Bulk Densities of Binary Asteroids from the Warm Spitzer NEO Survey

John Kistler, D. E. Trilling, M. Mueller, J. L. Hora, A. W. Harris, B. Bhattacharya, W. F. Bottke, S. Chesley, J. P. Emery, G. Fazo, A. Mainzer, B. Penprase, H. A. Smith, T. B. Spahr, J. A. Stansberry, C. A. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic


The Warm Spitzer NEO survey, ExploreNEOs, will observe approximately 700 Near Earth Asteroids. Several of these objects are known to be binary asteroid systems. Binary systems are interesting due to the unique opportunity they present for determining the masses and densities of their constituent bodies. The calculations rely on a variety of data sources. The geometric albedo and effective diameter of the system are known via ExploreNEOs. Ground based light curve observations can give the orbital period and the secondary to primary diameter ratio of the system. In some cases, Arecibo radar observations provide the semi-major axis of the system. We report here the bulk density of one of these binaries in particular, asteroid 1999DJ4. The density derived is 1.6 g/cm3. For those cases where radar data is unavailable, we address the effectiveness and difficulties of using transit timing of a binary asteroid to determine the semi-major axis of the system . We discuss the viability of finding a bulk density based solely on Warm Spitzer observations and ground based light curve data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082
JournalBulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1-Oct-2010
Event42nd DPS meeting of the American Astronomical Society, 2010 - Pasadena, California, United States
Duration: 4-Oct-20107-Oct-2010

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