CaltechAUTHORS
  A Caltech Library Service

In Search of Recent Disruption of (3200) Phaethon: Model Implication and Hubble Space Telescope Search

Ye, Quanzhi and Wiegert, Paul A. and Hui, Man-To (2018) In Search of Recent Disruption of (3200) Phaethon: Model Implication and Hubble Space Telescope Search. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 864 (1). Art. No. L9. ISSN 2041-8213. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180829-155909764

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

640Kb
[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.

6Mb

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180829-155909764

Abstract

Near-Earth asteroid (3200) Phaethon is notable for its association with a strong annual meteor shower, the Geminids, indicative of one or more episodes of mass ejection in the past. The mechanism of Phaethon's past activity is not yet understood. Here, we present a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) search of meter-sized fragments in the vicinity of Phaethon, carried out during Phaethon's historic approach to Earth in mid-December of 2017. Numerical simulations conducted to guide HST's pointing also show that the dynamical evolution of Phaethon-originated particles is quick, as ejected materials take no longer than ~250 years to spread to the entire orbit of Phaethon. Our search was completed down to a 4 m class limit (assuming Phaethon-like albedo) and was expected to detect 0.035% of particles ejected by Phaethon in the past several decades. The negative result of our search capped the total mass loss of Phaethon over the past few dozen orbits to be 10^(12) kg at the 3σ level, taking the best estimates of size power-law from meteor observations and spacecraft data. Our result also implies a millimeter-sized dust flux of <10^(-12) m^(-2)s^(-1) within 0.1 au of Phaethon, suggesting that any Phaethon-bound mission is unlikely to encounter dense dust clouds.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aada46DOIArticle
https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.04564arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Ye, Quanzhi0000-0002-4838-7676
Wiegert, Paul A.0000-0002-1914-5352
Hui, Man-To0000-0001-9067-7477
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 June 16; revised 2018 July 27; accepted 2018 August 14; published 2018 August 29. We thank an anonymous referee for comments. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. We thank the STScI staff, especially Ralph Bohlin and Alison Vick, for making this challenging observation happening. These observations are associated with program 15357. Support for program 15357 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, to Thomas Prince. P.A.W. is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. M.-T.H. is supported by a NASA grant to David Jewitt. Facility: HST(ACS) - Hubble Space Telescope satellite. Software: Matplotlib (Hunter 2007), MERCURY6 (Chambers 2012), SWarp (Bertin 2010), Tiny Tim (Krist et al. 2011).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:meteorites, meteors, meteoroids – minor planets, asteroids: individual ((3200) Phaethon)
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180829-155909764
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180829-155909764
Official Citation:Quanzhi Ye et al 2018 ApJL 864 L9
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89290
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Aug 2018 23:21
Last Modified:18 Nov 2019 21:02

Repository Staff Only: item control page