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Predicting the Effects of Asteroid 16 Psyche’s Surface Temperatures

Presentation #309.07 in the session “Main Belt Asteroids”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Predicting the Effects of Asteroid 16 Psyche’s Surface Temperatures

The asteroid 16 Psyche is the target of the upcoming Psyche mission. The Psyche mission will not carry any instruments to directly measure 16 Psyche’s surface temperatures, however the effects surface temperature may be visible. In this work we use a 1D thermal diffusion model to characterize 16 Psyche’s surface temperatures. Given the wide range of previous surface inertia estimates [2-4], we treat this as a free parameter. Because of 16 Psyche’s high obliquity (95 degrees) the poles experience dramatic temperature variations between polar summer and winter. These variations of >100 K could cause fracturing of surface boulders. We will present estimates for the timescale of fracture propagation and how these effects scale with surface properties.

Refrences: [1] Elkins‐Tanton, L. T. et al. (2020) JGR:Planets 125 [2] Matter, A. et al. (2013) Icarus 226 [3] Landsman, Z. A. et al. (2018) Icarus 304 [4] deKleer et al. (2021) arXiv


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