NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0077

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Proposal Information for 2003A-0077


PI: Andy Rivkin, MIT, asrivkin@mit.edu
Address: Earth, Atmospheric, Planetary Sciences, MS 54-418, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

CoI: Richard P. Binzel, MIT
CoI: David Vokrouhlicky, Charles University, Prague
CoI: William Bottke, Southwest Research Institute

Title: Investigation of Yarkovsky drift upon asteroid families

Abstract: The Yarkovsky effect is a non-gravitational force significantly affecting the long-term motion of small bodies in the solar system. Though discovered some 50 years ago, its importance has been understood by dynamicists only recently. The long-term evolution of asteroid families is one of the primary fields of the Yarkovsky effect applications. Recently, we developed an evolutionary scenario for the Eos family, one of the largest and most spectrally distinct in the main asteroid belt. The distinctive spectral characteristics of this family makes our model directly testable by spectroscopic observations. The model makes two major predictions which we will test: (i) small family asteroids stream along a high-order secular resonance (z_1) to a specific location at the periphery of the family, and (ii) a small number of nearby asteroids are dynamically inconsistent with the Yarkovsky-evolution scenario (and are thus predicted to be interlopers). While previous models have been applied to other asteroid families, this is the first time we will be able to test our predictions using visible spectroscopy. In addition to studying the problems of asteroid family evolution, this project is a necessary step in understanding the dynamical evolution of \it all asteroids and constraining the flux of near-Earth asteroids.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0077

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