25 October 2004 Studying binary asteroids with NGS and LGS AO systems
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Since the discovery of Dactyl orbiting around Ida by the Galileo spacecraft in 1993, over twenty-five binary asteroid systems have been discovered using radar, direct imaging and Adaptive Optics observations. Asteroidal moon discoveries dramatically increased with the advent of this last technique on ground based telescopes. Our group focuses on the search and study of double asteroids in the main-belt, in the Trojan population and beyond Neptune's orbit. We have been using several of the AO systems available (Lick-3m, Palomar-5m, VLT-8m, Keck-10m) and related techniques such as Appulse and Laser Guide Star observations to broaden the sample of asteroids observed from the main-belt out to the Kuiper Belt. We will present a quality comparison between various techniques and different AO systems with NGS and will detail our first successful observations with the Lick LGS system. Precise orbital elements of the secondary can be determined by multiple observations spanning large periods of time (several months). Our group developed a method to predict the ephemeris of a secondary companion. Without any assumptions, this method, tested successfully on 22 Kalliope and 121 Hermione binary systems, leads to the direct determination of important physical parameters of the targets, such as their mass and the interior structure, as well as gives direct insights on their formation processes that may be otherwise only be speculated on from spacecraft mission flybys.
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Franck Marchis, Jerome Berthier, Pascal Descamps, Daniel Hestroffer, Frederic Vachier, Conor Laver, Imke de Pater, and Don T. Gavel "Studying binary asteroids with NGS and LGS AO systems", Proc. SPIE 5490, Advancements in Adaptive Optics, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550624; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.550624


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