EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 401, Number 2, April II 2003
Page(s) 733 - 741
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030032

A&A 401, 733-741 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030032

Asteroid observations with the Hubble Space Telescope FGS

II. Duplicity search and size measurements for 6 asteroids
P. Tanga1, 2, D. Hestroffer3, A. Cellino2, M. Lattanzi2, M. Di Martino2 and V. Zappalà2

1  Laboratoire Cassini, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, BP 4229, 06304 Nice, France
2  INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Strada Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy
3  IMCCE, UMR CNRS 8028, Paris Observatory, 77 Av. Denfert Rochereau 75014 Paris, France

(Received 19 August 2002 / Accepted 9 December 2002)

We present the results of the observations of five Main Belt asteroids and one Trojan obtained using the Fine Guidance Sensors (FGS) of the Hubble Space Telescope. For each object, estimates of the spin axis orientation, angular size and overall shape, as well as possible indications of a binary structure, are derived. This enables the computation of new physical ephemerides. While the data concerning (63) Ausonia are clearly compatible with a three-axis ellipsoidal model, other objects show more complex shapes. (15) Eunomia, (43) Ariadne and (44) Nysa could in fact be double asteroids, or highly irregular bodies. The data concerning (624) Hektor are not conclusive as to its supposed binary nature, even if they agree with the signal of a single body. The results presented here strongly support the outstanding capabilities of the FGS for asteroid measurements, provided that the observations are performed over a sufficient time interval.

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

Offprint request: P. Tanga, tanga@obs-nice.fr

© ESO 2003