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The Formation of Asteroid Satellites in Catastrophic Impacts: Results from Numerical SimulationsWe have performed new simulations of the formation of asteroid satellites by collisions, using a combination of hydrodynamical and gravitational dynamical codes. This initial work shows that both small satellites and ejected, co-orbiting pairs are produced most favorably by moderate-energy collisions at more direct, rather than oblique, impact angles. Simulations so far seem to be able to produce systems qualitatively similar to known binaries. Asteroid satellites provide vital clues that can help us understand the physics of hypervelocity impacts, the dominant geologic process affecting large main belt asteroids. Moreover, models of satellite formation may provide constraints on the internal structures of asteroids beyond those possible from observations of satellite orbital properties alone. It is probable that most observed main-belt asteroid satellites are by-products of cratering and/or catastrophic disruption events. Several possible formation mechanisms related to collisions have been identified: (i) mutual capture following catastrophic disruption, (ii) rotational fission due to glancing impact and spin-up, and (iii) re-accretion in orbit of ejecta from large, non-catastrophic impacts. Here we present results from a systematic investigation directed toward mapping out the parameter space of the first and third of these three collisional mechanisms.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Durda, D. D.
(Southwest Research Inst. Boulder, CO, United States)
Bottke, W. F., Jr.
(Southwest Research Inst. Boulder, CO, United States)
Enke, B. L.
(Southwest Research Inst. Boulder, CO, United States)
Asphaug, E.
(California Univ. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)
Richardson, D. C.
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Leinhardt, Z. M.
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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