EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 391, Number 3, September I 2002
Page(s) 1123 - 1132
Section The solar system
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020873

A&A 391, 1123-1132 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020873

Asteroids observations with the Hubble Space Telescope FGS

I. Observing strategy, and data analysis and modeling process
D. Hestroffer1, P. Tanga2, A. Cellino2, F. Guglielmetti2, M. Lattanzi2, M. Di Martino2, V. Zappalà2 and J. Berthier1

1  IMCCE, UMR CNRS 8028, Observatoire de Paris, 77 Av. Denfert Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France
2  Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino (OATo), Strada Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy

(Received 12 April 2002 / Accepted 28 May 2002)

Five main belt asteroids and one Trojan - selected mainly on the basis of their possible binary nature as deduced from light curve morphology - have been observed with the Fine Guidance Sensors (FGS#3 and FGSR#1) of the Hubble Space Telescope ( HST). In this first paper we present the selection and observation strategy, data reduction and analysis. A careful analysis of the precision for derived parameters is also given. The HST/FGS proves to be valuable in determining asteroid sizes, shapes and spin axis orientations, and also to identify nearly-contact binary systems.

Key words: minor planets, asteroids -- methods: observational

Offprint request: D. Hestroffer, hestro@bdl.fr

© ESO 2002