Satellites of asteroids
V.V. Prokof’eva a
V.P. Tarashchuk b
N.N. Gor’kavyi c
a Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Nauchnyi, Crimea, Russian Federation
b Astronomical Observatory of Kiev University, ul. Observatornaya 3, Kiev, 252053, Ukraine
c Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Simeiz, Crimea, Ukraine
More than 6000 asteroids in the Solar System have now been discovered and enumerated, and about 500 of them have been investigated in detail by different methods. This rewiew gives observational evidence which indicates that no fewer than 10% of asteroids may be composed of two or more bodies. This was supported by the detection of a satellite of the asteroid Ida by the Galileo spacecraft. This discovery symbolises the change of both observational and theoretical paradigms. Space and ground observations of asteroids by modern teghniques may give extensive new data for modelling double asteroids. The analysis of problems of stability, formation and dynamics of asteroid satellites shows that their sphere of stable motion extends up to several hundred asteroid radii. The idea that the origin of the asteroid satellites may be explained in the frame of a unified accretion model of planetary satellite formation is proposed and justified.