NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2019A-0145

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Program Information for 2019A-0145


PI: Sarah Sonnett, PSI, ssonnett@psi.edu
Address: , Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 USA

CoI: Tommy Grav, PSI
CoI: Jason Witry, PSI
CoI: Bailey Williamson, College of Charleston

Title: Investigating Solar System History through Binary Trojan and Hilda Asteroids

Abstract: Different solar system evolution models predict different formation locations for Jovian Trojan (hereafter, Trojan) and Hilda asteroids. Therefore, knowing Trojan and Hilda formation location(s) offers powerful constraints on competing solar system formation models. Asteroid formation location can be determined through density, outer solar system asteroids being less dense than those that formed closer to the Sun. Density can only practically be determined by characterizing binary systems, only 5 of which are known in Trojans and Hildas. We will obtain densely sampled rotational light curves of 5 potentially binary Trojan and Hilda asteroids in a rare and valuable size regime, which will confirm their binarity and determine their density, orientation, separation, mass ratio, and abundance. These properties provide a rich parameter space with which to: (1) determine Trojan and Hilda origins thus heavily constraining solar system formation models; (2) explore binary formation mechanisms and early dynamical environments; and (3) boost the scientific value of the upcoming Lucy Mission. Ours is the first systematic survey of this kind, and preliminary work is already delivering promising results.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2019A):  KP-0.9m/HDI -- 6n on Feb 06 - Feb 11 2019


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 >   2019A-0145

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