I finally started uploading some of the animations of the talk that I gave last month at the California Academy of Sciences. Today let’s watch (624) Hektor, the binary and bilobed largest Jupiter-Trojan asteroids. This is a puzzling multiple asteroid system with a lot of mysteries (eccentric and inclined orbit of the moon, complex shape and structure for the primary, …).
Our study based on AO observations collected over 8 years was published in 2014. The conclusion of our work is that 624 Hektor is probably a captured Kuiper-belt object and the moon formed a long time ago from the slow velocity encounter of the components.
The Largest Jupiter Trojan: 624 Hektor and its moon from Franck Marchis on Vimeo.
We will probably need to send a spacecraft over there to really understand this complex mini-geological world. The good news is that several space agencies, including JAXA and NASA, are thinking about that.
I would like to thank to my colleague Josef Durech, Matija Ćuk, Julie Castillo, Frederic Vachier, Jerome Berthier and numerous more for their long-term contribution to this project. I also should include my sister Helene Marchis for making the first drawing of this system. ...