Interpretation of lightcurves of precessing asteroids
Observatory, PO Box 14, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Corresponding author: M. Kaasalainen, Mikko.Kaasalainen@astro.helsinki.fi
Accepted: 26 June 2001
I show that the lightcurves of freely precessing asteroids can be analyzed using basically the same methods as with objects in relaxed rotation. At least two different observation geometries (with respect to the angular momentum vector) are needed for a unique full solution; an informative basic model can be constructed at only one geometry, if the observations span several precession cycles. Even noisy data yield a good estimate of the dynamical parameters, whereas accurate data are required for a good shape solution.
Key words: methods: numerical / techniques: photometric / minor planets, asteroids / celestial mechanics
© ESO, 2001