NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0495

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2011B-0495


PI: Linda M. French, Illinois Wesleyan University, lfrench@iwu.edu
Address: Dept. of Physics, P. O. Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61704, USA

CoI: Robert D. Stephens, Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Status
CoI: Lawrence H. Wasserman, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Susan M. Lederer, NASA Johnson Space Center
CoI: Derrick A. Rohl, Illinois Wesleyan University

Title: Rotation Studies of Jovian Trojan Asteroids

Abstract: The Jovian Trojan asteroids appear to be fundamentally different from main belt asteroids. They formed further from the sun, they are of different composition, and their collisional history is different. Lightcurve studies provide information about the distribution of rotation frequencies of a group of asteroids. For main belt asteroids larger than about 40 km in diameter, the distribution of rotation frequencies is Maxwellian (Pravec \it et al. 2000). This suggests that collisions determine their rotation properties. Smaller main belt asteroids, however, show a predominance of both fast and slow rotators, with the observed spin distribution apparently controlled by the Yarkovsky-O’Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect (Pravec \it et al. 2008). The Trojans larger than 100 km in diameter have been almost completely sampled, but lightcurves for smaller Trojans have been less well studied due to their low albedos and greater solar distances. We propose to investigate the rotation periods of 4-6 small (D < 50 km) Trojan asteroids and 6-9 Trojans in the 50-100 km size range.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0495

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo