PI: William H. Ryan, New Mexico Tech, bryan@nmt,edu
Address: MRO/R&ED, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, USA
CoI: Eileen V. Ryan, New Mexico Tech
Title: Confirmation of the Asteroid Binary System 3703 Volkonskaya and Lightcurves of Additional Vesta Family Members
Abstract: During the course of a photometric survey of the Vesta family of asteroids, two family members, 3782 Celle and 3703 Volkonskaya, have displayed lightcurve signatures indicative of binary systems. The discovery of more than one binary system for this cratering impact- generated asteroid family is a key piece of information to be incorporated into theoretical models of collisional origin. The first goal of this proposal is to perform additional observations required to confirm and physically model the 3703 Volkonskaya system. The second is to obtain lightcurves in order to characterize additional Vesta family members and search for new binaries. These findings will have particularly important implications for understanding possible ejecta reaccumulation and satellite formation mechanisms in subcatastrophic collisions and will help enable us to determine whether the creation of binary systems is a relatively unique occurrence or a natural by-product of events like the Vesta family-forming cratering impact.
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