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Asteroid Shape Reconstruction From Radar ObservationsI estimate near-Earth asteroid 1992 SK's physical properties from radar delay-Doppler images, Doppler-only echo spectra and optical lightcurves. The images are not very strong, but place up to 20 (40 m by 160 m) pixels on the asteroid. The radar tracks are confined to subradar latitudes between 20 and 40 degrees but have complete rotational phase coverage. The echo spectra and optical lightcurves span approx.80 degrees of sky motion, providing geometric leverage to constrain the pole direction. The optical lightcurves are essential to accurate determination of the asteroid's shape and spin state. The asteroid is approx.1.4 km in maximum extent and mildly asymmetric, with an elongation of approx.1.5 and relatively subdued topography. The radar albedo is about 0.13 and the optical albedo about 0.3. The circular polarization ratio for the object is about 0.34, implying typical cm-scale surface roughness. I estimate the asteroid's period to be 7.3182+/-0.0003 hours and its pole direction as (99deg+/-5deg,-3deg+/-5deg) in ecliptic coordinates. The radar-refined orbital solution accurately predicts planetary close approaches between the years 826 and 2690. I have used my model to predict salient characteristics of radar images and optical lightcurves obtainable during the asteroid's March 2006 approach.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Busch, Michael J.
(Minnesota Univ. MN, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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