DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 34. Asteroid Physical Studies III
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[34.11] Remote sensing of asteroids: large population sample from photometric and other data

M. Kaasalainen (Observatory, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland), A. Cellino (Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Turin, Italy), J. Durech (Astron. Institute, Charles Univ., Prague, Czech Republic), D. Hestroffer (IMCCE, Paris, France), T. Michalowski (Astron. Observatory, A. Mickiewicz Univ., Poznan, Poland), P. Pravec (Astron. Institute AS CR, Ondrejov, Czech Republic), P. Tanga (Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, Nice, France), J. Torppa (Observatory, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland), B. Warner (Palmer Divide Observatory, Colorado, USA)

We review recent results of a project for building a large number of comprehensive physical asteroid models from combined photo- and interferometric observations, occultation timings, and other complementary data. Photometric data form the robust and stable basis for modelling, while particularly HST/FGS-interferometry and CW radar data can add local topographic information. We have built multidatainversion procedures that can efficiently combine such complementary data. We have also studied the specific characteristics and capabilities of the sources.

We have now compiled a population sample of over 80 targets, including MBAs, NEAs, and Jupiter Trojans. This group displays a wide variety of shapes, spin states, and structures. We will also analyze this sample in the collective sense, investigating cross-correlations (and bias factors) between quantities such as size, rotation period, pole latitude, shape irregularity, deviation from an equilibrium shape, etc. This should provide us with new insights into asteroid structures and evolution. Potential trends will also provide information for choosing the objects that should be targeted for observations. For example, recent results by Bottke et al. suggest that asteroids in certain size class and orbital region should be monitored for evidence of spin evolution due to the YORP effect.

We estimate that there are at least 70 more asteroids for which sufficient datasets can be attained with one or two additional apparitions, i.e., within the next few years. In addition to this, we expect there to be several NEAs that can be modelled after just one or two apparitions. Dedicated, well-trained, and well-equipped amateur observers are a very important resource in this. With a global coordinated effort for small- and medium-sized telescopes, it should well be possible eventually to accumulate thousands of hours of telescope time per year, and hundreds of well-modelled asteroids by the end of the decade.

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: mikko.kaasalainen@astro.helsinki.fi

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.