakup, and impact to estimate damage areas and casualties from various impact scenarios. Assessing these threats is a highly coupled, dynamic problem involving significant uncertainties in the range of expected asteroid characteristics, how those characteristics may affect the level of damage, and the fidelity of various modeling approaches and assumptions. The presented model is used to explore the sensitivity of impact risk estimates to these uncertainties in order to gain insight into what additional data or modeling refinements are most important for producing effective, meaningful risk assessments. In the extreme cases of very small or very large impacts, the results are generally insensitive to many of the characterization and modeling assumptions. However, the nature of the sensitivity can change across moderate-sized impacts. Results will focus on the value of additional information in this critical, mid-size range, and how this additional data can support more robust mitigation decisions.

  6. Adapted G-mode Clustering Method applied to Asteroid Taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasselmann, Pedro H.; Carvano, Jorge M.; Lazzaro, D.

    2013-11-01

    The original G-mode was a clustering method developed by A. I. Gavrishin in the late 60's for geochemical classification of rocks, but was also applied to asteroid photometry, cosmic rays, lunar sample and planetary science spectroscopy data. In this work, we used an adapted version to classify the asteroid photometry from SDSS Moving Objects Catalog. The method works by identifying normal distributions in a multidimensional space of variables. The identification starts by locating a set of points with smallest mutual distance in the sample, which is a problem when data is not planar. Here we present a modified version of the G-mode algorithm, which was previously written in FORTRAN 77, in Python 2.7 and using NumPy, SciPy and Matplotlib packages. The NumPy was used for array and matrix manipulation and Matplotlib for plot control. The Scipy had a import role in speeding up G-mode, Scipy.spatial.distance.mahalanobis was chosen as distance estimator and Numpy.histogramdd was applied to find the initial seeds from which clusters are going to evolve. Scipy was also used to quickly produce dendrograms showing the distances among clusters. Finally, results for Asteroids Taxonomy and tests for different sample sizes and implementations are presented.

  7. Small Jovian Trojan Asteroids: An Excess of Slow Rotators

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Linda M.

    2016-01-01

    Several lines of evidence support a common origin for, and possible hereditary link between, cometary nuclei and jovian Trojan asteroids. Due to their distance and low albedos, few comet-sized Trojans have been studied. We discuss the rotation properties of Jovian Trojan asteroids less than 30 km in diameter. Approximately half of the objects discussed here were studied using densely sampled lightcurves (French et al. 2015a, b); Stephens et al. 2015), and the other half were sparse lightcurves obtained by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF; Waszcazk et al. 2015). A significant fraction (~40%) of the objects in the ground-based sample rotate slowly (P > 24h), with measured periods as long as 375 h (Warner and Stephens 2011). The PTF data show a similar excess of slow rotators. Only 5 objects in the combined data set have rotation periods of less than six hours. Three of these fast rotators were contained in the data set of French et al. these three had a geometric mean rotation period of 5.29 hours. A prolate spheroid held together by gravity rotating with this period would have a critical density of 0.43 gm/cm3, a density similar to that of comets (Lamy et al. 2004). Harris et al. (2012) and Warner et al. (2011) have explored the possible effects on asteroid rotational statistics with the results from wide-field surveys. We will examine Trojan rotation statistics with and without the results from the PTF.

  8. Asteroid breakup linked to the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Birger; Harper, David A. T.; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Stouge, Svend; Alwmark, Carl; Cronholm, Anders; Bergström, Stig M.; Tassinari, Mario; Xiaofeng, Wang

    2008-01-01

    The rise and diversification of shelled invertebrate life in the early Phanerozoic eon occurred in two major stages. During the first stage (termed as the Cambrian explosion), a large number of new phyla appeared over a short time interval ~540Myrago. Biodiversity at the family, genus and species level, however, remained low until the second stage marked by the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event in the Middle Ordovician period. Although this event represents the most intense phase of species radiation during the Palaeozoic era and led to irreversible changes in the biological make-up of Earth's seafloors, the causes of this event remain elusive. Here, we show that the onset of the major phase of biodiversification ~470Myrago coincides with the disruption in the asteroid belt of the L-chondrite parent body-the largest documented asteroid breakup event during the past few billion years. The precise coincidence between these two events is established by bed-by-bed records of extraterrestrial chromite, osmium isotopes and invertebrate fossils in Middle Ordovician strata in Baltoscandia and China. We argue that frequent impacts on Earth of kilometre-sized asteroids-supported by abundant Middle Ordovician fossil meteorites and impact craters-accelerated the biodiversification process.

  9. Simultaneous Linear and Circular Optical Polarimetry of Asteroid (4) Vesta

    CERN Document Server

    Wiktorowicz, Sloane J

    2014-01-01

    From a single, 3.8-hour observation of asteroid (4) Vesta at $13.7^\\circ$ phase angle with the POLISH2 polarimeter at the Lick Observatory Shane 3-m telescope, we confirm rotational modulation of linear polarization in $B$ and $V$ bands. We measure the peak-to-peak modulation in degree of linear polarization to be $\\Delta P = (294 \\pm 35) \\times 10^{-6}$ (ppm) and time-averaged $\\Delta P / P = 0.0577 \\pm 0.0069$. After rotating the plane of linear polarization to the scattering plane, asteroidal rotational modulation is detected with $12 \\sigma$ confidence and observed solely in Stokes $Q/I$. POLISH2 simultaneously measures Stokes $I$, $Q$, $U$ (linear polarization), and $V$ (circular polarization), but we detect no significant circular polarization with a $1 \\sigma$ upper limit of 140 ppm in $B$ band. Circular polarization is expected to arise from multiple scattering of sunlight by rough surfaces, and it has previously been detected in nearly all other classes of Solar System bodies save asteroids. Subseque...

  10. The spherical Brazil Nut Effect and its significance to asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Perera, Viranga; Asphaug, Erik; Ballouz, Ronald-Louis

    2016-01-01

    Many asteroids are likely rubble-piles that are a collection of smaller objects held together by gravity and possibly cohesion. These asteroids are seismically shaken by impacts, which leads to excitation of their constituent particles. As a result it has been suggested that their surfaces and sub-surface interiors may be governed by a size sorting mechanism known as the Brazil Nut Effect. We study the behavior of a model asteroid that is a spherical, self-gravitating aggregate with a binary size-distribution of particles under the action of applied seismic shaking. We find that above a seismic threshold, larger particles rise to the surface when friction is present, in agreement with previous studies that focussed on cylindrical and rectangular box configurations. Unlike previous works we also find that size sorting takes place even with zero friction, though the presence of friction does aid the sorting process above the seismic threshold. Additionally we find that while strong size sorting can take place n...

  11. On the original distribution of the asteroids. II. Do stable orbits exist between Jupiter and Saturn?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prompted by the recent indication by Wisdom (1987) that orbits may appear stable for very long periods and then suddenly become chaotic, an earlier integration of asteroidlike orbits between Jupiter and Saturn in which most of the asteroids had close encounters with these planets and were removed is extended nearly 2000 times longer. Where two bands, centered on 1.35 and 1.45 Jovian distances, harbored asteroids before, all the asteroids are presently removed. Asteroids are found to be removed by Saturn-orbit crossings 5 times more frequently than by Jupiter-orbit crossing. 13 refs

  12. The problem of the near-earth asteroids encountering the earth

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    季江徽[1; 刘林[2

    2000-01-01

    The asteroids are the most important small bodies in the solar system, while the movement of the near-earth-asteroids (NEAs) is specially concerned by the world. The focus on these asteroids is that they encounter the earth. The orbital evolution of this kind of asteroid is studied by analyzing and comparing them; reasonable dynamical models and corresponding algorithm are given, and the formal numbered NEAs are calculated. The results of the minimal distance and the very close-approach time with the earth agree well with those announced by the Minor Planet Center (MFC).

  13. The problem of the near-earth asteroids encountering the earth

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The asteroids are the most important small bodies in the solar system, while the movement of the near-earth-asteroids (NEAs) is specially concerned by the world. The focus on these asteroids is that they encounter the earth. The orbital evolution of this kind of asteroid is studied by analyzing and comparing them; reasonable dynamical models and corresponding algorithm are given, and the formal numbered NEAs are calculated. The results of the minimal distance and the very close-approach time with the earth agree well with those announced by the Minor Planet Center (MPC).

  14. The Lockne - Målingen doublet impacts, the result of a binary asteroid from the 470 Ma Main Asteroid Belt event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturkell, E. C.; Ormo, J.; Alwmark, C.; Melosh, H., IV

    2015-12-01

    Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt (MAB), which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. The 600 m large Lockne asteroid was a binary and had a companion in space by a smaller 150 m satellite. The recent discovery of the nearby, 0.7-km diameter, synchronous Målingen crater suggests it to form a doublet impact structure together with the larger Lockne crater, and as we will show here, most likely by a binary, 'rubble pile' asteroid. Despite observational evidence that about 16% of the Near Earth Asteroids (NEA's) are binary, only a handful of the approximately 188 known craters on Earth have been suggested as potential doublets. The stratigraphic and geographic relationship with Lockne suggests the Lockne and Målingen craters to be the first described doublet impact structure by a binary asteroid into a marine-target setting. In addition, the precise dating of the Lockne-Målingen impact in relation to the MAB breakup event provides a hands-on reference for studies of the formation of binaries from asteroid breakup events.

  15. Analytical model of impact disruption of satellites and asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leliwa-Kopystyński, J.; Włodarczyk, I.; Burchell, M. J.

    2016-04-01

    A model of impact disruption of the bodies with sizes from the laboratory scale to that of an order of 100 km is developed. On the lowermost end of the target size the model is based on the numerous laboratory data related to the mass-velocity distribution of the impact produced fragments. On the minor-planets scale the model is supported by the data related to the largest observed craters on small icy satellites and on some asteroids (Leliwa-Kopystynski, J., Burchell, M.J., Lowen, D. [2008]. Icarus 195, 817-826). The model takes into account the target disruption and the dispersion of the impact produced fragments against the intermolecular forces acting on the surfaces of the contacts of the fragments and against self-gravitation of the target. The head-on collisions of non-rotating and non-porous targets and impactors are considered. The impactor delivers kinetic energy but its mass is neglected in comparison to mass of the target. For this simple case the analytical formulae for specific disruption energy as well as for specific energy of formation of the largest craters are found. They depend on a set of parameters. Of these the most important (i.e. with the greatest influence on the final result) are three rather weakly known parameters. They are: (i) The exponent γ in the distribution function of the fragments. (ii) The characteristic velocity v0 that appears in the velocity distribution of the ejected fragments. (iii) The exponent β in the mass-velocity distribution. The influence of the choice of the numerical values of these parameters on the final results has been studied. Another group of parameters contains the relevant material data. They are: (a) The energy σ of breaking of the intermolecular bonds of the target material per unit of the fragment surface and (b) the density ρ of the target. According to our calculations the transition between the strength regime and the gravitational regime is in the range of the target radius from ∼0.4 km to

  16. Comets, Asteroids and Rubble Piles: not just debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, J. B.; Dusenbery, P.

    2010-12-01

    The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (NCIL @ SSI) is developing a variety of asteroids related education activities as part of several E/PO projects, including Finding NEO (funded through NSF and NASA SMD); Great Balls of Fire! (funded through NSF); and a partnership with the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) mission. These activities range from a web site to traveling exhibits in three different sizes. The Killer Asteroids web site (www.killerasteroids.org) includes background information on comets and asteroids as well as a number of interactive activities and games. These include a game that compares the risk of death from an asteroid impact to other hazards; a game and video vignettes on the role of backyard astronomers in light curve research; a physics-based asteroid deflection game; and a Google Earth -based "drop a rock on your house" activity. In addition, the project is developing a small, portable exhibit suitable for use in libraries or visitors centers. Great Balls of Fire! includes two separate traveling exhibitions: a 3000 square foot exhibition for science centers, and a 500 square foot version for smaller venues. Both will begin national tours in the summer of 2011. The Great Balls of Fire! exhibit program includes a free Education Program for docents and educators, and an Outreach Program to amateur astronomers around the country through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s (ASP) Astronomy from the Ground Up program. The project will facilitate partnerships between host venues and local astronomy clubs that can interact with the public using a toolkit of activities developed by ASP. Great Balls of Fire! Represents a collaboration between scientists, educators, exhibit designers, graphic artists, evaluators, education researchers, and three teams of middle school students who acted as advisors. The project’s exhibit design firm is Jeff Kennedy Associates Inc. We will present a summary of the

  17. Composition of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8: An H Chondrite from the Outer Asteroid Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Juan A; Dykhuis, Melissa; Lindsay, Sean; Corre, Lucille Le

    2015-01-01

    Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) represent a unique opportunity for physical characterization during their close approaches to Earth. The proximity of these asteroids makes them accessible for sample-return and manned missions, but could also represent a risk for life on Earth in the event of collision. Therefore, a detailed mineralogical analysis is a key component in planning future exploration missions and developing appropriate mitigation strategies. In this study we present near-infrared spectra (0.7-2.55 microns) of PHA (214869) 2007 PA8 obtained with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility during its close approach to Earth on November 2012. The mineralogical analysis of this asteroid revealed a surface composition consistent with H ordinary chondrites. In particular, we found that the olivine and pyroxene chemistries of 2007 PA8 are Fa18(Fo82) and Fs16, respectively. The olivine-pyroxene abundance ratio was estimated to be 47%. This low olivine abundance and the measured band parameters, close to t...

  18. The Physical Characterization of the Potentially-Hazardous Asteroid 2004 BL86: A Fragment of a Differentiated Asteroid

    CERN Document Server

    Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan A; Takir, Driss; Thomas, Cristina A; Hardersen, Paul S; Ogmen, Yenal; Benni, Paul; Kaye, Thomas G; Gregorio, Joao; Garlitz, Joe; Polishook, David; Corre, Lucille Le; Nathues, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The physical characterization of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) is important for impact hazard assessment and evaluating mitigation options. Close flybys of PHAs provide an opportunity to study their surface photometric and spectral properties that enable identification of their source regions in the main asteroid belt. We observed PHA (357439) 2004 BL86 during a close flyby of the Earth at a distance of 1.2 million km (0.0080 AU) on January 26, 2015, with an array of ground-based telescopes to constrain its photometric and spectral properties. Lightcurve observations showed that the asteroid was a binary and subsequent radar observations confirmed the binary nature and gave a primary diameter of 300 meters and a secondary diameter of 50-100 meters. Our photometric observations were used to derive the phase curve of 2004 BL86 in the V-band. Two different photometric functions were fitted to this phase curve, the IAU H-G model (Bowell et al. 1989) and the Shevchenko model (Shevchenko 1996). From the fi...

  19. Composition of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8: An H Chondrite from the Outer Asteroid Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Juan A.; Reddy, Vishnu; Dykhuis, Melissa; Lindsay, Sean; Le Corre, Lucille

    2015-07-01

    Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) represent a unique opportunity for physical characterization during their close approaches to Earth. The proximity of these asteroids makes them accessible for sample-return and manned missions, but could also represent a risk for life on Earth in the event of collision. Therefore, a detailed mineralogical analysis is a key component in planning future exploration missions and developing appropriate mitigation strategies. In this study we present near-infrared spectra (˜0.7-2.55 μm) of PHA (214869) 2007 PA8 obtained with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility during its close approach to Earth on 2012 November. The mineralogical analysis of this asteroid revealed a surface composition consistent with H ordinary chondrites. In particular, we found that the olivine and pyroxene chemistries of 2007 PA8 are Fa18(Fo82) and Fs16, respectively. The olivine-pyroxene abundance ratio was estimated to be 47%. This low olivine abundance and the measured band parameters, close to the H4 and H5 chondrites, suggest that the parent body of 2007 PA8 experienced thermal metamorphism before being catastrophically disrupted. Based on the compositional affinity, proximity to the J5:2 resonance, and estimated flux of resonant objects we determined that the Koronis family is the most likely source region for 2007 PA8.

  20. ESO Views of Earth-Approaching Asteroid Toutatis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-09-01

    Today, September 29, 2004, is undisputedly the Day of Toutatis, the famous "doomsday" asteroid. Not since the year 1353 did this impressive "space rock" pass so close by the Earth as it does today. Visible as a fast-moving faint point of light in the southern skies, it approaches the Earth to within 1,550,000 km, or just four times the distance of the Moon. Closely watched by astronomers since its discovery in January 1989, this asteroid has been found to move in an orbit that brings it close to the Earth at regular intervals, about once every four years. This happened in 1992, 1996, 2000 and now again in 2004. Radar observations during these passages have shown that Toutatis has an elongated shape, measuring about 4.6 x 2.4 x 1.9 km. It tumbles slowly through space, with a rotation period of 5.4 days. The above images of Toutatis were taken with the ESO Very Large Telescope (during a technical test) in the evening of September 28. They were obtained just over 12 hours before the closest approach that happens today at about 15:40 hrs Central European Summer Time (CEST), or 13:40 hrs Universal Time (UT). At the time of these observations, Toutatis was about 1,640,000 km from the Earth, moving with a speed of about 11 km/sec relative to our planet. They show the asteroid as a fast-moving object of magnitude 10, about 40 times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided, dark-adapted eye. They also prove that Toutatis is right on track, following exactly the predicted trajectory in space and passing the Earth at a safe distance, as foreseen. Detailed calculations, taking into account all available observations of this celestial body, have shown that although Toutatis passes regularly near the Earth, today's passage is the closest one for quite some time, at least until the year 2562. The ESO observations, obtained at a moment when Toutatis was very close to the Earth, will help to further refine the orbital calculations. The "parallax effect" demonstrated! ESO

  1. Light-Curve Survey of Jupiter Trojan Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffard, R.; Melita, M.; Ortiz, J. L.; Licandro, J.; Williams, I. P.; Jones, D.

    2008-09-01

    Trojan asteroids are an interesting population of minor bodies due to their dynamical characteristics, their physical properties and that they are relatively isolated located at the snow-line The main hypotheses about the origin of the Jupiter Trojans assumed that they formed either during the final stages of the planetary formation (Marzari & Scholl 1998), or during the epoch of planetary migration (Morbidelli et al. 2005), in any case more than 3.8 Gy. ago. The dynamical configuration kept the Trojans isolated from the asteroid Main Belt throughout the history of the Solar System. In spite of eventual interactions with other populations of minor bodies like the Hildas, the Jupiter family comets, and the Centaurs, their collisional evolution has been dictated mostly by the intrapopulation collisions (Marzari et al. 1996, 1997). Therefore, the Jupiter Trojans may be considered primordial bodies, whose dynamical and physical properties can provide important clues about the environment of planetary formation. The available sample of Jupiter Trojans light-curves is small and mainly restricted to the largest objects. According to the MPC-website (updated last in March 2006), the present sample of rotation periods and light-curve-amplitudes of the Jupiter Trojan asteroids is composed by 25 objects with some information about their periods and by 10 of them with only an amplitude estimation. A survey of contact binary Trojan asteroids has been done by Mann et al. 2007, where they have recorded more than 100 amplitudes from sparse-sampled light-curves and very-wellresolved rotational periods. More than 2000 Trojan asteroids have been discovered up to date, so, there is an urgent need to enlarge the sample of intrinsic rotation periods and accurate light-curve amplitudes and to extend it to smaller sizes. Results and Discusions We requested 26 nights of observation in the second semester of 2007, to begin with the survey. They were scheduled for the following instruments

  2. Impact risk assessment and planetary defense mission planning for asteroid 2015 PDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vardaxis, George; Sherman, Peter; Wie, Bong

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, an integrated utilization of analytic keyhole theory, B-plane mapping, and planetary encounter geometry, augmented by direct numerical simulation, is shown to be useful in determining the impact risk of an asteroid with the Earth on a given encounter, as well on potential future encounters via keyhole passages. The accurate estimation of the impact probability of hazardous asteroids is extremely important for planetary defense mission planning. Asteroids in Earth resonant orbits are particularly troublesome because of the continuous threat they pose in the future. Based on the trajectories of the asteroid and the Earth, feasible mission trajectories can be found to mitigate the impact threat of hazardous asteroids. In order to try to ensure mission success, trajectories are judged based on initial and final mission design parameters that would make the mission easier to complete. Given the potential of a short-warning time scenario, a disruption mission considered in this paper occurs approximately one year prior to the anticipated impact date. Expanding upon the established theory, a computational method is developed to estimate the impact probability of the hazardous asteroid, in order to assess the likelihood of an event, and then investigate the fragmentation of the asteroid due to a disruption mission and analyze its effects on the current and future encounters of the fragments with Earth. A fictional asteroid, designated as 2015 PDC - created as an example asteroid risk exercise for the 2015 Planetary Defence Conference, is used as a reference target asteroid to demonstrate the effectiveness and applicability of computational tools being developed for impact risk assessment and planetary defense mission planning for a hazardous asteroid or comet.

  3. Digital Tracking Observations Can Discover Asteroids 10 Times Fainter Than Conventional Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Aren N.; Metchev, Stanimir; Trollo, Joseph

    2015-10-01

    We describe digital tracking, a method for asteroid searches that greatly increases the sensitivity of a telescope to faint unknown asteroids. It has been previously used to detect faint Kuiper Belt objects using the Hubble Space Telescope and large ground-based instruments, and to find a small, fast-moving asteroid during a close approach to Earth. We complement this earlier work by developing digital tracking methodology for detecting asteroids using large-format CCD imagers. We demonstrate that the technique enables the ground-based detection of large numbers of new faint asteroids. Our methodology resolves or circumvents all major obstacles to the large-scale application of digital tracking for finding main belt and near-Earth asteroids. We find that for both asteroid populations, digital tracking can deliver a factor of 10 improvement over conventional searches. Digital tracking has long been standard practice for deep Kuiper Belt surveys, but even there our methodology enables deeper integrations than have yet been attempted. Our search for main belt asteroids using a one-degree imager on the 0.9 m WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak validates our methodology, delivers sensitivity to asteroids in a regime previously probed only with 4-m and larger instruments, and leads to the detection of 156 previously unknown asteroids and 59 known objects in a single field. Digital tracking has the potential to revolutionize searches for faint moving objects ranging from the Kuiper Belt through main belt and near-Earth asteroids, and perhaps even anthropogenic space debris in low Earth orbit.

  4. Autonomous navigation of a spacecraft formation in the proximity of an asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetrisano, Massimo; Vasile, Massimiliano

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents a multi-sensor navigation approach to allow a formation of spacecraft to autonomously navigate in the proximity of a Near Earth Asteroid. Multiple measurements collected by on-board cameras, attitude sensors and LIDAR are used to estimate the state of each spacecraft with respect to the asteroid. Inter-spacecraft position measurements are then combined with spacecraft-to-asteroid position measurements to improve accuracy. The paper analyses the use of different filtering techniques to estimate the state of a 4-spacecraft formation with respect to the asteroid. Different combinations of measurements are constructed to evaluate the improvement in navigation performance offered by the data fusion of the measurements gathered by the four spacecraft. Moreover the robustness of the navigation system is tested against the occurrence of failures. Results show that the navigation performance is significantly improved by adding the inter-spacecraft position measurements. Finally, an asteroid orbit determination method is proposed that combines asteroid's line of sight measurements from multiple spacecraft and Sun Doppler shift sensor with spacecraft-to-ground tracking data. Different approach configurations are evaluated for a 2-spacecraft formation and it is shown that the integrated use of spacecraft-to-asteroid and ground-to-spacecraft measurements provides an effective way to improve the ephemerides of the asteroid.

  5. Assessing the physical nature of near-Earth asteroids through their dynamical histories

    CERN Document Server

    Fernández, Julio A; Gallardo, Tabaré; Gutiérrez, Jorge N

    2014-01-01

    We analyze a sample of 139 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), defined as those that reach perihelion distances $q 4.8$ au), having Tisserand parameters $2 4.8$ au of cometary origin, but it could be even lower if the NEAs in unstable orbits listed before turn out to be {\\it bona fide} asteroids from the main belt.

  6. Near-infrared spectra of high-albedo outer main-belt asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Shirahata, Mai [National Institutes of Natural Science, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8588 (Japan); Usui, Fumihiko [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Kuroda, Daisuke [Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 3037-5 Honjo, Kamogata-cho, Asakuchi, Okayama 719-0232 (Japan); Ootsubo, Takafumi [Department of Earth Science and Astronomy, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-8902 (Japan); Okamura, Natsuko [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo Kiban Bldg. 408, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Hasegawa, Sunao, E-mail: toshi.kasuga@nao.ac.jp [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan)

    2015-02-01

    Most outer main-belt asteroids have low albedos because of their carbonaceouslike bodies. However, infrared satellite surveys have revealed that some asteroids have high albedos, which may suggest the presence of unusual surface minerals for those primitive objects. We present new near-infrared (1.1–2.5 μm) spectra of four outer main-belt asteroids with albedos ≥ 0.1. The C-complex asteroids (555) Norma and (2542) Calpurnia are featureless and have (50%–60%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes that might explain the high albedos. Asteroids (701) Oriola (which is a C-complex asteroid) and (2670) Chuvashia (a D/T-type or M-type asteroid) show possible broad absorption bands (1.5–2.1 μm). The feature can be reproduced by either Mg-rich amorphous pyroxene (with 50%–60% and 80%–95% Mg, respectively) or orthopyroxene (crystalline silicate), which might be responsible for the high albedos. No absorption features of water ice (near 1.5 and 2.0 μm) are detected in the objects. We discuss the origin of high albedo components in the outer main-belt asteroids and their physical relations to comets.

  7. Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Elephant Head Observatory: 2012 November - 2013 April

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkema, Michael S.

    2013-07-01

    Thirteen asteroids were observed from Elephant Head Observatory from 2012 November to 2013 April: the main-belt asteroids 227 Philosophia, 331 Etheridgea, 577 Rhea, 644 Cosima, 850 Altona, 906 Repsolda, 964 Subamara, 973 Aralia, 1016 Anitra, 1024 Hale, 2034 Bernoulli, 2556 Louise, and Jupiter Trojan 3063 Makhaon.

  8. Meteoroid streams associated with Apollo asteroids: evidence from the Adelaide radar orbit surveys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Since the discovery of Phaethon (the ''Geminid asteroid'') in 1983 there has been renewed interest in the association of meteor showers with Earth-approaching asteroids. In the past the existence of several streams associated with different asteroids (in particular Adonis, Apollo, Hermes and Oljato) has been suggested but not proven. Here the 3759 meteor orbits determined at Adelaide in the 1960's have been compared to the orbits of all known Aten-Apollo-Amor asteroids using a new and powerful search technique. Strong evidence is found for streams associated with Apollo-type asteroids Icarus, Hermes, Adonis, Oljato, Hephaistos, 5025 P-L, 1982 TA, and 1984 KB; the final five in this list may be members of the Taurid-Arietid complex, as is Comet P/Encke. No stream associated with 1862 Apollo was identified, but this may be due to the lack of observations at the appropriate solar longitude. No streams associated with any Aten or Amor asteroid were found: this may be due to the limited detectability of their meteors, if they exist, because of their low geocentric velocities. In general streams were discovered for all asteroids coming within 0.1 AU of the Earth, having radiants observable from Adelaide and atmospheric velocities above about 22 km/sec: this suggests that meteoroid streams are a general feature of Earth-approaching asteroids. (author). 1 fig., 32 refs

  9. Aqueous alteration on main belt primitive asteroids: results from visible spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Fornasier, S; Barucci, M A; Lazzarin, M

    2014-01-01

    This work focuses on the study of the aqueous alteration process which acted in the main belt and produced hydrated minerals on the altered asteroids. The aqueous alteration is particularly important for unraveling the processes occurring during the earliest times of the Solar System history, as it can give information both on the asteroids thermal evolution and on the localization of water sources in the asteroid belt. We present new spectral observations in the visible region of 80 asteroids belonging to the primitive classes C, G, F, B and P. We combine the present observations with the visible spectra of asteroids available in the literature for a total of 600 primitive main belt asteroids. Our analysis shows that the aqueous alteration sequence starts from the P-type objects, practically unaltered, and increases through the F, B, C, and G asteroids. Around 50% of the observed C-type asteroids show absorption features in the vis. range due to hydrated silicates, implying that more than 70% of them will ha...

  10. Joint lightcurve observations of 10 near-Earth asteroids from Modra and Ondřejov

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Galád, Adrián; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Gajdoš, Š.; Kornoš, L.; Világi, J.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 97, 1-2 (2005), s. 147-163. ISSN 0167-9295 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * near-Earth asteroids * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.975, year: 2005

  11. Trajectory and physical properties of near-Earth asteroid 2009 BD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farnocchia, D.; Mommert, M.; Hora, J. L.; Chesley, S. R.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Trilling, D. E.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A. W.; Smith, H. A.; Fazio, G. G.; Knežević, Zoran; Lemaitre, Anne

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the trajectory of near-Earth asteroid 2009~BD, which is a candidate target of the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. The small size of 2009 BD and its Earth-like orbit pose challenges to understanding the dynamical properties of 2009 BD. In particular, nongravitational perturbations, such as

  12. Effect of the finite size of an asteroid on its deflection using a tether-ballast system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashayekhi, Mohammad J.; Misra, Arun K.

    2016-07-01

    Potentially hazardous near-Earth objects which can impose a significant threat on life on the planet have generated a lot of interest in the study of various asteroid deflection strategies. There are numerous asteroid deflection techniques suggested and discussed in the literature. This paper is focused on one of the non-destructive asteroid deflection strategies by attaching a long tether-ballast system to the asteroid. In the existing literature on this technique, very simplified models of the asteroid-tether-ballast system including a point mass model of the asteroid have been used. In this paper, the dynamical effect of using a finite size asteroid model on the asteroid deflection achieved is analyzed in detail. It has been shown that considering the finite size of the asteroid, instead of the point mass approximation, can have significant influence on the deflection predicted. Furthermore the effect of the tether-deployment stage, which is an essential part of any realistic asteroid deflection mission, on the predicted deflection is studied in this paper. Finally the effect of cutting the tether on the deflection achieved is analyzed and it has been shown that depending on the orbital properties of the asteroid as well as its size and rotational rate, cutting the tether at an appropriate time can increase the deflection achieved. Several numerical examples have been used in this paper to elaborate on the proposed technique and to quantitatively analyze the effect of different parameters on the asteroid deflection.

  13. Effect of the finite size of an asteroid on its deflection using a tether-ballast system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashayekhi, Mohammad J.; Misra, Arun K.

    2016-04-01

    Potentially hazardous near-Earth objects which can impose a significant threat on life on the planet have generated a lot of interest in the study of various asteroid deflection strategies. There are numerous asteroid deflection techniques suggested and discussed in the literature. This paper is focused on one of the non-destructive asteroid deflection strategies by attaching a long tether-ballast system to the asteroid. In the existing literature on this technique, very simplified models of the asteroid-tether-ballast system including a point mass model of the asteroid have been used. In this paper, the dynamical effect of using a finite size asteroid model on the asteroid deflection achieved is analyzed in detail. It has been shown that considering the finite size of the asteroid, instead of the point mass approximation, can have significant influence on the deflection predicted. Furthermore the effect of the tether-deployment stage, which is an essential part of any realistic asteroid deflection mission, on the predicted deflection is studied in this paper. Finally the effect of cutting the tether on the deflection achieved is analyzed and it has been shown that depending on the orbital properties of the asteroid as well as its size and rotational rate, cutting the tether at an appropriate time can increase the deflection achieved. Several numerical examples have been used in this paper to elaborate on the proposed technique and to quantitatively analyze the effect of different parameters on the asteroid deflection.

  14. Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission Space Suit and EVA System Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowie, Jonathan T.; Kelly, Cody; Buffington, Jesse; Watson, Richard D.

    2015-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM) requires a Launch/Entry/Abort (LEA) suit capability and short duration Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) capability from the Orion spacecraft. For this mission, the pressure garment that was selected, for both functions, is the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES) with EVA enhancements and the life support option that was selected is the Exploration Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The proposed architecture was found to meet the mission constraints, but much more work is required to determine the details of the required suit upgrades, the integration with the PLSS, and the rest of the tools and equipment required to accomplish the mission. This work has continued over the last year to better define the operations and hardware maturation of these systems. EVA simulations have been completed in the NBL and interfacing options have been prototyped and analyzed with testing planned for late 2014. For NBL EVA simulations, in 2013, components were procured to allow in-house build up for four new suits with mobility enhancements built into the arms. Boots outfitted with clips that fit into foot restraints have also been added to the suit and analyzed for possible loads. Major suit objectives accomplished this year in testing include: evaluation of mobility enhancements, ingress/egress of foot restraint, use of foot restraint for worksite stability, ingress/egress of Orion hatch with PLSS mockup, and testing with two crew members in the water at one time to evaluate the crew's ability to help one another. Major tool objectives accomplished this year include using various other methods for worksite stability, testing new methods for asteroid geologic sampling and improving the fidelity of the mockups and crew equipment. These tests were completed on a medium fidelity capsule mockup, asteroid vehicle mockup, and asteroid mockups that were more accurate for an asteroid type EVA than previous tests. Another focus was the

  15. Dynamics of asteroids and near-Earth objects from Gaia Astrometry

    CERN Document Server

    Bancelin, D; Thuillot, W

    2016-01-01

    Gaia is an astrometric mission that will be launched in spring 2013. There are many scientific outcomes from this mission and as far as our Solar System is concerned, the satellite will be able to map thousands of main belt asteroids (MBAs) and near-Earth objects (NEOs) down to magnitude < 20. The high precision astrometry (0.3-5 mas of accuracy) will allow orbital improvement, mass determination, and a better accuracy in the prediction and ephemerides of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). We give in this paper some simulation tests to analyse the impact of Gaia data on known asteroids' orbit, and their value for the analysis of NEOs through the example of asteroid (99942) Apophis. We then present the need for a follow-up network for newly discovered asteroids by Gaia, insisting on the synergy of ground and space data for the orbital improvement.

  16. Matching asteroid population characteristics with a model constructed from the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth Andrew; Rossi, Alessandro; Scheeres, Daniel J

    2016-01-01

    From the results of a comprehensive asteroid population evolution model, we conclude that the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis can be consistent with the observed population statistics of small asteroids in the main belt including binaries and contact binaries. The foundation of this model is the asteroid rotation model of Marzari et al. (2011), which incorporates both the YORP effect and collisional evolution. This work adds to that model the rotational fission hypothesis and the binary evolution model of Jacobson & Scheeres (2011). The asteroid population evolution model is highly constrained by these and other previous works, and therefore it has only two significant free parameters: the ratio of low to high mass ratio binaries formed after rotational fission events and the mean strength of the binary YORP (BYORP) effect. We successfully reproduce characteristic statistics of the small asteroid population: the binary fraction, the fast binary fraction, steady-state mass ratio fraction and the...

  17. THE PUZZLING MUTUAL ORBIT OF THE BINARY TROJAN ASTEROID (624) HEKTOR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchis, F.; Cuk, M. [Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Durech, J. [Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic); Castillo-Rogez, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Vachier, F.; Berthier, J. [IMCCE-Obs de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France); Wong, M. H.; Kalas, P.; Duchene, G. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Van Dam, M. A. [Flat Wavefronts, Christchurch 8140 (New Zealand); Hamanowa, H. [Hamanowa Observatory, Motomiya, Fukushima 969-1204 (Japan); Viikinkoski, M., E-mail: fmarchis@seti.org [Tampere University of Technology, FI-33101 Tampere (Finland)

    2014-03-10

    Asteroids with satellites are natural laboratories to constrain the formation and evolution of our solar system. The binary Trojan asteroid (624) Hektor is the only known Trojan asteroid to possess a small satellite. Based on W. M. Keck adaptive optics observations, we found a unique and stable orbital solution, which is uncommon in comparison to the orbits of other large multiple asteroid systems studied so far. From lightcurve observations recorded since 1957, we showed that because the large Req = 125 km primary may be made of two joint lobes, the moon could be ejecta of the low-velocity encounter, which formed the system. The inferred density of Hektor's system is comparable to the L5 Trojan doublet (617) Patroclus but due to their difference in physical properties and in reflectance spectra, both captured Trojan asteroids could have a different composition and origin.

  18. THE PUZZLING MUTUAL ORBIT OF THE BINARY TROJAN ASTEROID (624) HEKTOR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asteroids with satellites are natural laboratories to constrain the formation and evolution of our solar system. The binary Trojan asteroid (624) Hektor is the only known Trojan asteroid to possess a small satellite. Based on W. M. Keck adaptive optics observations, we found a unique and stable orbital solution, which is uncommon in comparison to the orbits of other large multiple asteroid systems studied so far. From lightcurve observations recorded since 1957, we showed that because the large Req = 125 km primary may be made of two joint lobes, the moon could be ejecta of the low-velocity encounter, which formed the system. The inferred density of Hektor's system is comparable to the L5 Trojan doublet (617) Patroclus but due to their difference in physical properties and in reflectance spectra, both captured Trojan asteroids could have a different composition and origin

  19. A correct selection of asteroid families and confirmation of a nongravitational effect action

    CERN Document Server

    Kazantsev, A M

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of asteroid sizes by semimajor axes and the distribution of the number of asteroids by albedo values for separate families are used to selection the asteroid families more clearly. An analysis of the families identified by Masiero et al. (2013) was carried out with the use of the distributions of D(a) and N(p), there were defined correctly and incorrectly selected families. A decreasing of the mean albedo with semi-major axis increasing take place almost for all correctly selected families and which are not truncated by resonances. The decrease is statistically significant for the majority of these families. There is none family at a significant increase of albedo. This confirms our previous conclusion on existence of a non-gravitational effect in the asteroid belt which causes the spatial separation of asteroids with different albedos.

  20. Autonomous determination of orbit for probe around asteroids using unscented Kalman filter

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔平远; 崔祜涛; 黄翔宇; 栾恩杰

    2003-01-01

    The observed images of the asteroid and the asteroid reference images are used to obtain the probe-to-asteroid direction and the location of the limb features of the asteroid in the inertial coordinate. These informa-tion in combination with the shape model of the asteroid and attitude information of the probe are utilized to ob-tain the position of the probe. The position information is then input to the UKF which determines the real-timeorbit of the probe. Finally, the autonomous orbit determination algorithm is validated using digital simulation.The determination of orbit using UKF is compared with that using extended Kalman filter (EKF), and the resultshows that UKF is superior to EKF.

  1. Modeling Asteroid Geometries using Photometry at the Glendale Community College North Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleim, Brian; Santana, Cristian; Smith, Blake; Cheff, Martha; Muniz, Gonzalo; Boyer, Elizabeth; Keegan, Justin; Dixon, Justin; Baker, Frankie; Karpurk, Kaitlynn; Rodriguez, Anjelica; Bolinaga, Andres; Acosta, Erik; Powell, Bailie; Watt, Sara D.; Eardley, Brandon; Watt, Keith; Jones, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    The students of the Glendale Community College's Astronomy Students for Telescope Research and Outreach (A.S.T.R.O.) Club have expanded their exoplanet transit observing program into observing asteroids. The students, most of whom are non-science majoring undergraduates, observed the asteroid 15 Eunomia using the 8-inch telescopes at the GCC North Observatory in Glendale, Arizona.Using concepts and skills learned in introductory astronomy courses for non-science majors, the co-authors measured the variability of the asteroid due to its rotation and constructed its lightcurve. Using the lightcurve inversion software from the Database of Asteroid Models from Inversion Techniques (DAMIT), a 3-dimensional model of the shape of 15 Eunomia was calculated. These results demonstrate that, given equipment that is readily available and affordable, asteroid observations have long-term educational potential for authentic, practical experience in both observational astronomy and numerical modeling, even with a small student body majoring in the physical sciences.

  2. Radar Observations and the Shape of Near-Earth Asteroid 2008 EV5

    CERN Document Server

    Busch, Michael W; Benner, Lance A M; Brozovic, Marina; Giorgini, Jon D; Jao, Joseph S; Scheeres, Daniel J; Magri, Christopher; Nolan, Michael C; Howell, Ellen S; Taylor, Patrick A; Margot, Jean-Luc; Brisken, Walter

    2011-01-01

    We observed the near-Earth asteroid 2008 EV5 with the Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars and the Very Long Baseline Array during December 2008. EV5 rotates retrograde and its overall shape is a 400 /pm 50 m oblate spheroid. The most prominent surface feature is a ridge parallel to the asteroid's equator that is broken by a concavity 150 m in diameter. Otherwise the asteroid's surface is notably smooth on decameter scales. EV5's radar and optical albedos are consistent with either rocky or stony-iron composition. The equatorial ridge is similar to structure seen on the rubble-pile near-Earth asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4 and is consistent with YORP spin-up reconfiguring the asteroid in the past. We interpret the concavity as an impact crater. Shaking during the impact and later regolith redistribution may have erased smaller features, explaining the general lack of decameter-scale surface structure.

  3. Preface: Advances in asteroid and space debris science and technology - Part 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasile, Massimiliano

    2016-04-01

    Asteroids and space debris represent a significant hazard for space and terrestrial assets; at the same time asteroids represent also an opportunity. In recent years it has become clear that the increasing population of space debris could lead to catastrophic consequences in the near term. The Kessler syndrome (where the density of objects in orbit is high enough that collisions could set off a cascade) is more realistic than when it was first proposed in 1978. Although statistically less likely to occur, an asteroid impact would have devastating consequences for our planet. Although an impact with a large (∼10 km) to medium (∼300 m) sized, or diameter, asteroid is unlikely, still it is not negligible as the recent case of the asteroid Apophis has demonstrated. Furthermore impacts with smaller size objects, between 10 m and 100 m diameter, are expected to occur more frequently and hence are, proportionally, equally dangerous for humans and assets on Earth and in space.

  4. Drifting asteroid fragments around WD 1145+017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rappaport, S.; Gary, B. L.; Kaye, T.; Vanderburg, A.; Croll, B.; Benni, P.; Foote, J.

    2016-06-01

    We have obtained extensive photometric observations of the polluted white dwarf WD 1145+017 which has been reported to be transited by at least one, and perhaps several, large asteroids with dust emission. Observation sessions on 37 nights spanning 2015 November to 2016 January with small to modest size telescopes have detected 237 significant dips in flux. Periodograms reveal a significant periodicity of 4.5004 h consistent with the dominant (`A') period detected with K2. The folded light curve shows an hour-long depression in flux with a mean depth of nearly 10 per cent. This depression is, in turn, comprised of a series of shorter and sometimes deeper dips which would be unresolvable with K2. We also find numerous dips in flux at other orbital phases. Nearly all of the dips associated with this activity appear to drift systematically in phase with respect to the `A' period by about 2.5 min d-1 with a dispersion of ˜0.5 min d-1, corresponding to a mean drift period of 4.4928 h. We are able to track ˜15 discrete drifting features. The `B'-`F' periods found with K2 are not detected, but we would not necessarily have expected to see them. We explain the drifting motion as due to smaller fragmented bodies that break off from the asteroid and go into a slightly smaller orbit. In this interpretation, we can use the drift rate to determine the mass of the asteroid, which we find to be ≈1023 g, or about 1/10th the mass of Ceres.

  5. Radar-Interferometric Imaging of Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, G.; Campbell, D.

    2003-05-01

    We report on progress to use a radio interferometer, the NRAO Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), to image near Earth asteroids as they are illuminated by the Arecibo Observatory's S-band radar. By measuring the plane-of-sky brightness distribution of the target under the radar's illumination, this method will be able to provide direct, unambiguous spatial resolution of order 100 m which for many objects is sufficient to grossly define their shape, map large scale reflectivity variations, and measure the absolute orientation of the projected spin axis. With receiving antenna spacings of several thousands of kilometers, the potential resolution obtainable with the VLBA at the Arecibo wavelength of 13 cm is on the order of a few milli-arcseconds; several orders of magnitude smaller than typical ground-based telescopic observations. In addition, astrometry of these quickly moving objects at this milli-arcsecond level can greatly reduce orbit uncertainties. This technique has been used to observe two near Earth asteroids, 2000 EW70 and 2002 NY40, during their recent close passes to Earth. The first asteroid was clearly detected; however, a useful correlation on either object is still in progress. A major limitation is the configuration of the hardware correlator which doesn't allow adequate frequency resolution and complicates incorporating a model of the near-field geometry. A solution to these difficulties is now available as a specialized computer interface designed to transfer the raw data into a portable format thereby bypassing the correlator and allowing for a more flexible correlation in software on another platform. Testing of this machine and the subsequent software correlation are currently underway. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a facility of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Arecibo Observatory is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, which is operated by Cornell University

  6. Using Simple Shapes to Constrain Asteroid Thermal Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLennan, Eric M.; Emery, Joshua P.

    2015-11-01

    With the use of remote thermal infrared observations and a thermophysical model (TPM), the thermal inertia of an asteroid surface can be determined. The thermal inertia, in turn, can be used to infer physical properties of the surface, specifically to estimate the average regolith grain size. Since asteroids are often non-spherical techniques for incorporating modeled (non-spherical) shapes into calculating thermal inertia have been established. However, using a sphere as input for TPM is beneficial in reducing running time and shape models are not generally available for all (or most) objects that are observed in the thermal-IR. This is particularly true, as the pace of infrared observations has recently dramatically increased, notably due to the WISE mission, while the time to acquire sufficient light curves for accurate shape inversion remains relatively long. Here, we investigate the accuracy of using both a spherical and ellipsoidal TPM, with infrared observations obtained at pre- and post-opposition (hereafter multi-epoch) geometries to constrain the thermal inertias of a large number of asteroids.We test whether using multi-epoch observations combined with a spherical and ellipsoidal shape TPM can constrain the thermal inertia of an object without a priori knowledge of its shape or spin state. The effectiveness of this technique is tested for 16 objects with shape models from DAMIT and WISE multi-epoch observations. For each object, the shape model is used as input for the TPM to generate synthetic fluxes for different values of thermal inertia. The input spherical and ellipsoidal shapes are then stepped through different spin vectors as the TPM is used to generate best-fit thermal inertia and diameter to the synthetically generated fluxes, allowing for a direct test of the approach’s effectiveness. We will discuss whether the precision of the thermal inertia constraints from the spherical TPM analysis of multi- epoch observations is comparable to works

  7. How to form asteroids from mm-sized grains

    CERN Document Server

    Carrera, Daniel; Davies, Melvyn B

    2016-01-01

    The size distribution of asteroids in the solar system suggests that they formed top-down, with 100-1000 km bodies forming from the gravitational collapse of dense clumps of small solid particles. We investigate the conditions under which solid particles can form dense clumps in a protoplanetary disc. We used a hydrodynamic code to model the solid-gas interaction in disc. We found that particles down to millimeter size can form dense clumps, but only in regions where solids make $\\sim$ 8% of the local surface density. More generally, we mapped the range of particle sizes and concentrations that is consistent with the formation of particle clumps.

  8. Moon Search Algorithms for NASA's Dawn Mission to Asteroid Vesta

    OpenAIRE

    Memarsadeghi, Nargess; McFadden, Lucy A.; Skillman, David; McLean, Brian; Mutchler, Max; Carsenty, Uri; Palmer, Eric E.; Group, the Dawn Mission's Satellite Working

    2013-01-01

    A moon or natural satellite is a celestial body that orbits a planetary body such as a planet, dwarf planet, or an asteroid. Scientists seek understanding the origin and evolution of our solar system by studying moons of these bodies. Additionally, searches for satellites of planetary bodies can be important to protect the safety of a spacecraft as it approaches or orbits a planetary body. If a satellite of a celestial body is found, the mass of that body can also be calculated once its orbit...

  9. The OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Mission from Asteroid Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, Dante; Clark, Benton

    2016-07-01

    The primary objective of the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security‒Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is to return and analyze a sample of pristine regolith from asteroid 101955 Bennu, a primitive carbonaceous asteroid and also a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. Returned samples are expected to contain primitive ancient Solar System materials formed in planetary, nebular, interstellar, and circumstellar environments. In addition, the OSIRIS-REx mission will obtain valuable information on sample context by imaging the sample site; characterize its global geology; map global chemistry and mineralogy; investigate dynamic history by measuring the Yarkovsky effect; and advance asteroid astronomy by characterizing surface properties for direct comparison with ground-based telescopic observations of the entire asteroid population. Following launch in September 2016, the spacecraft will encounter Bennu in August 2018, then embark on a systematic study of geophysical and morphological characteristics of this ~500-meter-diameter object, including a systematic search for satellites and plumes. For determination of context, composition, and sampleability of various candidate sites, advanced instruments for remote global observations include OVIRS (visible to mid-IR spectrometric mapper), OTES (mid- to far-IR mineral and thermal emission mapper), OLA (mapping laser altimeter), and a suite of scientific cameras (OCAMS) with sub-cm pixel size from low-altitude Reconnaissance passes. A unique sample acquisition mechanism (SAM) capable of collecting up to one liter of regolith under ideal conditions (abundant small particulates system has been developed and extensively tested in ground tests, and also on reduced-gravity airplane flights, to evaluate collection efficiency for various surfaces. Special cleaning techniques and contamination monitoring with in-flight witness plates are employed to assure a pristine sample. In September

  10. Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society An Interdisciplinary Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Bobrowsky, Peter T

    2007-01-01

    In 1908 an atmospheric explosion in northern Siberia released energy equivalent to 15 Mton of TNT. Can a comparable or larger NEO affect us again? When the next NEO strikes Earth will it be large enough to destroy a city? Will the climate change significantly? Can archaeology and anthropology provide insights into the expected cultural responses with NEO interactions? Does society have a true grasp of the actual risks involved? Is the Great Depression a good model for the economic collapse that could follow a NEO catastrophe? This volume provides a necessary link between various disciplines and comet/asteroid impacts.

  11. Numerical Simulations of Spacecraft-Regolith Interactions on Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballouz, Ronald; Richardson, Derek C.; Michel, Patrick; Schwartz, Stephen R.

    2014-11-01

    NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission will rendezvous in 2018 with the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu and attempt to touch down and obtain a sample from its surface. The regolith surface's behavior in response to the spacecraft's intrusion is difficult to predict due to the asteroid's extremely low-gravity environment (on the order of 10 micro-g's.) We have been carrying out high-resolution (N > 100,000) numerical simulations of the intrusion of a realistic physical model of the sampling device into a bed of cm-size spherical particles to explore the relationship between the spacecraft's response and the dynamical behavior of the regolith. If the granular bed is too compliant, then the spacecraft may sink into the asteroid. If the granular bed is not compliant enough, then the spacecraft may not be able to obtain an appropriate sample. This is further complicated by the fact that the degree of compliance is also dependent on the material properties of the regolith surface (size distribution, local slope, friction coefficients, shape effects). The ultimate goal of this study is to construct a library of touchdown outcomes as a function of the potential observables (local slope, estimated maximum angle of repose, and to a limited exited particle size distribution). We study the effect of varying the regolith's material properties (cohesive, frictional, and dissipative parameters) in order to place limits on the range of possible outcomes. The library will be useful for sample-site selection based on available observables, and, upon sampling, may aid in interpreting the physical properties of the regolith (e.g., depth and density) by comparing measurements from on-board instruments with simulation data. Preliminary results show that grains with low coefficients of friction (smooth particles) provide little resistance and the spacecraft sinks into the asteroid. For high coefficients of friction (effectively mimicking grain angularity), the regolith is much less compliant, and

  12. Spectral study of the Eunomia asteroid family. I. Eunomia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathues, Andreas; Mottola, Stefano; Kaasalainen, Mikko; Neukum, Gerhard

    2005-06-01

    We present color ratio curves of the S-Asteroid 15 Eunomia, which have been extracted from high-precision photometric lightcurves obtained in three different VNIR wavelength bands at the Bochum Telescope, La Silla. The measured color ratio curves and near infrared spectra were used to derive a detailed surface composition model whose shape has been computed by V-lightcurve inversions. According to this analysis, the asteroid shows on one hemisphere a higher concentration of pyroxene, which causes an increased 440/700 nm and a reduced 940/700 nm reflectance ratio as well as a pronounced 2-μm absorption band. The remaining surface shows a higher concentration of olivine, leading to a reduced 440/700 nm and slightly increased 940/700 nm color ratio. In addition, we found that the maximum of the 440/700 nm color ratio curve coincide with the minimum of the 940/700 nm color ratio curve and vice versa. We demonstrate on the basis of USGS laboratory spectra that this anti-cyclical behavior can be explained by choosing Fe-rich olivine and a pyroxene with moderate Fe content as varying mineral phases. Furthermore, our observations confirm that 15 Eunomia is an irregular elongated and at least partially differentiated body. Previous spectral investigations of several smaller fragments of the Eunomia asteroid family revealed that the amount of fragments showing an increased pyroxene content exceeds the amount of pyroxene-poor fragments (Nathues, 2000, DLR Forschungsbericht, ISSN 1434-8454). This finding together with the observation that the major fraction of Eunomia's surface is enriched in olivine let us claim that a large fraction of the original pyroxene-enriched crust layer has been lost due to a major collision that created the Eunomia asteroid family. Significant spectral evidences, consistent with high concentrations of metals have been found neither in the rotational resolved spectra of 15 Eunomia nor in its fragments. This led to the conclusion that either no core

  13. Catastrophic Collisions in the Asteroid Belt - The Identification of Dynamical Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cellino, Alberto; Bendjoya, Philippe

    Collisions play a capital role in the Solar System. Moon origin, tilt of Uranus pole axe, planet ring formation, heavy telluric planet surface craterisation, and the actual figure of the asteroid population are due to collisions. Unfortunately, models of collisions lay on laboratory experiments in which the involved targets and projectiles are centimeter sized objects. It is then difficult to apply scale laws to Predict mass, velocity or spin distributions of fragments resulting from a collision between astronomical bodies. Parameters such as the gravitational attraction between the different fragments are not taken into account in laboratory experiment due to the small size of the bodies. The asteroid population is the best laboratory to study collisions between kilometer sized bodies. The origin and history of asteroids is closely linked to collision occurences, and asteroid families are the final product of a catastrophic break-up of a parent body. The members of an asteroid family are asteroids with a common origin and keeping evidences of the hyper-energetic collision they are issued from. The study of the members of different asteroid families is of great interest in order to stress the collisional models between kilometer sized bodies. Moreover the knowledge of the number of asteroid families will allow us to know the number of planetesimals in the early times of the Solar System formation and hence will permit to stress the models of Solar System formation. The first step of these studies is to determine the asteroid families and to have a list of family members on which later studies will be carried out. The aim of this chapter is to described two methods of asteroid family determination based on dynamical considerations. These totally independent methods allow to give a level of confidence to family members against chance fluctuations and so propose a reliable list of members for which physical and chemical (spectroscopy) parameters will be investigated.

  14. Discovery and dynamical characterization of the Amor-class asteroid 2012 XH16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wlodarczyk, I.; Cernis, K.; Boyle, R. P.; Laugalys, V.

    2014-03-01

    The near-Earth asteroid belt is continuously replenished with material originally moving in Amor-class orbits. Here, the orbit of the dynamically interesting Amor-class asteroid 2012 XH16 is analysed. This asteroid was discovered with the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) at the Mt Graham International Observatory as part of an ongoing asteroid survey focused on astrometry and photometry. The orbit of the asteroid was computed using 66 observations (57 obtained with VATT and 9 from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory-Spacewatch II project) to give a = 1.63 au, e = 0.36, i = 3.76°. The absolute magnitude of the asteroid is 22.3 which translates into a diameter in the range 104-231 m, assuming the average albedos of S-type and C-type asteroids, respectively. We have used the current orbit to study the future dynamical evolution of the asteroid under the perturbations of the planets and the Moon, relativistic effects, and the Yarkovsky force. Asteroid 2012 XH16 is locked close to the strong 1:2 mean motion resonance with the Earth. The object shows stable evolution and could survive in near-resonance for a relatively long period of time despite experiencing frequent close encounters with Mars. Moreover, results of our computations show that the asteroid 2012 XH16 can survive in the Amor region at most for about 200-400 Myr. The evolution is highly chaotic with a characteristic Lyapunov time of 245 yr. Jupiter is the main perturber but the effects of Saturn, Mars and the Earth-Moon system are also important. In particular, secular resonances with Saturn are significant.

  15. Mineralogy and Temperature-induced Spectral Investigations of A-type Asteroids 246 Asporina and 446 Aeternitas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, V.; Hardersen, P. S.; Gaffey, M. J.; Abell, P. A.

    2005-01-01

    A-type asteroids are a relatively rare taxonomic class with no more than 17 known objects. They were first identified as a separate group of R-type asteroids based on broadband spectrophotometry by, and were later classified based on ECAS data by Tholen (1984). These asteroids have moderately high albedos (0.13-0.39), extremely reddish slopes shortward of 0.7 m and a strong absorption feature centered at approx. 1.05 m. More recent surveys like the Small Main-Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey (SMASS) and SMASS II have expanded the taxonomic classes including the A-type, adding 12 new asteroids to the original five.

  16. Asteroid Detection Results Using the Space Surveillance Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruprecht, Jessica D.; Ushomirsky, Gregory; Woods, Deborah F.; Viggh, Herbert E. M.; Varey, Jacob; Cornell, Mark E.; Stokes, Grant

    2015-11-01

    From 1998-2013, MIT Lincoln Laboratory operated a highly successful near-Earth asteroid search program using two 1-m optical telescopes located at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Experimental Test Site (ETS) in Socorro, N.M. In 2014, the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program successfully transitioned operations from the two 1-m telescopes to the 3.5-m Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) located at Atom Site on White Sands Missile Range, N.M. This paper provides a summary of first-year performance and results for the LINEAR program with SST and provides an update on recent improvements to the moving-object pipeline architecture that increase utility of SST data for NEO discovery and improve sensitivity to fast-moving objects. Ruprecht et al. (2014) made predictions for SST NEO search productivity as a function of population model. This paper assesses the NEO search performance of SST in the first 1.5 years of operation and compares results to model predictions.This work is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Air Force Contract #FA8721-05-C-0002. The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this article/presentation are those of the authors / presenters and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release, distribution unlimited.

  17. A photometric search for active Main Belt asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Cikota, S; Cikota, A; Morales, N; Tancredi, G

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that some Main Belt asteroids show comet-like features. A representative example is the first known Main Belt comet 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro. If the mechanisms causing this activity are too weak to develop visually evident comae or tails, the objects stay unnoticed. We are presenting a novel way to search for active asteroids, based on looking for objects with deviations from their expected brightnesses in a database. Just by using the MPCAT-OBS Observation Archive we have found five new candidate objects that possibly show a type of comet-like activity, and the already known Main Belt comet 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro. Four of the new candidates, (315) Constantia, (1026) Ingrid, (3646) Aduatiques, and (24684) 1990 EU4, show brightness deviations independent of the object's heliocentric distance, while (35101) 1991 PL16 shows deviations dependent on its heliocentric distance, which could be an indication of a thermal triggered mechanism. The method could be implemented in future sky survey progr...

  18. Computation of Asteroid Proper Elements on the Grid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novaković, B.

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A procedure of gridification of the computation of asteroid proper orbital elements is described. The need to speed up the time consuming computations and make them more efficient is justified by the large increase of observational data expected from the next generation all sky surveys. We give the basic notion of proper elements and of the contemporary theories and methods used to compute them for different populations of objects. Proper elements for nearly 70,000 asteroids are derived since the beginning of use of the Grid infrastructure for the purpose. The average time for the catalogs update is significantly shortened with respect to the time needed with stand-alone workstations. We also present basics of the Grid computing, the concepts of Grid middleware and its Workload management system. The practical steps we undertook to efficiently gridify our application are described in full detail. We present the results of a comprehensive testing of the performance of different Grid sites, and offer some practical conclusions based on the benchmark results and on our experience. Finally, we propose some possibilities for the future work.

  19. Steven J. Ostro: Pioneer in Asteroid Lightcurve Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan W.

    2009-09-01

    In 1906, Henry Norris Russell wrote a landmark paper (Astrophys. J. 24, 1-18, 1906) that set the field of lightcurve inversion back by more than three quarters of a century, until Steve Ostro and Robert Connolly published a paper on "convex profile inversion” (Icarus 57, 443-463, 1984). Russell's stifling contribution was innocent enough, and entirely correct: he showed that with "two cans of paint", one can decorate any arbitrarily shaped body in an infinite number of ways to yield any particular lightcurve, even, for example, a cigar shape that is brightest viewed end-on. This sufficed to discourage serious mathematical attack on the problem until Ostro & Connolly's landmark paper of 1984. They showed that if you have only "one can of paint", that is, in the absence of albedo variegation, the problem is tractable and one can make remarkable progress in lightcurve inversion to obtain shapes, or at least the "convex profile” of the real shape. As we now know, nature appears to have only one can of paint (per asteroid), that is, asteroids seem to paint themselves grey so that the uniform reflectivity assumption is quite excellent. Both radar and optical lightcurve inversion techniques are now quite mature, thanks to Steve's pioneering insights.

  20. Modelling the brightness increase signature due to asteroid collisions

    CERN Document Server

    McLoughlin, Ev; McLoughlin, Alan

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a model to predict the post-collision brightness increase of sub-catastrophic collisions between asteroids and to evaluate the likelihood of a survey detecting these events. It is based on the cratering scaling laws of Holsapple and Housen (2007) and models the ejecta expansion following an impact as occurring in discrete shells each with their own velocity. We estimate the magnitude change between a series of target/impactor pairs, assuming it is given by the increase in reflecting surface area within a photometric aperture due to the resulting ejecta. As expected the photometric signal increases with impactor size, but we find also that the photometric signature decreases rapidly as the target asteroid diameter increases, due to gravitational fallback. We have used the model results to make an estimate of the impactor diameter for the (596) Scheila collision of D=49-65m depending on the impactor taxonomy, which is broadly consistent with previous estimates. We varied both the strength regi...

  1. The unusual asteroid 2201 Oljato: Origins and possible debris trail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, M.; Russell, C. T.; Lai, H. R.

    2016-04-01

    Potentially hazardous asteroid Oljato has a very eccentric low-inclination orbit of semimajor axis a 2.17 au, placing it just outside 4:1 resonance with Jupiter. Its association with magnetic field anomalies known as Interplanetary Field Enhancements (IFEs) in the solar wind led to speculation of a cometary nature and origin. Spectroscopic work showed that it was instead of silicate E-type typical of the inner asteroid belt or Hungarias. We have investigated the region potentially subject to 4:1 resonant effects and find that resonant pumping of eccentricity e takes place due to the outer planets, with moderate increases in inclination i in non-ejected cases. The outer planets do not, however, cause a change sufficient to move Oljato to its present location from the resonance. With inner planet effects included, the increase in e and i is in most cases reduced, however a diffusion increases, so that such a pumping/scattering mechanism can explain the present orbit of Oljato. IFEs may plausibly be related to a debris cascade involving secondary material along Oljato's orbit. We investigate the dynamics of such inferred meteoroids, finding that planetary encounters cause gaps in their distribution along the orbit. The control case of Eros confirms that encounters are needed to cause the gaps, with slow diffusion of secondary material in their absence.

  2. Comparison of three filters in asteroid-based autonomous navigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    At present, optical autonomous navigation has become a key technology in deep space exploration programs. Recent studies focus on the problem of orbit determination using autonomous navigation, and the choice of filter is one of the main issues. To prepare for a possible exploration mission to Mars, the primary emphasis of this paper is to evaluate the capability of three filters, the extended Kalman filter (EKF), unscented Kalman filter (UKF) and weighted least-squares (WLS) algorithm, which have different initial states during the cruise phase. One initial state is assumed to have high accuracy with the support of ground tracking when autonomous navigation is operating; for the other state, errors are set to be large without this support. In addition, the method of selecting asteroids that can be used for navigation from known lists of asteroids to form a sequence is also presented in this study. The simulation results show that WLS and UKF should be the first choice for optical autonomous navigation during the cruise phase to Mars

  3. Near Infrared Observations of Comet-Like Asteroid (596) Scheila

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Bin

    2011-01-01

    steroid (596) Scheila was reported to exhibit a cometary appearance and an increase in brightness on UT 2010 December 10.4. We used the IRCS spectrograph on the 8-m Subaru telescope to obtain medium-resolution spectra of Scheila in the HK-band (1.4 - 2.5$\\mu$m) and low-resolution spectra in the KL-band (2.0 - 4.0$\\mu$m) on UT 2010 December 13 and 14. In addition, we obtained low-resolution spectroscopy using the SpeX spectrograph on the 3-m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) telescope on UT 2011 January 04 and 05. The spectrum of Scheila shows a consistent red slope from 0.8 to 4.0$\\mu$m with no apparent absorption features, resembling spectra of D-type asteroids. An intimate mixing model suggests that the amount of water ice that might be present on the surface of Scheila is no more than a few percent. The spectrum of the Tagish Lake chondrite matches the asteroid's spectrum at shorter wavelengths ($\\lambda < 2.5 \\mu$m), but no hydration features are observed at longer wavelengths on Scheila. Our ana...

  4. Incoming asteroid! what could we do about it?

    CERN Document Server

    Lunan, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    Lately there have been more and more news stories on objects from space – such as asteroids, comets, and meteors – whizzing past Earth. One even exploded in the atmosphere over a Russian city in 2012, causing real damage and injuries. Impacts are not uncommon in our Solar System, even on Earth, and people are beginning to realize that we must prepare for such an event here on Earth.   What if we knew there was going to be an impact in 10 years’ time? What could we do? It’s not so far in the future that we can ignore the threat, and not so soon that nothing could be done. The author and his colleagues set out to explore how they could turn aside a rock asteroid, one kilometer in diameter, within this 10-year timescale.   Having set themselves this challenge, they identified the steps that might be taken, using technologies that are currently under development or proposed. They considered an unmanned mission, a follow-up manned mission, and a range of final options, along with ways to reduce the worst...

  5. The Brazil-nut effect and its application to asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Matsumura, Soko; Michel, Patrick; Schwartz, Stephen R; Ballouz, Ronald-Louis

    2014-01-01

    Out of the handful of asteroids that have been imaged, some have distributions of blocks that are not easily explained. In this paper, we investigate the possibility that seismic shaking leads to the size sorting of particles in asteroids. In particular, we focus on the so-called Brazil Nut Effect (BNE) that separates large particles from small ones under vibrations. We study the BNE over a wide range of parameters by using the N-body code PKDGRAV, and find that the effect is largely insensitive to the coefficients of restitution, but sensitive to friction constants and oscillation speeds. Agreeing with the previous results, we find that convection drives the BNE, where the intruder rises to the top of the particle bed. For the wide-cylinder case, we also observe a "whale" effect, where the intruder follows the convective current and does not stay at the surface. We show that the non-dimensional critical conditions for the BNE agree well with previous studies. We also show that the BNE is scalable for low-gra...

  6. Moon Search Algorithms for NASA's Dawn Mission to Asteroid Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memarsadeghi, Nargess; Mcfadden, Lucy A.; Skillman, David R.; McLean, Brian; Mutchler, Max; Carsenty, Uri; Palmer, Eric E.

    2012-01-01

    A moon or natural satellite is a celestial body that orbits a planetary body such as a planet, dwarf planet, or an asteroid. Scientists seek understanding the origin and evolution of our solar system by studying moons of these bodies. Additionally, searches for satellites of planetary bodies can be important to protect the safety of a spacecraft as it approaches or orbits a planetary body. If a satellite of a celestial body is found, the mass of that body can also be calculated once its orbit is determined. Ensuring the Dawn spacecraft's safety on its mission to the asteroid Vesta primarily motivated the work of Dawn's Satellite Working Group (SWG) in summer of 2011. Dawn mission scientists and engineers utilized various computational tools and techniques for Vesta's satellite search. The objectives of this paper are to 1) introduce the natural satellite search problem, 2) present the computational challenges, approaches, and tools used when addressing this problem, and 3) describe applications of various image processing and computational algorithms for performing satellite searches to the electronic imaging and computer science community. Furthermore, we hope that this communication would enable Dawn mission scientists to improve their satellite search algorithms and tools and be better prepared for performing the same investigation in 2015, when the spacecraft is scheduled to approach and orbit the dwarf planet Ceres.

  7. SIMULTANEOUS PHOTOMETRIC AND POLARIMETRIC OBSERVATIONS OF ASTEROID 3 JUNO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simultaneous photometric and polarimetric observations of asteroid 3 Juno have been carried out with a low-resolution spectropolarimeter HBS at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory from 2000 August 4 to 8. The amplitude of the light curve was 0.14 mag with almost the same brightness maxima and 0.10 mag different minima. Polarimetric data showed one maximum and minimum in the absolute values of polarization degree |Pr |, and the difference attained 0.149% in the V band. The minimum of |Pr | appeared around the second minimum of the light curve, which means that a bright area exists on the surface of 3 Juno. We found that the values of |Pr | tend to increase 0.1%-0.2% with wavelength, and this result is consistent with the general tendency of S-type asteroids. In addition, we might find that the increase rate of |Pr | is steeper in wavelengths longer than 7000 A. From the variation of polarization degree with the rotation of 3 Juno, we estimated the albedo of the bright area with a simple model and obtained a range of 0.19-0.41.

  8. On the Ages of Resonant, Eroded and Fossil Asteroid Families

    CERN Document Server

    Milani, A; Spoto, F; Cellino, A; Novaković, B; Tsirvoulis, G

    2016-01-01

    In this work we have estimated 10 collisional ages of 9 families for which for different reasons our previous attempts failed. In general, these are difficult cases that required dedicated effort, such as a new family classifications for asteroids in mean motion resonances, as well as a revision of the classification inside the $3/2$ resonance. Of the families locked in mean motion resonances, we succeeded in determining ages of the families of (1911) Schubart and of the "super-Hilda" family, assuming this is actually a severely eroded original family of (153) Hilda. In the Trojan region we found families with almost no Yarkovsky evolution, for which we could compute only physically implausible ages. Hence, we interpreted their modest dispersions of proper eccentricities and inclinations as implying that the Trojan asteroid families are fossil families, frozen at their proper elements determined by the original ejection velocity field. We have found a new family, among the Griquas locked in the 2/1 resonance ...

  9. On the highly inclined $v_W$ leptokurtic asteroid families

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, V; Aljbaae, S; Huaman, M

    2016-01-01

    $v_W$ leptokurtic asteroid families are families for which the distribution of the normal component of the terminal ejection velocity field $v_W$ is characterized by a positive value of the ${\\gamma}_2$ Pearson kurtosis, i.e., they have a distribution with a more concentrated peak and larger tails than the Gaussian one. Currently, eight families are known to have ${\\gamma}_2(v_W) > 0.25$. Among these, three are highly inclined asteroid families, the Hansa, Barcelona, and Gallia families. As observed for the case of the Astrid family, the leptokurtic inclination distribution seems to be caused by the interaction of these families with node secular resonances. In particular, the Hansa and Gallia family are crossed by the $s-s_V$ resonance with Vesta, that significantly alters the inclination of some of their members. In this work we use the time evolution of ${\\gamma}_2(v_W)$ for simulated families under the gravitational influence of all planets and the three most massive bodies in the main belt to assess the ...

  10. Core Formation and Evolution of Asteroid 4 Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Mittlefehldt, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The howardites, eucrites, and diogenites (HEDs) are a suite of related meteorite types that formed by igneous and impact processes on the same parent body. Multiple lines of evidence, including infrared spectroscopy of the asteroid belt and the petrology and geochemistry of the HEDs, suggest that the asteroid 4 Vesta is the parent body for the HEDs. Observations by NASA's Dawn spacecraft mission strongly support the conclusion that the HEDs are from Vesta. The abundances of the moderately siderophile elements Ni, Co, Mo, W, and P in eucrites require that most or all of the metallic phase in Vesta segregated to form a core prior to eucrite solidification. These observations place important constraints on the mode and timescale of core formation on Vesta. Possible core formation mechanisms include porous flow, which potentially could occur prior to initiation of silicate melting, and metallic rain in a largely molten silicate magma ocean. Once the core forms, convection within the core could possible sustain a magnetic dynamo for a period of time. We consider each process in turn.

  11. Thermophysical Characteristics of OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroid (101955) Bennu

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, LiangLiang

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we investigate the thermophysical properties, including thermal inertia, roughness fraction and surface grain size of OSIRIS-REx target asteroid (101955) Bennu by using a thermophysical model with the recently updated 3D radar-derived shape model (\\cite[Nolan et al., 2013]{Nolan2013}) and mid-infrared observations (\\cite[M$\\ddot{u}$ller et al, 2012]{Muller2012}, \\cite[Emery et al., 2014]{Emery2014}). We find that the asteroid bears an effective diameter of $510^{+6}_{-40}$ m, a geometric albedo of $0.047^{+0.0083}_{-0.0011}$, a roughness fraction of $0.04^{+0.26}_{-0.04}$, and thermal inertia of $240^{+440}_{-60}\\rm~Jm^{-2}s^{-0.5}K^{-1}$ for our best-fit solution. The best-estimate thermal inertia suggests that fine-grained regolith may cover a large portion of Bennu's surface, where a grain size may vary from $1.3$ to $31$~mm. Our outcome suggests that Bennu is suitable for the OSIRIS-REx mission to return samples to Earth.

  12. Eclipsing Binary Trojan Asteroid Patroclus: Thermal Inertia from Spitzer Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Mueller, Michael; Emery, Joshua P; Harris, Alan W; Mottola, Stefano; Hestroffer, Daniel; Berthier, Jerome; di Martino, Mario

    2009-01-01

    We present mid-infrared (8-33 micron) observations of the binary L5-Trojan system (617) Patroclus-Menoetius before, during, and after two shadowing events, using the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on board the Spitzer Space Telescope.F or the first time, we effectively observe changes in asteroid surface temperature in real time, allowing the thermal inertia to be determined very directly. A new detailed binary thermophysical model is presented which accounts for the system's known mutual orbit, arbitrary component shapes, and thermal conduction in the presence of eclipses. We obtain two local thermal-inertia values, representative of the respective shadowed areas: 21+/14 MKS and 6.4+/-1.6 MKS. The average thermal inertia is estimated to be 20+/-15 MKS, potentially with significant surface heterogeneity. This first thermal-inertia measurement for a Trojan asteroid indicates a surface covered in fine regolith. The diameters of Patroclus and Menoetius are 106 +/- 11 and 98+/-10 km, respectively, in agreement with ...

  13. Dust loss from activated asteroid P/2015 X6

    CERN Document Server

    Moreno, F; Cabrera-Lavers, A; Pozuelos, F J

    2016-01-01

    We present observations and dust tail models of activated asteroid P/2015 X6 from deep imaging data acquired at the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) from mid-December 2015 to late January 2016. The results of the modeling indicate that the asteroid has undergone a sustained dust loss over a two-month or longer period. The dust parameters, derived from multidimensional fits of the available images, are compatible with either ice sublimation or rotational instability processes. An impulsive event, as it could be associated to an impact with another body, is less likely. A power-law distribution of particles, with minimum and maximum radius of 1 $\\mu$m and 1 cm, and power index of --3.3 is found to be consistent with the observations. Depending on the ejection velocity model adopted, the particle velocities are found in the 0.3 to 10 m s$^{-1}$ range. The activation time was between 18-26 days before discovery. The total ejected mass from that time to the most recent observation is in the range 5-9$\\times$10...

  14. Constraints on Exposure Ages of Lunar and Asteroidal Regolith Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Eve L.; Keller, Lindsay P

    2014-01-01

    Mineral grains in lunar and asteroidal regolith samples provide a unique record of their interaction with the space environment. Exposure to the solar wind results in implantation effects that are preserved in the rims of grains (typically the outermost 100 nm), while impact processes result in the accumulation of vapor-deposited elements, impact melts and adhering grains on particle surfaces. These processes are collectively referred to as space weathering. A critical element in the study of these processes is to determine the rate at which these effects accumulate in the grains during their space exposure. For small particulate samples, one can use the density of solar flare particle tracks to infer the length of time the particle was at the regolith surface (i.e., its exposure age). We have developed a new technique that enables more accurate determination of solar flare particle track densities in mineral grains <50 micron in size that utilizes focused ion beam (FIB) sample preparation combined with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging. We have applied this technique to lunar soil grains from the Apollo 16 site (soil 64501) and most recently to samples from asteroid 25143 Itokawa returned by the Hayabusa mission. Our preliminary results show that the Hayabusa grains have shorter exposure ages compared to typical lunar soil grains. We will use these techniques to re-examine the track density-exposure age calibration from lunar samples reported by Blanford et al. (1975).

  15. Finding the Faintest Exozodi and Asteroid Belt Analogs in WISE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Rahul; Metchev, S.; Heinze, A.

    2014-01-01

    The presence of circumstellar dust in the terrestrial planet zone and asteroid belt regions of stars can be ascertained from the excess flux from main sequence stars in the near to mid-infrared wavelengths. Finding dust in these regions around stars is significant as it traces material related to terrestrial planet formation. In this study, we use the WISE All-Sky Survey data to detect circumstellar debris disks at the 12 and 22 μm bandpasses (W3 and W4, respectively). We present the detection of a sample of over 220 exozodi and asteroid belt analog candidates, 74% of which are brand new detections all at confidence levels >95%. This was done by cross-matching Hipparcos main-sequence stars with the WISE All-Sky Data Release for stars within 75 pc and outside the galactic plane (|b|>5°) and then seeking color excesses at W3 and W4. In addition to applying the standard WISE photometric flags and filters to remove contaminants from our sample, we also improved our selection techniques by correcting for previously unknown systematic behavior in the WISE photometry. Our debris disk candidates are reliable detections as well as unprecedentedly faint, due in large part to these improved selection techniques.

  16. On the Stability of the Satellites of Asteroid 87 Sylvia

    CERN Document Server

    Winter, O C; Neto, E Vieira; Martins, R Vieira; Winter, S M Giuliatti; Gomes, R S; Marchis, F; Descamps, P

    2009-01-01

    he triple asteroidal system (87) Sylvia is composed of a 280-km primary and two small moonlets named Romulus and Remus (Marchis et al 2005). Sylvia is located in the main asteroid belt. The satellites are in nearly equatorial circular orbits around the primary. In the present work we study the stability of the satellites Romulus and Remus, in order to identify the effects and the contribution of each perturber. The results from the 3-body problem, Sylvia-Romulus-Remus, show no significant variation of their orbital elements. However, the inclinations of the satellites present a long period evolution, when the Sun is included in the system. Such amplitude is amplified when Jupiter is included. An analysis of these results show that Romulus and Remus are librating in a secular resonance and their longitude of the nodes are locked to each other. The satellites get caught in an evection resonance with Jupiter. However, the orbital evolutions of the satellites became completely stable when the oblateness of Sylvia...

  17. Dust Loss from Activated Asteroid P/2015 X6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, F.; Licandro, J.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; Pozuelos, F. J.

    2016-08-01

    We present observations and dust tail models of activated asteroid P/2015 X6 from deep imaging data acquired at the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) from 2015 mid-December to 2016 late January. The results of the modeling indicate that the asteroid has undergone sustained dust loss over a period of two months or longer. The dust parameters, derived from multidimensional fits of the available images, are compatible with either ice sublimation or rotational instability processes. An impulsive event, as might be associated with an impact with another body, is less likely. A power-law distribution of particles, with minimum and maximum radii of 1 μm and 1 cm and a power index of ‑3.3, is found to be consistent with the observations. Depending on the model of ejection velocity adopted, the particle velocities are found to be in the range of 0.3–10 m s‑1. The activation time was between 18 and 26 days before discovery. The total mass ejected from that time to the most recent observation is in the range 5–9 × 106 kg. No dust features giving indication of past activity earlier than the activation time have been observed.

  18. The Hayabusa Spacecraft Asteroid Multi-Band Imaging Camera: AMICA

    CERN Document Server

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Tholen, David J; Hirata, Naru; Demura, Hirohide; Nemoto, Etsuko; Nakamura, Akiko M; Higuchi, Yuta; Sogame, Akito; Yamamoto, Aya; Kitazato, Kohei; Yokota, Yasuhiro; Kubota, Takashi; Hashimoto, Tatsuaki; Saito, Jun

    2009-01-01

    The Hayabusa Spacecraft Asteroid Multiband Imaging Camera (AMICA) has acquired more than 1400 multispectral and high-resolution images of its target asteroid, 25143 Itokawa, since late August 2005. In this paper, we summarize the design and performance of AMICA. In addition, we describe the calibration methods, assumptions, and models, based on measurements. Major calibration steps include corrections for linearity and modeling and subtraction of bias, dark current, read-out smear, and pixel-to-pixel responsivity variations. AMICA v-band data were calibrated to radiance using in-flight stellar observations. The other band data were calibrated to reflectance by comparing them to ground-based observations to avoid the uncertainty of the solar irradiation in those bands. We found that the AMICA signal was linear with respect to the input signal to an accuracy of << 1% when the signal level was < 3800 DN. We verified that the absolute radiance calibration of the AMICA v-band (0.55 micron) was accurate to...

  19. Near-Earth asteroids orbit propagation with Gaia observations

    CERN Document Server

    Bancelin, D; Thuillot, W

    2016-01-01

    Gaia is an astrometric mission that will be launched in 2013 and set on L2 point of Lagrange. It will observe a large number of Solar System Objets (SSO) down to magnitude 20. The Solar System Science goal is to map thousand of Main Belt asteroids (MBAs), Near Earth Objects (NEOs) (including comets) and also planetary satellites with the principal purpuse of orbital determination (better than 5 mas astrometric precision), determination of asteroid mass, spin properties and taxonomy. Besides, Gaia will be able to discover a few objects, in particular NEOs in the region down to the solar elongation 45{\\deg} which are harder to detect with current ground-based surveys. But Gaia is not a follow-up mission and newly discovered objects can be lost if no ground-based recovery is processed. The purpose of this study is to quantify the impact of Gaia data for the known NEAs population and to show how to handle the problem of these discoveries when faint number of observations and thus very short arc is provided.

  20. Chasing the Chelyabinsk asteroid N-body style

    CERN Document Server

    Marcos, C de la Fuente; Aarseth, S J

    2015-01-01

    On 2013 February 15 a small asteroid rammed against the atmosphere above the region of Chelyabinsk in Russia, producing the most powerful superbolide since the Tunguska event in 1908. Lacking proper astrometric observations, the pre-impact orbit of this object has been determined using videos, satellite images, and pure geometry. Unfortunately, more than two years after the event, the published estimates vary so much that there is no clear orbital solution that could be used to investigate the origin of the impactor and the existence of dynamically, or perhaps even genetically, related asteroids. Here, we revisit this topic using a full N-body approach. A robust statistical test is applied to published solutions to discard those unable to produce a virtual impact at the observed time (03:20:20.8 s UTC). The same N-body methodology and the latest ephemerides are used to compute a new orbital solution: a=1.6247 AU, e=0.5318, i=3.9750 degrees, Omega=326.4607 degrees, and omega=109.7012 degrees. This new solution...

  1. Thermophysical Characteristics of OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroid (101955) Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Liangliang; Ji, Jianghui

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we investigate the thermophysical properties, including thermal inertia, roughness fraction and surface grain size of OSIRIS-REx target asteroid (101955) Bennu by using a thermophysical model with the recently updated 3D radar-derived shape model (Nolan et al., 2013) and mid-infrared observations (Müller et al. 2012, Emery et al., 2014). We find that the asteroid bears an effective diameter of 510+6 -40 m, a geometric albedo of 0.047+0.0083 -0.0011, a roughness fraction of 0.04+0.26 -0.04, and thermal inertia of 240+440 -60 Jm-2s-0.5K-1 for our best-fit solution. The best-estimate thermal inertia suggests that fine-grained regolith may cover a large portion of Bennu's surface, where a grain size may vary from 1.3 to 31 mm. Our outcome suggests that Bennu is suitable for the OSIRIS-REx mission to return samples to Earth.

  2. The Chelyabinsk superbolide: a fragment of asteroid 2011 EO40?

    CERN Document Server

    Marcos, C de la Fuente

    2013-01-01

    Bright fireballs or bolides are caused by meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed. On 2013 February 15, a superbolide was observed in the skies near Chelyabinsk, Russia. Such a meteor could be the result of the decay of an asteroid and here we explore this possibility applying a multistep approach. First, we use available data and Monte Carlo optimization (validated using 2008 TC3 as template) to obtain a robust solution for the pre-impact orbit of the Chelyabinsk impactor (semimajor axis = 1.62 au, eccentricity = 0.53, inclination = 3.82 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 326.41 deg and argument of perihelion = 109.44 deg). Then, we use this most probable orbit and numerical analysis to single out candidates for membership in, what we call, the Chelyabinsk asteroid family. Finally, we perform N-body simulations to either confirm or reject any dynamical connection between candidates and impactor. We find reliable statistical evidence on the existence of the Chelyabinsk cluster. It appears...

  3. The Chronology of Asteroid Accretion, Differentiation, and Secondary Mineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Kleine, T.; Shih, C.-Y.; Reese, Y. D.

    2008-01-01

    We evaluate initial (Al-26/Al-27)(sub I), (Mn-53/Mn-55)(sub I), (Hf-182/Hf-180)(sub I), and Pb-207/Pb-206 ages for igneous differentiated meteorites and chondrules from ordinary chondrites for consistency with radioactive decay of the parent nuclides within a common, closed isotopic system, i.e., the early solar nebula. We find that the relative abundances of Al-26, Mn-53, and Hf-182, here denoted by I(Al)(sub CAI, I(Mn)(sub CAI) and I(Hf)(sub CAI), are consistent with decay from common initial values for the bulk solar system. I(Mn)(sub CAI) and I(Hf)(sub CAI) = 9.1+/-1.7 x 10(exp -6) and 1.06+/-0.09 x 10(exp -6) respectively, correspond to the canonical value of I(Al)(sub CAI) = 5.1 x 10(exp -5). I(Hf)(sub CAI) thus determined is consistent with I(Hf)(sub CAI) = 1.003+/-0.045 x 10(exp -6) directly determined in separate work. I(Mn)(sub CAI) is within error of the lowest value directly determined for CAI. We suggest that erratically higher values directly determined for CAI in carbonaceous chondrites reflect proton irradiation of unaccreted CAIs by the early Sun after other asteroids destined for melting by Al-26 decay had already accreted. The Mn-53 incorporated within such asteroids would have been shielded from further "local" spallogenic contributions. The relative abundances of the short-lived nuclides are less consistent with the Pb-207/Pb-206 ages of the corresponding materials with the best consistency being obtained between (Hf-182/Hf-180)(sub I) and Pb-207/Pb-206 ages of angrites. (Hf-182/Hf-180)(sub I) decreases with decreasing Pb-207/Pb-206 ages at the rate expected from the 8.90+/-0.09 Ma half-life of Hf-182. However, the model "CAI age" thus determined, T(sub CAI,Mn-W) = 4568.6+/-0.7 Ma, is older than the commonly accepted directly measured value T(sub CAI) = 4567.l+/-0.2 Ma. I(Al)(sub I), and (Mn-53/Mn-55)(sub I) are less consistent with Pb-207/Pb-206 ages, but determine T(sub CAI, Mn-Cr) = 4568.3+/-0.5 Ma relative to I(AI)(sub CAI)= 5.1 x 10(exp -5

  4. MarcoPolo-R: Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brucato, John Robert

    2012-07-01

    MarcoPolo-R is a sample return mission to a primitive Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) selected for the assessment study in the framework of ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-25 program. MarcoPolo-R is an European-led mission with a proposed NASA contribution. MarcoPolo-R will rendezvous with a primitive carbon-rich NEA, scientifically characterize it at multiple scales, and return a unique sample to Earth unaltered by the atmospheric entry process or terrestrial weathering. The baseline target is a binary asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3, which offers a very efficient operational and technical mission profile. A binary target also provides enhanced science return. The choice of this target will allow new investigations to be performed more easily than at a single object, and also enables investigations of the fascinating geology and geophysics of asteroids that are impossible at a single object. Several launch windows have been identified in the time-span 2020-2024. The baseline mission scenario of MarcoPolo-R to 1996 FG3 foresees a single primary spacecraft, carrying the Earth re-entry capsule and sample acquisition and transfer system, launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Kourou. The scientific payload includes state-of-the-art instruments, e.g. a camera system for high resolution imaging from orbit and on the surface, spectrometers covering visible, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths, a neutral-particle analyser, a radio science experiment and optional laser altimeter. If resources are available, an optional Lander will be added to perform in-situ characterization close to the sampling site, and internal structure investigations. MarcoPolo-R will allow us to study the most primitive materials available to investigate early solar system formation processes. The main goal of the MarcoPolo-R mission is to return unaltered NEA material for detailed analysis in ground-based laboratories. Only in the laboratory can instruments with the necessary precision and sensitivity be

  5. Thermal inertia of main belt asteroids smaller than 100 km from IRAS data

    CERN Document Server

    Delbo, Marco

    2008-01-01

    Recent works have shown that the thermal inertia of km-sized near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is more than two orders of magnitude higher than that of main belt asteroids (MBAs) with sizes (diameters) between 200 and 1,000 km. This confirms the idea that large MBAs, over hundreds millions of years,have developed a fine and thick thermally insulating regolith layer, responsible for the low values of their thermal inertia, whereas km-sized asteroids, having collisional lifetimes of only some millions years, have less regolith, and consequently a larger surface thermal inertia. Because it is believed that regolith on asteroids forms as a result of impact processes, a better knowledge of asteroid thermal inertia values and its correlation with size, taxonomic type, and density can be used as an important constraintfor modeling of impact processes on asteroids. However, our knowledge of asteroids' thermal inertia values is still based on few data points with NEAs covering the size range 0.1-20 km and MBAs that >100 km....

  6. Structure of the Asteroid Belt from the Gas Giants' Growth and Chaotic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izidoro, André; Raymond, Sean N.; Pierens, Arnaud; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Winter, Othon; Nesvorny, David

    2016-05-01

    The structure of the asteroid belt holds a record of the Solar System's dynamical history. The current belt only contains 10-3 Earth masses yet the asteroids' orbits are dynamically excited, with a large spread in eccentricity and inclination. The belt is also chemically segregated: the inner belt is dominated by dry S-types and the outer belt by hydrated C-types. Here we propose a new model in which the asteroid belt was always low-mass and was partially populated and sculpted by the giant planets on chaotic, resonant orbits. We first show that the compositional dichotomy of the asteroid belt is a simple consequence of Jupiter's growth in the gaseous protoplanetary disk. As Jupiter's core rapidly grew by accreting gas, orbits of nearby planetesimals were perturbed onto Jupiter-crossing trajectories. A significant fraction (~10%) of objects in the neighborhood exterior of Jupiter's orbit were implanted by gas drag into the outer parts of the asteroid belt as C-types. While the gas giants were likely in mean motion resonance at the end of the gaseous disk phase, we show that small perturbations may have driven them into a chaotic but stable state. After the dissipation of the gaseous disk, stochastic variations in the gas giants orbits caused resonances to chaotically jump across the main belt and excite the asteroids' orbits. Our results suggest that the early Solar System was chaotic and introduce a simple framework to understand the origins of the asteroid belt.

  7. Application of a Novel Long-Reach Manipulator Concept to Asteroid Redirect Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorsey, John T.; Doggett, William R.; Jones, Thomas C.; King, Bruce D.

    2015-01-01

    A high priority mission currently being formulated by NASA is to capture all or part of an asteroid and return it to cis-lunar space for examination by an astronaut crew. Two major mission architectures are currently being considered: in the first (Mission Concept A), a spacecraft would rendezvous and capture an entire free flying asteroid (up to 14 meters in diameter), and in the second (Mission Concept B), a spacecraft would rendezvous with a large asteroid (which could include one of the Martian moons) and retrieve a boulder (up to 4 meters in diameter). A critical element of the mission is the system that will capture the asteroid or boulder material, enclose it and secure it for the return flight. This paper describes the design concepts, concept of operations, structural sizing and masses of capture systems that are based on a new and novel Tendon- Actuated Lightweight In-Space MANipulator (TALISMAN) general-purpose robotic system. Features of the TALISMAN system are described and the status of its technology development is summarized. TALISMAN-based asteroid material retrieval system concepts and concepts-of-operations are defined for each asteroid mission architecture. The TALISMAN-based capture systems are shown to dramatically increase operational versatility while reducing mission risk. Total masses of TALISMAN-based systems are presented, reinforcing the mission viability of using a manipulator-based approach for the asteroid redirect mission.

  8. New shape models of asteroids reconstructed from sparse-in-time photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, Josef; Hanus, Josef; Vanco, Radim; Oszkiewicz, Dagmara Anna

    2015-08-01

    Asteroid physical parameters - the shape, the sidereal rotation period, and the spin axis orientation - can be reconstructed from the disk-integrated photometry either dense (classical lightcurves) or sparse in time by the lightcurve inversion method. We will review our recent progress in asteroid shape reconstruction from sparse photometry. The problem of finding a unique solution of the inverse problem is time consuming because the sidereal rotation period has to be found by scanning a wide interval of possible periods. This can be efficiently solved by splitting the period parameter space into small parts that are sent to computers of volunteers and processed in parallel. We will show how this approach of distributed computing works with currently available sparse photometry processed in the framework of project Asteroids@home. In particular, we will show the results based on the Lowell Photometric Database. The method produce reliable asteroid models with very low rate of false solutions and the pipelines and codes can be directly used also to other sources of sparse photometry - Gaia data, for example. We will present the distribution of spin axis of hundreds of asteroids, discuss the dependence of the spin obliquity on the size of an asteroid,and show examples of spin-axis distribution in asteroid families that confirm the Yarkovsky/YORP evolution scenario.

  9. Catching a Rolling Stone: Dynamics and Control of a Spacecraft and an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Shen, Haijun; Jesick, Mark C; Cornelius, David M

    2013-01-01

    In a recent report, a robotic spacecraft mission is proposed for the purpose of collecting a small asteroid, or a small part of a large one, and transporting it to an orbit in the Earth-Moon system. Such an undertaking will require solutions to many of the engineering problems associated with deflection of an asteroid that poses a danger to Earth. In both cases, it may be necessary for a spacecraft to approach an asteroid from a nearby position, hover for some amount of time, move with the same angular velocity as the asteroid, descend, perhaps ascend, and finally arrest the angular velocity of the asteroid. Dynamics and control in each of these activities is analyzed in order to determine the velocity increments and control torque that must be provided by a reaction control system, and the mass of the propellant that will be consumed. Two attitude control algorithms are developed, one to deal with synchronizing the spacecraft s angular velocity with that of the asteroid, and the other to arrest the asteroid s angular velocity. A novel approach is proposed for saving fuel in the latter case.

  10. How Many Assay Probes to Find One Ore-bearing Asteroid?

    CERN Document Server

    Elvis, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The number of ore-bearing asteroids could well be small and remote telescopic techniques are inadequate to identify such asteroids confidently. Finding an asteroid that can be profitably mined requires proximate observations from assay probes. Here we use a simple statistical approach to estimate the number of assay probes, Nassay, needed to find at least one ore-bearing asteroid at a high confidence (90%, 95%, 99%). We present results for a wide range of values of the probability of an asteroid being rich in the resource of interest, Prich. We find that Nassay depends strongly on Prich, for likely values of Prich (<0.5). For a plausible value of Prich~0.1 then to obtain 90% confidence that at least one ore-bearing asteroid is found, Nassay = 22, and for 99% confidence Nassay = 44. A factor two increase in Prich roughly halves Nassay, while even for Prich~0.5, Nassay (90%) = 4. Hence any improvement in asteroid characterization prior to sending probes to its proximity would be an effective way to cost-effe...

  11. Mycetoma by Nocardia asteroides: a 9 year folow-up Micetoma por Nocardia asteroides: acompanhamento de 9 anos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giani de Oliveira Saraça

    1993-04-01

    Full Text Available An extensive and severe actinomycetoma by Nocardia asteroides, a rare etiologic agent of this infection in Brazil, observed during a 9 year follow-up is reported. Unsuitable social and financial conditions led to amputation as the only possible solution for this case, no signs of infection relapse having been observed in three years after his surgery.É relatado um caso de micetoma actinomicótico por Nocardia asteroides, raro agente desta infecção no Brasil, acompanhado ao longo de 9 anos de evolução, com lesões extensas e profundas. As precárias condições sócio-econômicas do paciente tornaram a amputação a única solução viável para este caso, não tendo sido observados sinais de reci-diva da infecção em três anos após a cirurgia.

  12. Predictions for Dusty Mass Loss from Asteroids During Close Encounters with Solar Probe Plus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cranmer, Steven R.

    2016-06-01

    The Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission will explore the Sun's corona and innermost solar wind starting in 2018. The spacecraft will also come close to a number of Mercury-crossing asteroids with perihelia less than 0.3 AU. At small heliocentric distances, these objects may begin to lose mass, thus becoming "active asteroids" with comet-like comae or tails. This paper assembles a database of 97 known Mercury-crossing asteroids that may be encountered by SPP, and it presents estimates of their time-dependent visible-light fluxes and mass loss rates. Assuming a similar efficiency of sky background subtraction as was achieved by STEREO , we find that approximately 80 % of these asteroids are bright enough to be observed by the Wide-field Imager for SPP (WISPR). A model of gas/dust mass loss from these asteroids is developed and calibrated against existing observations. This model is used to estimate the visible-light fluxes and spatial extents of spherical comae. Observable dust clouds occur only when the asteroids approach the Sun closer than 0.2 AU. The model predicts that during the primary SPP mission between 2018 and 2025, there should be 113 discrete events (for 24 unique asteroids) during which the modeled comae have angular sizes resolvable by WISPR. The largest of these correspond to asteroids 3200 Phaethon, 137924, 155140, and 289227, all with angular sizes of roughly 15-30 arcminutes. We note that the SPP trajectory may still change, but no matter the details there should still be multiple opportunities for fruitful asteroid observations.

  13. The Physical Characterization of the Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2004 BL86: A Fragment of a Differentiated Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Gary, Bruce L.; Sanchez, Juan A.; Takir, Driss; Thomas, Cristina A.; Hardersen, Paul S.; Ogmen, Yenal; Benni, Paul; Kaye, Thomas G.; Gregorio, Joao; Garlitz, Joe; Polishook, David; Le Corre, Lucille; Nathues, Andreas

    2015-09-01

    The physical characterization of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) is important for impact hazard assessment and evaluating mitigation options. Close flybys of PHAs provide an opportunity to study their surface photometric and spectral properties that enable the identification of their source regions in the main asteroid belt. We observed PHA (357439) 2004 BL86 during a close flyby of the Earth at a distance of 1.2 million km (0.0080 AU) on 2015 January 26, with an array of ground-based telescopes to constrain its photometric and spectral properties. Lightcurve observations showed that the asteroid was a binary and subsequent radar observations confirmed the binary nature and gave a primary diameter of 300 m and a secondary diameter of 50-100 m. Our photometric observations were used to derive the phase curve of 2004 BL86 in the V-band. Two different photometric functions were fitted to this phase curve, the IAU H-G model and the Shevchenko model. From the fit of the H-G function we obtained an absolute magnitude of H = 19.51 ± 0.02 and a slope parameter of G = 0.34 ± 0.02. The Shevchenko function yielded an absolute magnitude of H = 19.03 ± 0.07 and a phase coefficient b = 0.0225 ± 0.0006. The phase coefficient was used to calculate the geometric albedo (Ag) using the relationship found by Belskaya & Schevchenko, obtaining a value of Ag = 40% ± 8% in the V-band. With the geometric albedo and the absolute magnitudes derived from the H-G and the Shevchenko functions we calculated the diameter (D) of 2004 BL86, obtaining D = 263 ± 26 and D = 328 ± 35 m, respectively. 2004 BL86 spectral band parameters and pyroxene chemistry are consistent with non-cumulate eucrite meteorites. A majority of these meteorites are derived from Vesta and are analogous with surface lava flows on a differentiated parent body. A non-diagnostic spectral curve match using the Modeling for Asteroids tool yielded a best-match with non-cumulate eucrite Bereba. Three other near

  14. Asteroid observations with the Hubble space telescope and the space infrared telescope facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Hubble space telescope will provide asteroid observers with exceptional opportunities to make observations not possible from the ground. It will provide expanded wavelength coverage in the ultraviolet, plus high spatial resolution permitting observations of body shape, configuration and compositional variations at geophysically and cosmochemically relevant scales for the nearest and largest objects. There are also opportunities for making important observations of asteroids fainter than can be practically observed from the ground. Other second- generation Earth-orbiting observatories are planned for later years. The authors discuss how one of these, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, has particular potential for asteroids

  15. Delta-v to Near-earth Asteroids: An Examination of the Shoemaker-helin Equations

    OpenAIRE

    Murphy, Max; Elvis, Martin; Galache, José Luis; Ranjan, Sukrit

    2015-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroids present promising opportunities for future human spaceflight missions. Many of these objects have orbits that come within close proximity to the Earth, allowing a significantly lower cost in comparison to missions to Mars or even the Moon. This cost is directly related to the change in velocity (Delta-V) necessary to move a vehicle from low-Earth orbit to the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid. This paper will discuss the merits of asteroid rendezvous missions in the near...

  16. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission to Comet Kopff - Getting there is half the fun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweetser, Theodore H.; Kiedron, Krystyna

    1990-01-01

    The goal of the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby mission (CRAF) is to fly 'outward to the beginning', to examine closely what are thought to be remnants of the origins of the solar system. In particular, the CRAF spacecraft will use a two-year delta-V-earth-gravity-assist (delta-V-EGA) trajectory to reach a rendezvous point near the aphelion of the Comet Kopff, flying by the asteroid 449 Hamburga on the way. This paper discusses the trajectory used to get to the comet. Topics covered include the launch period, possible additional asteroid flybys, the earth flyby, the Hamburga flyby, and the rendezvous with Comet Kopff.

  17. From Observational Geometry to Practical Satellite Design: AsteroidFinder/SSB

    OpenAIRE

    Grundmann, Jan Thimo; Mottola, Stefano; Baturkin, Volodymyr; Behrens, Jörg; Biering, Bernd; Drentschew, Maximilian; Drobczyk, Martin; Gerené, Sam; Hahn, Gerhard; Hallmann, Marcus; Hartmann, Jens; Heidecker, Ansgar; Kazeminejad, Bobby; Kührt, Ekkehard; Lieder, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    DLR has selected AsteroidFinder as the first payload to be flown on its SSB satellite platform, in the frame of the German national Compact Satellite Program. The scientific goal is to better observe and characterize Near-Earth Objects (NEO), particularly the Aten asteroids and the Inner Earth Objects orbiting completely Interior to Earth’s Orbit (IEO). Only ten mostly Aten-like IEOs have been found so far, of which two are Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA). Ground-based observations of A...

  18. Asteroid age distributions determined by space weathering and collisional evolution models

    OpenAIRE

    Willman, Mark; Jedicke, Robert

    2010-01-01

    We provide evidence of consistency between the dynamical evolution of main belt asteroids and their color evolution due to space weathering. The dynamical age of an asteroid's surface \\citep{bib.bot05a,bib.nes05} is the time since its last catastrophic disruption event which is a function of the object's diameter. The age of an S-complex asteroid's surface may also be determined from its color using a space weathering model \\citep[e.g.][]{bib.wil10,bib.jed04,bib.wil08,bib.mar06}. We used a sa...

  19. Interplanetary Trajectory Design for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission Alternate Approach Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond Gabriel; Qu, Min; Vavrina, Matthew A.; Englander, Jacob A.; Jones, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents mission performance analysis methods and results for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) option to capture a free standing boulder on the surface of a 100 m or larger NEA. It details the optimization and design of heliocentric low-thrust trajectories to asteroid targets for the ARRM solar electric propulsion spacecraft. Extensive searches were conducted to determine asteroid targets with large pick-up mass potential and potential observation opportunities. Interplanetary trajectory approximations were developed in method based tools for Itokawa, Bennu, 1999 JU3, and 2008 EV5 and were validated by end-to-end integrated trajectories.

  20. Simulation and Prototype Design of Variable Step Angle Techniques Based Asteroid Deflection for Future Planetary Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathiyavel, C.

    2016-07-01

    Asteroids are minor planets, especially those of the inner Solar System. The most desirable asteroids for cross the geo-synchronous orbit are the carbonaceous C-type asteroids that are deemed by the astronomy community to have a planetary protection categorization of unrestricted Earth return. The mass of near earth Asteroids (assuming spherical asteroid) as a function of its diameter varies from 2 m to 10m, the corresponding densities from 1.9/cm3 to 3.8 g/cm3. For example, a 6.5-m diameter asteroid with a density of 2.8 g/cm3 has a mass of order 4,00,000 kg. If this Asteroid falls on earth then the earth will be destroyed at when the equally of inclination angle both of earth and Asteroid. My proposed work is how we can avert this great danger for near feature the above mass of Asteroid. The present work is Simulation and Prototype Design of a Variable Step Angle Techniques Based Asteroid Deflection for future planetary Mission. Proposed method is comparing with previous method that will be very useful to achieving hit the ion velocity to asteroid surface in several direction at static position of Asteroid deviate mission[ADM].The deviate angle α1 to α2 with help of Variable step angle techniques, it is containing Stepper Motor with attach of Ion propulsion module system.VASAT module is locating the top edge on the three axis stabilized Method in ADM.The three axis stabilized method is including the devices are like Gyroscope sensor ,Arduino Microcontroller system and ion propulsion techniques. Arduino Microcontroller system determines the orientation from gyroscope sensor. Then it uses ion Propulsion techniques modules to control the required motion like pitch, yaw and roll attitude of the ADM. The exhaust thrust value is 1500 mN and velocity is 10,000 m/s [from simulation results but experimental output results is small because low quality of Components is used in research lab] .The propulsion techniques also used as a static position of ADM Mission [both