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Thermal inertia of near-Earth asteroids and implications for the magnitude of the Yarkovsky effect

Delbo', Marco and dell'Oro, Aldo and Harris, Alan and Mottola, Stefano and Mueller, Michael (2007) Thermal inertia of near-Earth asteroids and implications for the magnitude of the Yarkovsky effect. Icarus, 190 (1), pp. 236-249. Elsevier Inc.. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2007.03.007. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Abstract

Thermal inertia determines the temperature distribution over the surface of an asteroid and therefore governs the magnitude the Yarkovsky effect. The latter causes gradual drifting of the orbits of km-sized asteroids and plays an important role in the delivery of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) from the main belt and in the dynamical spreading of asteroid families. At present, very little is known about the thermal inertia of asteroids in the km size range. Here we show that the average thermal inertia of a sample of NEAs in the km-size range is 200 ± 40 Jm<sup>−2</sup> s<sup>−0.5</sup> K<sup>−1</sup>. Furthermore, we identify a trend of increasing thermal inertia with decreasing asteroid diameter, D. This indicates that the dependence of the drift rate of the orbital semimajor axis on the size of asteroids due to the Yarkovsky effect is a more complex function than the generally adopted D<sup>−1</sup> dependence, and that the size distribution of objects injected by Yarkovsky-driven orbital mobility into the NEA source regions is less skewed to smaller sizes than generally assumed. We discuss how this fact may help to explain the small difference in the slope of the size distribution of km-sized NEAs and main-belt asteroids.

Document Type:Article
Title:Thermal inertia of near-Earth asteroids and implications for the magnitude of the Yarkovsky effect
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Delbo', MarcoINAF – Oss. Astron. di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy
dell'Oro, AldoINAF – Oss. Astron. di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy
Harris, AlanUNSPECIFIED
Mottola, StefanoUNSPECIFIED
Mueller, MichaelUNSPECIFIED
Date:30 March 2007
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:190
DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.03.007
Page Range:pp. 236-249
Editors:
EditorsEmail
American Astronomical Society, UNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Elsevier Inc.
ISSN:0019-1035
Status:Published
Keywords:Asteroids, Near-Earth objects, Infrared observations, Photometry, Asteroids, dynamics
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Asteroiden und Kometen (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Deposited By: Prof. Alan Harris
Deposited On:30 Aug 2007
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 14:19

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