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Title: Refined rotational period, pole solution, and shape model for (3200) Phaethon

(3200) Phaethon exhibits both comet- and asteroid-like properties, suggesting it could be a rare transitional object such as a dormant comet or previously volatile-rich asteroid. This justifies detailed study of (3200) Phaethon's physical properties as a better understanding of asteroid-comet transition objects can provide insight into minor body evolution. We therefore acquired time series photometry of (3200) Phaethon over 15 nights from 1994 to 2013, primarily using the Tektronix 2048 × 2048 pixel CCD on the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope. We utilized light curve inversion to (1) refine (3200) Phaethon's rotational period to P = 3.6032 ± 0.0008 hr; (2) estimate a rotational pole orientation of λ = +85° ± 13° and β = –20° ± 10°; and (3) derive a shape model. We also used our extensive light curve data set to estimate the slope parameter of (3200) Phaethon's phase curve as G ∼ 0.06, consistent with C-type asteroids. We discuss how this highly oblique pole orientation with a negative ecliptic latitude supports previous evidence for (3200) Phaethon's origin in the inner main asteroid belt as well as the potential for deeply buried volatiles fueling impulsive yet rare cometary outbursts.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. NASA Astrobiology Institute, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  2. European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Straße, 85748 Garching bei München (Germany)
  3. Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)
  4. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 183-401, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  5. United States Navy, Washington, DC 20350 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365022
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 793; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTEROIDS; CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES; COMETS; EVOLUTION; PHOTOMETRY; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; PLANETS; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION