Volume 376, Number 1, September II 2001
|Page(s)||310 - 315|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||15 September 2001|
Photometric and spectroscopic observations of Sycorax, satellite of Uranus*
Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France
2 ESO, Chile
3 IAS, Orsay, France
4 Lab. de Planétologie de Grenoble, St Martin d'Hères, France
Corresponding author: J. Romon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 26 June 2001
Sycorax is the brightest of the five irregular Uranian satellites recently discovered. These satellites are supposed to be captured bodies. We present visible and near-infrared photometry, as well as near-infrared spectroscopy of Sycorax. The overall shape of the spectrum is quite puzzling: it has a red slope in the visible (such as Centaurs and Transneptunian objects), whereas the reflectivity strongly decreases beyond 1 μm and is rather flat over the near-infrared range. We were not able to reproduce the spectral behaviour of Sycorax using simple materials. A rotational effect is suggested to explain the shape of the spectrum. BVRIJ magnitudes have been measured over a period of 1 hour, with five V measurements which do not show any strong variation. So only a strong change in the magnitude between the V measurements and the J measurement (30 min later) could explain the shape of the spectrum, but further investigation is required to conclude.
Key words: planets and satellites: general / planets and satellites: individual: Sycorax
© ESO, 2001
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