DAMIT: a database of asteroid models
Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, V Holešovičkách 2, 18000 Prague, Czech Republic e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences, Boční II, 14131 Prague, Czech Republic
3 Tampere University of Technology, PO Box 553, 33101 Tampere, Finland
Accepted: 20 January 2010
Context. Apart from a few targets that were directly imaged by spacecraft, remote sensing techniques are the main source of information about the basic physical properties of asteroids, such as the size, the spin state, or the spectral type. The most widely used observing technique – time-resolved photometry – provides us with data that can be used for deriving asteroid shapes and spin states. In the past decade, inversion of asteroid lightcurves has led to more than a hundred asteroid models. In the next decade, when data from all-sky surveys are available, the number of asteroid models will increase. Combining photometry with, e.g., adaptive optics data produces more detailed models.
Aims. We created the Database of Asteroid Models from Inversion Techniques (DAMIT) with the aim of providing the astronomical community access to reliable and up-to-date physical models of asteroids – i.e., their shapes, rotation periods, and spin axis directions. Models from DAMIT can be used for further detailed studies of individual objects, as well as for statistical studies of the whole set.
Methods. Most DAMIT models were derived from photometric data by the lightcurve inversion method. Some of them have been further refined or scaled using adaptive optics images, infrared observations, or occultation data. A substantial number of the models were derived also using sparse photometric data from astrometric databases.
Results. At present, the database contains models of more than one hundred asteroids. For each asteroid, DAMIT provides the polyhedral shape model, the sidereal rotation period, the spin axis direction, and the photometric data used for the inversion. The database is updated when new models are available or when already published models are updated or refined. We have also released the C source code for the lightcurve inversion and for the direct problem (updates and extensions will follow).
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: general / astronomical data bases: miscellaneous
© ESO, 2010