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Distribution of shape elongations of main belt asteroids derived from Pan-STARRS1 photometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA86
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume611
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Context. A considerable amount of photometric data is produced by surveys such as Pan-STARRS, LONEOS, WISE, or Catalina. These data are a rich source of information about the physical properties of asteroids. There are several possible approaches for using these data. Light curve inversion is a typical method that works with individual asteroids. Our approach in focusing on large groups of asteroids, such as dynamical families and taxonomic classes, is statistical; the data are not sufficient for individual models.Aim. Our aim is to study the distributions of shape elongation ba and the spin axis latitude β for various subpopulations of asteroids and to compare our results, based on Pan-STARRS1 survey, with statistics previously carried out using various photometric databases, such as Lowell and WISE.Methods. We used the LEADER algorithm to compare the ba and β distributions for various subpopulations of asteroids. The algorithm creates a cumulative distributive function (CDF) of observed brightness variations, and computes the ba and β distributions with analytical basis functions that yield the observed CDF. A variant of LEADER is used to solve the joint distributions for synthetic populations to test the validity of the method.Results. When comparing distributions of shape elongation for groups of asteroids with different diameters D, we found that there are no differences for D < 25 km. We also constructed distributions for asteroids with different rotation periods and revealed that the fastest rotators with P = 0 - 4 h are more spheroidal than the population with P = 4-8 h.

Keywords

  • asteroids, general, Methods, Minor planets, photometric, statistical, Techniques

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland