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Estimating masses of asteroids

Krasinsky G.A., Pitjeva E.V., Vasilyev M.V., Yagudina E.I.

Proceedings of Ceres 2001 Workshop, J.-E. Arlot and W. Thuillot (Eds), Observatoire de Paris, 87-92 (2004)

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The action of asteroids upon the orbits of Mars and the Earth is considered in this paper. The total mass of the asteroid belt : Mbelt = (1800+-100) 10^-12 Msun is estimated from analysis of the motion of major planets. This value is in a good accordance with the estimate obtained from a theoretical distribution of minor planets based on the fragmentation theory. The expression for predicting the total number of minor planets in any unit interval of absolute magnitude is derived. The comparison with the observed distribution shows that at present about 10% of the asteroids with the absolute magnitudes H < 14 are discovered.