NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0345

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0345


PI: Henry Hsieh, Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics, hhsieh@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw
Address: 11F, Astronomy-Mathematics Building, Academia Sinica/National Taiwan University, No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Title: Physical Characterization of Active Asteroids P/2012 T1, P/2013 R3, and 233P

Abstract: We seek to obtain sparsely-sampled observations of active asteroids P/2012 T1 (a main-belt comet, or MBC), P/2013 P5 (a disrupted asteroid), and unidentified active asteroid 233P to characterize their physical properties. Active asteroids are objects that orbit in the main asteroid belt, yet display comet-like activity (e.g. dust emission), where MBC activity is thought to be due to sublimation (like in other comets) and disrupted asteroid activity is believed to result from impacts or rotational disruption events. Determination of the nucleus size of P/2012 T1 (expected to be inactive in 2014B) will allow us to revisit observations from when it was active to quantify its activity level at the time and compare with other MBCs, and also continue refining the size distribution of the known MBC population for comparison to the background asteroid population. Meanwhile, observations of P/2013 P5 will give us insights into the first known rotational disruption of an asteroid to be observed in progress, either by allowing us to quantitatively analyze the rotational physics of the 2013 disruption event, or by giving us an ongoing look at the continuing disruption of the object, depending on whether it continues to be active in 2014B. Very little is known about our final target, 233P, and so these observations will be used to help classify it as either a MBC or disrupted asteroid, and lay groundwork for future studies.


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