Volume 626, June 2019
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||10 June 2019|
Polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids
Grupo de Ciencias Planetarias, Departamento de Geofísica y Astronomía, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de San Juan - CONICET,
Av. Ignacio de la Roza 590 (O),
Accepted: 6 May 2019
Aims. We present the results of a polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO), San Juan, Argentina. The aims of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry and to estimate the diversity in the polarimetric properties of asteroids.
Methods. The survey began in 1995 and a second period began in 2013 using the CASPOL polarimeter with a more sensitive detector to study small asteroids, families, and special taxonomic groups. The data were obtained using this instrument at the 2.15 m telescope of CASLEO.
Results. We present 128 observations for 82 asteroids of different taxonomic types. These results revealed phase-polarization curves and polarimetric parameters for 20 asteroids, amounting to a total of 135 objects with sufficient good data in the Catalogue of Asteroid Polarization Curves. Using the values obtained for the objects with a taxonomic classification, we obtained the mean polarimetric parameters for 19 taxonomic types and the Barbarians. The asteroids with large mean scatter separation distances have a minimum of the phase-polarization curve greater than − 1%, slopes at the inversion angle of less than 0.12−0.15% per degree, and perihelion distances 1.8 < q < 2.5 au; these measurements indicate the asteroids could have high or moderate albedos and that they are objects with perihelia in the inner asteroid belt. These large mean scatter separation distance values could be the result of an electrostatic mechanism acting on the small grains of the regolith, a manifestation of a coherent backscattering mechanism, or the result of a surface formed by a mixture of dark and bright particles.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: general / techniques: polarimetric
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/626/A42
© ESO 2019
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