NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006B-0458

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Proposal Information for 2006B-0458


PI: Tommy Grav, University of Hawaii, grav@ifa.hawaii.edu
Address: Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA

Title: Ymir: Looking at a possible recent creation of an irregular satellite family

Abstract: Recent observations performed at the Gemini North and the WIYN of the retrograde irregular satellites of Saturn have shown that the three satellites Ymir, Suttungr and Thrymr might be the result of recent fragmentation/cratering of a larger progenitor. These observations also indicate that the broadband colors of Ymir varies across the surface. Numerical studies further suggest that the fragmentation/cratering event happened fairly recent (~ 1-2My ago), but this result remains uncertain. We thus propose a set of observations designed to test whether or not such a fragmentation has taken place. By confirming that the three have similar colors as well as determining the change of color across the surface Ymir by performing broadband color lightcurves will give us insight into the surfaces of the three targets and untangle their relationship. Furthermore we propose to perform a search for more irregular satellites designed to have an increased chance of finding Ymir-family members. These additional members will help significantly in test and securing the results of our numerical studies as well as provide more targets for physical studies to help us understand the Ymir- family of irregular satellites.


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