Broadband linear polarization of Jupiter Trojans
1 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, UK
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2 Institute of Astronomy, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, 35 Sumska str., 61022 Kharkiv, Ukraine
3 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking RH5 6NT, UK
4 Institute of Astronomy and National Astronomical Observatory, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 72, Tsarigradsko Chaussee Blvd., 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria
Received: 3 July 2015
Accepted: 29 September 2015
Context. Trojan asteroids orbit in the Lagrange points of the system Sun-planet-asteroid. Their dynamical stability make their physical properties important proxies for the early evolution of our solar system.
Aims. To study their origin, we want to characterize the surfaces of Jupiter Trojan asteroids and check possible similarities with objects of the main belt and of the Kuiper Belt.
Methods. We have obtained high-accuracy broadband linear polarization measurements of six Jupiter Trojans of the L4 population and tried to estimate the main features of their polarimetric behaviour. We have compared the polarimetric properties of our targets among themselves, and with those of other atmosphere-less bodies of our solar system.
Results. Our sample show approximately homogeneous polarimetric behaviour, although some distinct features are found between them. In general, the polarimetric properties of Trojan asteroids are similar to those of D- and P-type main-belt asteroids. No sign of coma activity is detected in any of the observed objects.
Conclusions. An extended polarimetric survey may help to further investigate the origin and the surface evolution of Jupiter Trojans.
Key words: polarization / minor planets, asteroids: general
© ESO, 2016