Thermophysical characteristics of the large main-belt asteroid (349) Dembowska [EPA]

(349) Dembowska, a large, bright main-belt asteroid, has a fast rotation and oblique spin axis. It may have experienced partial melting and differentiation. We constrain Dembowska’s thermophysical properties, e.g., thermal inertia, roughness fraction, geometric albedo and effective diameter within 3$\sigma$ uncertainty of $\Gamma=20^{+12}{-7}\rm~Jm^{-2}s^{-0.5}K^{-1}$, $f{\rm r}=0.25^{+0.60}{-0.25}$, $p{\rm v}=0.309^{+0.026}{-0.038}$, and $D{\rm eff}=155.8^{+7.5}_{-6.2}\rm~km$, by utilizing the Advanced Thermophysical Model (ATPM) to analyse four sets of thermal infrared data obtained by IRAS, AKARI, WISE and Subaru/COMICS at different epochs. In addition, by modeling the thermal lightcurve observed by WISE, we obtain the rotational phases of each dataset. These rotationally resolved data do not reveal significant variations of thermal inertia and roughness across the surface, indicating the surface of Dembowska should be covered by a dusty regolith layer with few rocks or boulders. Besides, the low thermal inertia of Dembowska show no significant difference with other asteroids larger than 100 km, indicating the dynamical lives of these large asteroids are long enough to make the surface to have sufficiently low thermal inertia. Furthermore, based on the derived surface thermophysical properties, as well as the known orbital and rotational parameters, we can simulate Dembowska’s surface and subsurface temperature throughout its orbital period. The surface temperature varies from $\sim40$ K to $\sim220$ K, showing significant seasonal variation, whereas the subsurface temperature achieves equilibrium temperature about $120\sim160$ K below $30\sim50$ cm depth.

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L. Yu, B. Yang, J. Ji, et. al.
Fri, 11 Aug 17

Comments: 10 pages, 14 figures, accepted to MNRAS