Taxonomy and Light-curve Data of 1000 Serendipitously Observed Main-belt Asteroids

N. Erasmus, A. McNeill, M. Mommert, D. E. Trilling, A. A. Sickafoose, C. Van Gend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We present VRI spectrophotometry of 1003 main-belt asteroids (MBAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). All of the observed MBAs were serendipitously captured in KMTNet's large 2° ×2° field of view during a separate targeted near-Earth Asteroid study. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we confidently categorize 836 of the 1003 observed targets as either a S-, C-, X-, or D-type asteroid by means of a machine learning algorithm approach. Our data show that the ratio between S-type MBAs and (C+X+D)-type MBAs, with H magnitudes between 12 and 18 (12 km ≳diameter ≳0.75 km), is almost exactly 1:1. Additionally, we report 0.5-3 hr (median: 1.3 hr) light-curve data for each MBA and we resolve the complete rotation periods and amplitudes for 59 targets. Of the 59 targets, 2 have rotation periods potentially below the theoretical zero-cohesion boundary limit of 2.2 hr. We report lower limits for the rotation periods and amplitudes for the remaining targets. Using the resolved and unresolved light curves we determine the shape distribution for this population using a Monte Carlo simulation. Our model suggests a population with an average elongation b/a = 0.74 0.07 and also shows that this is independent of asteroid size and taxonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • individual (Main-Belt Asteroids)
  • minor planets, asteroids
  • photometric
  • surveys
  • techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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