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Proceedings Paper

Search for asteroidal satellites using adaptive optics
Author(s): Laird Miller Close; William J. Merline; C. Dumas; Clark R. Chapman; Francois J. Roddier; Francois Menard; David C. Slater; Gilles Duvert; J. C. Shelton; Thomas H. Morgan
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Paper Abstract

We utilized AO to discover a moon around asteroid 45 Eugenia by use of the PUEO AO facility at CFHT. With PUEO we performed a search for asteroidal satellites among two dozen asteroids, achieving moderate Strehl ratios (35%) and FWHM of about 0.12' at H band. During this survey, we detected a faint close companion to 45 Eugenia. The satellite was 6.14 magnitudes (at 1.65 micrometer) fainter and located at most 0.75' from Eugenia. Without the ability of AO to sharpen the contrast and increase the resolution to 0.1', the detection of this companion would have been impossible with ground-based telescopes. The companion was found to be in a 1200 km circular orbit with a period of 4.7 days. We discovered that the bulk density of the large (215 km) asteroid 45 Eugenia is a surprisingly low 1.2 g/cm3. This has lead to the exciting possibilities that either this main belt asteroid is a burned out comet or has a hollow 'rubble-pile' structure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4007, Adaptive Optical Systems Technology, (7 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.390310
Show Author Affiliations
Laird Miller Close, European Southern Observatory (United States)
William J. Merline, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
C. Dumas, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Clark R. Chapman, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Francois J. Roddier, Univ. of Hawaii/Manoa (United States)
Francois Menard, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corp. (France)
David C. Slater, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Gilles Duvert, Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
J. C. Shelton, Carpe Photon (United States)
Thomas H. Morgan, NASA Headquarters (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4007:
Adaptive Optical Systems Technology
Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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