Population and size distribution of small Jovian Trojan asteroids

David C. Jewitt, Chadwick A. Trujillo, Jane X. Luu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


We present a study of Jovian Trojan objects detected serendipitously during the course of a sky survey conducted at the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope. We used a 8192 × 8192 pixel charge-coupled device (CCD) mosaic to observe 20 deg2 at locations spread over the L4 Lagrangian swarm and reached a limiting magnitude V = 22.5 (50% of maximum detection efficiency). Ninety-three Jovian Trojans were detected with radii 2 km ≤ r ≤ 20 km (assumed visual albedo 0.04). Their differential magnitude distribution has a slope of 0.40 ± 0.05, corresponding to a power-law size distribution index 3.0 ± 0.3 (1 σ). The total number of L4 Trojans with radii ≥1 km is of order 1.6 × 105, and their combined mass (dominated by the largest objects) is ∼10-4 MEarth. The bias-corrected mean inclination is 13°.7 ± 0°.5. We also discuss the size and spatial distribution of the L4 swarm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1147
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Comets: general
  • Minor planets, asteroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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