Volume 569, September 2014
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||08 September 2014|
1 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Apt 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
2 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Received: 4 February 2014
Accepted: 26 June 2014
We present results for the short-term variability of binary trans-Neptunian objects (BTNOs). We performed CCD photometric observations using the 3.58 m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), the 1.5 m Sierra Nevada Observatory (OSN) telescope, and the 1.23 m Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) telescope at Calar Alto Observatory. We present results based on five years of observations and report the short-term variability of six BTNOs. Our sample contains three classical objects: (174567) 2003 MW12, or Varda, (120347) 2004 SB60, or Salacia, and 2002 VT130; one detached disk object: (229762) 2007 UK126; and two resonant objects: (341520) 2007 TY430 and (38628) 2000 EB173, or Huya. For each target, possible rotational periods and/or photometric amplitudes are reported. We also derived some physical properties from their light curves, such as density, primary and secondary sizes, and albedo. We compiled and analyzed a vast light curve database for TNOs including centaurs to determine the light-curve amplitude and spin frequency distributions for the binary and non-binary populations. The mean rotational periods, from the Maxwellian fits to the frequency distributions, are 8.63 ± 0.52 h for the entire sample, 8.37 ± 0.58 h for the sample without the binary population, and 10.11 ± 1.19 h for the binary population alone. Because the centaurs are collisionally more evolved, their rotational periods might not be so primordial. We computed a mean rotational period, from the Maxwellian fit, of 8.86 ± 0.58 h for the sample without the centaur population, and of 8.64 ± 0.67 h considering a sample without the binary and the centaur populations. According to this analysis, regular TNOs spin faster than binaries, which is compatible with the tidal interaction of the binaries. Finally, we examined possible formation models for several systems studied in this work and by our team in previous papers.
Key words: planetary systems / Kuiper belt: general / techniques: photometric
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
Full Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/569/A3
© ESO, 2014
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