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Astron. Astrophys. 360, 375-380 (2000)

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Research Note

Impact-generated activity period of the asteroid 7968 Elst-Pizarro in 1996: Identification of the asteroid 427 Galene as the most probable parent body of the impactors

I. Toth

Konkoly Observatory, Budapest 1525, P.O. Box 67, Hungary Telefax: (36)-1-275-4668 (tothi@konkoly.hu)

Received 4 January 1999 / Accepted 11 May 2000


One of the most interesting objects among the small bodies in the Solar System is the intermediate object 7968 Elst-Pizarro classified as an asteroid-comet orbiting in the Themis region of the main belt, which showed a temporary dust tail activity in 1996. The impact-induced processes generated by multiple collisions with a debris cloud associated with another asteroid, are the preferred explanations for this activity. A computer search has shown that the most probable candidate for the parent body of the impactors to generate this temporary outburst activity, is the field asteroid 427 Galene.

Key words: comets: individual: 133P/Elst – Pizarro (P/1996 N2) – minor planets, asteroids – Solar system: general

Send offprint requests to: I. Toth

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: July 27, 2000