• From KBOs to Centaurs: The thermal connection

      Sarid, G.; Prialnik, D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
      We present results of thermal evolution calculations for objects originating in the Kuiper belt and transferring inwards, to the region of the outer planets. Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are considered to be part of a reservoir that supplies the flux of small icy bodies, mainly Centaurs and Jupiter-family comets, to regions interior to the orbit of Neptune. We study the internal thermal evolution, for ~10^8 yr, of three typical KBOs and use the end state of the simulation as initial conditions for evolutionary calculations of two typical Centaurs. Some evolutionary trends can be identified for the KBOs, depending on key physical parameters, such as size and composition. The subsequent evolution in the Centaur region results in both specific features for each modeled object (mainly surface and sub-surface composition) and common characteristics of thermally evolved Centaurs.
    • Simultaneous spectroscopic and photometric observations of binary asteroids

      Polishook, D.; Brosch, N.; Prialnik, D.; Kaspi, S. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
      We present results of visible wavelengths spectroscopic measurements (0.45 to 0.72 microns) of two binary asteroids, obtained with the 1-m telescope at the Wise Observatory on January 2008. The asteroids 90 Antiope and 1509 Esclangona were observed to search for spectroscopic variations correlated with their rotation while presenting different regions of their surface to the viewer. Simultaneous photometric observations were performed with the Wise Observatorys 0.46 m telescope, to investigate the rotational phase behavior and possible eclipse events. 90 Antiope displayed an eclipse event during our observations. We could not measure any slope change of the spectroscopic albedo within the error range of 3%, except for a steady decrease in the total light flux while the eclipse took place. We conclude that the surface compositions of the two components do not differ dramatically, implying a common origin and history. 1509 Esclangona did not show an eclipse, but rather a unique lightcurve with three peaks and a wide and flat minimum, repeating with a period of 3.2524 hours. Careful measurements of the spectral albedo slopes reveal a color variation of 7 to 10 percent on the surface of 1509 Esclangona, which correlates with a specific region in the photometric lightcurve. This result suggests that the different features on the lightcurve are at least partially produced by color variations and could perhaps be explained by the existence of an exposed fresh surface on 1509 Esclangona.