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Asteroid properties from photometric observations: Constraining non-gravitational processes in asteroids. P. Pravec Astronomical Institute AS CR, Ond řejov, Czech Republic Conference “ Future Science with Metre-Class Telescopes ” Belgrade, Serbia, 2012 September 19.

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slide1

Asteroid properties from photometric observations:Constraining non-gravitational processes in asteroids

P. Pravec

Astronomical Institute AS CR, Ondřejov, Czech Republic

Conference“Future Science with Metre-Class Telescopes”

Belgrade, Serbia, 2012 September 19

neosource project 1 54 m danish telescope la silla
NEOSource project1.54-m Danish telescope, La Silla

Study of non-gravitational asteroid evolution processes via photometric observations

PI Petr Pravec, Astronomical Institute AS CR Ondřejov

Co-PI David Vokrouhlický, Astronomical Institute MFF UK, Prague

2012-2016, remote observations on 90 nights/year with the 1.54-m telescope at La Silla

The observations will start in October 2012. Allsky camera

contents of the talk
Contents of the talk
  • Small asteroids as cohesionless structures
  • Binary systems among NEAs and small MBAs – Observations
  • Binary systems among NEAs and small MBAs – Population and properties
  • Asteroid pairs among small MBAs
  • Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) thermal effect
  • Binary YORP effect
  • Non-principal axis rotators among the smallest asteroids
asteroids with si zes 0 2 10 km cohesionless bodies easily breakable
Asteroids with sizes 0.2-10 km– cohesionless bodies, easily breakable

Numerous indirect evidence for that km-sized asteroids are

  • predominantly cohesionless structures, with zero global tensile strength.

Some of the most important observations:

  • “Spin barrier” – km-sized asteroids rotate slower than the critical rotation frequency for a body in the gravity regime, they can be held together by self-gravitation only.
  • Properties of small binary systems and asteroid pairs – dominant formation mechanism is a rotational fission at the cohesionless spin barrier.
the spin barrier
The spin barrier

At the spin barrier – balance between the gravity

and centrifugal acceleration at the equator of a sphere with ρ~ 3 g/cm3, taking into account also the angle of friction (30-40°).

the spin barrier in 2 nd dimension
The spin barrier in 2nd dimension

Spin barrier in 2nd dimension (asteroid

elongation).

Vast majority of asteroids larger than ~0.3 km rotate slower than the critical rate for bulk density 3 g/cm3.

Accounting for angles of friction < 90° with theory of cohesionless

elastic-plastic solid bodies (Holsapple 2001, 2004).

binary asteroids detection techniques
Binary asteroids detection techniques
  • NEA binaries
  • photometric technique – detection of mutual events (17 since 1997)
  • radar – currently the best technique for NEA binaries (>25 since 2000)
  • MBA binaries(D1 < 10 km)
  • photometric technique – efficient for close systems that appear to
  • predominate in the binary population (60 since 2004).
  • AO observations – resolve distant satellites (5 since 2002).
photometric detection of binary system principle
Photometric detection of binary system- principle

Mutual occultation/eclipse events

between system components cause brightness attenuations.

Condition:

Earth or Sun close to the system’s orbit plane.

Primary and secondary events

(depending on which body is occulted/eclipsed).

(Scheirichand Pravec 2009)

photometric detection of binary system example
Photometric detection of binary system- example

Derivable parameters: P1, Porb, (P2), D2/D1, a1/b1, (a2/b2)

and finally (with long-arc observations) Lp, Bp, e

orbit poles
Orbit poles

Good data covering long enough “arc” (range of geometries) needed for orbital pole estimation (Scheirich and Pravec 2009, Pravec et al. 2012)

Observations of binaries in their return apparitions needed to constrain orbit pole distribution.

unique radar case 1999 kw4
Unique radar case – 1999 KW4

The best characterized binary: (66391) 1999 KW4 observed with

the Arecibo radar in 2001. The detailed model constructed by

Ostro et al. (Science 314, 1276-1280, 2006) and the dynamical

configuration studied by Scheeres et al. (Science 314,1280-1283, 2006).

This binary’s characteristics appear to be rather typical for NEA binary

systems.

binary asteroid parameters database
Binary asteroid parameters database

(Pravec and Harris 2007, updated)

binary systems among neas and small mbas1

Binary systems among NEAs and small MBAs

The population and properties

binary population p orb vs d 1
Binary population Porb vs D1

Binary fraction

15 ± 4 %

among NEAs (Pravec et al.

2006).

Similar binary fraction among

MBAs (up to D1 = 10 km)

Data from

Pravec and Harris,

Icarus, 190 (2007)

250-253, updated.

characteristic properties of nea and small mba binaries
Characteristic properties of NEA and small MBA binaries

Most NEA and small MBA binaries have common characteristics:

  • Total angular momentum close to critical
  • Satellite orbits have low obliquities, orbital poles concentrate near the poles of the ecliptic
  • Primaries – near spheroidal shapes (unless in rare cases of fully synchronous systems)
  • Secondaries - a broader distribution of shape elongations. Rotations mostly, but not always synchronous.

Exceptional systems:

  • Double (D2/D1 = 0.8 - 1), fully synchronous system: 1 case among NEAs so far: Hermes (Margot et al. 2006), a few among MBAs
  • Ternary systems - two small satellites orbiting a larger primary: 2 cases among NEAs so far, (136617) 1994 CC and (153591) 2001 SN263 (Nolan et al. 2008, Brozovic et al. 2009)
  • “Quadruple”system(3749) Balam – One close and one distant satellite, plus a paired asteroid 2009 BR60 (Merline et al. 2002, Marchis et al. 2008, Vokrouhlický et al. 2009)
characteristic properties of binaries 1 angular momentum content
Characteristic properties of binaries1. Angular momentum content

Primary rotations

  • concentrate in the pile up at f = 6-11 d-1 (P1 = 2-4 h) in front of the spin barrier.

A tail with slowed down primaries – members of systems with high D2/D1where a large part of the system’s angular momentum resides in the orbital motion and secondary’s rotation.

Total angular momentum similar, and close to critical in all binaries with D1< 10 km.

characteristic properties of binaries 1 angular momentum content1
Characteristic properties of binaries1. Angular momentum content

αL = Ltot/Lcritsph

where Ltot is a total angular momentum of the system, Lcritsph is angular momentum of an equivalent (i.e., the same total mass and volume), critically spinning sphere.

Binaries with D1≤ 10 km have αLbetween 0.9 and 1.3, as expected for systems originating from critically spinning rubble piles.

(Pravec and Harris 2007)

characteristic properties of binaries 2 orbit pole distribution
Characteristic properties of binaries2. Orbit pole distribution

Estimated binary orbit poles (for 10 of the 18 binaries observed in 2-3 apparitions): Concentrate near the ecliptic poles

The binary orbit poles oriented preferentially up/down-right appear to be due to the YORP tilt of spin axes of their parent bodies or the primaries toward the asymptotic states near obliquities 0 and 180° (Pravec et al. 2012)

characteristic properties of binaries 3 primary shapes
Characteristic properties of binaries3. Primary shapes

Primaries of asynchronous binaries:

  • spheroidal, low equatorial elongations, a/b = 1.1 ± 0.1 for > 90% of systems

A primary shape not far from rotational symmetry seems to be a requirement for satellite formation or orbital stability (Walsh et al. 2008, Scheeres 2007).

Model of the primary of 1999 KW4 (Ostro et al. 2006)

characteristic properties of binaries 4 secondary shapes and rotations
Characteristic properties of binaries4. Secondary shapes and rotations

Broader range of equatorial elongations: a/b = 1:1 to 2:1.

Mostly synchronous rotation, but some not.

Interpretation of a third period (Porb, P1, P2) often ambiguous though – may be an unsynchronous rotation of the secondary, or a rotation of a third body.

binary formation theories
Binary formation theories

Ejecta from large asteroidal impacts(e.g., Durda et al. 2004) – does not predict the observed critical spin.

Tidal disruptions during close encounters with terrestrial planets(Bottke et al. 1996; Richardson and Walsh) – does not work in the main belt, so, it cannot be a formation mechanism for MB binaries. It may contribute to and shape the population of NEA binaries.

Fission of critically spinning parent bodies spun up by YORP(e.g., Walsh et al. 2008) – appears to be a primary formation mechanism for small close binaries.

(Walsh and Richardson 2006)

asteroid pairs among small mbas

Asteroid pairsamong small MBAs

Related to orbiting (bound) binaries – formation by rotational fission

asteroid itokawa

HEAD

BODY

ω

Asteroid Itokawa

Can it fission when spun up?

D.J. Scheeres, A. Richard Seebass Chair, University of Colorado at Boulder

asteroid pairs found on closely similar heliocentric orbits
Asteroid pairsfound on closely similar heliocentric orbits

Vokrouhlický and Nesvorný (Astron. J. 136, 280, 2008; VN08) found a population of pairs of asteroids residing on closely similar orbits.

Pravec and Vokrouhlický (Icarus 204, 580, 2009; PV09) extended the analysis and found numerous significant pairs up to d = 36 m/s (approx. the current relative encounter velocitybetween orbits).

asteroid pairs identification method by pravec and vokrouhlick 2009
Asteroid pairsidentification method by Pravec and Vokrouhlický (2009)

Candidate pairs identified bycomputing probabilities of chance coincidence of unrelated

asteroids from the background population. Pairs with probabilities p2/Np < 1% are secure

(confirmed with backward orbit integrations), while pairs with higher probabilities of being

chance coincidences are checked more thoroughly.

Formulation of the test of probability of a pair being a coincidental couple

origin of asteroid pairs proposed theories
Origin of asteroid pairs - proposed theories

VN08 proposed a number of possible origins for these asteroid pairs:

Formation in catastrophic impact disruptions

  • No a priori bounds on spin rates of resulted bodies predicted

Formation by rotational fission due to YORP spin-up

  • A cohesive body spun beyond its fission limit could break and immediately send off its components on escape orbits

PREDICTION: Both components spin rapidly, no a priori bounds on mass ratio

b. A “cohesionless” (“rubble pile”) body could spin fission, form a proto-binary asteroid, and then subsequently escape

PREDICTION (Scheeres 2007, 2009): Mass ratios should be less than ~0.2, primaries of higher mass ratio systems should have longer rotation periods, primaries of lower mass ratio systems should spin closer to surface disruption spin limits

Disruption of an existing binary

  • Expansion of a binary due to BYORP or other effect could cause a binary system to mutually escape

PREDICTION: Mass ratios should mimic binary population, secondaries may be slow rotating, primary spin periods should mimic binary population

origin of asteroid pairs proposed theories1
Origin of asteroid pairs - proposed theories

VN08 proposed a number of possible origins for these asteroid pairs:

Formation in catastrophic impact disruptions

  • No a priori bounds on spin rates of resulted bodies predicted

Formation by rotational fission due to YORP spin-up

  • A cohesive body spun beyond its fission limit could break and immediately send off its components on escape orbits

PREDICTION: Both components spin rapidly, no a priori bounds on mass ratio

b. A “cohesionless” (“rubble pile”) body could spin fission, form a proto-binary asteroid, and then subsequently escape(Pravec et al. 2010)

PREDICTION (Scheeres 2007, 2009): Mass ratios should be less than ~0.2, primaries of higher mass ratio systems should have longer rotation periods, primaries of lower mass ratio systems should spin closer to surface disruption spin limits

Disruption of an existing binary

  • Expansion of a binary due to BYORP or other effect could cause a binary system to mutually escape

PREDICTION: Mass ratios should mimic binary population, secondaries may be slow rotating, primary spin periods should mimic binary population

pair formation by spin fission due to yorp spin up
Pair formation by spin fission due to YORP spin-up

Rotational fission theory by Scheeres

(Icarus 189, 370, 2007):

Spun-up by YORP, the “rubble pile” aster-

oid reaches a critical spin rate and fissions.

The secondary orbiting the primary, energy

being transferred from rotational to transla-

tional energy and vice-versa. If q < ~0.2,

the proto-binary has a positive free energy

and the two components can escape from

each other, after a period of chaotic orbit

evolution (~ several months), and become

an “asteroid pair”.

model of the proto binary separation explains the observed correlation p 1 vs q
Model of the proto-binary separation- explains the observed correlation P1 vs q

Model curves for following parameters:

  • αL= 0.7, 1.0, 1.2 (total angular momentum near the lower, middle and upper values observed in orbiting binary systems)
  • initial separations A/b1 = 2 and 4 (orbit’s semimajor axis/medium semiaxis of the primary)
  • primary’s equatorial axes ratio a1/ b1 = 1.2 – 1.5 (from observed amplitudes).

Primaries of pairs with small mass ratios (q = 10-3 to a few 10-2) rotate rapidly near the critical fission frequency.

As the mass ratio approaches the approximate cutoff limit of 0.2, the primary period grows long, as when the total energy of the system approaches zero to disrupt the asteroid pair must extract an increasing fraction of the primary's spin energy.

Asteroid pairs were formed by

rotational fission of critically spinning

parent asteroids. (Pravec et al. 2010)

yarkovsky o keefe radzievskii paddack yorp effect

Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect

Changes asteroid spin vectors

- a key evolutionary process in small asteroids

yorp spin up down and obliquity change
YORP spin-up/down and obliquity change

YORP effect increases or

decreases the asteroid’s

rotation rate – depends on

shape of the asteroid.

YORP effect changes the

asteroid’s spin vector towards

asymptotic end states.

(Čapek and Vokrouhlický 2004)

detection of the yorp effect 54509 2000 ph5
Detection of the YORP effect(54509) 2000 PH5

(Lowry et al. 2007, Taylor et al. 2007)

outcomes of the yorp effect
Outcomes of the YORP effect
  • YORP effect has a number of consequences:
  • Modifies (flattens) the spin rate distribution
  • Creates anisotropic distribution of asteroid poles
  • Spins up asteroids to the critical rotation rate – explains the formation (by fission) and properties of asteroid binaries and pairs
binary yorp byorp effect

Binary YORP (BYORP) effect

Theory predicting changes of asteroid binary orbits

slide37

BYORP effect theory

First proposed by Ćuk and Burns (2005).

Further elaborated by McMahon and Scheeres (2010)

Binary YORP – shrinking or expanding of orbit of synchronous satellite due to solar radiation pressure.

Pravec and Scheirich (2010):

Prediction for binary 1996 FG3:

Md= -0.89 deg/yr2

Orbit expansion in order of centimeters per year – unobservable!

The change of semimajor axis  change in mean motion  quadratic rate of change of mean anomaly.

slide38

Theory

Solid curve: model of binary system on Keplerian orbit, including Md.

Observation

Md =

Equilibrium BYORP Theory

Improved theory: Jacobson & Scheeres 2011:

A counterbalance of BYORP and mutual tides can result in a long-term stable solution for rubble-pile asteroid.

Md is zero.

Observed data of 1996 FG3 – 16 years in

5 apparitions:

1996, 1998/1999, 2009, 2010, 2011

byorp effect observational confirmation needed
BYORP effect- observational confirmation needed
  • In the binary 1996 FG3 – we shall have a robust non-detectionof the zero drift in mean anomaly of its satellite after additional observations in January 2013. We expect that it will support the Jacobson&Scheeres (2011) theory of that in binary asteroid systems are stable due to the equilibrium between the BYORP effect and the tides between the system’s components.
  • We plan to observe a few more asteroid binary systems during 2012-2016 to test the theory on a sample of binaries.
non principal axis rotators tumblers among the smallest asteroids

Non-principal axis rotators (“tumblers”) among the smallest asteroids

Asteroids in excited rotation states

tumbling asteroids bodies in excited rotational states
Tumbling Asteroids- bodies in excited rotational states

Most asteroids are in the basic rotational states – rotation about the principal axis of the highest moment of inertia.

Small or slowly rotating asteroids

have long timescale of damping

of the excited rotation (Non-Principal

Axis rotation) – the state of free

precession.

(Pravec et al. 2005)

the case of 2008 tc3
The case of 2008 TC3

Mag

JD

Mag

JD

Mag

JD

2008 tc3 numerical model
2008 TC3 numerical model
  • Best-fit shape:

Dimensions ratio:

z/x = 2.4

y/x = 1.3

The shape is convex model only!

npa rotators statistics
NPA rotators statistics

NPA rot. damping timescale:

  • TC3 and other fast NPA rotators:
  • high rigidity?
  • young age?
observations of small npa rotators
Observations of small NPA rotators

A sample of several NPA rotators with sizes < 100 m - we plan to obtain it in following five years.

From the data of the sample, we will be able to estimate internal properties of the small, super-fast rotating asteroids.

conclusions
Conclusions

Photometric lightcurve observations provide us information on properties of asteroids, both near-Earth and main-belt.

Most interesting data are on asteroid rotational properties and binary systems.

The data are used for theories of asteroid non-gravitational evolutionary processes, and they also give indirect information on internal properties of asteroids.

Telescopes of sizes 1-2 m are very suitable for these studies. A substantial amount of observing time is needed (usually many nights, often spread over a few or several years) – it calls for the use of semi-dedicated telescopes.