The dynamic estimation of the mass of the main asteroid belt
Highlights of Astronomy, O. Engvold (Ed.) Vol. 13, San Francisco, CA: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 772 - 773 (2005)About the paper
Perturbations from asteroids affect significantly on the orbits of the inner planets and should be taken into account when high-accuracy planetary ephemerides are constructed. On the other hand from an analysis of the motions of the major planets by processing of precise measurements of ranging to the Viking Pathfinder Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and planets (1961-2002) some physical parameters of the asteroids have been obtained. The masses of several the biggest asteroids (Ceres Pallas Vesta Juno) have been determined individually masses of the most relevant 296 asteroids have been derived from their latest published diameters based on IRAS data and observations of occultions of stars by minor planets making use of the corresponding densities. The total contribution of all remaining small asteroids is modeled as an acceleration caused by a solid ring in the ecliptic plane. As a sequence the total mass of the main asteroid belt was obtained: M=(14+-2)*10E-10 mass of Sun. An derived expression for estimating the total number of minor planets in any unit interval of absolute magnitude H was compared with the observed distributions of the asteroids (52224 numbered 152451 unnumbered) and distribution of the SAM model by Tedesco et al.