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The distribution and source of boulders on asteroid 4179 Toutatis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2016

Yun Jiang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China email: yjiang@pmo.ac.cn; jijh@pmo.ac.cn
Jianghui Ji
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China email: yjiang@pmo.ac.cn; jijh@pmo.ac.cn
Jiangchuan Huang
Affiliation:
China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing 100094, China
Simone Marchi
Affiliation:
Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado 80302, USA
Yuan Li
Affiliation:
Space Science Institute, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau
Wing-Huen Ip
Affiliation:
Institute of Astronomy, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
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Abstract

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Boulders are ubiquitous on the surfaces of asteroids and their spatial and size distributions provide information for the geological evolution and collisional history of parent bodies. We identify more than 200 boulders on near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis based on images obtained by Chang'e-2 flyby. The cumulative boulder size frequency distribution (SFD) gives a power-index of −4.4 ± 0.1, which is clearly steeper than those of boulders on Itokawa and Eros, indicating much high degree of fragmentation. Correlation analyses with craters suggest that most boulders cannot solely be produced as products of cratering, but are probably survived fragments from the parent body of Toutatis, accreted after its breakup. Similar to Itokawa, Toutatis probably has a rubble-pile structure, but owns a different preservation state of boulders.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2016 

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