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7 July 2000 Search for asteroidal satellites using adaptive optics
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We utilized AO to discover a moon around asteroid 45 Eugenia by use of the PUEO AO facility at CFHT. With PUEO we performed a search for asteroidal satellites among two dozen asteroids, achieving moderate Strehl ratios (35%) and FWHM of about 0.12' at H band. During this survey, we detected a faint close companion to 45 Eugenia. The satellite was 6.14 magnitudes (at 1.65 micrometer) fainter and located at most 0.75' from Eugenia. Without the ability of AO to sharpen the contrast and increase the resolution to 0.1', the detection of this companion would have been impossible with ground-based telescopes. The companion was found to be in a 1200 km circular orbit with a period of 4.7 days. We discovered that the bulk density of the large (215 km) asteroid 45 Eugenia is a surprisingly low 1.2 g/cm3. This has lead to the exciting possibilities that either this main belt asteroid is a burned out comet or has a hollow 'rubble-pile' structure.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Laird Miller Close, William J. Merline, C. Dumas, Clark R. Chapman, Francois J. Roddier, Francois Menard, David C. Slater, Gilles Duvert, J. C. Shelton, and Thomas H. Morgan "Search for asteroidal satellites using adaptive optics", Proc. SPIE 4007, Adaptive Optical Systems Technology, (7 July 2000);

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