Nucleus of active asteroid 358P/Pan-STARRS (P/2012 T1)
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research,
2 Lowell Observatory, 1400 W Mars Hill Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 6010, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
Accepted: 17 May 2018
Context. The dust emission from active asteroids is likely driven by collisions, fast rotation, sublimation of embedded ice, and combinations of these. Characterising these processes leads to a better understanding of their respective influence on the evolution of the asteroid population.
Aims. We study the role of fast rotation in the active asteroid 358P (P 2012/T1).
Methods. We obtained two nights of deep imaging of 358P with SOAR/Goodman and VLT/FORS2. We derived the rotational light curve from time-resolved photometry and searched for large fragments and debris >8 mm in a stacked, ultra-deep image.
Results. The nucleus has an absolute magnitude of mR = 19.68, corresponding to a diameter of 530 m for standard assumptions on the albedo and phase function of a C-type asteroid. We do not detect fragments or debris that would require fast rotation to reduce surface gravity to facilitate their escape. The 10-h light curve does not show an unambiguous periodicity.
Key words: minor planets / asteroids: individual: 358P
© ESO 2018