Modern asteroid surveys produce an increasingly large number of observations, which are grouped into very short arcs (VSAs) each containing a few observations of the same object in one single night. To decide whether two VSAs collected in different nights correspond to the same observed object we can attempt to compute an orbit with the observations of both arcs: this is called the linkage problem. Since the number of linkages to be attempted is very large, we need efficient methods of orbit determination. Using the first integrals of Kepler’s motion we can write algebraic equations for the linkage problem, which can be put in polynomial form. In Gronchi et al. (Celest Mech Dyn Astron 123(2):105–122, 2015) these equations are reduced to a polynomial equation of degree 9: the unknown is the topocentric distance of the observed body at the mean epoch of one VSA. Here we derive the same equations in a more concise way, and show that the degree 9 is optimal in a sense that will be specified in Sect. 3.3. We also introduce a procedure to join three VSAs: from the conservation of angular momentum we obtain a polynomial equation of degree 8 in the topocentric distance at the mean epoch of the second VSA. For both identification methods, with two and three VSAs, we discuss how to discard solutions. Finally, we present some numerical tests showing that the new methods give satisfactory results and can be used also when the time separation between the VSAs is large. The low polynomial degree of the new methods makes them well suited to deal with the very large number of asteroid observations collected by the modern surveys.

### Keplerian integrals, elimination theory and identification of very short arcs in a large database of optical observations

#### Abstract

Modern asteroid surveys produce an increasingly large number of observations, which are grouped into very short arcs (VSAs) each containing a few observations of the same object in one single night. To decide whether two VSAs collected in different nights correspond to the same observed object we can attempt to compute an orbit with the observations of both arcs: this is called the linkage problem. Since the number of linkages to be attempted is very large, we need efficient methods of orbit determination. Using the first integrals of Kepler’s motion we can write algebraic equations for the linkage problem, which can be put in polynomial form. In Gronchi et al. (Celest Mech Dyn Astron 123(2):105–122, 2015) these equations are reduced to a polynomial equation of degree 9: the unknown is the topocentric distance of the observed body at the mean epoch of one VSA. Here we derive the same equations in a more concise way, and show that the degree 9 is optimal in a sense that will be specified in Sect. 3.3. We also introduce a procedure to join three VSAs: from the conservation of angular momentum we obtain a polynomial equation of degree 8 in the topocentric distance at the mean epoch of the second VSA. For both identification methods, with two and three VSAs, we discuss how to discard solutions. Finally, we present some numerical tests showing that the new methods give satisfactory results and can be used also when the time separation between the VSAs is large. The low polynomial degree of the new methods makes them well suited to deal with the very large number of asteroid observations collected by the modern surveys.
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2017
Gronchi, GIOVANNI FEDERICO; Bau', Giulio; MILANI COMPARETTI, Andrea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: `https://hdl.handle.net/11568/826899`