The Minor Planet Bulletin BULLETIN OF THE MINOR PLANETS SECTION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF LUNAR AND PLANETARY OBSERVERS
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The Minor Planet Bulletin is the journal for almost all amateurs and even some professionals for publishing
asteroid photometry results, including lightcurves, H-G parameters, color indexes, and shape/spin axis models.
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There are more than 700,000 asteroids with well-defined orbits. However, the LCDB data base (version Feb 2017) contains rotation period data for only 17,437 asteroids and yet, more than two thirds of those reported measurements still may be uncertain by 30% (U = 2) and another 10% may be completely wrong (U = 1). It should be possible to know the characteristics of asteroid spins without measuring every last one of them, on condition that our sample (1) is unbiased, and (2) it properly includes odd or outlier objects. In principle, U = 2 data should be good enough for both statistical analysis and for identifying oddballs. Wide-field data now comprise the majority (~63%) of spin rates we have. However, due to the overwhelming volume of W-F data, their corresponding reliability is in practice almost impossible to assess on a case-by-case basis, so that a nominal U = 2 has been basically assigned to them. This poses the question whether including W-F data actually improves or degrades statistical analysis performed using only the smaller but more carefully controlled data from the F-D file. This paper shows that for size ranges where both F-D and W-F data samples contains at least 100 values, the W-F mean significantly differs from the F-D value (with only one exception for the narrow range 1 < D < 0.7 km, where W-F data appears to be as almost unbiased). The spin rate percent difference for asteroids having diameters between 3 to 20 km is consistently uniform, and worsens for larger ones. With respect to studies of extremes of rotation, W-F surveys and less controlled samples can be useful, if the limitations are reasonably characterized.
We obtained photometric results for the near-Earth asteroids (326683) 2002 WP and 2016 LX48 during their close approaches in 2016 December and October, respectively. Our analysis found a synodic period for (326683) 2002 WP of P = 6.2772 ± 0.0479 h and, for 2016 LX48, P = 5.6742 ± 0.0074 h.
CCD images were taken of asteroid 703 Noemi from 2016 November 16 to 2017 January 31 to determine its rotation period. The data analysis gives a complex light curve with a rotation period of 201.7 ± 0.7 hours.
Photometric observations of four asteroids were made over 14 nights from 2016 September to November. The measured synodic periods were: 4668 Rayjay, 6.506 ± 0.001 h; 5152 Labs, 3.8801 ± 0.0001 h; 6581 Sobers, 6.635 ± 0.001 h; and 13917 Taco, 9.7078 ± 0.0001 h.
On seven individual nights between 18 October 2016 and 27 October 2016, CCD images were taken of five asteroids: 2541 Edebono, 2977 Chivilikhin, 5623 Iwamori, (16806) 1997 SB34, and (58143) 1983 VD7. These images were calibrated and measured, and lightcurves were produced for each asteroid.
A collaborative campaign of lightcurve photometry of main-belt asteroid 1218 Aster was made over six nights in 2017 Jan-Feb. The resulting synodic rotational period is 3.1581 ± 0.0001 h, amplitude 0.30 ± 0.02 mag. From photometric sparse data we derived H = 13.44 ± 0.04 and G = 0.43 ± 0.05.
1943 Anteros: A Possible Near-Earth Binary Asteroid
A collaboration of two observers at widely-separated longitudes made CCD photometric observations of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 1943 Anteros from 2016 August to October. Analysis of the data led to the possibility that the asteroid is a binary with P1 = 2.86923 ± 0.00006 h, A1 = 0.07 mag and PORB = 23.548 ± 0.002 h, A2 = 0.05-0.10 mag. The estimated effective diameter ratio is Ds/Dp . 0.22 ± 0.02.
CCD Lightcurves for Main-belt Asteriods 423 Diotima and 925 Alphonsina
It was known that asteroids with diameter of 15km (derived mainly from MPC estimated absolute magnitude (H)) or smaller were more likely to be binary systems than were larger objects. From a set of selection criteria, we used CCD photometry to determine whether the asteroids were binary systems.
Rotation Period Determination of Asteroids 6199 Yoshiokayayoi and 9671 Hemera
Photometric observations of selected asteroids were done from Blue Mountains Observatory (BMO) and Darling Range Observatory (DRO) in 2015. The observations were made during a favorable apparition for each asteroid. Most of these objects had poorly defined lightcurves or were never worked in the past.
The Lightcurve and Rotation period of 9414 Masamimurakami
Photometric observations of 9414 Masamimurakami were made at the Phillips Academy Observatory over eleven nights during 2016 March thru May. The rotation period of 9414 Masamimurakami was determined to be 15.623 ± 0.001 hrs with amplitude 0.29 mag.
Preliminary Pole and Shape Models for Three Near-Earth Asteroids
Observations of three near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) were made between 1993 and 2016. The resulting data were used to find preliminary pole and shape models for 1863 Antinous, (5836) 1993 MF, and (154244) 2002 KL6.
Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2016 December thru 2017 March
Lightcurves for 18 main-belt asteroids were obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2016 December thru 2017 March. Many of the asteroids were strays in the field of planned targets, demonstrating a good reason for data mining images. Analysis shows that the Hungaria asteroid (45878) 2000 WX29 may be binary.
Lightcurve Analysis of 1773 Rumplestilz and 2040 Chalonge
Photometric observations of asteroids 2040 Chalonge and 1773 Rumplstilz were made at the Philips Academy Observatory from 2016 December 2016 through 2017 February. 1773 Rumelstilz was found to have rotational period 106.075 ± 0.001 h with amplitude 0.78 mag. 2040 Chalonge was found to have rotational period 10.383 ± 0.001 h with amplitude 0.22 mag.
Lightcurve Analysis of Hilda Asteroids at the Center for Solar System Studies: 2016 December thru 2017 April
Lightcurves for 36 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2016 December through 2017 April were analyzed for rotation period and signs of satellites or tumbling. In addition, using the recent and previously obtained dense data along with sparse data from NEA surveys, lightcurve inversion was used to produce spin axis and shape models for four asteroids: 3103 Eger, 4055 Magellan, (40267) 1999 GJ4, and (90075) 2002 VU94. Analysis of the observations of 2102 Tantalus and (5693) 1993 EA indicates that they might each be a singly-asynchronous binary. There is some evidence that (5626) 1991 FE may be another socalled very wide binary.
CCD photometry of minor planet 393 Lampetia shows that it has a synodic rotation period of 38.455 ± 0.004 h, amplitude 0.08 ± 0.01 mag.
Results of the 2016 Mexican Asteroid Photometry Campaign
Pages 239-242 Sada, Pedro V.; Olguin, Lorenzo; Saucedo, Julio C.; Loera-Gonzalez, Pablo; Cantu-Sanchez; Laura; Garza, Jaime R.; Ayala-Gomez, Sandra A.; Aviles, Andres; Perez-Tijerina, Eduardo; Navarro-Meza, Samuiel; Silva, J. S.; Reyes-Ruiz, Mauricio; Segura-Sosa, Juan; Lopez-Valdivia, Ricardo; Alvarez-Santana, F. 2017MPBu...44..239SDownload PDF
We report the results of the 2016 Mexican Asteroid Photometry Campaign. This year observers from seven different research institutions carried out 34 nights of observations at three Mexican observatories. An uncertain, but long, period of ~115.108 ± 0.014 h was estimated for 703 Noėmi from sparse data. A nearly complete lightcurve was obtained for 1305 Pongola (P = 8.0585 ± 0.0003 h). Asteroid 2535 Hämeenlinna turned out to be a binary system where the primary exhibits a rotation period of 3.2311 ± 0.0001 h and the secondary shows an orbital period of 21.20 ± 0.004 h. Asteroid 4775 Hansen (P = 3.1186 ± 0.0001 h) was well observed and showed variations of its lightcurve between two sets of observations separated by about six weeks.
Asteroid 4296 Van Woerkom: A Newly Discovered Asynchronous Binary
We report that asteroid 4296 van Woerkom is a binary asteroid. Lightcurve analysis for images taken from 2016 November through December reveals a primary rotational period of 2.80868 ± 0.00005 h and a secondary orbital period of 26.22 ± 0.01 h.
Collaborative lightcurve photometry observations of main-belt asteroid 703 Noemi were made over 16 nights in 2016 November thru 2017 January. The resulting synodic rotation period is 200 ± 1 h, amplitude 0.62 ± 0.10 mag, HR = 12.24 ± 0.12 and GR = 0.16 ± 0.10.
Photometric observations of main-belt asteroid 9671 Hemera were made at the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Siena (Italy) in 2017 March. Analysis of the data revealed a bimodal lightcurve with a synodic period of 2.532 ± 0.001 h as the most likely solution. Some anomalies in the lightcurve suggest that 9671 Hemera could be binary.
Rotation Period Determinations for 49 Pales, 96 Aegle, 106 Dione, 375 Ursula, and 576 Emanuela
Synodic rotation periods and amplitudes are found for 49 Pales: 20.705 ± 0.002 h, 0.18 ± 0.01 mag with 4 maxima and minima per cycle; 96 Aegle: 13.868 ± 0.001 h, 0.11 ± 0.01 mag; 106 Dione: 16.210 ± 0.001 h, 0.18 ± 0.01 mag; 375 Ursula: 16.899 ± 0.001 h, 0.11 ± 0.01 mag. All of these objects have irregular lightcurves. For 576 Emanuela the period is 40.812 ± 0.004 h, amplitude is 0.13 ± 0.01 mag with a slightly asymmetric bimodal lightcurve.
Lightcurve Analysis of Trojan Asteroids at the Center for Solar System Studies 2017 January - March
CCD photometric observations conducted from the George West ISD Mobile Observatory of asteroids 4742 Caliumi, 5267 Zegmott, (18429) 1994 AO1, (26421) 1999 XP113, and (27675) 1981 CH are described. This represents the research results for the 2016-17 school year. Analysis of our data found the synodic period and lightcurve amplitudes for each asteroid: 4742 Caliumi, 5.475 ± 0.005 h, 0.80 mag; 5267 Zegmott 5.209 h ± 0.002 h, 0.32 mag; (18429) 1994 AO1, 3.911 ± 0.002 h, 0.23 mag; (26421) 1999 XP113, 4.320 ± 0.005 h, 0.23 mag; and (27675) 1981 CH, 3.085 ± 0.002 h, 0.13 mag.
CCD photometric observations were made in 2016 November and December of the suspected tumbler and Hungaria group member 788 Hohensteina. The goal was to find a definitive rotation period, which would presumably match one of several reported periods.
Lightcurve and Rotation Period Determination for 1773 Rumpelstilz
Photometric observations from two locations in Europe and North America in 2017 February-April revealed that the main-belt asteroid 1773 Rumpelstilz was a slow rotator with a synodic period of 105.49 ± 0.01 h.
General Report of Position Observations by the ALPO Minor Planets Section fro the Year 2016
Uncertainties associated with the orbits of minor planets can be reduced by analyzing archival imagery as attempted in the current investigation. Archival images from NEAT and NASAs Skymorph database were analyzed using standard software to identify the minor planets listed in the critical list. Findings of each minor planet were submitted to Minor Planet Center (MPC) to offer better orbital solutions.
299 Thora and 496 Gryphia: Two More Very Slowly Rotating Asteroids
CCD observations of the asteroids 299 Thora and 496 Gryphia were made to determine the synodic rotation periods. For 299 Thora, the period is 272.9 ± 0.9 h with a maximum amplitude 0.47 mag. No evidence of tumbling was found. We measured a color index of V-R = 0.52. Using average lightcurve magnitude, we found H = 11.68 ± 0.06, G = 0.27 ± 0.06. For 496 Gryphia, we found a rotation period near 1072 h and amplitude of 1.25 mag. Tumbling behavior was found but not quantified. The color index is V-R = 0.48. Using average lightcurve magnitudes, we found H = 12.21 ± 0.05, G = 0.18 ± 0.04.
Rotation Period Determination for 2411 Zellner, 5293 Bentengahama, and 9148 Boriszaitsev
Photometric observations of three main-belt asteroids were made from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Siena (Italy) in order to determine their synodic rotation periods. For 2411 Zellner, we found a period of 2.975 ± 0.002 h with an amplitude of 0.33 mag. For 5293 Bentengahama, the period was 15.781 ± 0.002 h with an amplitude of 0.18 mag. For 9148 Boriszaitsev, we found 8.124 ± 0.02 h with an amplitude of 0.23 mag.
Density and Axis-size Relationship of Five Main-belt Asteroids: 2017 January - March
Despite many decades of minor planet studies focused on external and dynamical properties, there are still hundreds of asteroids that have never been measured. Presented here are the results of photometric analysis applied to five main-belt asteroids. In addition to calculating rotation period, axis ratios assuming a simple ellipsoidal shape and the estimated minimum density of each asteroid are reported.
We present lists of asteroid photometry opportunities for objects reaching a favorable apparition and having either none or poorly-defined lightcurve parameters. Additional data on these objects will help with shape and spin axis modeling via lightcurve inversion. We also include lists of objects that will be the target of radar observations. Lightcurves for these objects can help constrain pole solutions and/or remove rotation period ambiguities that might not come from using radar data alone.
This list gives those asteroids in this issue for which physical observations (excluding astrometric only) were made. This includes lightcurves, color index, and H-G determinations, etc. In some cases, no specific results are reported due to a lack of or poor quality data. The page number is for the first page of the paper mentioning the asteroid. EP is the "go to page" value in the electronic version.