Simulations of impact ejecta and regolith accumulation on Asteroid eros

D. G. Korycansky, Erik Asphaug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We have carried out a set of Monte Carlo simulations of the placement of impact ejecta on Asteroid 433 Eros, with the aim of understanding the distribution and accumulation of regolith. The simulations consisted of two stages: (1) random distribution of primary impact sites derived from a uniform isotropic flux of impactors, and (2) integration of the orbits of test particle ejecta launched from primary impact points until their re-impact or escape. We integrated the orbits of a large number of test particles (typically 106 per individual case). For those particles that did not escape we collected the location of their re-impact points to build up a distribution on the asteroid surface. We find that secondary impact density is mostly controlled by the overall topography of the asteroid. A gray-scale image of the density of secondary ejecta impact points looks, in general, like a reduced-scale negative of the topography of the asteroid's surface. In other words, regolith migration tends to fill in the topography of Eros over time, whereas topographic highs are denuded of free material. Thus, the irregular shape of Eros is not a steady-state configuration, but the result of larger stochastic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Asteroids
  • Dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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