Letter to the Editor
Binary structures among large asteroids
Observatory, University of Helsinki, PO Box 14, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Corresponding author: M. Kaasalainen, Mikko.Kaasalainen@astro.helsinki.fi
Accepted: 2 January 2002
The imaging of well-observed large asteroids by lightcurve inversion has revealed objects, such as 44 Nysa and 41 Daphne, that are distinctly asymmetric and globally very different from equilibrium-like figures, indicating contact-binary structures. The shape of the Trojan asteroid 624 Hektor is very probably globally bifurcated. Together with the known large binary asteroids 216 Kleopatra, 90 Antiope, and 617 Patroclus, these findings indicate that a nonvanishing portion of large asteroids have binary structures.
Key words: solar system: minor planets, asteroids / techniques: photometric / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2002