Analysis of the Karma asteroid family

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2021-02-01

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The Karma asteroid family is a group of primitive asteroids in the middle part of the main belt, just at the outer edge of the 3J:1A mean-motion resonance. We obtained the list of the family members with 317 asteroids, and estimated that it was formed by the catastrophic disruption of a parent body that was between 34 and 41 km in diameter. Based on the V-shape method, age of the Karma family is estimated to be about 137 Myr. A detailed dynamical map of the region combined with numerical simulations allowed us to reconstruct the long-term dynamical evolution of the family, and to identify the mechanisms responsible for this evolution. The numerical simulations successfully reproduced the main features in the orbital distribution of the family members but also showed that some regions of the Karma family could be missing. A more detailed analysis revealed that these regions likely consist of very dark objects, fainter than absolute magnitude H = 17, that have not yet been detected. Based on the obtained results, we concluded that magnitude-frequency distribution of family members up to H = 16 mag is neither affected by dynamical erosion nor observational incompleteness, and therefore represents the result of collisional grinding of the original family population. Finally, we found that the Karma family have been supplying some asteroids to the near-Earth region via the 3J:1A resonance. Currently, there should about 10 family members larger than 1 km in diameter, orbiting in the near-Earth space.

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celestial mechanics, methods: Numeric, minor planets, asteroids: General

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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 501, n. 1, p. 356-366, 2021.