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A F Cheng (Johns Hopkins Univ APL), Z Knezevic (Astron Obs Belgrade), A Cellino, A Dell'Oro (INAF Astron Obs Torino)
The Karin Cluster, the youngest known asteroid family, was formed by a catastrophic disruption event about 5.8 million years ago. We have undertaken extensive numerical orbital integrations to confirm and refine the cluster age and to refine cluster membership. The Karin Cluster is important because its members have a precisely known, common formation age, enabling new tests of models for asteroid fragmentation, orbital evolution, surface space weathering, and regolith formation and evolution, but it is necessary to distinguish cluster members from background objects in a densely populated region of the main asteroid belt, close to the center of the Koronis family. We have performed full orbital integrations of 122 numbered asteroids backwards in time over the last 10 million years, to calculate filtered mean Keplerian elements at 500 year time resolution. These calculations show that the age of the Karin cluster is 5.7635 ± 0.0005 Myr, consistent with prior work. The calculations also confirm 54 numbered asteroids as cluster members, and they identify as interlopers some objects included in previous cluster lists.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.