36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 32 Asteroids
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

[Previous] | [Session 32] | [Next]

[32.08] Fast-track Survey of Asteroids with Calibrated Photometry Sparse in Time

M. Kaasalainen (University of Helsinki)

Physical asteroid models can be constructed from unprecedentedly small sets of single calibrated photometric measurements sparse in time but well distributed in observing geometries. Sidereal periods, pole directions, coarse shape estimates, and solar phase behaviour can be solved with accuracy sufficient for the statistical analysis of a large sample of the asteroid population. Systematic groundbased photometric surveys with wide-field telescopes would typically result in thousands of asteroid models within a few years. As a rule of thumb, about one hundred calibrated data points within four to five years should well suffice for modelling a main-belt asteroid, and models of near-Earth objects can be obtained even faster. The calibration accuracy should be better than 0.05 mag. In the next decade, GAIA photometry will provide a dataset for thousands of asteroids. It would be important to combine it with preliminary and follow-up groundbased surveys.

A large database of thousands of asteroid spin states and basic shapes would provide us with the big picture of the whole asteroid population and facilitate a completely new level in the studies of asteroids' dynamical and physical evolution. Such a database can be constructed without having to observe traditional lightcurves at all. From this database we can then pick out interesting targets (peculiar shapes, probable binary systems, etc.) that require further observations such as full lightcurves or radar experiments. This would also make the detailed observations more time-efficient.

Reference: M. Kaasalainen (2004), Astron.Astrophys. 422, L39.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.helsinki.fi/~kaselain. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mjk.at.rni.helsinki.fi

[Previous] | [Session 32] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.