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Two-period lightcurve of 1994 AW1: Indication of a binary asteroid?

Pravec, P. (1) and Hahn, G. (1997) Two-period lightcurve of 1994 AW1: Indication of a binary asteroid? Icarus, pp. 431-440. Academic Press.

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Abstract

An analysis of the complex lightcurve of the Earth-approaching asteroid 1994 AW1 is presented. We have found that the lightcurve canbe explained as the sum of two components having different periods, P1&#610.4666 +- 0.0005 day and P2&#610.104972 +- 0.000006 day, confirming and refining the finding by S. Mottola et al. (Icarus 117, 62-70, 1995). It is the first case of detection of a double-period lightcurve for a fast rotator. We present a hypothesis of an occulting/eclipsing binary asteroid that can explain the observed lightcurve character. The estimated ratio of the diameters of the secondary to the primary os 0.5:1, the orbital perios P&#612P1, and the eccentricity is small. The rotation of the primary is not synchronized with the orbital motion and has a period of P2. The origin and evolution of the binary system may be related to close encounters with the Earth, as suggested by the theory of W.F. Bottke and H. J. Melosh (Nature 281, 51-53, 1996). An alternative hypothesis for 1994 AW1 as a single body in the excited rotation state requires further study. Since the relaxation time of the excited rotation is much shorter than the lifetime of asteroid in itscurrent orbit, it would require a relatively recent setting of the excited rotation.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=1997,
Title:Two-period lightcurve of 1994 AW1: Indication of a binary asteroid?
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Pravec, P. (1)UNSPECIFIED
Hahn, G.UNSPECIFIED
Date:1997
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 431-440
Publisher:Academic Press
Series Name:127
Status:Published
HGF - Research field:UNSPECIFIED
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:UNSPECIFIED
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Institut für Planetenerkundung
Deposited By: elib DLR-Beauftragter
Deposited On:02 Apr 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 09:52

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