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Yarkovsky-Driven Leakage of Koronis Family Members:I. The Case of 2953 Vysheslavia

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1006/icar.2000.6552


Abstract The orbit of the asteroid 2953 Vysheslavia is currently locked in a tiny chaotic zone very close to the 5 : 2 mean motion jovian resonance. Its dynamical lifetime is estimated to be of the order of only about 10 Myr. Since Vysheslavia is a member of the Koronis family, such a short dynamical lifetime opens a variety of interesting questions concerning its origin and evolution. A. Milani and P. Farinella (1995, Icarus 115, 209–212) considered a number of plausible scenarios and suggested that most probably Vysheslavia is an outcome of a recent secondary fragmentation event in the family. Here we propose that Vysheslavia might have been placed on its peculiar orbit by a slow inward drift of the semimajor axis due to the Yarkovsky effect. Numerical simulations confirm that such evolutionary processes can take 100–500 Myr, a period comparable to but still shorter than the probable age of the family (on the order of a Gyr), depending on the thermal properties of Vysheslavia's surface, the orientation of its spin axis, and its size. We have also integrated orbits of the asteroids 7340 (1991 UA 2) and 1993 FR 58, located very close to but outside the chaotic zone that triggers Vysheslavia's orbit instability, and we show that the orbits of these asteroids may also slowly evolve toward the chaotic zone. Such an erosion of the asteroid families, caused by a slow leakage to the nearby powerful resonances, could be fairly common in the main asteroid belt.

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