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Astron. Astrophys. 336, 776-781 (1998)

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Photocentre displacement of minor planets: analysis of Hipparcos astrometry *

D. Hestroffer

Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of ESA, ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands (e-mail: dhestrof@astro.estec.esa.nl)

Received 19 September 1997 / Accepted 31 March 1998

Abstract

We present a study of the phase effect (or photocentre offset) on the astrometry of minor planets. Analysis of the high precision Hipparcos observations of the largest asteroids shows the validity of the model. Minor planets Ceres, Pallas, Vesta and Iris show a brightness distribution close to the lunar scattering properties, while Juno and Hebe are found to be more uniformly bright objects. For general purposes, the observed astrometric positions of asteroids could be corrected for the systematic photocentre offset by assuming in a first approximation a spherical body with a brightness distribution following the law of Buratti & Veverka (1983).

Key words: Planets and satellites: Ceres, Pallas, Vesta – Minor planets, asteroids – ephemerides – astrometry

* Based on data from the Hipparcos astrometry satellite Present address: Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Str. Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese, Italy (e-mail: hestro@to.astro.it)

This article contains no SIMBAD objects.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: July 20, 1998
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