Aims: We investigated the physical properties and dynamical evolution of near-Earth asteroid (NEA) (190491) 2000 FJ10 in order to assess the suitability of this accessible NEA as a space mission target. Methods: Photometry and colour determination were carried out with the 1.54 m Kuiper Telescope (Mt Bigelow, USA) and the 10 m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT; Sutherland, South Africa) during the object's recent favourable apparition in 2011-12. During the earlier 2008 apparition, a spectrum of the object in the 6000-9000 Angstrom region was obtained with the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope (WHT; Canary Islands, Spain). Interpretation of the observational results was aided by numerical simulations of 1000 dynamical clones of 2000 FJ10 up to 106 yr in the past and in the future. Results: The asteroid's spectrum and colours determined by our observations suggest a taxonomic classification within the S-complex although other classifications (V, D, E, M, P) cannot be ruled out. On this evidence, it is unlikely to be a primitive, relatively unaltered remnant from the early history of the solar system and thus a low priority target for robotic sample return. Our photometry placed a lower bound of 2 h to the asteroid's rotation period. Its absolute magnitude was estimated to be 21.54 ± 0.1 which, for a typical S-complex albedo, translates into a diameter of 130 ± 20 m. Our dynamical simulations show that it has likely been an Amor for the past 105 yr. Although currently not Earth-crossing, it will likely become so during the period 50-100 kyr in the future. It may have arrived from the inner or central main belt >1 Myr ago as a former member of a low-inclination S-class asteroid family. Its relatively slow rotation and large size make it a suitable destination for a human mission. We show that ballistic Earth-190491-Earth transfer trajectories with ΔV <2 km s-1 at the asteroid exist between 2052 and 2061. Based on observations made with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT).
|Journal||Astronomy and Astrophysics|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Dec 2012|
- minor planets
- asteroids: individual: 2000 FJ10
- methods: observational
- methods: numerical