Simultaneous spectroscopic and photometric observations of binary asteroids

D. Polishook, N. Brosch, D. Prialnik, S. Kaspi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results of visible wavelengths spectroscopic measurements (0.45 to 0.72 microns) of two binary asteroids, obtained with the 1-m telescope at the Wise Observatory on January 2008. The asteroids 90 Antiope and 1509 Esclangona were observed to search for spectroscopic variations correlated with their rotation while presenting different regions of their surface to the viewer. Simultaneous photometric observations were performed with the Wise Observatory's 0.46 m telescope, to investigate the rotational phase behavior and possible eclipse events. 90 Antiope displayed an eclipse event during our observations. We could not measure any slope change of the spectroscopic albedo within the error range of 3%, except for a steady decrease in the total light flux while the eclipse took place. We conclude that the surface compositions of the two components do not differ dramatically, implying a common origin and history. 1509 Esclangona did not show an eclipse, but rather a unique lightcurve with three peaks and a wide and flat minimum, repeating with a period of 3.2524 hours. Careful measurements of the spectral albedo slopes reveal a color variation of 7 to 10 percent on the surface of 1509 Esclangona, which correlates with a specific region in the photometric lightcurve. This result suggests that the different features on the lightcurve are at least partially produced by color variations and could perhaps be explained by the existence of an exposed fresh surface on 1509 Esclangona.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955-1966
Number of pages12
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2009


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