NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0087

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Program Information for 2016A-0087


PI: Sarah Sonnett, CalTech-JPL, Sarah.Sonnett@jpl.nasa.gov
Address: 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS: 169-237, Pasadena, CA 91109 USA

CoI: Amy Mainzer, CalTech-JPL
CoI: Tommy Grav, PSI
CoI: James Bauer, CalTech-JPL
CoI: Joseph Masiero, CalTech-JPL
CoI: Emily Kramer, CalTech-JPL

Title: Confirming Binary Asteroid Candidates to Constrain the Dynamical Evolution of the Solar System

Abstract: Determining the binary fraction for asteroids populations, particularly as a function of separation between the two components, helps describe the dynamical environment when the binaries formed, which offers constraints on the dynamical evolution of the solar system. Dynamical characterization of Jupiter Trojan and Hilda asteroids is especially important since their capture and physical state is difficult to reproduce through solar system formation models. Therefore, determining the binary fraction for Trojans and Hildas offers a powerful way of constraining solar system formation models. However, the close/contact binary fraction of Jupiter Trojans has only been explored in a few limited surveys, and the binary fraction of Hildas has never been determined. We identified 77 Trojan and Hilda binary candidates within the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer archival dataset via their diagnostically large lightcurve amplitudes. We propose to continue our 2015A and 2015B programs and obtain observations for 7 of our 77 binary candidates to confirm binarity. We will then compare binary fractions between Trojans, Hildas, and other small body populations to assess differences in their dynamical histories.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 2 (2016A):  SOAR/Goodman -- 5n on May 08 - May 13 2016


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



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