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Post Info TOPIC: (153591) 2001 SN263


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Asteroid (153591) 2001 SN263
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Title: Orbits of Near-Earth Asteroid Triples 2001 SN263 and 1994 CC: Properties, Origin, and Evolution
Authors: Julia Fang, Jean-Luc Margot, Marina Brozovic, Michael Nolan, Lance A. M. Benner, Patrick Taylor

Three-body model fits to Arecibo and Goldstone radar data reveal the nature of two near-Earth asteroid triples. Triple asteroidal system 2001 SN263 is characterised by a primary of ~10^13 kg, an inner satellite ~1% as massive orbiting at ~3 primary radii in ~0.7 days, and an outer satellite ~2.5% as massive orbiting at ~13 primary radii in ~6.2 days. 1994 CC is a smaller system with a primary of mass ~2.6 x 10^11 kg and two satellites ~2% and ~1% as massive orbiting at distances of ~5.5 and ~19.5 primary radii. Their orbital periods are ~1.2 and ~8.4 days. Examination of resonant arguments shows that the satellites are not currently in a mean motion resonance. Precession of the apses and nodes are detected in both systems (2001 SN263 inner body: d{\varpi}/dt ~1.2 deg/day, 1994 CC inner body: d{\varpi}/dt ~ -0.2 deg/day), which are in agreement with analytical predictions of the secular evolution due to mutually interacting orbits and primary oblateness. Nonzero mutual inclinations between the orbital planes of the satellites provide the best fits to the data in both systems (2001 SN263: ~13.9 degrees, 1994 CC: ~15.7 degrees). Our best-fit orbits are consistent with nearly circular motion, except for 1994 CC's outer satellite which has an eccentric orbit of e ~0.19 ±0.03. We examine several processes that can generate the observed eccentricity and inclinations, including the Kozai and evection resonances, past mean-motion resonance crossings, and close encounters with terrestrial planets.

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RE: (153591) 2001 SN263
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Arecibo Observatory astronomers discover first near-Earth triple asteroid just 7 million miles away
Once considered just your average single asteroid, 2001 SN263 has now been revealed as the first near-Earth triple asteroid ever found. The asteroid -- with three bodies orbiting each other -- was discovered this week by astronomers at the radar telescope at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

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M. C. Nolan, E. S. Howell, Arecibo Observatory; L. A. M. Benner, S. J. Ostro, and J. D. Giorgini, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; M. W. Busch, California Institute of Technology; L. M. Carter and R. F. Anderson, Smithsonian Institution; C. Magri, University of Maine; D. B. Campbell and J. L. Margot, Cornell University; and R. Vervack, Johns Hopkins University, report that Arecibo radar delay-Doppler images (2380 MHz, 12.6 cm) obtained on 2008 Feb. 12 show that minor planet (153591) is a triple system. Based on range extents at 75-m resolution, preliminary estimates of average diameters are 2 km, 1 km, and 400 m for the three components.

CBET 1254

Ephemeris:
2001 SN263               a,e,i = 1.98, 0.48, 7                   q = 1.0364
Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase     V
2002 01 16    23 34.64   +02 25.4    2.267    1.962    59.6    25.6    21.1
2002 01 26    23 50.32   +04 03.2    2.312    1.903    53.7    24.7    21.1
2002 02 05    00 07.39   +05 50.5    2.345    1.841    48.2    23.5    21.0
2002 02 15    00 25.85   +07 46.2    2.366    1.778    43.1    22.3    20.9

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