The University of Arizona

Asteroid photometric and polarimetric phase curves: Joint linear-exponential modeling

K. MUINONEN, A. PENTTIL, A. CELLINO, I. N. BELSKAYA, M. DELB, A. C. LEVASSEUR-REGOURD, E. F. TEDESCO

Abstract


We present Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo methods (MCMC) for the derivation of empirical model parameters for photometric and polarimetric phase curves of asteroids. Here we model the two phase curves jointly at phase angles 25° using a linear-exponential model, accounting for the opposition effect in disk-integrated brightness and the negative branch in the degree of linear polarization. We apply the MCMC methods to V-band phase curves of asteroids 419 Aurelia (taxonomic class F), 24 Themis (C), 1 Ceres (G), 20 Massalia (S), 55 Pandora (M), and 64 Angelina (E). We show that the photometric and polarimetric phase curves can be described using a common nonlinear parameter for the angular widths of the opposition effect and negative-polarization branch, thus supporting the hypothesis of common physical mechanisms being responsible for the phenomena. Furthermore, incorporating polarimetric observations removes the indeterminacy of the opposition effect for 1 Ceres. We unveil a trend in the interrelation between the enhancement factor of the opposition effect and the angular width: the enhancement factor decreases with decreasing angular width. The minimum polarization and the polarimetric slope at the inversion angle show systematic trends when plotted against the angular width and the normalized photometric slope parameter. Our new approach allows improved analyses of possible similarities and differences among asteroidal surfaces.

Keywords


Asteroid surface;Cometary nucleus;Cosmic dust;Remote sensing

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