A test of the plausibility of eclipsing binary asteroids
Abstract
We present an analytic method for producing the lightcurve of a system of spherical bodies in circular orbit about their common center of mass and then use it to model a lightcurve of 171 Ophelia. We find that a model in which the components have a diameter ratio of 1:2.96, have equal albedos, and circle one another in a synchronous orbit (period = 13.146 hr) inclined by 15° to our line of sight provides a reasonable fit to the observed lightcurve. An expression is given for the density in terms of the model parameters. If this lightcurve of Ophelia is produced by mutual eclipses of spherical components the mean density of the system can not exceed 1.7 g cm ^{3}. In view of these results we conclude that it is possible for Ophelia to be a binary.
 Publication:

Icarus
 Pub Date:
 December 1979
 DOI:
 10.1016/00191035(79)900319
 Bibcode:
 1979Icar...40..383W
 Keywords:

 Asteroids;
 Astronomical Models;
 Light Curve;
 Two Body Problem;
 Albedo;
 Eclipses;
 Mathematical Models;
 Projection;
 ASTEROIDS;
 LIGHTCURVES;
 OPHELIA ASTEROID;
 MATHEMATICAL MODELS;
 PARAMETERS;
 BINARY ASTEROIDS;
 OBSERVATIONS;
 COMPARISONS;
 ECLIPSES;
 ROTATION;
 PALES ASTEROID;
 HESTIA ASTEROID;
 HEBE ASTEROID;
 GEOMETRY;
 ALBEDO;
 ANALYSIS;
 Lunar and Planetary Exploration; Asteroids