Impacts into rotating targets: angular momentum draining and efficient formation of synthetic families

Ševeček, P.; Brož, M.; Jutzi, Martin (2019). Impacts into rotating targets: angular momentum draining and efficient formation of synthetic families. Astronomy and astrophysics, 629, A122. EDP Sciences 10.1051/0004-6361/201935690

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About 10% of the observed asteroids have rotational periods lower than P = 3h and seem to be relatively close to the spin barrier. Yet, the rotation has often been neglected in simulations of asteroid collisions. To determine the effect of rotation, we performed a large number of impact simulations with rotating targets. We developed a new unified smoothed particle hydrodynamics and N-body code with self-gravity, suitable for simulations of both fragmentation phase and gravitational reaccumulation. The code has been verified against previous ones, but we also tested new features, such as rotational stability, tensile stability, etc. Using the new code, we ran simulations with Dpb = 10 and 100km monolithic targets and compared synthetic asteroid families created by these impacts with families corresponding to non-rotating targets. The rotation affects mostly cratering events at oblique impact angles. The total mass ejected by these collisions can be up to five times larger for rotating targets. We further computed the transfer of the angular momentum and determined conditions under which impacts accelerate or decelerate the target. While individual cratering collisions can cause both acceleration and deceleration,the deceleration prevails on average. Collisions thus cause asystematic spin-down of the asteroid population.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Jutzi, Martin


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




EDP Sciences




Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2020 15:02

Last Modified:

04 Feb 2020 15:02

Publisher DOI:





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