Broadband Photometry of 2003 KU2: A Potentially Hazardous Near-Earth Asteroid
Authors:David Dombroski, Michael Hicks
Mentor: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.