solar_system minor_bodies

Minor Bodies

Compilation of asteroid images obtained from space probes (By NASA/JPL-Caltech/JAXA/ESA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Compilation of asteroid images obtained from space probes (By NASA/JPL-Caltech/JAXA/ESA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Besides the Sun and the planets, the Solar System as we know it today is also composed of a great number of minor bodies, distributed among three main stable repositories: the main Asteroid belt, the Transeptunian Belt and the Oort Cloud. These object are the remnants of the formation of our Solar System and hold clues to processes that happened on its early stages. Due to their large numbers, the most efficient way of finding these objects and studing their surface properties is to use data from large photometric surveys like J-PLUS.

During its execution, the surveys will observe a large number of minor Solar System bodies. For solar system objects, the differential of J-PLUS with respect to other large photometric survey is the number and position of the filters used, which will allow a better identification of some taxonomic classes that are not well defined only with SDSS-like filter systems. In particular, the J-PLUS data set will allow a robust identification of the 0.7 micron water alteration band. Thus, with J-PLUS it will be possible to map the occurrence of water alteration in the present Solar System, which in turn will allow us to put further constraints of the presence of volatiles and of heating processes in the early Solar System.

Taxonomy and band detection

A low resolution spectrum can be obtained from the J-PLUS filters. These spectra will allow the taxonomic classification of the asteroids, provindin clues to their likely composition. The majority of Main Belt Asteroid are classified either in the S or in the C taxonomic classes. The S−type asteroids dominate the inner portions of the Main Belt while the C−type asteroids dominate its outer regions. While the mineralogical associations of the S−class asteroids are restricted to anhydrous meteorite types, the most proeminent association of the C class is with the carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. These are composed by phyllosilicates and hydrated material, and also bear traces of amino-acids and organics. In particular, the absorption band at 0.7 microns associated with water­alteration will be distinguishible in the J-PLUS data with better spectral resolution than previous photometric surveys. This will make possible to map the occurrence of water alteration in the present Solar System, which in turn will allow us to put further constraints of the presence of volatiles and if heating processes in the early Solar System.

Band SDSS. Band J-PLUS.

Figure 1. Comparison between the sampling of the SDSS and J-PLUS filters superimposed on thereflectance spectra of an asteroid with a 0.7 micron water alteration band.

Discovery of minor bodies

Although the survey cadence is not optimized for the dicovery of minor bodies, J-PLUS can give an important contribution to the effort of expanding the known population of asteroids and TNOs. The above/bellow figures show simulations of the number of near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and Transneptunian objects TNOs from a synthetic solar system population that would be observed during the survey.

Earth Asteroids (NEAs) from a synthetic solar system population that would be observed during the survey.

Figure 2. Earth Asteroids (NEAs) from a synthetic solar system population that would be observed during the survey.

Transneptunian objects TNOs from a synthetic solar system population that would be observed during the survey.

Figure 3. Transneptunian objects TNOs from a synthetic solar system population that would be observed during the survey.