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Z. M. Leinhardt (Univ. of Washington), D. C. Richardson (Univ. of Maryland), T. Quinn (Univ. of Washington)
We present results from studies that use a direct N-body method to investigate collisional rubble pile dynamics. First we report on the second phase of a project to map the parameter space of low-speed (< 10 m/s) collisions of spherical rubble piles. The purpose of this work is to increase our understanding of planetesimal evolution and disruption scaling laws. In the first phase we investigated the outcome dependence on spin, impact parameter, speed, and coefficient of restitution [Leinhardt, Z. M. et al., Icarus 146, 133 (2000)]. In the second phase---presented here---we investigated the dependence of collision outcome on the constituent particle size distribution. We ran three models each with a different power-law index for the particle size distribution. For each model we completed fifty simulations over various impact parameters and speeds bracketing the critical disruption curve. Next we used these results to create possible collision models for (216) Kleopatra, which has some characteristics consistent with a rubble-pile structure [Ostro, S. J. et al., Science 288, 836 (2000)]. Preliminary results suggest that it is easier to maintain the double-lobed, narrow-waisted shape of Kleopatra if the impactors are differentiated, which may rule out this formation nechanism if impact speeds are too high.
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