Aims: The Euphrosyne asteroid family occupies a unique zone in orbital element space around 3.15 au and may be an important source of the low-albedo near-Earth objects. The parent body of this family may have been one of the planetesimals that delivered water and organic materials onto the growing terrestrial planets. We aim to characterize the compositional properties as well as the dynamical properties of the family.
Methods: We performed a systematic study to characterize the physical properties of the Euphrosyne family members via low-resolution spectroscopy using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. In addition, we performed smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations and N-body simulations to investigate the collisional origin, determine a realistic velocity field, study the orbital evolution, and constrain the age of the Euphrosyne family.
Results: Our spectroscopy survey shows that the family members exhibit a tight taxonomic distribution, suggesting a homogeneous composition of the parent body. Our SPH simulations are consistent with the Euphrosyne family having formed via a reaccumulation process instead of a cratering event. Finally, our N-body simulations indicate that the age of the family is 280-80+180 Myr, which is younger than previous estimates.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- November 2020
- minor planets;
- asteroids: general;
- asteroids: individual: (31) Euphrosyne;
- methods: observational;
- methods: numerical;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 10 pages, 13 figures, accepted to be published in A&