NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0082

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Program Information for 2017A-0082


PI: Sarah Sonnett, CalTech-JPL, ssonnett@psi.edu
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: Investigating Solar System Evolution by Confirming and Characterizing Binary Asteroid Candidates

Abstract: One of the most debated issues in solar system science is the formation location of Jovian Trojan asteroids (hereafter, Trojans) which lie in stable orbits around Jupiter's L4 and L5 Lagrange points, and Hilda asteroids which are in 3:2 resonance with Jupiter. Knowing the Trojan and Hilda formation location(s) would offer powerful, discerning constraints on key solar system formation and evolution models. Asteroid formation location can be determined through bulk density. Trojans with outer solar system origins are less dense than those formed in situ due to increased ice fractions. Density can only practically be determined by characterizing binary systems, only 5 of which are known in both Trojans and Hildas. We identified 77 Trojan and Hilda binary candidates and are conducting a follow-up campaign to densely sample their rotational light curves in order to confirm and characterize binarity. We propose to follow-up 6 of our brighter targets visible during the 2017A semester. We will then fit binary models to determine bulk density, building the first statistically significant distribution of Trojan and Hilda densities.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 2 (2017A):  CT-1.3m/ANDI -- 18hrs


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 >   2017A-0082

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