Mineralogical clues to the origins of asteroid dynamical families

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28 Scopus citations


The mineralogical composition of the parent bodies of the asteroid dynamical families is investigated by means of remote-sensing data. Tables of the correlation between the taxonomic types of Tholen and family membership lists of Hirayama, Brouwer, Arnold, Carusi and Massaro, Kozai, and Williams were prepared. These tables, supplemented by recent IR and radar results, suggest that while the larger, well-defined families are fragments of collisionally disrupted parent bodies, most of the smaller proposed families cannot have such an origin. The most probable explanations of this result are that most family lists were generated using excessively generous criteria, or that subtle unrecognized dynamical effects analogous to the Williams resonances selectively deplete some regions of the asteroid belt, leaving family-like asteroid groups in other regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-440
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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