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Publications (5)0 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In understanding the composition and internal structure of asteroids, their density is perhaps the most diagnostic quantity. We aim here to characterize the surface composition, mutual orbit, size, mass, and density of the small main-belt binary asteroid (939) Isberga. For that, we conduct a suite of multi-technique observations, including optical lightcurves over many epochs, near-infrared spectroscopy, and interferometry in the thermal infrared. We develop a simple geometric model of binary systems to analyze the interferometric data in combination with the results of the lightcurve modeling. From spectroscopy, we classify Ibserga as a Sq-type asteroid, consistent with the albedo of 0.14$^{+0.09}_{-0.06}$ (all uncertainties are reported as 3-$\sigma$ range) we determine (average albedo of S-types is 0.197 $\pm$ 0.153, Pravec et al., 2012, Icarus 221, 365-387). Lightcurve analysis reveals that the mutual orbit has a period of 26.6304 $\pm$ 0.0001 h, is close to circular, and has pole coordinates within 7 deg. of (225, +86) in ECJ2000, implying a low obliquity of 1.5 deg. The combined analysis of lightcurves and interferometric data allows us to determine the dimension of the system and we find volume-equivalent diameters of 12.4$^{+2.5}_{-1.2}$ km and 3.6$^{+0.7}_{-0.3}$ km for Isberga and its satellite, circling each other on a 33 km wide orbit. Their density is assumed equal and found to be $2.91^{+1.72}_{-2.01}$ g.cm$^{-3}$, lower than that of the associated ordinary chondrite meteorites, suggesting the presence of some macroporosity, but typical of S-types of the same size range (Carry, 2012, P\&SS 73, 98-118). The present study is the first direct measurement of the size of a small main-belt binary. Although the interferometric observations of Isberga are at the edge of MIDI capabilities, the method described here is applicable to others suites of instruments (e.g, LBT, ALMA).
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The larger number of models of asteroid shapes and their rotational states derived by the lightcurve inversion give us better insight into both the nature of individual objects and the whole asteroid population. With a larger statistical sample we can study the physical properties of asteroid populations, such as main-belt asteroids or individual asteroid families, in more detail. Shape models can also be used in combination with other types of observational data (IR, adaptive optics images, stellar occultations), e.g., to determine sizes and thermal properties. We use all available photometric data of asteroids to derive their physical models by the lightcurve inversion method and compare the observed pole latitude distributions of all asteroids with known convex shape models with the simulated pole latitude distributions. We used classical dense photometric lightcurves from several sources and sparse-in-time photometry from the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Catalina Sky Survey, and La Palma surveys (IAU codes 689, 703, 950) in the lightcurve inversion method to determine asteroid convex models and their rotational states. We also extended a simple dynamical model for the spin evolution of asteroids used in our previous paper. We present 119 new asteroid models derived from combined dense and sparse-in-time photometry. We discuss the reliability of asteroid shape models derived only from Catalina Sky Survey data (IAU code 703) and present 20 such models. By using different values for a scaling parameter cYORP (corresponds to the magnitude of the YORP momentum) in the dynamical model for the spin evolution and by comparing synthetics and observed pole-latitude distributions, we were able to constrain the typical values of the cYORP parameter as between 0.05 and 0.6.
    01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Aims.We present evidence that four minor planets of the main belt are binary systems. Methods.These discoveries are based on CCD photometric measurements made by many observers coordinated in a network of observatories. Results.Orbital and physical properties are derived from a total of 134 partial light curves involving 26 stations. (854) Frostia, (1089) Tama, (1313) Berna, and (4492) Debussy show mutual eclipses features on their light curves. In all cases, rotation and revolution are synchronous. Synodic periods are 37.728, 16.444, 25.464 and 26.606 h respectively. From a simple model, we have derived their bulk densities as follows: 0.89 $\pm$ 0.14, 2.52 $\pm$ 0.30, 1.22 $\pm$ 0.15 and 0.91 $\pm$ 0.10 g cm$^{-3}$ respectively. Uncertainties in the bulk densities, arising from scattering and shadow effects are not taken into account. These could increase the density estimates by a factor up to 1.6. Our method of determining bulk density is completely independent of their mass and their diameter estimates. The low rotational periods and the low bulk densities clearly imply a collisional process to explain this kind of binary asteroid. Based on our database of a few thousand light curves of minor planets, the population of similar-sized objects in the main belt is estimated to $6\pm 3$ percent in the 10–50 km diameter class. Conclusions.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053709. 01/2006;
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    ABSTRACT: The minor planet (1139) Atami showed mutual eclipses features on its light curves during its 2005 opposition. Photometric and radar analysis reveal the binarity of this system composed by two bodies of the same size (7.4x4.4x4.4 km 15%) separated by about 17.7 1.1 km. Rotations and revolutions are synchronous and the period is T =1.145 0.002 days. From a model, we derived bulk density =2.2 0.5 g/cm3. Spectrometry was performed during an eclipse. It reveals that the two bodies have the same reectance
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Aims. We present evidence that four minor planets of the main belt are binary systems. Methods. These discoveries are based on CCD photometric measurements,made,by many,observers coordinated in a network of observatories. Results. Orbital and physical properties are derived from a total of 134 partial light curves involving 26 stations. (854) Frostia, (1089) Tama, (1313) Berna, and (4492) Debussy show mutual eclipses features on their light curves. In all cases, rotation and revolution are synchronous. Synodic periods are 37.728, 16.444, 25.464 and 26.606 h respectively. From a simple model, we have derived their bulk densities as follows: 0.89 ± 0.14, 2.52 ± 0.30, 1.22 ± 0.15 and 0.91 ± 0.10 g cm,3 respectively. Uncertainties in the bulk densities, arising from scattering and shadow effects are not taken into account. These could increase the density estimates by a factor up to 1.6. Our method,of determining bulk density is completely independent,of their mass and their diameter estimates. The low rotational periods and the low bulk densities clearly imply a collisional process to explain this kind of binary asteroid. Based on our database of a few thousand light curves of minor planets, the population of similar-sized objects in the main belt is estimated to 6 ± 3 percent in the 10–50 km diameter class. Key words. planets and satellites: formation – minor planets, asteroids – techniques: photometric