Internal structure of asteroid gravitational aggregates

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Title: Internal structure of asteroid gravitational aggregates
Authors: Campo Bagatin, Adriano | Alemañ Berenguer, Rafael Andrés | Benavídez, Paula Gabriela | Richardson, Derek C.
Research Group/s: Astronomía y Astrofísica
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoría de la Señal | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Física Aplicada a las Ciencias y las Tecnologías
Keywords: Asteroids | Interiors | Collisional physics
Knowledge Area: Física Aplicada
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2018
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Icarus. 2018, 302: 343-359. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.11.024
Abstract: The internal structure of small asteroids is fundamentally unknown due to lack of direct measurements. The only clues on this topic come from theoretical considerations and from the comparison between measured bulk densities of asteroids and their corresponding analogue meteorite densities. The mass distribution and the void space between components in a gravitational aggregate determine the structure of such objects. In this paper we study numerically the dynamical and collisional evolution of the reaccumulation process of the fragments created in catastrophic collisions of asteroids in the 500 m to 10 km size range. An effort to consider irregularly shaped fragments is made by taking advantage of the results of laboratory experiments that provide relative mass distributions and aspect ratios for fragment shapes. We find that the processes that govern the final properties of the resulting aggregates are mainly stochastic, however interesting patterns can be identified. This study matches estimated macro-porosities of S-type asteroids and finds a loose linear relationship between macro-prorosity of asteroid aggregates and the mass ratio of the largest component to the whole aggregate (for both S and C-types). As for observed C-type asteroids, we conclude that their interiors should be more fragmented than in the case of S-type asteroids, explaining the difference in the estimated macro-porosity of real C asteroids with respect to S-types. We also find that slow rotators may be interpreted as a natural result in the process of gravitational reaccumulation.
Sponsor: This work has been possible thanks to the grants AYA2008- 06202C0303 and AYA2011-30106-C02-02 by the extinct Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.
ISSN: 0019-1035 (Print) | 1090-2643 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.11.024
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2017 Elsevier Inc.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - Astronomía y Astrofísica - Artículos de Revistas

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