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Evidence of surface heterogeneity on active asteroid (3200) Phaethon
Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, PO Box 64, 00014, Finland.
Arecibo Observatory, University of Central Florida, HC-3 Box 53995, Arecibo, PR 00612, USA.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, PO Box 64, 00014, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5624-1888
2022 (English)In: Icarus, ISSN 0019-1035, E-ISSN 1090-2643, Vol. 388, article id 115226Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thermal infrared emission and thermophysical modeling techniques are powerful tools in deciphering the surface properties of asteroids. The near-Earth asteroid (3200) Phaethon is an active asteroid with a very small perihelion distance and is likely the source of the Geminid meteor shower. Using a thermophysical model with a non-convex shape of Phaethon we interpret thermal infrared observations that span ten distinct sightings. The results yield an effective diameter of 5.4 ± 0.1 km and independent thermal inertia estimates for each sighting. We find that the thermal inertia varies across each of these sightings in a way that is stronger than the theoretical temperature-dependent expectation from radiative heat transfer within the regolith. Thus, we test whether the variation in thermal inertia can be explained by the presence of a regolith layer over bedrock, or by a spatially heterogeneous scenario. We find that a model in which Phaethon's hemispheres have distinctly different thermophysical properties can sufficiently explain the thermal inertias determined herein. In particular, we find that a boundary is located between latitudes -ˆ’30°ˆ˜ and +10° and a northern hemisphere that is dominated by coarse-grained regolith and/or a high coverage of porous boulders. We discuss the implications related to Phaethon'€™s activity, potential association with 2005 UD, and the upcoming DESTINY+ mission.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022. Vol. 388, article id 115226
Keywords [en]
Thermophysical modeling, Asteroid surface, Regolith, Dust, Active asteroid
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Research subject
Onboard space systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-92932DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115226ISI: 000860433600002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85137277058OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-92932DiVA, id: diva2:1694891
Funder
Academy of Finland, 316292 and 299543
Note

Validerad;2022;Nivå 2;2022-09-12 (hanlid);

Funder: NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program (80NSSC19K0523)

Available from: 2022-09-12 Created: 2022-09-12 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved

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Granvik, Mikael

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