S. Bagnulo, I. Belskaya, A. Stinson, A. Christou, G.B. Borisov

Broadband linear polarization of Jupiter Trojans

Figure 4. Polarimetric measurements of six Jupiter Trojans asteroids.


Context.Trojan asteroids orbit in the Lagrange points of the system Sun-planet-asteroid. Their dynamical stability make their physical properties important proxies for the early evolution of our solar system. Aims. To study their origin, we want to characterize the surfaces of Jupiter Trojan asteroids and check possible similarities with objects of the main belt and of the Kuiper Belt.

Methods. We have obtained high-accuracy broad-band linear polarization measurements of six Jupiter Trojans of the L4 population and tried to estimate the main features of their polarimetric behaviour. We have compared the polarimetric properties of our targets among themselves, and with those of other atmosphere-less bodies of our solar system.

Results. Our sample show approximately homogeneous polarimetric behaviour, although some distinct features are found between them. In general, the polarimetric properties of Trojan asteroids are similar to those of D- and P-type main-belt asteroids. No sign of coma activity is detected in any of the observed objects.

Conclusions. An extended polarimetric survey may help to further investigate the origin and the surface evolution of Jupiter Trojans.

Full paper in PDF format

Last Revised: 2016 January 15th