37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 15 Asteroid Physical Studies
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[15.05] Observations of Members of Very Young Asteroid Families

C.R. Chapman, W.J. Merline, D. Nesvorny, P.M. Tamblyn, E.F. Young (Southwest Research Inst., Boulder)

Several asteroid families or clusters have been found [cf. D. Nesvorny et al. 2003, Ap.J. 591:486-497] to have very short dynamical ages. The Veritas family of C-type asteroids, Karin cluster within the S-type Koronis family, and the Iannini cluster (apparently S-type) formed about 8.3, 5.8, and <5 Myr ago, respectively. If one or more kinds of asteroidal processes (e.g. spin evolution, space weathering, devolatilization of near-surface materials, satellite formation and evolution) operate on timescales comparable with or slower than several Myr, then we may expect to observe different physical properties for members of these recently formed families than for older family members.

During the first year of our multifaceted observing program, we have used numerous facilities (IRTF/MIRSI, IRTF/SPeX, HST, Spitzer, CTIO 0.9m, KPNO 0.9m and 2.1m, VLT AO, Gemini AO, and Keck AO), during 14 different runs, to obtain about 100 different observational datasets for members of the 3 young families plus numerous additional observations of controls (e.g. Themis family and non-Karin members of the Koronis family). Techniques employed include lightcurve photometry, visible colorimetry, near-IR spectral reflectance, thermal IR, and AO search for satellites. We discuss representative results from these observations. Theoretical synthesis of the data must await a more complete sampling of these family asteroids by the different techniques.

This work is being supported primarily by the NASA Planetary Astronomy Program and by the observing facilities listed.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.