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Life and Giant Planets
617 Patroclus observed with the Keck-10m LGS AO system. The observations of this faint object (mv~15.8) were made possible using the LGS system. An artificial star (with mv~11) is created at proximity of the target, exciting the thin sodium layer at an altitude of ~100 km using a dye laser. The asteroid itself was used for the tip-tilt analysi. These observations were taken on 28 May 2005 with the NIRC-2 infrared camera through the H, centred at 1.6 microns (a), and Kp, centred at 2.2 microns (b) broadband filters. The angular resolution is estimated to 0.058 arcsec, close to the diffraction limit of the telescope (indicated by the scale bar, 50mas). The angular separation on the two images is 150 mas, corresponding to 640 km, close to the maximum apparent separation of the components. (credit: F. Marchis et al., Nature)


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