Bulk Densities of Binary Asteroids from the Warm Spitzer NEO Survey
, D. E. Trilling
, M. Mueller
, J. L. Hora
, A. W. Harris
, B. Bhattacharya
, W. F. Bottke
, S. Chesley
, J. P. Emery
, G. Fazo
, A. Mainzer
, B. Penprase
, H. A. Smith
, T. B. Spahr
, J. A. Stansberry
, C. A. Thomas
Northern Arizona University,
Universit´e de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France,
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,
DLR Institute of Planetary Research, Germany,
NASA Herschel Science Center Caltech,
Southwest Research Institute,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology,
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee,
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Pomona College,
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona.
The Warm Spitzer NEO survey, ExploreNEOs, will observe approximately 700 Near Earth Asteroids. Several of these objects are known to be binary asteroid systems. Binary systems are interesting due to the unique opportunity they present for determining the masses and densities of their constituent bodies. The calculations rely on a variety of data sources. The geometric albedo and effective diameter of the system are known via ExploreNEOs. Ground based light curve observations can give the orbital period and the secondary to primary diameter ratio of the system. In some cases, Arecibo radar observations provide the semi-major axis of the system. We report here the bulk density of one of these binaries in particular, asteroid 1999DJ4. The density derived is 1.6 g/cm
For those cases where radar data is unavailable, we address the effectiveness and difficulties of using transit timing of a binary asteroid to determine the semi-major axis of the system . We discuss the viability of finding a bulk density based solely on Warm Spitzer observations and ground based light curve data.
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42nd DPS Program published in BAAS volume 42 #4, 2010.
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