NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008B-0111

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Proposal Information for 2008B-0111


PI: William Romanishin, University of Oklahoma, wjr@nhn.ou.edu
Address: Physics Department, 440 West Brooks St, Norman, OK 73019, US

CoI: Erin Cooper, University of Oklahoma

Title: Shapes and Densities of Jovian Trojan Objects

Abstract: We will use optical CCD photometric lightcurve observations of Jovian Trojan objects to study their shapes and densities. Although these objects are sometimes called Trojan ``asteroids", recent work suggests that these objects may have formed far beyond Jupiter and then were subsequently captured into their present ``clouds" at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points of the Sun-Jupiter system. Thus, these objects may be closer in physical nature to icy comets than to rocky/ metallic asteroids. The scientific goal of the work proposed here is to derive density estimates for a sample of a dozen or more Trojans to compare with density estimates for comets, asteroids, Centaurs, and KBOs. We trust that a good density estimate for the Trojan class of objects will help elucidate the origin of this group of objects and the ``big picture" of the history of minor bodies in the solar system.


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