Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Broadband Photometry of 2003 KU2: A Potentially Hazardous Near-Earth Asteroid


David Dombroski, Michael Hicks


Michael Hicks, Scientist in the Asteroids, Comets and Satellites Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Broadband Photometry was obtained to provide data on 2003 KU2, a Near-Earth Object (NEO) discovered by A.F. Tubbiolo on May 05, 2003. Due to its large size (D~1km) and Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance MOID=0.0285 AU, the object has been designated as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) by the IAU Minor Planet Center. Due to Potentially Hazardous Asteroid's excellent 2012 apparition our data was collected over a series of three nights of time-resolved Bessel BVRI photometry using the 0.6-m telescope at the JPL Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) located in Wrightwood, California. 2003 KU2 appears to have a Sq-type spectral classification (Bus taxonomy), determined by comparison of our rotationally averaged colors (B-R=1.250+/-0.022 mag; V-R=0.439+/- 0.014 mag; R-I=0.275+/-0.017 mag) against the 1341 asteroid spectra in the SMASS II database (Bus & Binzel 2002). Assuming a phase parameter G=0.15, which is typical for an S-Family asteroid, we measured an absolute magnitude in the Bessel R-band of H_R=17.18+/-0.01 mag and, with our V-R color, in the Bessel V-band of H_V = 17.61+/-0.02 mag. We performed a rotational period search using standard Fourier techniques. We assumed a double-peaked lightcurve, and found a best-fit synodic period of P = 3.278+/-0.005 hr. A Phase Dispersion Minimization program was written in order to find the best fit rotational period.

Presented by:

David Dombroski


Saturday, November 17, 2012


2:15 PM — 2:30 PM


Bell Tower 1422

Presentation Type:

Oral Presentation