NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0526

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0526


PI: Seth A. Jacobson, University of Colorado at Boulder, seth.jacobson@colorado.edu
Address: Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, UCB 391, Boulder, CO 80302, USA

CoI: Petr Pravec, Astronomical Institute, Czech Republic
CoI: Daniel J. Scheeres, University of Colorado at Boulder

Title: Directly detecting the BYORP effect and further characterization of near- Earth asteroid binaries

Abstract: The purpose of the proposed observations is to directly detect the binary YORP (BYORP) effect on near-Earth asteroid (NEA) synchronous binary systems and further characterize these systems for possible future spacecraft deployment. Observations of lightcurve fluctuations and mutual events of Didymos, 1999 HF_1, 1996 FG_3, 1998 RO_1 and 2000 DP_107 will support precise measurement of the drift in mean longitude over time, necessary for detection of the BYORP effect, and provide stricter constraints on the mutual orbital elements, while also reducing the number of pole solutions. The BYORP effect drives changes in the semi-major axis of synchronous or librating satellites. The sum of the forces from incident solar radiation and emitted thermal radiation on the secondary will typically average to zero over the course of many mutual orbits, except when the secondary is synchronous. In this situation, the forces add on top of each other projecting either in the direction of motion or against, growing or shrinking the orbit. Confirming the BYORP effect will be significant for our understanding of asteroid evolution.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0526

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