Boulders on asteroid Toutatis as observed by Chang'e-2.

Abstract:

:Boulders are ubiquitously found on the surfaces of small rocky bodies in the inner solar system and their spatial and size distributions give insight into the geological evolution and collisional history of the parent bodies. Using images acquired by the Chang'e-2 spacecraft, more than 200 boulders have been identified over the imaged area of the near-Earth asteroid Toutatis. The cumulative boulder size frequency distribution (SFD) shows a steep slope of -4.4 ± 0.1, which is indicative of a high degree of fragmentation. Similar to Itokawa, Toutatis probably has a rubble-pile structure, as most boulders on its surface cannot solely be explained by impact cratering. The significantly steeper slope for Toutatis' boulder SFD compared to Itokawa may imply a different preservation state or diverse formation scenarios. In addition, the cumulative crater SFD has been used to estimate a surface crater retention age of approximately 1.6 ± 0.3 Gyr.

journal_name

Sci Rep

journal_title

Scientific reports

authors

Jiang Y,Ji J,Huang J,Marchi S,Li Y,Ip WH

doi

10.1038/srep16029

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2015-11-02 00:00:00

pages

16029

issn

2045-2322

pii

srep16029

journal_volume

5

pub_type

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