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Properties of slowly rotating asteroids from the Convex Inversion Thermophysical Model

Abstract : Context. Recent results for asteroid rotation periods from the TESS mission showed how strongly previous studies have underestimated the number of slow rotators, revealing the importance of studying those targets. For most slowly rotating asteroids (those with P > 12 h), no spin and shape model is available because of observation selection effects. This hampers determination of their thermal parameters and accurate sizes. Also, it is still unclear whether signatures of different surface material properties can be seen in thermal inertia determined from mid-infrared thermal flux fitting.
Aims: We continue our campaign in minimising selection effects among main belt asteroids. Our targets are slow rotators with low light-curve amplitudes. Our goal is to provide their scaled spin and shape models together with thermal inertia, albedo, and surface roughness to complete the statistics.
Methods: Rich multi-apparition datasets of dense light curves are supplemented with data from Kepler and TESS spacecrafts. In addition to data in the visible range, we also use thermal data from infrared space observatories (mainly IRAS, Akari and WISE) in a combined optimisation process using the Convex Inversion Thermophysical Model. This novel method has so far been applied to only a few targets, and therefore in this work we further validate the method itself.
Results: We present the models of 16 slow rotators, including two updated models. All provide good fits to both thermal and visible data.The obtained sizes are on average accurate at the 5% precision level, with diameters found to be in the range from 25 to 145 km. The rotation periods of our targets range from 11 to 59 h, and the thermal inertia covers a wide range of values, from 2 to <400 J m−2 s−1∕2 K−1, not showing any correlation with the period.
Conclusions: With this work we increase the sample of slow rotators with reliable spin and shape models and known thermal inertia by 40%. The thermal inertia values of our sample do not display a previously suggested increasing trend with rotation period, which mightbe due to their small skin depth.

The photometric data with asteroid lightcurves are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 1:40:14 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 3:37:49 PM


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A. Marciniak, J. Ďurech, V. Alí-Lagoa, W. Ogłoza, R. Szakáts, et al.. Properties of slowly rotating asteroids from the Convex Inversion Thermophysical Model. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2021, 654, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202140991⟩. ⟨insu-03667381⟩



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