Induced fragmentation of asteroids during close encounters

Bryan Tester, Massimiliano Vasile

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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We consider the behaviour of rotating binary asteroids as they pass through Earth's Hill sphere, with primary interest in the effect the tidal force on the interaction between the two components of the binary and their post-encounter trajectories. We focus on contact binary asteroids bound by a regolith bridge, using both direct numerical simulation and analytical approaches to investigate the sensitivity of the system to different parameters. We find that the system is most sensitive to the angle between the binary pair and the orbital path, having a significant impact upon the energy change during a fragmentation event. We also give the results of some basic simulations of a deflection attempt on such an object.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 2015
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference held August 9–13, 2015, Vail, Colorado, U.S.A
EditorsManoranjan Majji, James D. Turner, Geoff G. Wawrzyniak, William Todd Cerven
Place of PublicationSan Diego, California
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2015
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASC 2015 - Vail, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201513 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Astrnautical Sciences
PublisherAmerican Astronautical Society
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


ConferenceAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • rotating binary asteroids
  • near earth asteroids
  • asteroid trajectories
  • Hill sphere
  • tidal force
  • regolith bridge
  • binary pair
  • orbital path
  • fragmentation
  • deflection


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