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

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[32.20] Near-Earth Asteroid satellite formation via tidal distruption of idealized rubble piles

K.J. Walsh, D.C. Richardson (University of Maryland)

We present preliminary analysis of numerical simulations of Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) tidal disruption resulting in bound, orbiting systems. Using a rubble pile model we have constrained the relative likelihoods for possible physical and dynamical properties of the binaries created. Overall, in 90,000 simulations performed, varying close approach distance and velocity, as well as progenitor spin and shape, we have found close to 10,000 binaries. The secondary-to-primary size ratios of the simulated binaries are strongly peaked between 0.1 and 0.3, similar to observed trends. The spin axes of the primary bodies are very closely aligned with the angular momenta of the binary orbits, whereas the secondary spin axes are nearly random. The final orbital inclination of the binary is slightly more correlated with the spin of the progenitor than the orientation of the encounter. This is work in progress; future work will focus on the long-term viability of asteroid satellites formed by tidal disruption and include an assesment of the predicted equilibrium NEA binary population for comparison with observations. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST0307549.

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