Title

CHARACTERIZATION OF ACTIVE MAIN BELT OBJECT P/2012 F5 (GIBBS): A POSSIBLE IMPACTED ASTEROID

Authors

Authors

R. Stevenson; E. A. Kramer; J. M. Bauer; J. R. Masiero;A. K. Mainzer

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Astrophys. J.

Keywords

comets: individual (P/2012 F5 (Gibbs)); minor planets, asteroids:; individual (P/2012 F5); INFRARED-SURVEY-EXPLORER; NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS; R2 LA SAGRA; 596; SCHEILA; THERMAL-MODEL; PHYSICAL-PROPERTIES; SOLAR-SYSTEM; 1999 KW4; COMET; 133P/ELST-PIZARRO; Astronomy & Astrophysics

Abstract

In this work, we characterize the recently discovered active main belt object P/2012 F5 (Gibbs), which was discovered with a dust trail > 7' in length in the outer main belt, 7 months prior to aphelion. We use optical imaging obtained on UT 2012 March 27 to analyze the central condensation and the long trail. We find B-band and R-band apparent magnitudes of 20.96 +/- 0.04 mag and 19.93 +/- 0.02 mag, respectively, which give an upper limit on the radius of the nucleus of 2.1 km. The geometric scattering cross-section of material in the trail was similar to 4 x 10(8) m(2), corresponding to a mass of similar to 5 x 10(7) kg. Analysis of infrared images taken by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer in 2010 September reveals that the object was below the detection limit, suggesting that it was less active than it was during 2012, or possibly inactive, just six months after it passed through perihelion. We set a 1 sigma upper limit on its radius during this time of 2.9 km. P/2012 F5 (Gibbs) is dynamically stable in the outer main belt on timescales of similar to 1 Gyr, pointing toward an asteroidal origin. We find that the morphology of the ejected dust is consistent with it being produced by a single event that occurred on UT 2011 July 7 +/- 20 days, possibly as the result of a collision with a small impactor.

Journal Title

Astrophysical Journal

Volume

759

Issue/Number

2

Publication Date

1-1-2012

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

8

WOS Identifier

WOS:000310911300065

ISSN

0004-637X

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