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Asteroid spin-rate studies using large sky-field surveys

Chang, Chan-Kao and Lin, Hsing-Wen and Ip, Wing-Huen and Prince, Thomas A. and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Levitan, David and Laher, Russ and Surace, Jason (2017) Asteroid spin-rate studies using large sky-field surveys. Geoscience Letters, 4 (1). Art. No. 17. ISSN 2196-4092. doi:10.1186/s40562-017-0082-7.

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Eight campaigns to survey asteroid rotation periods have been carried out using the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory in the past 3 years. 2780 reliable rotation periods were obtained, from which we identified two new super-fast rotators (SFRs), (335433) 2005 UW163 and (40511) 1999 RE88, and 23 candidate SFRs. Along with other three known super-fast rotators, there are five known SFRs so far. Contrary to the case of rubble-pile asteroids (i.e., bounded aggregations by gravity only), an internal cohesion, ranging from 100 to 1000 Pa, is required to prevent these five SFRs from flying apart because of their super-fast rotations. This cohesion range is comparable with that of lunar regolith. However, some candidates of several kilometers in size require unusually high cohesion (i.e., a few thousands of Pa). Therefore, the confirmation of these kilometer-sized candidates can provide important information about asteroid interior structure. From the rotation periods we collected, we also found that the spin-rate limit of C-type asteroids, which has a lower bulk density, is lower than for S-type asteroids. This result is in agreement with the general picture of rubble-pile asteroids (i.e., lower bulk density, lower spin-rate limit). Moreover, the spin-rate distributions of asteroids of 3 < D < 15 km in size show a steady decrease along frequency for f>5f>5 rev/day, regardless of the location in the main belt. The YORP effect is indicated to be less efficient in altering asteroid spin rates from our results when compared with the flat distribution found by Pravec et al. (Icarus 197:497–504, 2008. doi: We also found a significant number drop at f = 5 rev/day in the spin-rate distributions of asteroids of D < 3 km.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Chang, Chan-Kao0000-0003-1656-4540
Lin, Hsing-Wen0000-0001-7737-6784
Ip, Wing-Huen0000-0002-3140-5014
Prince, Thomas A.0000-0002-8850-3627
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Laher, Russ0000-0003-2451-5482
Surace, Jason0000-0001-7291-0087
Additional Information:© 2017 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Received: 8 September 2016 Accepted: 7 August 2017 Published: 6 September 2017. C.-K. Chang would like to thank the committee of the Planetary Sciences section of AOGS 2016 for the invitation to present this work in the annual meeting. The authors thank the anonymous referees for their useful comments and suggestions. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. This work is supported in part by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan under the Grants MOST 104-2112-M-008-014-MY3 and MOST 104-2119-M-008-024, and also by Macau Science and Technology Fund No. 017/2014/A1 of MSAR.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Astronomy Department, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)MOST 104-2112-M-008-014-MY3
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)MOST 104-2119-M-008-024
Macau Science and Technology Fund017/2014/A1
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170906-134831465
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Official Citation:Asteroid spin-rate studies using large sky-field surveys Chan-Kao Chang, Hsing-Wen Lin, Wing-Huen Ip, Thomas A. Prince, Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, David Levitan, Russ Laher and Jason Surace Geoscience Letters 2017 4:17
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81194
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 Sep 2017 21:28
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:41

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