NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0389

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0389


PI: Michal Drahus, Caltech, mdrahus@caltech.edu
Address: 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: David Jewitt, UC Los Angeles
CoI: Waclaw Waniak, Jagiellonian University
CoI: Jessica Agarwal, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Title: The Activated Asteroid P/2012 F5 (Gibbs)

Abstract: The unusual solar-system object P/2012 F5 (Gibbs), discovered in 2012, belongs to the just emerging class of object or phenomenon in our nearest neighborhood. While looking like a comet on an inner-belt asteroid orbit, P/2012 F5 was in fact created by a recent (mid 2011) short-term mass loss from a km-size asteroid. The cause of the event is uncertain, but hypervelocity impact or centripetal disruption were both suggested as the most plausible candidate mechanisms. We propose to measure, for the first time, the rotation period of the object's nucleus, and in this way obtain a critical test of the two hypotheses. Establishing the rates at which asteroids break up by rotation and through collision is fundamental to understanding the sources of dust in the solar system.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0389

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