Asteroid pairs: a complex picture

10 Jan 2019  ·  Pravec P., Fatka P., Vokrouhlický D., Scheirich P., Ďurech J., Scheeres D. J., Kušnirák P., Hornoch K., Galád A., Pray D. P., Krugly Yu. N., Burkhonov O., Ehgamberdiev Sh. A., Pollock J., Moskovitz N., Ortiz J. L., Morales N., Husárik M., Inasaridze R. Ya., Oey J., Polishook D., Hanuš J., Kučáková H., Vraštil J., Világi J., Gajdoš Š., Kornoš L., Vereš P., Gaftonyuk N. M., Hromakina T., Sergeyev A. V., Slyusarev I. G., Ayvazian V. R., Cooney W. R., Gross J., Terrell D., Colas F., Vachier F., Slivan S., Skiff B., Marchis F., Ergashev K. E., Aznar D. -H. Kim A., Serra-Ricart M., Behrend R., Roy R., Manzini F., Molotov I. E. ·

We studied 93 asteroid pairs. We estimated times elapsed since separation of pair members that are between 7*10^3 and a few 10^6 yr. We derived the rotation periods for all the primaries and a sample of secondaries... We derived the absolute magnitude differences of the asteroid pairs that provide their mass ratios. We refined their WISE geometric albedos and estimated their taxonomic classifications. For 17 pairs, we determined their pole positions. In 2 pairs where we obtained the spin poles for both components, we saw the same sense of rotation for both components and constrained the angles between their original spin vectors at the time of their separation. We found that the primaries of 13 pairs are actually binary or triple systems, i.e., they have one or two bound secondaries (satellites). As by-product, we found 3 new young asteroid clusters (each of them consisting of three known asteroids on highly similar orbits). We compared the obtained asteroid pair data with theoretical predictions and discussed their implications. We found that 86 of the 93 studied pairs follow the trend of primary rotation period vs mass ratio that was found by Pravec et al. (2010). Of the 7 outliers, 3 appear insignificant (may be due to our uncertain or incomplete knowledge), but 4 are high mass ratio pairs that were unpredicted by the theory of asteroid pair formation by rotational fission. We discuss a (remotely) possible way that they could be created by rotational fission of flattened parent bodies followed by re-shaping of the formed components. The 13 pairs with binary primaries are particularly interesting systems that place important constraints on formation and evolution of asteroid pairs. We present two hypotheses for their formation: The pairs having both bound and unbound secondaries could be `failed asteroid clusters', or they could be formed by a cascade primary spin fission process. read more

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics