(65803) Didymos What we know about it. Petr Pravec and Petr Scheirich Astronomical Institute AS CR, Ondejov Observatory IAU General Assembly Hawaii 2015 August 7 (65803) Didymos discovery observations The asteroid was discovered by Spacewatch from Kitt Peak on 1996 April 11. Designated 1996 GT. Its binary nature was revealed by both photometric and radar observations obtained around its close approach to Earth (min. distance 0.05 AU) during 2003 November 20-24.
The photometric observations were taken by P. Pravec and P. Kunirk from Ondejov Observatory, by D. Pray from Carbuncle Hill Observatory, and by A. Grauer and S. Larson from Steward Observatory. The radar observations were taken by L.A.M. Benner, M.C. Nolan, J.D. Giorgini, R.F. Jurgens, S.J. Ostro, J.-L. Margot and C. Magri from Goldstone and Arecibo. (Pravec et al. 2003) Mutual events (eclipses+occultations) between the binary system components observed in 2003 (a sample of the data is shown) and a model of the system: (Pravec et al. 2006) (Scheirich and Pravec 2009) Additional observations of Didymos in 2015 2003-11-20 to 12-20 2015-04-13 to 14
Favorable observing conditions around and after close approach to Earth V = 12.8-15.0, distance 0.05-0.16 a.u. Observed at a large distance, near the aphelion of its heliocentric orbit V = 20.5-20.6, distance 1.25 a.u. 16 nightly runs 1 full and one partial nightly run (duration 5.7 and 1.7 h) Telescope: 4.3 m
Telescopes: 0.65, 0.5, 0.35 m Rms error: 0.008 mag (11-20 to 12-04), V = 12.8-13.3 0.012 mag (12-16 to 12-20), V = 14.7-15.0 Rms error: 0.024 mag (A number of unsuccessfull attempts with smaller telescopes or in sub-optimal sky conditions.) Didymos parameters and properties
Didymos components sizes and shapes Mean (volume-equivalent) primary diameter: DP = 0.75 km (unc. 10%) Radar Secondary-to-primary mean diameter ratio: DS/DP = 0.21 0.01 Photometry Mean (volume-equivalent) secondary diameter:
DS = 0.157 0.018 km from above Primary shape: Unelongated, not differing much from a spheroid. Primary equatorial axes ratio aP/bP < 1.1 Primary polar axis not well constrained, but probably not much flattened. Photometry Low-resolution primary shape model from combined radar+photometry data,
(LP, BP) = (313, -79) Courtesy of L. Benner. Secondary shape: Observationally unconstrained yet. Assumed aS/bS = 1.3 0.2 and bS/cS = 1.2 0.2 based on Didymos system - mutual orbit Semi-major axis: aorb = 1.18 +0.04/-0.02 km Orbital period: Porb = 11.920 +0.004/-0.006 h Photometry (Scheirich and Pravec
2009) Eccentricity: e 0.03 2009) Orbital pole: Lorb, Borb = 290, -87Photometry (Scheirich and Pravec Allowed (3- uncertainty) orbital pole areas for the two solutions by Scheirich and Pravec (2009) from the 2003 data:
Radar (Fang and Margot 2012) Photometry (Scheirich and Pravec 2009, updated) The 2015-04-13 data rules out Solution 1 and it constraints the Solution 2 to latitude BP < -76: Didymos primary other properties Rotational period: PP = 2.2593 0.0008 h Photometry (Pravec et al. 2006)
Geometric albedo: pV = 0.16 0.04 Combined photometry and radar Mass: MP = (5.22 0.54)*1011 kg Radar (Fang and Margot 2012) Bulk density: P ~ 2400-2600 kg m-3 (unc. 30%)
Radar, Photometry Taxonomic class: S Spectrum (de Len et al. 2010) The internal structure of Didymos primary is thought to be rubble pile. No cohesion between particles (building blocks) is required for its stability, unless there are high slopes on the surface. There is probably a significant macro-porosity of the primarys interior on an order of a few ten percent. The spin rate is probably close to critical; the
gravitational acceleration at and around the equator may be very low with the centrifugal force of nearly the same magnitude as the gravity. Didymos in context of the binary asteroid population Didymos appears to be a typical member of the population of small binary asteroids formed by spin-up fission, in most of its characteristics. With PP = 2.26 h and Porb = 11.9 h, it lies close to the high end of the distributions of primary rotational and secondary orbital rates among small binary asteroid systems this might be due to its bulk density higher than average for binary asteroids. Thank you! Additional slides
2003 data (a) Pravec et al. (2006) 2003 data (b) Pravec et al. (2006) 2003 data (c) Pravec et al. (2006) 2015 data
Didymos orbital pole Scheirich and Pravec (2009), updated The attenuation (assumed eclipse/occultation event) observed on 2015-04-13 rules out Pole Area 1 and it constrains Pole Area 2 substantially. Didymos orbital pole (cont.) With the 2015-04-13 data, the orbital pole latitude is constrained to BP < -76 Updated constraint on bulk density: Formal best fit for density 2.6 g/cm3 3- lower limit: 1.8 g/cm3
3- upper limit: > 3 g/cm3 The primary bulk density is not well determined because of poorly constrained primary polar flattening and a/D1 a shape model from the radar observations would help tremendously. 3- uncertainty area plotted Observations in 2017 The next favorable apparition: 2017 January to May Our objectives: 1.Confirmation of the Orbital Pole 2 2.Gathering data for a future determination of orbit change by BYORP
3.Establishing a synchronous secondary rotation Objective 1. Confirmation of the Orbital Pole 2 Telescope time needed: One full night (a coverage of about 2/3 of Porb, i.e., about 8 hours) at minimum, between 2017-03-21 and 04-03. Telescope size needed: 4 m at minimum. Justification: Didymos will be brightest with V = 20.3 around 2017-03-28. A scaling from the observations with the 4.3-m on 2015-04-13 gives, assuming the sky+background noise dominates, an expected rms error of 0.020 mag with the same telescope in the same sky conditions. Observations in 2017 (cont.) Objective 2. Gathering data for a future determination of orbit change by BYORP Need to resolve primary vs secondary event with additional observations taken before 03-06 or after 04-19. Didymos will be V ~ 21.0, so a slightly larger telescope
(5 m?) will be needed. One full and one partial night could suffice. Objective 3. Establishing a synchronous secondary rotation Observations with errors of 0.01 mag or lower could resolve a secondary rotational lightcurve (outside events). Two nights with a ~6 m or larger telescope between 2017-03-21 and 04-03 needed. Questions/Issues: What will be our priorities for the above objectives? Should we try to get telescope time on some 4+ m telescopes through the normal channels of TACs like we did in 2015, or could we arrange a more flexible use of some suitable telescope(s)?
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