NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0341

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0341


PI: Linda French, Illinois Wesleyan University, lfrench@iwu.edu
Address: Physics Department, P.O. Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61702, USA

CoI: Robert Stephens, GMARS
CoI: Todd Henry, Georgia State University
CoI: Joseph Chatelain, Georgia State University
CoI: Lawrence H. Wasserman, Lowell Observatory

Title: Photometric Study of Jovian Trojan Asteroids

Abstract: The Jovian Trojan asteroids appear to be fundamentally different from main belt asteroids. They formed further from the Sun, their composition is different, and their collisional history appears to be 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 et al. 2000), suggesting that collisions determine their rotation properties. The Trojans larger than 100 km in diameter have been almost completely sampled, but lightcurves for small Trojans have been less well studied due to their low albedos and greater solar distances. Preliminary data (Molnar 2008; French et al. 2011) indicate that Trojans may have, on average, longer periods than main belt asteroids of the same size. We propose to investigate the rotation periods and lightcurve amplitudes of 4-5 Trojans in the 15-25 km size range. We will also obtain VRI colors, sufficient to determine the compositional type of the target objects.


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