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Thermal tomography of asteroid surface structure

Harris, Alan W. and Drube, Line (2016) Thermal tomography of asteroid surface structure. The Astrophysical Journal, 832 (127), pp. 1-9. American Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/832/2/127 ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/0004-637X/832/2/127

Abstract

Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into its surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. We develop a means to estimate thermal inertia values of asteroids and use it to show that thermal inertia appears to increase with spin period in the case of main-belt asteroids (MBAs). Similar behavior is found on the basis of thermophysical modeling for near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. Our results are consistent with a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids and have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Evidence of a rapid increase of thermal inertia with depth is also an important result for studies of the ejecta enhanced momentum transfer of impacting vehicles (“kinetic impactors”) in planetary defense.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/108277/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:This work was supported by the European Unionʼs Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 640351 (project NEOShield-2).
Title:Thermal tomography of asteroid surface structure
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Harris, Alan W.alan.harris (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8548-8268
Drube, LineLine.Drube (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2486-8894
Date:December 2016
Journal or Publication Title:The Astrophysical Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:832
DOI :10.3847/0004-637X/832/2/127
Page Range:pp. 1-9
Editors:
EditorsEmail
The American Astronomical Society, AASUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
ISSN:0004-637X
Status:Published
Keywords:infrared: planetary systems – minor planets, asteroids: general
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Harris, Prof. Alan
Deposited On:24 Nov 2016 10:57
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:30

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