Volume 620, December 2018
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||04 December 2018|
523676 (2013 UL10): the first active red centaur★
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma,
Via Frascati 33,
00078 Monte Porzio Catone,
2 LESIA – Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC University Paris 06, University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
3 Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie, Universitá Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Isola C4, 80143 Napoli, Italy
4 INAF – IAPS, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
5 ESA SSA-NEO Coordination Centre, largo Galileo Galilei 1, 00044 Frascati, Roma, Italy
6 ASI-Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, Roma, Italy
Accepted: 21 September 2018
Aims. We present observations of 523676 (2013 UL10), a centaur orbiting between Jupiter and Uranus that is dynamically similar to the few tens of active centaurs that are currently known.
Methods. We analysed visible BVR images of the centaur obtained at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain) to investigate the weak comet-like activity and to derive information on the nucleus surface colours and size.
Results. Centaur 523676 (2013 UL10) is the only centaur known so far that has both comet-like activity and red surface colours: its nucleus has a colour index [B – R] = 1.88 ± 0.11. The nucleus R magnitude (R = 20.93 ± 0.09) allowed us to derive an upper limit for its nucleus size of D ≤ 10 km. We estimated its dust production rate to be Qd ~ 10 kg s−1 at 6.2 au (just after its perihelion passage), resulting in a timescale for the surface blanketing process τB of approximately tens of years, which is very short with respect to typical dynamical lifetime inside the group. Future monitoring of 523676 (2013 UL10) is needed to further constrain the blanketing model for active centaurs and its timescale.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: individual: 523676 (2013 UL10)
© ESO 2018
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