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  1. Abstract

    In this paper, we present an open-source software (Simulator of Asteroid Malformation Under Stress,SAMUS) that simulates constant-density, constant-viscosity liquid bodies subject to tidal forces for a range of assumed viscosities and sizes. This software solves the Navier–Stokes equations on a finite-element mesh, incorporating the centrifugal, Coriolis, self-gravitational, and tidal forces. The primary functionality is to simulate the deformation of minor bodies under the influence of tidal forces. It may therefore be used to constrain the composition and physical structure of bodies experiencing significant tidal forces, such as 99942 Apophis and 1I/‘Oumuamua. We demonstrate thatSAMUSwill be useful to constrain the material properties of Apophis during its near-Earth flyby in 2029. Depending on the material properties, Apophis may experience an area change of up to 0.5%, with similar effects on the photometric brightness. We also applySAMUSto constrain the material dynamic viscosity of 1I/‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered traversing the inner solar system. ‘Oumuamua experienced a close approach to the Sun at perihelion (q≃ 0.25 au) during which there were significant tidal forces that may have caused deformation of the body. This deformation could have lead to observable changes in the photometric light curve based on the material properties. The applicationmore »ofSAMUSto produce synthetic observations which incorporate tidal deformation effects demonstrates that no deformation—an infinite dynamic viscosity—best reproduces the photometric data. While these results indicate that ‘Oumuamua did not experience significant tidal deformation, a sophisticated model incorporating nonprincipal axis rotation is necessary to conclusively analyze both ‘Oumuamua and Apophis.

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  2. Abstract

    We report a statistically significant detection of nongravitational acceleration on the subkilometer near-Earth asteroid (523599) 2003 RM. Due to its orbit, 2003 RM experiences favorable observing apparitions every 5 yr. Thus, since its discovery, 2003 RM has been extensively tracked with ground-based optical facilities in 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018. We find that the observed plane-of-sky positions cannot be explained with a purely gravity-driven trajectory. Including a transverse nongravitational acceleration allows us to match all observational data, but its magnitude is inconsistent with perturbations typical of asteroids such as the Yarkovsky effect or solar radiation pressure. After ruling out that the orbital deviations are due to a close approach or collision with another asteroid, we hypothesize that this anomalous acceleration is caused by unseen cometary outgassing. A detailed search for evidence of cometary activity with archival and deep observations from the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System and the Very Large Telescope does not reveal any detectable dust production. However, the best-fitting H2O sublimation model allows for brightening due to activity consistent with the scatter of the data. We estimate the production rate required for H2O outgassing to power the acceleration and find that, assuming a diameter ofmore »300 m, 2003 RM would require Q(H2O) ∼ 1023molec s−1at perihelion. We investigate the recent dynamical history of 2003 RM and find that the object most likely originated in the mid-to-outer main belt (∼86% probability) as opposed to from the Jupiter-family comet region (∼11% probability). Further observations, especially in the infrared, could shed light on the nature of this anomalous acceleration.

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  3. Abstract

    We report statistically significant detections of nonradial, nongravitational accelerations based on astrometric data in the photometrically inactive objects 1998 KY26, 2005 VL1, 2016 NJ33, 2010 VL65, 2016 RH120, and 2010 RF12. The magnitudes of the nongravitational accelerations are greater than those typically induced by the Yarkovsky effect, and there is no radiation-based, nonradial effect that can be so large. Therefore, we hypothesize that the accelerations are driven by outgassing and calculate implied H2O production rates for each object. We attempt to reconcile outgassing-induced acceleration with the lack of visible comae or photometric activity via the absence of surface dust and low levels of gas production. Although these objects are small, and some are rapidly rotating, the surface cohesive forces are stronger than the rotational forces, and rapid rotation alone cannot explain the lack of surface debris. It is possible that surface dust was removed previously, perhaps via outgassing activity that increased the rotation rates to their present-day value. We calculate dust production rates of order ∼10−4g s−1in each object, assuming that the nuclei are bare, within the upper limits of dust production from a sample stacked image of 1998 KY26ofṀDust<0.2g s−1. This production corresponds tomore »brightness variations of order ∼0.0025%, which are undetectable in extant photometric data. We assess the future observability of each of these targets and find that the orbit of 1998 KY26—which is also the target of the extended Hayabusa2 mission—exhibits favorable viewing geometry before 2025.

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    Radiation-dust driven outflows, where radiation pressure on dust grains accelerates gas, occur in many astrophysical environments. Almost all previous numerical studies of these systems have assumed that the dust was perfectly coupled to the gas. However, it has recently been shown that the dust in these systems is unstable to a large class of ‘resonant drag instabilities’ (RDIs) which de-couple the dust and gas dynamics and could qualitatively change the non-linear outcome of these outflows. We present the first simulations of radiation-dust driven outflows in stratified, inhomogeneous media, including explicit grain dynamics and a realistic spectrum of grain sizes and charge, magnetic fields and Lorentz forces on grains (which dramatically enhance the RDIs), Coulomb and Epstein drag forces, and explicit radiation transport allowing for different grain absorption and scattering properties. In this paper, we consider conditions resembling giant molecular clouds (GMCs), H ii regions, and distributed starbursts, where optical depths are modest (≲1), single-scattering effects dominate radiation-dust coupling, Lorentz forces dominate over drag on grains, and the fastest-growing RDIs are similar, such as magnetosonic and fast-gyro RDIs. These RDIs generically produce strong size-dependent dust clustering, growing non-linear on time-scales that are much shorter than the characteristic times of the outflow.more »The instabilities produce filamentary and plume-like or ‘horsehead’ nebular morphologies that are remarkably similar to observed dust structures in GMCs and H ii regions. Additionally, in some cases they strongly alter the magnetic field structure and topology relative to filaments. Despite driving strong micro-scale dust clumping which leaves some gas ‘behind,’ an order-unity fraction of the gas is always efficiently entrained by dust.

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  5. ABSTRACT Recently, Squire & Hopkins showed that charged dust grains moving through magnetized gas under the influence of a uniform external force (such as radiation pressure or gravity) are subject to a spectrum of instabilities. Qualitatively distinct instability families are associated with different Alfvén or magnetosonic waves and drift or gyro motion. We present a suite of simulations exploring these instabilities, for grains in a homogeneous medium subject to an external acceleration. We vary parameters such as the ratio of Lorentz-to-drag forces on dust, plasma β, size scale, and acceleration. All regimes studied drive turbulent motions and dust-to-gas fluctuations in the saturated state, rapidly amplify magnetic fields into equipartition with velocity fluctuations, and produce instabilities that persist indefinitely (despite random grain motions). Different parameters produce diverse morphologies and qualitatively different features in dust, but the saturated gas state can be broadly characterized as anisotropic magnetosonic or Alfvénic turbulence. Quasi-linear theory can qualitatively predict the gas turbulent properties. Turbulence grows from small to large scales, and larger scale modes usually drive more vigorous gas turbulence, but dust velocity and density fluctuations are more complicated. In many regimes, dust forms structures (clumps, filaments, sheets) that reach extreme overdensities (up to ≫109 timesmore »mean), and exhibit substantial substructure even in nearly incompressible gas. These can be even more prominent at lower dust-to-gas ratios. In other regimes, dust self-excites scattering via magnetic fluctuations that isotropize and amplify dust velocities, producing fast, diffusive dust motions.« less