The Karin cluster is one of the youngest known families of main-belt asteroids, dating back to a collisional event only 5.8 Myr ago. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope we have sampled the thermal continua of 17 Karin cluster asteroids, down to the smallest members discovered so far, in order to derive accurate sizes and study the physical properties of their surfaces. The albedos of the observed Karins appear to be very similar. The albedos, pv, have a mean of 0.17 and a standard deviation of 0.04, compared to pv = 0.15 ± 0.05 for 832 Karin itself (for H = 11.2 ± 0.3). The derived diameters range from 20 km for 832 Karin to 1.9 km for 93690, with uncertainties of 10%. The Karins data show no evidence of albedo dependence on size, and the small range of albedos is consistent with all program targets being S-type bodies. There is some evidence for higher values of thermal inertia amongst the smaller family members, which may be indicative of coarser regolith. These results are preliminary, pending outstanding Spitzer observations and further analysis. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.
|Journal||Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1-Oct-2007|
|Event||39th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, 2007 - Orlando, Florida, United States|
Duration: 7-Oct-2007 → 12-Oct-2007