Asteroid mass estimation using Markov-chain Monte Carlo

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307541

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Siltala , L & Granvik , M 2017 , ' Asteroid mass estimation using Markov-chain Monte Carlo ' , Icarus , vol. 297 , pp. 149-159 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.028

Title: Asteroid mass estimation using Markov-chain Monte Carlo
Author: Siltala, Lauri; Granvik, Mikael
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Date: 2017-11-15
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Icarus
ISSN: 0019-1035
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307541
Abstract: Estimates for asteroid masses are based on their gravitational perturbations on the orbits of other objects such as Mars, spacecraft, or other asteroids and/or their satellites. In the case of asteroid-asteroid perturbations, this leads to an inverse problem in at least 13 dimensions where the aim is to derive the mass of the perturbing asteroid(s) and six orbital elements for both the perturbing asteroid(s) and the test asteroid(s) based on astrometric observations. We have developed and implemented three different mass estimation algorithms utilizing asteroid-asteroid perturbations: the very rough 'marching' approximation, in which the asteroids' orbital elements are not fitted, thereby reducing the problem to a one-dimensional estimation of the mass, an implementation of the Nelder-Mead simplex method, and most significantly, a Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. We describe each of these algorithms with particular focus on the MCMC algorithm, and present example results using both synthetic and real data. Our results agree with the published mass estimates, but suggest that the published uncertainties may be misleading as a consequence of using linearized mass-estimation methods. Finally, we discuss remaining challenges with the algorithms as well as future plans. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Subject: Asteroids
dynamics
Orbit determination
Celestial mechanics
15 EUNOMIA
10 HYGIEA
ORBIT
VESTA
CERES
DAWN
115 Astronomy, Space science
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