Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect

C. Tardioli, D. Farnocchia, B. Rozitis, D. Cotto-Figueroa, S. R. Chesley, T. S. Statler, M. Vasile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims. From lightcurve and radar data we know the spin axis of only 43 near-Earth asteroids. In this paper we attempt to constrain the spin axis obliquity distribution of near-Earth asteroids by leveraging the Yarkovsky effect and its dependence on an asteroid’s obliquity. Methods. By modeling the physical parameters driving the Yarkovsky effect, we solve an inverse problem where we test different simple parametric obliquity distributions. Each distribution results in a predicted Yarkovsky effect distribution that we compare with a chi^2 test to a dataset of 125 Yarkovsky estimates. Results. We find different obliquity distributions that are statistically satisfactory. In particular, among the considered models, the best-fit solution is a quadratic function, which only depends on two parameters, favors extreme obliquities, consistent with the expected outcomes from the YORP effect, has a 2:1 ratio between retrograde and direct rotators, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions, and is statistically consistent with the distribution of known spin axes of near-Earth asteroids.
LanguageEnglish
Article numberA61
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume608
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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obliquity
asteroids
asteroid
radar data
inverse problem
effect
distribution
radar
estimates
prediction
predictions
modeling

Keywords

  • celestial mechanics
  • minor planets
  • asteroids

Cite this

Tardioli, C., Farnocchia, D., Rozitis, B., Cotto-Figueroa, D., Chesley, S. R., Statler, T. S., & Vasile, M. (2017). Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 608, [A61]. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201731338
Tardioli, C. ; Farnocchia, D. ; Rozitis, B. ; Cotto-Figueroa, D. ; Chesley, S. R. ; Statler, T. S. ; Vasile, M. / Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect. In: Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2017 ; Vol. 608.
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Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect. / Tardioli, C.; Farnocchia, D.; Rozitis, B.; Cotto-Figueroa, D.; Chesley, S. R.; Statler, T. S.; Vasile, M.

In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 608, A61, 01.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect

AU - Tardioli, C.

AU - Farnocchia, D.

AU - Rozitis, B.

AU - Cotto-Figueroa, D.

AU - Chesley, S. R.

AU - Statler, T. S.

AU - Vasile, M.

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N2 - Aims. From lightcurve and radar data we know the spin axis of only 43 near-Earth asteroids. In this paper we attempt to constrain the spin axis obliquity distribution of near-Earth asteroids by leveraging the Yarkovsky effect and its dependence on an asteroid’s obliquity. Methods. By modeling the physical parameters driving the Yarkovsky effect, we solve an inverse problem where we test different simple parametric obliquity distributions. Each distribution results in a predicted Yarkovsky effect distribution that we compare with a chi^2 test to a dataset of 125 Yarkovsky estimates. Results. We find different obliquity distributions that are statistically satisfactory. In particular, among the considered models, the best-fit solution is a quadratic function, which only depends on two parameters, favors extreme obliquities, consistent with the expected outcomes from the YORP effect, has a 2:1 ratio between retrograde and direct rotators, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions, and is statistically consistent with the distribution of known spin axes of near-Earth asteroids.

AB - Aims. From lightcurve and radar data we know the spin axis of only 43 near-Earth asteroids. In this paper we attempt to constrain the spin axis obliquity distribution of near-Earth asteroids by leveraging the Yarkovsky effect and its dependence on an asteroid’s obliquity. Methods. By modeling the physical parameters driving the Yarkovsky effect, we solve an inverse problem where we test different simple parametric obliquity distributions. Each distribution results in a predicted Yarkovsky effect distribution that we compare with a chi^2 test to a dataset of 125 Yarkovsky estimates. Results. We find different obliquity distributions that are statistically satisfactory. In particular, among the considered models, the best-fit solution is a quadratic function, which only depends on two parameters, favors extreme obliquities, consistent with the expected outcomes from the YORP effect, has a 2:1 ratio between retrograde and direct rotators, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions, and is statistically consistent with the distribution of known spin axes of near-Earth asteroids.

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Tardioli C, Farnocchia D, Rozitis B, Cotto-Figueroa D, Chesley SR, Statler TS et al. Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect. Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2017 Dec 1;608. A61. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201731338