Volume 631, November 2019
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Catalogs and data|
|Published online||11 October 2019|
Inversion of asteroid photometry from Gaia DR2 and the Lowell Observatory photometric database⋆
Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, V Holešovičkách 2, 180 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic
2 Czech National Team, Nádraží 549, Újezd u Brna 664 53, Czech Republic
Accepted: 10 September 2019
Context. Rotation properties (spin-axis direction and rotation period) and coarse shape models of asteroids can be reconstructed from their disk-integrated brightness when measured from various viewing geometries. These physical properties are essential for creating a global picture of structure and dynamical evolution of the main belt.
Aims. The number of shape and spin models can be increased not only when new data are available, but also by combining independent data sets and inverting them together. Our aim was to derive new asteroid models by processing readily available photometry.
Methods. We used asteroid photometry compiled in the Lowell Observatory photometry database with photometry from the Gaia Data Release 2. Both data sources are available for about 5400 asteroids. In the framework of the Asteroids@home distributed computing project, we applied the light curve inversion method to each asteroid to find its convex shape model and spin state that fits the observed photometry.
Results. Due to the limited number of Gaia DR2 data points and poor photometric accuracy of Lowell data, we were able to derive unique models for only ∼1100 asteroids. Nevertheless, 762 of these are new models that significantly enlarge the current database of about 1600 asteroid models.
Conclusions. Our results demonstrate the importance of a combined approach to inversion of asteroid photometry. While our models in general agree with those obtained by separate inversion of Lowell and Gaia data, the combined inversion is more robust, model parameters are more constrained, and unique models can be reconstructed in many cases when individual data sets alone are not sufficient.
Key words: minor planets / asteroids: general / methods: data analysis / techniques: photometric
Table A.1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/631/A2
© ESO 2019
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