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A Study of Hilda Asteroids:VI. Analysis of the Lightcurve Properties

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DOI: 10.1006/icar.1998.6067


Abstract The lightcurves of 47 Hilda asteroids presented in Dahlgren et al. (1998, Icarus 133, 247–285) have been analyzed. The Hilda population has mean lightcurve amplitudes significantly larger than those of main-belt asteroids of similar sizes. This is due to the very large mean amplitudes (0.31 mag) of the small ( D<60 km) D-type Hilda asteroids. The spin rate distribution of the Hilda asteroids is markedly non-Maxwellian, mainly due to a large fraction of slowly rotating objects. More than half of the observed population have rotation periods longer than 12 h. The spin rate versus size diagram has a U-shape with slow spin rates at intermediate sizes. At smaller sizes ( D<60 km) where the Hilda population is totally dominated by D-type objects (Dahlgren and Lagerkvist 1995, Astron. Astrophys. 302, 907–914; Dahlgren et al. 1997, Astron. Astrophys. 323, 606–619) there is a large increase in the scatter of the spin rates, and an increase of the mean amplitudes of these (D-type) Hilda asteroids. This strongly suggests a connection between taxonomic type and collisional evolution among objects in the Hilda population. Possible interpretations of these results are discussed in terms of an early heating event in the Solar System and subsequent collisional evolution of the Hilda population.

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