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Published February 2017 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

The Color–Magnitude Distribution of Hilda Asteroids: Comparison with Jupiter Trojans


Current models of solar system evolution posit that the asteroid populations in resonance with Jupiter are comprised of objects scattered inward from the outer solar system during a period of dynamical instability. In this paper, we present a new analysis of the absolute magnitude and optical color distribution of Hilda asteroids, which lie in 3:2 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter, with the goal of comparing the bulk properties with previously published results from an analogous study of Jupiter Trojans. We report an updated power-law fit of the Hilda magnitude distribution through H = 14. Using photometric data listed in the Sloan Moving Object Catalog, we confirm the previously reported strong bimodality in visible spectral slope distribution, indicative of two subpopulations with differing surface compositions. When considering collisional families separately, we find that collisional fragments follow a unimodal color distribution with spectral slope values consistent with the bluer of the two subpopulations. The color distributions of Hildas and Trojans are comparable and consistent with a scenario in which the color bimodality in both populations developed prior to emplacement into their present-day locations. We propose that the shallower magnitude distribution of the Hildas is a result of an initially much larger Hilda population, which was subsequently depleted as smaller bodies were preferentially ejected from the narrow 3:2 resonance via collisions. Altogether, these observations provide a strong case supporting a common origin for Hildas and Trojans as predicted by current dynamical instability theories of solar system evolution.

Additional Information

© 2017 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 October 10; revised 2016 December 14; accepted 2016 December 15; published 2017 January 13.

Attached Files

Published - Wong_2017_AJ_153_69.pdf

Submitted - 1701.00367v1.pdf


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