Astronomers Establish the Strength of High-Inclination Asteroids
November 5, 2013 | Science
A team found a smaller fraction of tiny bodies occur among high-inclination asteroids than those near the ecliptic plane with observing faint asteroids by the Subaru Telescope.
A team of astronomers used the Subaru Prime Focus Camera (Suprime-Cam) mounted on the Subaru Telescope to observe faint asteroids with highly inclined orbits. They found that a smaller fraction of tiny bodies occur among high-inclination asteroids than those near the ecliptic plane. This means that large asteroids in high velocity collisions between asteroids probably have a greater increase of strength in resisting disruption than those in the present mean-velocity collisions. Clarification of the relationship between collisional velocity and asteroids’ disruptive strength is helpful in understanding the collisional evolution of asteroids in the early Solar System.
The scientific paper on which this article is based appears in the Astronomical Journal published on November 5th. (Terai et al. 2013, “High Ecliptic Latitude Survey for Small Main-belt Asteroids”, Astronomical Journal, Volume 146, Issue 5, article id. 111)