In the last decade, thanks to the development of sophisticated numerical codes, major breakthroughs have been achieved in our understanding of the formation of asteroid families by catastrophic disruption of large parent bodies. In this review, we describe numerical simulations of asteroid collisions that reproduced the main properties of families, accounting for both the fragmentation of an asteroid at the time of impact and the subsequent gravitational interactions of the generated fragments. The simulations demonstrate that the catastrophic disruption of bodies larger than a few hundred meters in diameter leads to the formation of large aggregates due to gravitational reaccumulation of smaller fragments, which helps explain the presence of large members within asteroid families. Thus, for the first time, numerical simulations successfully reproduced the sizes and ejection velocities of members of representative families. Moreover, the simulations provide constraints on the family dynamical histories and on the possible internal structure of family members and their parent bodies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Asteroids IV|
|Publisher||University of Arizona Press|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)