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Sample records for asteroidal water evidence

  1. The 1.7- to 4.2-micron spectrum of asteroid 1 Ceres - Evidence for structural water in clay minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebofsky, L. A.; Feierberg, M. A.; Larson, H. P.; Johnson, J. R.; Tokunaga, A. T.

    1981-01-01

    A high-resolution Fourier spectrum (1.7-3.5 microns) and medium-resolution spectrophotometry (2.7-4.2 microns) were obtained for Asteroid 1 Ceres. The presence of the 3-micron absorption feature due to water of hydration was confirmed. The 3-micron feature is compared with the 3-micron bands due to water of hydration in clays and salts. It is concluded that the spectrum of Ceres shows a strong absorption at 2.7-2.8 microns due to structural OH groups in clay minerals. The dominant minerals on the surface of Ceres are therefore hydrated clay minerals structurally similar to terrestrial montmorillonites. There is also a narrow absorption feature at 3.1 microns which is attributable to a very small amount of water ice on Ceres. This is the first evidence for ice on the surface of an asteroid.

  2. SNC meteorites - Evidence against an asteroidal origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwal, L. D.; Warner, J. L.; Wood, C. A.

    1982-01-01

    About 1.3 billion years ago, on one or more distant planetary bodies, silicate melts formed and produced cumulate rocks which eventually made their way to earth. Nine of these rocks have been recovered. Three distinct groups are involved, including shergottites, nakhlites, and chassignites (abbreviated as SNC). The young crystallization ages and other chemical features of SNC meteorites have prompted several workers to suggest that the specimens may be samples of igneous rock, ejected from the surface of Mars during an impact event. Others have rejected the Martian origin of SNC meteorites in favor of a more traditional asteroidal parent body. The present investigation shows that the petrologic, geochemical, and isotopic evidence is inconsistent with an asteroidal origin for SNC meteorites. It is found that the characteristics of SNC meteorites argue convincingly against their origin in a planetary object as small as the largest asteroid. That these meteorites may be fragments of the Martian surface still remains the most likely possibility.

  3. Water in Asteroid 4 Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2015-01-01

    Eucrite meteorites come from asteroid 4 Vesta, which was recently studied from orbit by NASA's Dawn mission. Adam Sarafian (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) and colleagues at Woods Hole, the University of Bristol, England, and the University of New Mexico measured the hydrogen concentration and deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratio in crystals of the mineral apatite (calcium phosphate) in eucrites. They found that the D/H ratio is in the same range as in carbonaceous chondrites, most samples of the Earth's mantle, and in samples of basaltic meteorites from Mars. Combined with measurements of the isotopic compositions of nitrogen and carbon, the data suggest that these volatile elements were added to Earth early in its history, probably during its formation. Other studies conclude that water with D/H like that in carbonaceous chondrites, Earth, Mars, and Vesta were likely inherited from interstellar ice that predates formation of the solar system.

  4. Water and ice in asteroids: Connections between asteroid observations and the chondritic meteorite record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, B.; Dyl, K.

    2014-07-01

    The mid-outer main belt is rich in possible parent bodies for the water-bearing carbonaceous chondrites, given their dark surfaces and frequent presence of hydrated minerals (e.g., Feierberg et al. 1985). Ceres (Thomas et al. 2005) and Pallas (Schmidt et al. 2009) possess shapes that indicate that these bodies have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium and may be differentiated (rock from ice). Dynamical calculations suggest asteroids formed rapidly to large sizes to produce the size frequency distribution within today's main belt (e.g., Morbidelli et al. 2009). Water-ice bound to organics has now been detected on the surface of Themis (Rivkin and Emery 2009, Campins et al. 2009), and indirect evidence for ice on many of the remaining family members, including main-belt comets (Hsieh & Jewitt 2006, Castillo-Rogez & Schmidt 2010), supports the theory that the ''C-class'' asteroids formed early and ice-rich. The carbonaceous chondrites represent a rich history of the thermal and aqueous evolution of early planetesimals (e.g., McSween 1979, Bunch and Chang, 1980, Zolensky and McSween 1988, Clayton 1993, Rowe et al., 1994). The composition of these meteorites reflects the timing and duration of water flow, as well as subsequent mineral alteration and isotopic evolution that can constrain temperature and water-rock ratios in which these systematics were set (e.g., Young et al. 1999, Dyl et al. 2012). Debate exists as to how the chemical and thermal consequences of fluid flow on carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies relate to parent-body characteristics: small, static water bodies (e.g., McSween 1979); small, convecting but homogeneous bodies (e.g., Young et al. 1999, 2003); or larger convecting bodies (e.g., Grimm and McSween 1989, Palguta et al. 2010). Heterogeneous thermal and aqueous evolution on larger asteroids that suggests more than one class of carbonaceous chondrite may be produced on the same body (e.g., Castillo-Rogez & Schmidt 2010, Elkins-Tanton et al. 2011

  5. Simulations of asteroid impacts on water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisler, G. R.; Weaver, R. P.; Gittings, M. L.

    2002-05-01

    We have performed a series of two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations of asteroid impacts into an ocean using the SAGE code from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Science Applications International Corporation. The SAGE code is a compressible Eulerian hydrodynamics code using continuous adaptive mesh refinement for following discontinuities with a fine grid while treating the bulk of the simulation more coarsely. We have used realistic equations of state for the atmosphere, sea water, the oceanic crust and mantle. In two dimensions, we threw asteroid impactors at 20 km/s vertically through an exponential atmosphere into a 5 km deep ocean. The impactors were composed of mantle material (3.32 g/cc) with diameters of 250m, 500m, and 1000m, chosen to compare with the previous work of Crawford and Mader. We also performed some runs with asteroids composed of iron (7.8 g/cc). Because some of the iron asteroids produced craters that penetrated the basalt crust, we included a layer of mantle material in all simulations. A vertical impact produces a large underwater cavity with nearly vertical walls followed by a collapse starting from the bottom and subsequent vertical jetting. Tsunamis up to a kilometer in initial height were generated and followed out to 100 km from the point of impact. In the three-dimensional run, an impactor of iron was thrown at 20 km/s at an angle of 45 degrees. Differences between this run and the vertical two-dimensional runs will be discussed.

  6. EVIDENCE FOR GAS FROM A DISINTEGRATING EXTRASOLAR ASTEROID

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, S. [European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles CA 90095-1562 (United States); Dufour, P., E-mail: sxu@eso.org, E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: dufourpa@astro.umontreal.ca [Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes (iREx), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2016-01-10

    We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations of WD 1145+017—a white dwarf that was recently found to be transitted by multiple asteroid-sized objects within its tidal radius. We discovered numerous circumstellar absorption lines with linewidths of ∼300 km s{sup −1} from Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni, possibly from several gas streams produced by collisions among the actively disintegrating objects. The atmosphere of WD 1145+017 is polluted with 11 heavy elements, including O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V:, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni. Evidently, we are witnessing the active disintegration and subsequent accretion of an extrasolar asteroid.

  7. Vortex magnetic structure in framboidal magnetite reveals existence of water droplets in an ancient asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuki; Sato, Takeshi; Nakamura, Norihiro; Nozawa, Jun; Nakamura, Tomoki; Tsukamoto, Katsuo; Yamamoto, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The majority of water has vanished from modern meteorites, yet there remain signatures of water on ancient asteroids. How and when water disappeared from the asteroids is important, because the final fluid-concentrated chemical species played critical roles in the early evolution of organics and in the final minerals in meteorites. Here we show evidence of vestigial traces of water based on a nanometre-scale palaeomagnetic method, applying electron holography to the framboids in the Tagish Lake meteorite. The framboids are colloidal crystals composed of three-dimensionally ordered magnetite nanoparticles and therefore are only able to form against the repulsive force induced by the surface charge of the magnetite as a water droplet parches in microgravity. We demonstrate that the magnetites have a flux closure vortex structure, a unique magnetic configuration in nature that permits the formation of colloidal crystals just before exhaustion of water from a local system within a hydrous asteroid.

  8. ASTEROIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Željko Andreić

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Asteroids are the largest minor bodies in the Solar System. Nowadays they are in the research focus due to several facts about them: first, a subclass of asteroids can collide with Earth, and consequences of such a collision are dramatic. Second, they are now seen as source of materials that are becoming scarce on Earth, and they will be needed in future space constructions anyway. Third, they are holding clues about the origin and evolution of the Solar System. In this article, a short overview of current knowledge about asteroids is presented. Last, but not least, as several Croatian scientists were recently honored by naming an asteroid after them, a short overview of the naming process is given.

  9. ASTEROIDS

    OpenAIRE

    Željko Andreić

    2016-01-01

    Asteroids are the largest minor bodies in the Solar System. Nowadays they are in the research focus due to several facts about them: first, a subclass of asteroids can collide with Earth, and consequences of such a collision are dramatic. Second, they are now seen as source of materials that are becoming scarce on Earth, and they will be needed in future space constructions anyway. Third, they are holding clues about the origin and evolution of the Solar System. In this article, a short overv...

  10. Delivery of Organic Material and Water through Asteroid Impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Frantseva, Kateryna; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2014-01-01

    Meteorites, specifically carbonaceous chondrites, are frequently invoked as the primary source of Earth's water and organic materials, crucial ingredients for the formation of life. We have started developing a dynamical model of the delivery of their parent bodies, primitive low-albedo asteroids, f

  11. Delivery of Organic Material and Water through Asteroid Impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Frantseva, Kateryna; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2014-01-01

    Meteorites, specifically carbonaceous chondrites, are frequently invoked as the primary source of Earth's water and organic materials, crucial ingredients for the formation of life. We have started developing a dynamical model of the delivery of their parent bodies, primitive low-albedo asteroids,

  12. Evidence for the Nature of Space Weathering Spectral Signatures on Low Albedo Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz, Cateline; Clark, B. E.; Barucci, M. A.

    2012-10-01

    We address an existing problem in understanding the reflected light spectral signatures of carbonaceous (low-albedo) asteroids. We know from observations of the moon and high-albedo asteroids that interplanetary surface processes (solar wind and micrometeorite bombardment) can alter the spectral properties of silicates. The problem is that we don’t understand how carbonaceous surfaces respond to surface processes. The question is, what are the spectral signatures of surface processes on low albedo asteroids? To answer this question, we need to study reflected light spectra of asteroid subsurface materials, and compare them with asteroid surface materials. In this work, we assume that primitive asteroids are the parent bodies of carbonaceous chondrites. We begin with a fairly well-established meteorite-asteroid link: several studies have found evidence that links the CM meteorites with the Ch/Cgh asteroids [Hiroi et ao. 1996; Fornasier et al. 1999]. Assuming this link, we reason that differences between spectra of particulate samples of the CM meteorites and spectra of the regolith of the asteroids can be due to either differences in textural properties, or differences caused by surface processes on the asteroid. Previous work has resulted in contradictory predictions. Asteroid color survey data analyzed by Lazzarin et al. (2006) predicted spectral reddening for low albedo asteroids. Laser irradiation experiments by Moroz et al. (1996; 2004; 2004b) indicated both reddening and blueing of various degrees. Our initial results indicate spectral blueing of up to 50%, with little to no concurrent albedo change. We used telescopic observations of 43 Ch and Cgh-type asteroids (0.4 to 2.5 microns) from Binzel, DeMeo, et al. (MIT) and Fornasier et al. (Obs. Paris). We compare them statistically with 106 CM meteorite spectra from RELAB. The goal of this work is to predict what the OSIRIS-REx mission will see at B-type asteroid (101955) 1999RQ36.

  13. Calculations of Asteroid Impacts into Deep and Shallow Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisler, Galen; Weaver, Robert; Gittings, Michael

    2011-06-01

    Contrary to received opinion, ocean impacts of small (impacts, just as for land impacts, are the atmospheric effects. We present illustrative hydrodynamic calculations of impacts into both deep and shallow seas, and draw conclusions from a parameter study in which the size of the impactor and the depth of the sea are varied independently. For vertical impacts at 20 km/s, craters in the seafloor are produced when the water depth is less than about 5-7 times the asteroid diameter. Both the depth and the diameter of the transient crater scale with the asteroid diameter, so the volume of water excavated scales with the asteroid volume. About a third of the crater volume is vaporised, because the kinetic energy per unit mass of the asteroid is much larger than the latent heat of vaporisation of water. The vaporised water carries away a considerable fraction of the impact energy in an explosively expanding blast wave which is responsible for devastating local effects and may affect worldwide climate. Of the remaining energy, a substantial portion is used in the crown splash and the rebound jet that forms as the transient crater collapses. The collapse and rebound cycle leads to a propagating wave with a wavelength considerably shorter than classical tsunamis, being only about twice the diameter of the transient crater. Propagation of this wave is hindered somewhat because its amplitude is so large that it breaks in deep water and is strongly affected by the blast wave's perturbation of the atmosphere. Even if propagation were perfect, however, the volume of water delivered per metre of shoreline is less than was delivered by the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami for any impactor smaller than 500 m diameter in an ocean of 5 km depth or less. Near-field effects are dangerous for impactors of diameter 200 m or greater; hurricane-force winds can extend tens of kilometers from the impact point, and fallout from the initial splash can be extremely violent. There is some indication that

  14. Extrasolar Asteroid Mining as Forensic Evidence for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Forgan, Duncan

    2011-01-01

    The development of civilisations like ours into spacefaring, multi-planet entities requires significant raw materials to construct vehicles and habitats. Interplanetary debris, including asteroids and comets, may provide such a source of raw materials. In this article we present the hypothesis that extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) engaged in asteroid mining may be detectable from Earth. Considering the detected disc of debris around Vega as a template, we explore the observational signatures of targeted asteroid mining (TAM), such as unexplained deficits in chemical species, changes in the size distribution of debris and other thermal signatures which may be detectable in the spectral energy distribution (SED) of a debris disc. We find that individual observational signatures of asteroid mining can be explained by natural phenomena, and as such they cannot provide conclusive detections of ETIs. But, it may be the case that several signatures appearing in the same system will prove harder to model without...

  15. Extrasolar Asteroid Mining as Forensic Evidence for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Forgan, Duncan; Elvis, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The development of civilisations like ours into spacefaring, multi-planet entities requires significant raw materials to construct vehicles and habitats. Interplanetary debris, including asteroids and comets, may provide such a source of raw materials. In this article we present the hypothesis that extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) engaged in asteroid mining may be detectable from Earth. Considering the detected disc of debris around Vega as a template, we explore the observational signat...

  16. Detection of Water and/or Hydroxyl on Asteroid (16) Psyche

    CERN Document Server

    Takir, Driss; Sanchez, Juan; Shepard, Michael K; Emery, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    In order to search for evidence of hydration on M-type asteroid (16) Psyche, we observed this object in the 3 micron spectral region using the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD: 1.9-4.2 micron) mode of the SpeX spectrograph/imager at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Our observations show that Psyche exhibits a 3 micron absorption feature, attributed to water or hydroxyl. The 3 micron absorption feature is consistent with the hydration features found on the surfaces of water-rich asteroids, attributed to OH- and/or H2O-bearing phases (phyllosilicates). The detection of a 3 micron hydration absorption band on Psyche suggests that this asteroid may not be metallic core, or it could be a metallic core that has been impacted by carbonaceous material over the past 4.5 Gyr. Our results also indicate rotational spectral variations, which we suggest reflect heterogeneity in the metal/silicate ratio on the surface of Psyche.

  17. Extrasolar asteroid mining as forensic evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forgan, Duncan H.; Elvis, Martin

    2011-10-01

    The development of civilisations like ours into spacefaring, multi-planet entities requires significant raw materials to construct vehicles and habitats. Interplanetary debris, including asteroids and comets, may provide such a source of raw materials. In this article we present the hypothesis that extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) engaged in asteroid mining may be detectable from Earth. Considering the detected disc of debris around Vega as a template, we explore the observational signatures of targeted asteroid mining (TAM), such as unexplained deficits in chemical species, changes in the size distribution of debris and other thermal signatures which may be detectable in the spectral energy distribution (SED) of a debris disc. We find that individual observational signatures of asteroid mining can be explained by natural phenomena, and as such they cannot provide conclusive detections of ETIs. But, it may be the case that several signatures appearing in the same system will prove harder to model without extraterrestrial involvement. Therefore signatures of TAM are not detections of ETI in their own right, but as part of "piggy-back" studies carried out in tandem with conventional debris disc research, they could provide a means of identifying unusual candidate systems for further study using other SETI techniques.

  18. Meteorites in meteorites - Evidence for mixing among the asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkening, L. L.

    1977-01-01

    Inclusions of one type of meteorite enclosed in another have been found in several gas-rich meteorites, unequilibrated chondrites and mesosiderites. The inclusions in all but one case are chondritic; a majority are mineralogically and isotopically similar to carbonaceous chondrites. These meteorite mixtures most probably resulted from collisions among asteroids.

  19. Amino Acids in the Asteroidal Water-Bearing Salt Crystals Hosted in the Zag Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Q. H. S.; Zolensky, M. E.; Burton, A. S.; Locke, D. R.

    2016-01-01

    Solid evidence of liquid water in primitive meteorites is given by the ordinary chondrites H5 Monahans (1998) and H3-6 Zag. Aqueous fluid inclusion-bearing halite (NaCl) crystals were shown to be common in Zag. These striking blue/purple crystals (Figure 1), which gained the coloration from electron-trapping in the Cl-vacancies through exposure to ionizing radiation, were determined to be over 4.0-4.7 billion years old by I-Xe dating. The halite grains are present as discrete grains within an H-chondrite matrix with no evidence for aqueous alteration that indicates a xenogenic source, possibly ancient cryovolcanism. They were proposed to be formed from the cryovolcanic plumes on icy C-type asteroids (possibly Ceres), and were transferred and incorporated into the H chondrite parent asteroid following the eruption event(s). A unique aspect of these halites is that they contain abundant solid inclusions hosted within the halites alongside the water inclusions. The solid inclusions were suggested to be entrained within the fluid erupted from the cryovolcanic event(s), and were shown to be comprised of abundant organics. Spectrofluorometric study and Raman imaging of the halites have identified macromolecular carbon and aliphatic carbon compounds. In order to investigate the type of organics present in Zag and in particular within the fluid-bearing halites, we studied for the first time the amino acid contents of a selected mineral (halite) phase in a meteorite sample.

  20. Evidence of Collisional Histories of Asteroids, Comets and Meteorites: Comparisons with Shocked Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, Susan M.; Jensen, Elizabeth; Smith, Douglas; Fane, Michael; Whizin, Akbar; Landsman, Zoe A.; Wooden, Diane H.; Lindsay, Sean S.; Cintala, Mark; Keller, Lindsay P.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Evidence of the collisional history of comets and asteroids has been emerging from analyses of cometary forsterite and enstatite returned from Comet Wild 2 by the Stardust mission (Keller et al.Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 72, 2008; Tomeoka et al. MAPS 43, 2008; Jacobs et al. MAPS 44, 2009). Likewise, shock metamorphism is observed in many meteoritic forsterites and enstatites (McCausland et al. AGU, 2010), suggesting similar collisional histories for asteroids. Further exploration of the effects of collisions is slated for the upcoming Asteroid Impact Mission/Double Asteroid Redirection Test (AIM/DART) mission, expected for launch in 2020. DART will impact Didymoon, the companion of the larger 65803 Didymos (1996 G2) asteroid, and AIM will use its instrumentation to characterize the impact. A suite of relevant impact experiments have been carried out in the Experimental Impact Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center at velocities ranging from approx. 2.0 - 2.8 km/s and temperatures from 25 C to -100 C. Targets include a suite of minerals typically found in cometary dust and in asteroids and meteorites: Mg-rich forsterite (olivine), enstatite (orthopyroxene), diopside (clinopyroxene), magnesite (Mg-rich carbonate), and serpentine (phyllosilicate). Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) imaging indicates evidence of shock similar to that seen in forsterite and enstatite from Comet Wild 2. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy will also be used for comparisons with meteorite spectra. A quantitative analysis of the shock pressures required to induce planar dislocations and spectral effects with respect to wavelength will also be presented.

  1. Near-field effects of asteroid impacts in deep water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gisler, Galen R [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Weaver, Robert P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Gittings, Michael L [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-06-11

    Our previous work has shown that ocean impacts of asteroids below 500 m in diameter do not produce devastating long-distance tsunamis. Nevertheless, a significant portion of the ocean lies close enough to land that near-field effects may prove to be the greatest danger from asteroid impacts in the ocean. Crown splashes and central jets that rise up many kilometres into the atmosphere can produce, upon their collapse, highly non-linear breaking waves that could devastate shorelines within a hundred kilometres of the impact site. We present illustrative calculations, in two and three dimensions, of such impacts for a range of asteroid sizes and impact angles. We find that, as for land impacts, the greatest dangers from oceanic impacts are the short-term near-field, and long-term atmospheric effects.

  2. Microfossils and biomolecules in carbonaceous meteorites: possibility of life in water-bearing asteroids and comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2014-09-01

    It is well established that carbonaceous meteorites contain water, carbon, biogenic elements and a host of organic chemicals and biomolecules. Several independent lines of evidence indicate that the parent bodies of the CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous meteorites are most probably the C-type asteroids or cometary nuclei. Several of the protein amino acids detected in the meteorites exhibit chirality and have an excess of the L-enantiomer -- such as in the amino acids present in the proteins of all known life forms on Earth. Isotopic studies have established that the amino acids and nucleobases in the CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial. Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy studies carried out by researchers during the past half century have revealed the presence of complex biogenic microstructures embedded in the rock-matrix of many of carbonaceous meteorites similar to extinct life-forms known as acritarchs and hystrichospheres. Carbonaceous meteorites also contain a wide variety of large filaments that exhibit the complex morphologies and correct size ranges of known genera and species of photosynthetic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria and diatoms. However, EDAX investigations have shown that these carbon-rich filaments typically have nitrogen content below the level of detection (hair and teeth of Pleistocene Mammoths. Hence, the absence of detectable nitrogen in the filaments provides direct evidence that they do not represent recent biological contaminants that invaded these meteorite stones after they were observed to fall to Earth. The spectral and fluorescence properties of pigments found in several species of terrestrial cyanobacteria which are similar to some microfossils found in carbonaceous meteorites may provide valuable clues to help search for evidence for biomolecules and life on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, asteroids and comets.

  3. Water ice and organics on the surface of the asteroid 24 Themis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campins, Humberto; Hargrove, Kelsey; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Howell, Ellen S; Kelley, Michael S; Licandro, Javier; Mothé-Diniz, T; Fernández, Y; Ziffer, Julie

    2010-04-29

    It has been suggested that Earth's current supply of water was delivered by asteroids, some time after the collision that produced the Moon (which would have vaporized any of the pre-existing water). So far, no measurements of water ice on asteroids have been made, but its presence has been inferred from the comet-like activity of several small asteroids, including two members of the Themis dynamical family. Here we report infrared spectra of the asteroid 24 Themis which show that ice and organic compounds are not only present on its surface but also prevalent. Infrared spectral differences between it and other asteroids make 24 Themis unique so far, and our identification of ice and organics agrees with independent results that rule out other compounds as possible sources of the observed spectral structure. The widespread presence of surface ice on 24 Themis is somewhat unexpected because of the relatively short lifetime of exposed ice at this distance ( approximately 3.2 au) from the Sun. Nevertheless, there are several plausible sources, such as a subsurface reservoir that brings water to the surface through 'impact gardening' and/or sublimation.

  4. Further evidence for the super-catastrophic destruction of asteroids at small yet nontrivial perihelion distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granvik, Mikael

    2016-10-01

    For the past two decades or so the consensus in the near-Earth-object (NEO) community was that the majority of the NEOs are destroyed when they plunge into the Sun (Farinella et al. 1994, Nature 371, 314). There is now growing evidence suggesting that NEOs are completely destroyed at nontrivial distances from the Sun as proposed by Granvik et al. (2016, Nature 530, 303). The majority of meteor streams at small perihelion distances lack obvious parent bodies (Brown et al. 2010, Icarus 207, 66), potentially suggesting that the remaining fragments are too small to be telescopically detected from the Earth. Furthermore, orbital estimates for meter-scale Earth-impactors based on airburst observations show that the space interior to the orbit of Mercury is essentially void of objects in that size range and this cannot be explained by observational selection effects (Brown et al. 2016, Icarus 266, 96). This suggest that the remaining fragments must be substantially less than one meter in diameter. The mechanism(s) that could cause such a complete destruction of the parent asteroid is currently not well understood. The analysis by Granvik et al. (2016) found that smaller NEOs are destroyed at larger distances and that the albedo estimates by NEOWISE imply that NEOs with low albedos are destroyed at larger distances compared to their high-albedo counterparts. The discovery of the first asteroid in the process of being destroyed (Knight et al. 2016, ApJL 823(1), L6) and an ongoing observation campaign targeting NEOs at small perihelion distances will hopefully lead to further insight regarding the destruction mechanism. I will synthesize what is currently known about the destruction of asteroids at small perihelion distances, and explain how these super-catastrophic disruptions may be used to statistically constrain the interior structure of asteroids.

  5. The Formation of Jupiter, the Jovian Early Bombardment and the Delivery of Water to the Asteroid Belt: The Case of (4) Vesta

    CERN Document Server

    Turrini, Diego

    2014-01-01

    The asteroid (4) Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a continuous way, over the last 4 Ga, while the study of the eucritic meteorites revealed a few samples that crystallized in presence of water and volatile elements. The formation of Jupiter and probably its migration occurred in the period when eucrites crystallized, and triggered a phase of bombardment that caused icy planetesimals to cross the asteroid belt. In this work, we study the flux of icy planetesimals on Vesta during the Jovian Early Bombardment and, using hydrodynamic simulations, the outcome of their collisions with the asteroid. We explore how the migration of the giant planet would affect the delivery of water and volatile materials to the asteroid and we discuss our results in the context of the geophysical and...

  6. The formation of jupiter, the jovian early bombardment and the delivery of water to the asteroid belt: the case of (4) vesta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Diego; Svetsov, Vladimir

    2014-01-28

    The asteroid (4) Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a continuous way, over the last 4 Ga, while the study of the eucritic meteorites revealed a few samples that crystallized in presence of water and volatile elements. The formation of Jupiter and probably its migration occurred in the period when eucrites crystallized, and triggered a phase of bombardment that caused icy planetesimals to cross the asteroid belt. In this work, we study the flux of icy planetesimals on Vesta during the Jovian Early Bombardment and, using hydrodynamic simulations, the outcome of their collisions with the asteroid. We explore how the migration of the giant planet would affect the delivery of water and volatile materials to the asteroid and we discuss our results in the context of the geophysical and collisional evolution of Vesta. In particular, we argue that the observational data are best reproduced if the bulk of the impactors was represented by 1-2 km wide planetesimals and if Jupiter underwent a limited (a fraction of au) displacement.

  7. The Formation of Jupiter, the Jovian Early Bombardment and the Delivery of Water to the Asteroid Belt: The Case of (4 Vesta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Turrini

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The asteroid (4 Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a continuous way, over the last 4 Ga, while the study of the eucritic meteorites revealed a few samples that crystallized in presence of water and volatile elements. The formation of Jupiter and probably its migration occurred in the period when eucrites crystallized, and triggered a phase of bombardment that caused icy planetesimals to cross the asteroid belt. In this work, we study the flux of icy planetesimals on Vesta during the Jovian Early Bombardment and, using hydrodynamic simulations, the outcome of their collisions with the asteroid. We explore how the migration of the giant planet would affect the delivery of water and volatile materials to the asteroid and we discuss our results in the context of the geophysical and collisional evolution of Vesta. In particular, we argue that the observational data are best reproduced if the bulk of the impactors was represented by 1–2 km wide planetesimals and if Jupiter underwent a limited (a fraction of au displacement.

  8. Experimental evidence that an asteroid impact led to the extinction of many species 65 million years ago

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez, L.W.

    1982-09-01

    The development of the theory that the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary was caused by an asteroid impact is reviewed. The personnel involved, the objections to the theory, and the evidence refuting those objections are presented chronologically. (ACR)

  9. Illumination Conditions at the Asteroid 4 Vesta: Implications for the Presence of Water Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, Timothy J.; Wang, Yongli

    2011-01-01

    The mean illumination conditions and surface temperatures over one orbital period are calculated for the Asteroid 4 Vesta using a coarse digital elevation model produced from Hubble Space Telescope images. Even with the anticipated effects of finer-scale topography taken into account, it is unlikely that any significant permanently shadowed regions currently exist on Vesta due to its large axial tilt (approx. = 27deg). However, under present day conditions, it is predicted that about half of Vesta's surface has an average temperature of less than 145 K, which, based on previous thermal modeling of main belt asteroids, suggests that water ice could survive in the top few meters of the vestal regolith on billion-year timescales.

  10. Sustained Manned Mars Presence Enabled by E-sail Technology and Asteroid Water Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janhunen, Pekka; Merikallio, Sini; Toivanen, Petri; Envall, M. Jouni

    The Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) can produce 0.5-1 N of inexhaustible and controllable propellantless thrust [1]. The E-sail is based on electrostatic Coulomb interaction between charged thin tethers and solar wind ions. It was invented in 2006, was developed to TRL 4-5 in 2011-2013 with ESAIL FP7 project (http://www.electric-sailing.fi/fp7) and a CubeSat small-scale flight test is in course (ESTCube-1). The E-sail provides a flexible and efficient way of moving 0-2 tonne sized cargo payloads in the solar system without consuming propellant. Given the E-sail, one could use it to make manned exploration of the solar system more affordable by combining it with asteroid water mining. One first sends a miner spacecraft to an asteroid or asteroids, either by E-sail or traditional means. Many asteroids are known to contain water and liberating it only requires heating the material one piece at a time in a leak tight container. About 2 tonne miner can produce 50 tonnes of water per year which is sufficient to sustain continuous manned traffic between Earth and Mars. If the ice-bearing asteroid resides roughly at Mars distance, it takes 3 years for a 0.7 N E-sailer to transport a 10 tonne water/ice payload to Mars orbit or Earth C3 orbit. Thus one needs a fleet of 15 E-sail transport spacecraft plus replacements to ferry 50 tonnes of water yearly to Earth C3 (1/3) and Mars orbit (2/3). The mass of one transporter is 300 kg [2]. One needs to launch max 1.5 tonne mass of new E-sail transporters per year and in practice much less since it is simple to reuse them. This infrastructure is enough to supply 17 tonnes of water yearly at Earth C3 and 33 tonnes in Mars orbit. Orbital water can be used by manned exploration in three ways: (1) for potable water and for making oxygen, (2) for radiation shielding, (3) for LH2/LOX propellant. Up to 75 % of the wet mass of the manned module could be water (50 % propellant and 25 % radiation shield water). On top of this the total mass

  11. Evidence from Polymict Ureilite Meteorites for a Single "Rubble-Pile" Ureilite Parent Asteroid Gardened by Several Distinct Impactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downes, Hilary; Mittlefehldt, David W.; Kita, Noriko T.; Valley, John W.

    2008-01-01

    Ureilites are ultramafic achondrite meteorites that have experienced igneous processing whilst retaining heterogeneity in mg# and oxygen isotope ratios. Polymict ureilites represent material derived from the surface of the ureilite parent asteroid(s). Electron microprobe analysis of more than 500 olivine and pyroxene clasts in six polymict ureilites reveals that they cover a statistically identical range of compositions to that shown by all known monomict ureilites. This is considered to be convincing evidence for derivation from a single parent asteroid. Many of the polymict ureilites also contain clasts that have identical compositions to the anomalously high Mn/Mg olivines and pyroxenes from the Hughes 009 monomict ureilite (here termed the Hughes cluster ). Four of the six samples also contain distinctive ferroan lithic clasts that have been derived from oxidized impactors. The presence of several common distinctive lithologies within the polymict ureilites is additional evidence that the ureilites were derived from a single parent asteroid. Olivine in a large lithic clast of augite-bearing ureilitic has an mg# of 97, extending the compositional range of known ureilite material. Our study confirms that ureilitic olivine clasts with mg#s 85, which also show more variable Mn contents, including the melt-inclusion bearing "Hughes cluster" ureilites. We interpret this to indicate that the parent ureilite asteroid was disrupted by a major impact at a time when melt was still present in regions with a bulk mg# > 85, giving rise to the two types of ureilites: common ferroan ones that were already residual after melting and less common magnesian ones that were still partially molten when disruption occurred, some of which are the result of interaction of melts with residual mantle during disruption. A single daughter asteroid re-accreted from the disrupted remnants of the mantle of the proto-ureilite asteroid, giving rise to a "rubble-pile" body that had material of a

  12. Asteroids IV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.

    Asteroids are fascinating worlds. Considered the building blocks of our planets, many of the authors of this book have devoted their scientific careers to exploring them with the tools of our trade: ground- and spacebased observations, in situ space missions, and studies that run the gamut from theoretical modeling efforts to laboratory work. Like fossils for paleontologists, or DNA for geneticists, they allow us to construct a veritable time machine and provide us with tantalizing glimpses of the earliest nature of our solar system. By investigating them, we can probe what our home system was like before life or even the planets existed. The origin and evolution of life on our planet is also intertwined with asteroids in a different way. It is believed that impacts on the primordial Earth may have delivered the basic components for life, with biology favoring attributes that could more easily survive the aftermath of such energetic events. In this fashion, asteroids may have banished many probable avenues for life to relative obscurity. Similarly, they may have also prevented our biosphere from becoming more complex until more recent eras. The full tale of asteroid impacts on the history of our world, and how human life managed to emerge from myriad possibilities, has yet to be fully told. The hazard posed by asteroid impacts to our civilization is low but singular. The design of efficient mitigation strategies strongly relies on asteroid detection by our ground- and spacebased surveys as well as knowledge of their physical properties. A more positive motivation for asteroid discovery is that the proximity of some asteroids to Earth may allow future astronauts to harvest their water and rare mineral resources for use in exploration. A key goal of asteroid science is therefore to learn how humans and robotic probes can interact with asteroids (and extract their materials) in an efficient way. We expect that these adventures may be commonplace in the future

  13. Asteroid structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.

    2014-07-01

    Even before the first space missions to asteroids, in the mid-1990s, it was known that asteroids have weird structures. Photometry indicated complicated shapes, and the pioneering radar investigations by Ostro and colleagues followed by adaptive optics campaigns and flybys showed odd binary forms, and confirmed the common presence of satellites, and indications of highly varying surface roughness. Some asteroids turned out to be dominated by a single major cratering event, while others showed no evidence of a major crater, or perhaps for global crater erasure. The first space mission to orbit an asteroid, NEAR, found a mixture of heavily cratered terrains and geomorphically active 'ponds', and indicated evidence for global seismicity from impact. The next mission to orbit an asteroid, Hayabusa, found what most agree is a rubble pile, with no major craters and an absence of fines. There is to date no direct evidence of asteroid interior geology, other than measurements of bulk density, and inferences made for mass distribution asymmetry based on dynamics, and inferences based on surface lineaments. Interpolating from the surface to the interior is always risky and usually wrong, but of course the answer is important since we are someday destined to require this knowledge in order to divert a hazardous asteroid from impact with the Earth. Even considering the near-subsurface, here we remain as ignorant as we were about the Moon in the early 1960s, whether the surface will swallow us up in dust, or will provide secure landing and anchoring points. Laboratory experimentation in close to zero-G is still in its early stages. Adventures such as mining and colonization will surely have to wait until we better know these things. How do we get from here to there? I will focus on 3 areas of progress: (1) asteroid cratering seismology, where we use the surface craters to understand what is going on inside; (2) numerical modeling of collisions, which predicts the internal

  14. Numerical Investigation of the Consequences of Land Impacts, Water Impacts, or Air Bursts of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezzedine, S. M.; Dearborn, D. S.; Miller, P. L.

    2015-12-01

    The annual probability of an asteroid impact is low, but over time, such catastrophic events are inevitable. Interest in assessing the impact consequences has led us to develop a physics-based framework to seamlessly simulate the event from entry to impact, including air and water shock propagation and wave generation. The non-linear effects are simulated using the hydrodynamics code GEODYN. As effects propagate outward, they become a wave source for the linear-elastic-wave propagation code, WPP/WWP. The GEODYN-WPP/WWP coupling is based on the structured adaptive-mesh-refinement infrastructure, SAMRAI, and has been used in FEMA table-top exercises conducted in 2013 and 2014, and more recently, the 2015 Planetary Defense Conference exercise. Results from these simulations provide an estimate of onshore effects and can inform more sophisticated inundation models. The capabilities of this methodology are illustrated by providing results for different impact locations, and an exploration of asteroid size on the waves arriving at the shoreline of area cities. We constructed the maximum and minimum envelops of water-wave heights given the size of the asteroid and the location of the impact along the risk corridor. Such profiles can inform emergency response and disaster-mitigation efforts, and may be used for design of maritime protection or assessment of risk to shoreline structures of interest. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. LLNL-ABS-675390-DRAFT.

  15. Chips off of asteroid 4 Vesta - Evidence for the parent body of basaltic achondrite meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; Xu, Shui

    1993-01-01

    For more than two decades, asteroid 4 Vesta has been debated as the source for the eucrite, diogenite, and howardite classes of basaltic achondrite meteorites. Its basaltic achondrite spectral properties are unlike those of other large main-belt asteroids. Telescopic measurements have revealed 20 small main-belt asteroids that have distinctive optical reflectance spectral features similar to those of Vesta and eucrite and diogenite meteorites. Twelve have orbits that are similar to Vesta's and were previously predicted to be dynamically associated with Vesta. Eight bridge the orbital space between Vesta and the 3:1 resonance, a proposed source region for meteorites. These asteroids are most probably multikilometer-sized fragments excavated from Vesta through one or more impacts. The sizes, ejection velocities of 500 meters per second, and proximity of these fragments to the 3:1 resonance establish Vesta as a dynamically viable source for eucrite, diogenite, and howardite meteorites.

  16. Evidence for a Single Ureilite Parent Asteroid from a Petrologic Study of Polymict Ureilites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downes, Hilary; Mittlefehldt, David W.

    2006-01-01

    Ureilites are ultramafic achondrites composed of olivine and pyroxene, with minor elemental C, mostly as graphite [1]. The silicate composition indicates loss of a basaltic component through igneous processing, yet the suite is very heterogeneous in O isotopic composition inherited from nebular processes [2]. Because of this, it has not yet been established whether ureilites were derived from a single parent asteroid or from multiple parents. Most researchers tacitly assume a single parent asteroid, but the wide variation in mineral and oxygen isotope compositions could be readily explained by an origin in multiple parent asteroids that had experienced a similar evolution. Numerous ureilite meteorites have been found in Antarctica, among them several that are clearly paired (Fig. 1) and two that are strongly brecciated (EET 83309, EET 87720). We have begun a detailed petrologic study of these latter two samples in order to characterize the range of materials in them. One goal is to attempt to determine whether ureilites were derived from a single parent asteroid.

  17. Evidence from the asteroid belt for a violent past evolution of Jupiter's orbit

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; Gomes, Rodney; Levison, Harold F; Tsiganis, Kleomenis

    2010-01-01

    We use the current orbital structure of large (>50km) asteroids in the main asteroid belt to constrain the evolution of the giant planets when they migrated from their primordial orbits to their current ones. Minton & Malhotra (2009) showed that the orbital distribution of large asteroids in the main belt can be reproduced by an exponentially-decaying migration of the giant planets on a time scale of tau ~ 0.5My. However, self-consistent numerical simulations show that the planetesimal-driven migration of the giant planets is inconsistent with an exponential change in their semi major axes on such a short time scale (Hahn & Malhotra, 1999). In fact, the typical time scale is tau > 5My. When giant planet migration on this time scale is applied to the asteroid belt, the resulting orbital distribution is incompatible with the observed one. However, the planet migration can be significantly sped up by planet-planet encounters. Consider an evolution where both Jupiter and Saturn have close encounters with ...

  18. Scheila's Scar: Direct Evidence of Impact Surface Alteration on a Primitive Asteroid

    CERN Document Server

    Bodewits, Dennis; Kelley, Mike S

    2013-01-01

    Asteroid (596) Scheila was the first object for which the immediate aftermath of an inter-asteroidal collision was observed. In Dec. 2010, the 113 km-sized asteroid was impacted by a smaller asteroid of less than 100 m in diameter. The scale of the impactor was established by observations of fading ejecta plumes. Comparison of the light curves obtained before and after the impact allowed us to assess how much of Scheila's surface was altered. Cratering physics based on the impactor size suggests that the size of the affected area is larger than expected, (3.5 - 10 km depending on the change in the albedo of the surface). Similar but more localized albedo changes have been observed on Vesta and the Martian moons, but are not understood. Empirical laws describing ejecta blankets however indicate that at distances between 3.5 - 10 km from the crater, Scheila's surface would be covered by a thin layer 2 mm to 2 cm thick. This dusting, maybe mixed with bright impactor material may be enough to explain to observed ...

  19. Asteroid mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gertsch, Richard E.

    1992-01-01

    The earliest studies of asteroid mining proposed retrieving a main belt asteroid. Because of the very long travel times to the main asteroid belt, attention has shifted to the asteroids whose orbits bring them fairly close to the Earth. In these schemes, the asteroids would be bagged and then processed during the return trip, with the asteroid itself providing the reaction mass to propel the mission homeward. A mission to one of these near-Earth asteroids would be shorter, involve less weight, and require a somewhat lower change in velocity. Since these asteroids apparently contain a wide range of potentially useful materials, our study group considered only them. The topics covered include asteroid materials and properties, asteroid mission selection, manned versus automated missions, mining in zero gravity, and a conceptual mining method.

  20. Sources of Water and Aqueous Activity on the Chondrite Parent Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krot, A. N.; Nagashima, K.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Ciesla, F. J.; Fujiya, W.; Bonal, L.

    Most chondrite parent bodies accreted water ice together with anhydrous minerals and subsequently experienced aqueous/hydrothermal alteration and fluid-assisted thermal metamorphism, resulting in formation of a diverse suite of secondary minerals. The 53Mn-53Cr chronology of datable secondary minerals indicates aqueous activity on the ordinary (OC) and carbonaceous chondrite (CC) parent bodies started ~3-5 m.y. after the beginning of the solar system formation (t0), consistent with 26Al being the major heat source of these bodies. The 53Mn-53Cr ages of aqueous alteration, the 26Al-26Mg ages of chondrule formation, and the peak metamorphic temperatures reached by the OC and CC parent bodies suggest that they accreted ~2.0-4 m.y. after t0. There are significant variations in the degree of aqueous alteration within and between different chondrite groups, possibly due to the heterogeneous distribution of water ice in their parent bodies. The CI (Ivuna-type) carbonaceous chondrites that are composed almost entirely of aqueously formed minerals are the only exception. The estimated water ice-to-rock mass ratios in OC and CC parent bodies range from bearing planetesimals that were implanted into the main asteroid belt, but have not been sampled by the known meteorites.

  1. Mineralogical Analysis of the Oppia Quadrangle of Asteroid (4) Vesta: Evidence for Occurrence of Moderate-Reflectance Hydrated Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, F.; Frigeri, A.; Combe, J.-Ph.; Zambon, F.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Ammannito, E.; Longobardo, A.; Hoffmann, M.; Nathues, A.; Garry, W. B.; Blewett, D. T.; Pieters, C. M.; Palomba, E.; Stephan, K.; McFadden, L. A.; McSween, H. Y.; Russell, C. T.; Raymond, C. A.

    2015-01-01

    Quadrangle Av-10 'Oppia' is one of five quadrangles that cover the equatorial region of asteroid (4) Vesta. This quadrangle is notable for the broad, spectrally distinct ejecta that extend south of the Oppia crater. These ejecta exhibit the steepest ('reddest') visible spectral slope observed across the asteroid and have distinct color properties as seen in multispectral composite images. Compared to previous works that focused on the composition and nature of unusual ('orange') ejecta found on Vesta, here we take into account a broader area that includes several features of interest, with an emphasis on mineralogy as inferred from data obtained by Dawn's Visible InfraRed mapping spectrometer (VIR). Our analysis shows that the older northern and northeastern part of Av-10 is dominated by howardite-like material, while the younger southwestern part, including Oppia and its ejecta blanket, has a markedly eucritic mineralogy. The association of the mineralogical information with the geologic and topographic contexts allows for the establishment of relationships between the age of the main formations observed in this quadrangle and their composition. A major point of interest in the Oppia quadrangle is the spectral signature of hydrous material seen at the local scale. This material can be mapped by using high-resolution VIR data, combined with multispectral image products from the Dawn Framing Camera (FC) so as to enable a clear correlation with specific geologic features. Hydrated mineral phases studied previously on Vesta generally correlate with low-albedo material delivered by carbonaceous asteroids. However, our analysis shows that the strongest OH signature in Av-10 is found in a unit west of Oppia, previously mapped as 'light mantle material' and showing moderate reflectance and a red visible slope. With the available data we cannot yet assess the presence of water in this material. However, we offer a possible explanation for its origin.

  2. Asteroidal water within fluid inclusion-bearing halite in an H5 chondrite, Monahans (1998)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M E; Bodnar, R J; Gibson, E K; Nyquist, L E; Reese, Y; Shih, C Y; Wiesmann, H

    1999-08-27

    Crystals of halite and sylvite within the Monahans (1998) H5 chondrite contain aqueous fluid inclusions. The fluids are dominantly sodium chloride-potassium chloride brines, but they also contain divalent cations such as iron, magnesium, or calcium. Two possible origins for the brines are indigenous fluids flowing within the asteroid and exogenous fluids delivered into the asteroid surface from a salt-containing icy object.

  3. Asteroid Redirect

    OpenAIRE

    De Aquino, Fran

    2017-01-01

    Asteroids are a great threat to mankind. Here we will show that it is possible to redirect them from their trajectories by means of a strong gravitational repulsion, produced by the gravitational interaction between the asteroid and a Gravitational Spacecraft positioned close to the asteroid.

  4. New Observational Evidence of Active Asteroid P/2010 A2: Slow Rotation of the Largest Fragment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yoonyoung; Ishiguro, Masateru; Lee, Myung Gyoon

    2017-06-01

    We report new observations of the active asteroid P/2010 A2 taken when it made its closest approach to Earth (1.06 au in 2017 January) after its first discovery in 2010. Despite a crucial role of the rotational period in clarifying its ejection mechanism, the rotational property of P/2010 A2 has not yet been studied due to the extreme faintness of this tiny object (∼120 m in diameter). Taking advantage of the best observing geometry since the discovery, we succeed in obtaining the rotational light curve of the largest fragment with Gemini/GMOS-N. We find that (1) the largest fragment has a double-peaked period of 11.36 ± 0.02 hr spinning much slower than its critical spin period; (2) the largest fragment is a highly elongated object (a/b ≥ 1.94) with an effective radius of {61.9}-9.2+16.8 m; (3) the size distribution of the ejecta follows a broken power law (the power indices of the cumulative size distributions of the dust and fragments are 2.5 ± 0.1 and 5.2 ± 0.1, respectively); (4) the mass ratio of the largest fragment to the total ejecta is around 0.8; and (5) the dust cloud morphology is in agreement with the anisotropic ejection model in Kim et al. These new characteristics of the ejecta obtained in this work are favorable to the impact shattering hypothesis.

  5. Microchemical and Structural Evidence for Space Weathering in Soils from Asteroid Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, M. S.; Christoffersen, R.; Zega, T. J.

    2013-01-01

    The chemistry, microstructure and optical properties of grains on the surfaces of airless bodies are continu-ously modified due to their interactions predominantly with solar energetic ions and micrometeorite impacts. Collectively known as space weathering, this phenomenon results in a discrepancy between remotely sensed spectra from asteroids and those ac-quired directly from meteorites. The return of pristine samples from the asteroid Itokawa provides insight into surface processes on airless bodies and will help in correlating remote sensing data with laboratory analysis of meteorites. Samples and Methods: We examined Itokawa samples RA-QD02-0042-01 and RA-QD-02-0042-02, ultramicrotomed sec-tions of a singular grain prepared by the Hayabusa sample cura-tion team. We analyzed these slices using a 200 keV JEOL 2010F transmission electron microscope (TEM) at Arizona State Uni-versity and a 200 keV JEOL 2500SE TEM at NASA JSC. Both field emission TEMs are equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometers (EDS) and scanning TEM (STEM) detectors. Results and Discussion: TEM observations reveal that the sectioned grain predominantly consists of a single crystal of low-Ca orthopyroxene, with subsidiary smaller regions of olivine, Fe-Ni sulfide, and Fe-Ni metal. EDS-spectrum imaging and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) show local, nanocrystalline regions of the outermost 2 to 5 nm of the pyroxene are composed of an Fe-Mg-S-rich and Si- and O-depleted layer that is underlain by a 2- to 5-nm thick amorphous zone enriched in Si. These layers occur in multiple microtome slices and have uniform thicknesses. We also observe localized 'islands' of material on the surface of the pyroxene which HRTEM imaging indicates are amorphous and EDS measurements show are compositionally heterogeneous. A 10- to 60-nm thick partially amorphous zone occurs below the compositionally distinct rim. While this this zone is associated with the compositionally heterogeneous outer layer, it also occurs

  6. Asteroid Photometry

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Jian-Yang; Buratti, Bonnie J; Takir, Driss; Clark, Beth Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Asteroid photometry has three major applications: providing clues about asteroid surface physical properties and compositions, facilitating photometric corrections, and helping design and plan ground-based and spacecraft observations. The most significant advances in asteroid photometry in the past decade were driven by spacecraft observations that collected spatially resolved imaging and spectroscopy data. In the mean time, laboratory measurements and theoretical developments are revealing controversies regarding the physical interpretations of models and model parameter values. We will review the new developments in asteroid photometry that have occurred over the past decade in the three complementary areas of observations, laboratory work, and theory. Finally we will summarize and discuss the implications of recent findings.

  7. Exospheres from Asteroids to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Burger, Matthew H.; Farrell, William M.; DREAM2

    2016-10-01

    The study of exospheres can help us understand the long-term loss of volatiles from planetary bodies due to interactions of planets, satellites, and small bodies with the interplanetary medium (solar wind, meteors, and dust), solar radiation, internal forces including diffusion and outgassing, and surface effects like sticking and chemistry. Recent evidence for water and OH on the moon has spurred interest in processes involving chemistry and sequestration of volatile species at the poles and in voids. In recent years, NASA has sent spacecraft to asteroids including Vesta and Ceres, and ESA sent Rosetta to the asteroids Lutetia and Steins. OSIRIS-REX will return a sample from a primitive asteroid, Bennu, to Earth. It is possible that a Phobos-Deimos flyby will be a precursor to a manned mission to Mars. Exospheric particles are derived from the surface and to some extent from interplanetary dust and meteoroids. By comparing the exospheric compositions before and after major meteor shower events it may be possible to determine the extent to which the exosphere reflects the surface composition. Observation of an escaping exosphere, termed a corona, is challenging. We therefore have embarked on a parametrical study of exospheres as a function of basic controlling parameters such as the mass of the primary object, mass of the exospheric species, heliocentric distance, rotation rate of the primary, composition of the body (asteroid type or icy body). These parameters will be useful for mission planning as well as quick look data to determine the size and location of bodies likely to retain their exospheres and observability of exospheric species. We will also consider the sizes of small clusters that may be gravitationally bound to small bodies such as Phobos. In addition, it is of interest to be able to determine the extent of contamination of the pristine exosphere due to the spacecraft sent to make measurements, and the effect on the measurements of outgassing in the

  8. Asteroid taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholen, David J.; Barucci, M. Antonietta

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectivity of asteroid surfaces over the wavelength range of 0.3 to 1.1 micron can be used to classify these objects into several broad groups with similar spectral characteristics. The three most recently developed taxonomies group the asteroids into 9, 11, or 14 different clases, depending on the technique used to perform the analysis. The distribution of the taxonomic classes shows that darker and redder objects become more dominant at larger heliocentric distances, while the rare asteroid types are found more frequently among the small objects of the planet-crossing population.

  9. Paleomagnetic evidence for dynamo activity driven by inward crystallisation of a metallic asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, James F. J.; Weiss, Benjamin P.; Harrison, Richard J.; Herrero-Albillos, Julia; Kronast, Florian

    2017-08-01

    The direction in which a planetary core solidifies has fundamental implications for the feasibility and nature of dynamo generation. Although Earth's core is outwardly solidifying, the cores of certain smaller planetary bodies have been proposed to inwardly solidify due to their lower central pressures. However, there have been no unambiguous observations of inwardly solidified cores or the relationship between this solidification regime and planetary magnetic activity. To address this gap, we present the results of complimentary paleomagnetic techniques applied to the matrix metal and silicate inclusions within the IVA iron meteorites. This family of meteorites has been suggested to originate from a planetary core that had its overlaying silicate mantle removed by collisions during the early solar system. This process is thought to have produced a molten ball of metal that cooled rapidly and has been proposed to have inwardly solidified. Recent thermal evolution models of such a body predict that it should have generated an intense, multipolar and time-varying dynamo field. This field could have been recorded as a remanent magnetisation in the outer, cool layers of a solid crust on the IVA parent core. We find that the different components in the IVA iron meteorites display a range of paleomagnetic fidelities, depending crucially on the cooling rate of the meteorite. In particular, silicate inclusions in the quickly cooled São João Nepomuceno meteorite are poor paleomagnetic recorders. On the other hand, the matrix metal and some silicate subsamples from the relatively slowly cooled Steinbach meteorite are far better paleomagnetic recorders and provide evidence of an intense (≳100 μT) and directionally varying (exhibiting significant changes on a timescale ≲200 kyr) magnetic field. This is the first demonstration that some iron meteorites record ancient planetary magnetic fields. Furthermore, the observed field intensity, temporal variability and dynamo

  10. New Paradigms For Asteroid Formation

    CERN Document Server

    Johansen, Anders; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Gounelle, Matthieu

    2015-01-01

    Asteroids and meteorites provide key evidence on the formation of planetesimals in the Solar System. Asteroids are traditionally thought to form in a bottom-up process by coagulation within a population of initially km-scale planetesimals. However, new models challenge this idea by demonstrating that asteroids of sizes from 100 to 1000 km can form directly from the gravitational collapse of small particles which have organised themselves in dense filaments and clusters in the turbulent gas. Particles concentrate passively between eddies down to the smallest scales of the turbulent gas flow and inside large-scale pressure bumps and vortices. The streaming instability causes particles to take an active role in the concentration, by piling up in dense filaments whose friction on the gas reduces the radial drift compared to that of isolated particles. In this chapter we review new paradigms for asteroid formation and compare critically against the observed properties of asteroids as well as constraints from meteo...

  11. The Active Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, Dave

    2011-01-01

    Some asteroids eject dust, unexpectedly producing transient, comet-like comae and tails. First ascribed to the sublimation of near-surface water ice, mass losing asteroids (also called "main-belt comets") can in fact be driven by a surprising diversity of mechanisms. In this paper, we consider eleven dynamical asteroids losing mass, in nine of which the ejected material is spatially resolved. We address mechanisms for producing mass loss including rotational instability, impact ejection, electrostatic repulsion, radiation pressure sweeping, dehydration stresses and thermal fracture, in addition to the sublimation of ice. In two objects (133P and 238P) the repetitive nature of the observed activity leaves ice sublimation as the only reasonable explanation while, in a third ((596) Scheila), a recent impact is the cause. Another impact may account for activity in P/2010 A2 but this tiny object can also be explained as having shed mass after reaching rotational instability. Mass loss from (3200) Phaethon is proba...

  12. Astronomical Observations of Volatiles on Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew S; Emery, Joshua P; Howell, Ellen S; Licandro, Javier; Takir, Driss; Vilas, Faith

    2015-01-01

    We have long known that water and hydroxyl are important components in meteorites and asteroids. However, in the time since the publication of Asteroids III, evolution of astronomical instrumentation, laboratory capabilities, and theoretical models have led to great advances in our understanding of H2O/OH on small bodies, and spacecraft observations of the Moon and Vesta have important implications for our interpretations of the asteroidal population. We begin this chapter with the importance of water/OH in asteroids, after which we will discuss their spectral features throughout the visible and near-infrared. We continue with an overview of the findings in meteorites and asteroids, closing with a discussion of future opportunities, the results from which we can anticipate finding in Asteroids V. Because this topic is of broad importance to asteroids, we also point to relevant in-depth discussions elsewhere in this volume.

  13. Astronomical observations of volatiles on asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, Andrew S.; Campins, Humberto; Emery, Joshua P.; Howell, Ellen S.; Licandro, Javier; Takir, Driss; Vilas, Faith; Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.

    2015-01-01

    We have long known that water and hydroxyl are important components in meteorites and asteroids. However, in the time since the publication of Asteroids III, evolution of astronomical instrumentation, laboratory capabilities, and theoretical models have led to great advances in our understanding of H2O/OH on small bodies, and spacecraft observations of the Moon and Vesta have important implications for our interpretations of the asteroidal population. We begin this chapter with the importance of water/OH in asteroids, after which we will discuss their spectral features throughout the visible and near-infrared. We continue with an overview of the findings in meteorites and asteroids, closing with a discussion of future opportunities, the results from which we can anticipate finding in Asteroids V. Because this topic is of broad importance to asteroids, we also point to relevant in-depth discussions elsewhere in this volume.

  14. Large-Scale Melting and Impact Mixing on Early-Formed Asteroids: Evidence from High-Precision Oxygen Isotope Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greenwood, Richard; Barrat, J-A; Scott, Edward Robert Dalton

    Large-scale melting of asteroids and planetesimals is now known to have taken place ex-tremely early in solar system history [1]. The first-generation bodies produced by this process would have been subject to rapid collisional reprocessing, leading in most cases to fragmentation and/or accretion...

  15. Large-Scale Melting and Impact Mixing on Early-Formed Asteroids: Evidence from High-Precision Oxygen Isotope Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greenwood, Richard; Barrat, J-A; Scott, Edward Robert Dalton

    Large-scale melting of asteroids and planetesimals is now known to have taken place ex-tremely early in solar system history [1]. The first-generation bodies produced by this process would have been subject to rapid collisional reprocessing, leading in most cases to fragmentation and/or accretion...

  16. Goldstone radar evidence for short-axis mode non-principal-axis rotation of near-Earth asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozović, Marina; Benner, Lance A. M.; Magri, Christopher; Scheeres, Daniel J.; Busch, Michael W.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Nolan, Michael C.; Jao, Joseph S.; Lee, Clement G.; Snedeker, Lawrence G.; Silva, Marc A.; Lawrence, Kenneth J.; Slade, Martin A.; Hicks, Michael D.; Howell, Ellen S.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Sanchez, Juan A.; Reddy, Vishnu; Dykhuis, Melissa; Corre, Lucille Le

    2017-04-01

    We report radar and optical photometric observations of near-Earth asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8 obtained during October 2-November 13, 2012. We observed 2007 PA8 on sixteen days with Goldstone (8560 MHz, 3.5 cm) and on five days with the 0.6 m telescope at Table Mountain Observatory. Closest approach was on November 5 at a distance of 0.043 au. Images obtained with Goldstone's new chirp system achieved range resolutions as fine as 3.75 m, placing thousands of pixels on the asteroid's surface, and revealing that 2007 PA8 is an elongated, asymmetric object. Surface features include angularities, facets, and a concavity approximately 400 m in diameter. We used the Shape software to estimate the asteroid's 3D shape and spin state. 2007 PA8 has a broad, rounded end and a tapered, angular end with sharp-crested ridges. The asteroid's effective diameter is 1.35 ± 0.07 km, which in combination with the absolute magnitude of 16.30 ± 0.52 gives an optical albedo of pV = 0.29 ± 0.14. The shape modeling of the radar data revealed that 2007 PA8 is a non-principal axis (NPA) rotator in the short-axis mode with an average period of precession by the long axis around the angular momentum vector of 4.26 ± 0.02 days and an oscillatory period around the long axis of 20.55 ± 3.75 days. The amplitude of rolling around the long axis is 42 ± 7° . The angular momentum vector points toward ecliptic longitude and latitude of 273.6 ± 10°, +16.9 ± 5°. 2007 PA8 is only the second confirmed short-axis mode NPA rotator known in the near-Earth asteroid population after (99942) Apophis (Pravec et al., 2014). 2007 PA8 has a geopotential high at the equator, where the equator is defined as the plane that contains the long and intermediate axis. This geopotential extreme could be interpreted as a large, hidden surface depression, or as evidence that 2007 PA8 is a multi-component body.

  17. Small asteroid system evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Jacobson, Seth A.

    2014-01-01

    Observations with radar, photometric and direct imaging techniques have discovered that multiple asteroid systems can be divided clearly into a handful of different morphologies, and recently, the discovery of small unbound asteroid systems called asteroid pairs have revolutionized the study of small asteroid systems. Simultaneously, new theoretical advances have demonstrated that solar radiation dictates the evolution of small asteroids with strong implications for asteroid internal structur...

  18. Small asteroid system evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Jacobson, Seth A.

    2014-01-01

    Observations with radar, photometric and direct imaging techniques have discovered that multiple asteroid systems can be divided clearly into a handful of different morphologies, and recently, the discovery of small unbound asteroid systems called asteroid pairs have revolutionized the study of small asteroid systems. Simultaneously, new theoretical advances have demonstrated that solar radiation dictates the evolution of small asteroids with strong implications for asteroid internal structur...

  19. Search for Asteroid-Asteroid Encounters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A. Mammana

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Earlier studies about asteroids did not consider mutual interactions since they assume a negligible asteroid mass. In 1966 Hertz took into account for the first time the gravitational effects produced by an asteroid on another for mass determination. This gravitational action becomes relevant for enough effective encounters. The most efficient gravitational interaction is that produced in a large time interval and for small distances. For each particular caseful it is relevant to perform a care analysis in order to determinate the feasibility in the mass determination and improved orbital elements. In the present paper we performed a search of asteroid-asteroid encounters occurred in the twenty century for the first 3000 numbered asteroids . Of all encounters we have selected only those asteroid pairs in which one of the asteroids has a diameter larger than 200 km and the other one (the smaller an observational interval of at least ten years.

  20. Aqueous alteration on main belt primitive asteroids: Results from visible spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornasier, S.; Lantz, C.; Barucci, M. A.; Lazzarin, M.

    2014-05-01

    This work focuses on the study of the aqueous alteration process which acted in the main belt and produced hydrated minerals on the altered asteroids. Hydrated minerals have been found mainly on Mars surface, on main belt primitive asteroids and possibly also on few TNOs. These materials have been produced by hydration of pristine anhydrous silicates during the aqueous alteration process, that, to be active, needed the presence of liquid water under low temperature conditions (below 320 K) to chemically alter the minerals. The aqueous alteration is particularly important for unraveling the processes occurring during the earliest times of the Solar System history, as it can give information both on the asteroids thermal evolution and on the localization of water sources in the asteroid belt. To investigate this process, we present reflected light spectral observations in the visible region (0.4-0.94 μm) of 80 asteroids belonging to the primitive classes C (prevalently), G, F, B and P, following the Tholen (Tholen, D.J. [1984]. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson). classification scheme. We find that about 65% of the C-type and all the G-type asteroids investigated reveal features suggesting the presence of hydrous materials, mainly a band centered around 0.7 μm, while we do not find evidence of hydrated materials in the other low albedo asteroids (B, F, and P) investigated. We combine the present observations with the visible spectra of asteroids available in the literature for a total of 600 primitive main belt asteroids. We analyze all these spectra in a similar way to characterize the absorption band parameters (band center, depth and width) and spectral slope, and to look for possible correlations between the aqueous alteration process and the asteroids taxonomic classes, orbital elements, heliocentric distances, albedo and sizes. Our analysis shows that the aqueous alteration sequence starts from the P-type objects, practically unaltered, and

  1. Water in the Early Differentiated Asteroids: Insight from Apatite in Basaltic Eucrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koike, M.; Iizuka, T.; Takahata, N.; Sano, Y.; Haba, M. K.

    2016-08-01

    To understand the water history in early differentiated bodies, we analyze H2O contents and U-Pb ages in apatites from several basaltic eucrites. Our results indicate that at least some part of the Vesta’s crust was anhydrous at 4.5Ga.

  2. 53Mn-53Cr dating of fayalite formation in the CV3 chondrite Mokoia: evidence for asteroidal alteration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutcheon, I D; Krot, A N; Keil, K; Phinney, D L; Scott, E R

    1998-12-04

    Fayalite grains in chondrules in the oxidized, aqueously altered CV3 chondrite Mokoia have large excesses of radiogenic chromium-53. These excesses indicate the in situ decay of short-lived manganese-53 (half-life = 3.7 million years) and define an initial 53Mn/55Mn ratio of 2.32 (+/-0.18) x 10(-6). This ratio is comparable to values for carbonates in CI and CM chondrites and for several classes of differentiated meteorites. Mokoia fayalites formed 7 to 16 million years after Allende calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions, during hydrothermal activity on a geologically active asteroid after chondritic components had ceased forming in the solar nebula.

  3. Biokinetics of Radiocobalt in the Asteroid Asterias rubens (Echinodermata): Sea Water and Food Exposures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warnau, Michel; Fowler, Scott W.; Teyssie, Jean-Louis

    1999-01-01

    Uptake and loss of cobalt-57 were investigated in the starfish Asterias rubens, in order to assess its value as a sentinel organism for nearshore radionuclide contamination. Whole-body uptake from sea water was linear over a 32-day exposure period and reached wet weight concentration factor (CF) of 23 {+-} 5. Bioaccumulation of {sup 57}Co was dependent upon body compartment, the aboral part of the body wall concentrating cobalt to the greatest degree (wet weight CF: 77 {+-} 16). After restoration of uncontaminated conditions, radiocobalt was released following an exponential loss kinetics characterized by a biological half-life (T{sub b1/2}) of 27 {+-} 6 day. Dietary radiocobalt (taken up during a short-term feeding for 24 h on radiolabelled mussels) showed a much more rapid turnover time (T{sub b1/2}: 14 {+-} 4 d), suggesting that A. rubens accumulates this radionuclide predominantly from sea water. A. rubens, and more particularly the aboral part of its body wall, would readily reveal the presence of an environmental contamination by radiocobalt and could preserve this information over a period of few months.

  4. The Osiris-Rex Mission - Sample Acquisitions Strategy and Evidence for the Nature of Regolith on Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, D. S.; Barucci, M. A.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Brucato, J. R.; Campins, H.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. C.; Connolly, H. C.; Dotto, E.; Dworkin, J. P.; Emery, J.; Garvin, J. B.; Hildebrand, A. R.; Libourel, G.; Marshall, J. R.; Michel, P.; Nolan, M. C.; Nuth, J. A.; Rizk, B.; Sandford, S. A.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2012-01-01

    NASA selected the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission as the third New Frontiers mission in May 2011 [I]. The mission name is an acronym that captures the scientific objectives: Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer. OSIRIS-REx will characterize near-Earth asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36, which is both the most accessible carbonaceous asteroid [2,3] and one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids known [4]. The primary objective of the mission is to return a pristine sample from this bod, to advance our understanding of the generation, evolution, and maturation of regolith on small bodies.

  5. Heterogeneous Distributions of Amino Acids Provide Evidence of Multiple Sources Within the Almahata Sitta Parent Body, Asteroid 2008 TC(sub 3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Aaron S.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Callahan, Michael P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Jenniskens, Peter; Shaddad, Muawia H.

    2011-01-01

    Two new fragments of the Almahata Sitta meteorite and a sample of sand from the related strewn field in the Nubian Desert, Sudan, were analyzed for two to six carbon aliphatic primary amino acids by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography with UV-fluorescence detection and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-FT/ToF-MS). The distribution of amino acids in fragment #25, an H5 ordinary chondrite, and fragment #27, a polymict ureilite, were compared with results from the previously analyzed fragment #4, also a polymict ureilite. All three meteorite fragments contain 180-270 parts-per-billion (ppb) of amino acids, roughly 1000-fold lower than the total amino acid abundance of the Murchison carbonaceous chondrite. All of the Almahata Sitta fragments analyzed have amino acid distributions that differ from the Nubian Desert sand, which primarily contains L-alpha-amino acids. In addition, the meteorites contain several amino acids that were not detected in the sand, indicating that many of the amino acids are extraterrestrial in origin. Despite their petrological differences, meteorite fragments #25 and #27 contain similar amino acid compositions; however, the distribution of amino acids in fragment #27 was distinct from those in fragment #4, even though both arc polymict ureilites from the same parent body. Unlike in CM2 and CR2/3 meteorites, there are low relative abundances of alpha-amino acids in the Almahata Sitta meteorite fragments, which suggest that Strecker-type chemistry was not a significant amino acid formation mechanism. Given the high temperatures that asteroid 2008 TC3 appears to have experienced and lack of evidence for aqueous alteration on the asteroid, it is possible that the extraterrestrial amino acids detected in Almahata Sitta were formed by Fischer-Tropsch/Haber-Bosch type gas-grain reactions at elevated temperatures.

  6. Likely detection of water-rich asteroid debris in a metal-polluted white dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    Raddi, R; Koester, D; Farihi, J; Hermes, J J; Scaringi, S; Breedt, E; Girven, J

    2015-01-01

    The cool white dwarf SDSS J124231.07+522626.6 exhibits photospheric absorption lines of 8 distinct heavy elements in medium resolution optical spectra, notably including oxygen. The Teff = 13000 K atmosphere is helium-dominated, but the convection zone contains significant amounts of hydrogen and oxygen. The four most common rock-forming elements (O, Mg, Si, and Fe) account for almost all the accreted mass, totalling at least 1.2e+24 g, similar to the mass of Ceres. The time-averaged accretion rate is 2e+10 g/s, one of the highest rates inferred among all known metal-polluted white dwarfs. We note a large oxygen excess, with respect to the most common metal oxides, suggesting that the white dwarf accreted planetary debris with a water content of ~38 per cent by mass. This star, together with GD 61, GD 16, and GD 362, form a small group of outliers from the known population of evolved planetary systems accreting predominantly dry, rocky debris. This result strengthens the hypothesis that, integrated over the c...

  7. A Search for Asteroids, Moons, and Rings Orbiting White Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Kawaler, Steven D

    2009-01-01

    Do white dwarfs host asteroid systems? Although several lines of argument suggest that white dwarfs may be orbited by large populations of asteroids, transits would provide the most direct evidence. We demonstrate that the Kepler mission has the capability to detect transits of white dwarfs by asteroids. Because white-dwarf asteroid systems, if they exist, are likely to contain many asteroids orbiting in a spatially extended distribution, discoveries of asteroid transits can be made by monitoring only a small number of white dwarfs, compatible with Kepler's primary mission, which is to monitor stars with potentially habitable planets. Possible future missions that survey ten times as many stars with similar sensitivity and minute-cadence monitoring can establish the characteristics of asteroid systems around white dwarfs, such as the distribution of asteroid sizes and semimajor axes. Transits by planets would be more dramatic, but the probability that they will occur is lower. Ensembles of planetary moons and...

  8. Geotechnical Tests on Asteroid Simulant Orgueil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Alexander D'marco

    2017-01-01

    In the last 100 years, the global population has more than quadrupled to over seven billion people. At the same time, the demand for food and standard of living has been increasing which has amplified the global water use by nearly eight times from approximately 500 to 4000 cu km per yr from 1900 to 2010. With the increasing concern to sustain the growing population on Earth it is necessary to seek other approaches to ensure that our planet will have resources for generations to come. In recent years, the advancement of space travel and technology has allowed the idea of mining asteroids with resources closer to becoming a reality. During the duration of the internship at NASA Kennedy Space Center, several geotechnical tests were conducted on BP-1 lunar simulant and asteroid simulant Orgueil. The tests that were conducted on BP-1 was to practice utilizing the equipment that will be used on the asteroid simulant and the data from those tests will be omitted from report. Understanding the soil mechanics of asteroid simulant Orgueil will help provide basis for future technological advances and prepare scientists for the conditions they may encounter when mining asteroids becomes reality in the distant future. Distinct tests were conducted to determine grain size distribution, unconsolidated density, and maximum density. Once the basic properties are known, the asteroid simulant will be altered to different levels of compaction using a vibrator table to see how compaction affects the density. After different intervals of vibration compaction, a miniature vane shear test will be conducted. Laboratory vane shear testing is a reliable tool to investigate strength anisotropy in the vertical and horizontal directions of a very soft to stiff saturated fine-grained clayey soil. This test will provide us with a rapid determination of the shear strength on the undisturbed compacted regolith. The results of these tests will shed light on how much torque is necessary to drill

  9. Measurement of Cohesion in Asteroid Regolith Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie; Gaier, James; Waters, Deborah; Harvey, Ralph; Zeszut, Zoe; Carreno, Brandon; Shober, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that a large fraction of asteroids, and even Phobos, have such low densities (asteroids are thought to be made up of unconsolidated smaller particles of varying size referred to as rubble piles. Images of the asteroid Itokawa reinforce this hypothesis. What holds the rubble piles together? Gravitational forces alone are not strong enough to hold together rubble pile asteroids, at least not those that are rapidly spinning Van der Waals forces and or Electrostatic forces must therefore be responsible for holding them together. Previous work suggests that electrostatic forces, which are orders of magnitude stronger are far more likely. Charge build-up is a likely consequence of the interaction of airless bodies with the solar wind plasma, analogous to what has been proposed to occur on the moon. Objective: Experimentally measure cohesive forces relevant to those holding rubble pile asteroids together

  10. Asteroid Mining and Prospecting

    OpenAIRE

    Esty, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    There has been a recent increase in interest in the idea of mining asteroids, as seen from the founding of multiple companies who seek to make this science fiction idea science fact. We analyzed a number of prior papers on asteroids to make an estimate as to whether mining asteroids is within the realm of possibility. Existing information on asteroid number, composition, and orbit from past research was synthesized with a new analysis using binomial statistics of the number of probes that wou...

  11. OXYGEN ISOTOPIC COMPOSITIONS OF THE ALLENDE TYPE C CAIs: EVIDENCE FOR ISOTOPIC EXCHANGE DURING NEBULAR MELTING AND ASTEROIDAL THERMAL METAMORPHISM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krot, A N; Chaussidon, M; Yurimoto, H; Sakamoto, N; Nagashima, K; Hutcheon, I D; MacPherson, G J

    2008-02-21

    that CAIs 100, 160 and CG5 experienced melting in an {sup 16}O-rich ({Delta}{sup 17}O < -20{per_thousand}) nebular gas in the CAI-forming region. The Type C and Type-B-like portions of CAI 6-1-72 experienced melting in an {sup 16}O-depleted ({Delta}{sup 17}O {ge} -13{per_thousand}) nebular gas. CAIs ABC, TS26 and 93 experienced isotopic exchange during re-melting in the presence of an {sup 16}O-poor ({Delta}{sup 17}O {ge} -10{per_thousand}) nebular gas in the chondrule-forming region(s). Subsequently, Allende Type C CAIs experienced post-crystallization isotopic exchange with an {sup 16}O-poor reservoir that affected largely melilite and anorthite. Because pseudomorphic replacement of lacy melilite by grossular, monticellite and forsterite occurred during thermal metamorphism, some oxygen isotopic exchange of melilite and anorthite must have continued after formation of these secondary minerals. We suggest that some or all oxygen isotopic exchange in melilite and anorthite occurred during fluid-assisted thermal metamorphism on the CV parent asteroid. Similar processes may have also affected melilite and anorthite of CAIs in metamorphosed CO chondrites.

  12. Asteroids Were Born Big

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; Nesvorny, David; Levison, Harold F

    2009-01-01

    How big were the first planetesimals? We attempt to answer this question by conducting coagulation simulations in which the planetesimals grow by mutual collisions and form larger bodies and planetary embryos. The size frequency distribution (SFD) of the initial planetesimals is considered a free parameter in these simulations, and we search for the one that produces at the end objects with a SFD that is consistent with asteroid belt constraints. We find that, if the initial planetesimals were small (e.g. km-sized), the final SFD fails to fulfill these constraints. In particular, reproducing the bump observed at diameter D~100km in the current SFD of the asteroids requires that the minimal size of the initial planetesimals was also ~100km. This supports the idea that planetesimals formed big, namely that the size of solids in the proto-planetary disk ``jumped'' from sub-meter scale to multi-kilometer scale, without passing through intermediate values. Moreover, we find evidence that the initial planetesimals ...

  13. Origin of igneous meteorites and differentiated asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, E.; Goldstein, J.; Asphaug, E.; Bottke, W.; Moskovitz, N.; Keil, K.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: Igneously formed meteorites and asteroids provide major challenges to our understanding of the formation and evolution of the asteroid belt. The numbers and types of differentiated meteorites and non-chondritic asteroids appear to be incompatible with an origin by fragmentation of numerous Vesta-like bodies by hypervelocity impacts in the asteroid belt over 4 Gyr. We lack asteroids and achondrites from the olivine-rich mantles of the parent bodies of the 12 groups of iron meteorites and the ˜70 ungrouped irons, the 2 groups of pallasites and the 4--6 ungrouped pallasites. We lack mantle and core samples from the parent asteroids of the basaltic achondrites that do not come from Vesta, viz., angrites and the ungrouped eucrites like NWA 011 and Ibitira. How could core samples have been extracted from numerous differentiated bodies when Vesta's basaltic crust was preserved? Where is the missing Psyche family of differentiated asteroids including the complementary mantle and crustal asteroids [1]? Why are meteorites derived from far more differentiated parent bodies than chondritic parent bodies even though C and S class chondritic asteroids dominate the asteroid belt? New paradigm. Our studies of meteorites, impact modeling, and dynamical studies suggest a new paradigm in which differentiated asteroids accreted at 1--2 au less than 2 Myr after CAI formation [2]. They were rapidly melted by 26Al and disrupted by hit-and-run impacts [3] while still molten or semi-molten when planetary embryos were accreting. Metallic Fe-Ni bodies derived from core material cooled rapidly with little or no silicate insulation less than 4 Myr after CAI formation [4]. Fragments of differentiated planetesimals were subsequently tossed into the asteroid belt. Meteorite evidence for early disruption of differentiated asteroids. If iron meteorites were samples of Fe-Ni cores of bodies that cooled slowly inside silicate mantles over ˜50--100 Myr, irons from each core would have

  14. Asteroid thermophysical modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Delbo, Marco; Emery, Joshua P; Rozitis, Ben; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The field of asteroid thermophysical modeling has experienced an extraordinary growth in the last ten years, as new thermal infrared data became available for hundreds of thousands of asteroids. The infrared emission of asteroids depends on the body's size, shape, albedo, thermal inertia, roughness and rotational properties. These parameters can therefore be derived by thermophysical modeling of infrared data. Thermophysical modeling led to asteroid size estimates that were confirmed at the few-percent level by later spacecraft visits. We discuss how instrumentation advances now allow mid-infrared interferometric observations as well as high-accuracy spectro-photometry, posing their own set of thermal-modeling challenges.We present major breakthroughs achieved in studies of the thermal inertia, a sensitive indicator for the nature of asteroids soils, allowing us, for instance, to determine the grain size of asteroidal regoliths. Thermal inertia also governs non-gravitational effects on asteroid orbits, requir...

  15. Active Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Past activity from Near Earth Asteroids is recorded in the meteoroid streams that cause our meteor showers. Automated meteoroid orbit surveys by photographic, low-light video, specular radar, and head-echo radar reflections are providing the first maps of meteor shower activity at different particle sizes. There are distinct differences in particle size distributions among streams. The underlaying mechanisms that created these streams are illuminated: fragmentation from spin-up or thermal stresses, meteoroid ejection by water vapor drag, and ejection of icy particles by CO and CO2 sublimation. The distribution of the meteoroid orbital elements probe the subsequent evolution by planetary perturbations and sample the range of dynamical processes to which Near Earth Asteroids are exposed. The non-stream "sporadic" meteors probe early stages in the evolution from meteoroid streams into the zodiacal dust cloud. We see that the lifetime of large meteoroids is generally not limited by collisions. Results obtained by the CAMS video survey of meteoroid orbits are compared to those from other orbit surveys. Since October 2010, over 200,000 meteoroid orbits have been measured. First results from an expansion into the southern hemisphere are also presented, as are first results from the measurement of main element compositions. Among the many streams detected so far, the Geminid and Sextantid showers stand out by having a relatively high particle density and derive from parent bodies that appear to have originated in the main belt.

  16. Comets and Asteroids with FIRST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Crovisier, J.

    2001-07-01

    The infrared and microwave domains have proved to be privileged tools to study the physical and chemical properties of small bodies of the Solar System. After a review of the recent results obtained on comets and asteroids in these wavelength ranges, we forecast the major outcomes that can be expected from their observations with the Herschel Space Observatory (hereafter referred as to FIRST, the former denomination). This prospect is focussed on: 1) observations of water rotational lines in comets to measure water outgassing and study water excitation in the coma and its kinematics; 2) observations of HDO in comets to constrain solar nebula models and formation scenarii of comets; 3) the study of surface properties of asteroids.

  17. Rotational Study of Ambiguous Taxonomic Classified Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Tyler R.; Sanchez, Rick; Wuerker, Wolfgang; Clayson, Timothy; Giles, Tucker

    2017-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) moving object catalog (MOC4) provided the largest ever catalog of asteroid spectrophotometry observations. Carvano et al. (2010), while analyzing MOC4, discovered that individual observations of asteroids which were observed multiple times did not classify into the same photometric-based taxonomic class. A small subset of those asteroids were classified as having both the presence and absence of a 1um silicate absorption feature. If these variations are linked to differences in surface mineralogy, the prevailing assumption that an asteroid’s surface composition is predominantly homogenous would need to be reexamined. Furthermore, our understanding of the evolution of the asteroid belt, as well as the linkage between certain asteroids and meteorite types may need to be modified.This research is an investigation to determine the rotational rates of these taxonomically ambiguous asteroids. Initial questions to be answered:Do these asteroids have unique or nonstandard rotational rates?Is there any evidence in their light curve to suggest an abnormality?Observations were taken using PROMPT6 a 0.41-m telescope apart of the SKYNET network at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). Observations were calibrated and analyzed using Canopus software. Initial results will be presented at AAS.

  18. Why we need asteroid sample return mission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, Maria Antonietta

    2016-07-01

    Small bodies retain evidence of the primordial solar nebula and the earliest solar system processes that shaped their evolution. They may also contain pre-solar material as well as complex organic molecules, which could have a major role to the development of life on Earth. For these reasons, asteroids and comets have been targets of interest for missions for over three decades. However, our knowledge of these bodies is still very limited, and each asteroid or comet visited by space mission has revealed unexpected scientific results, e.g. the structure and nature of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) visited by the Rosetta mission. Only in the laboratory can instruments with the necessary precision and sensitivity be applied to individual components of the complex mixture of materials that forms a small body regolith, to determine their precise chemical and isotopic composition. Such measurements are vital for revealing the evidence of stellar, interstellar medium, pre-solar nebula and parent body processes that are retained in primitive material, unaltered by atmospheric entry or terrestrial contamination. For those reasons, sample return missions are considered a high priority by a number of the leading space agencies. Abundant within the inner Solar System and the main impactors on terrestrial planets, small bodies may have been the principal contributors of the water and organic material essential to create life on Earth. Small bodies can therefore be considered to be equivalent to DNA for unravelling our solar system's history, offering us a unique window to investigate both the formation of planets and the origin of life. A sample return mission to a primitive Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) has been study at ESA from 2008 in the framework of ESA's Cosmic Vision (CV) programme, with the objective to answer to the fundamental CV questions "How does the Solar System work?" and "What are the conditions for life and planetary formations?". The returned material

  19. Asteroid exploration and utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radovich, Brian M.; Carlson, Alan E.; Date, Medha D.; Duarte, Manny G.; Erian, Neil F.; Gafka, George K.; Kappler, Peter H.; Patano, Scott J.; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar

    1992-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources possessed by asteroids have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on mining an asteroid and transporting raw materials back to Earth. The asteroid explorer/sample return mission is designed in the context of both scenarios and is the first phase of a long range plan for humans to utilize asteroid resources. Project STONER is divided into two parts: asteroid selection and explorer spacecraft design. The spacecraft design team is responsible for the selection and integration of the subsystems: GNC, communications, automation, propulsion, power, structures, thermal systems, scientific instruments, and mechanisms used on the surface to retrieve and store asteroid regolith. The sample return mission scenario consists of eight primary phases that are critical to the mission.

  20. Household water saving: Evidence from Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aisa, Rosa; Larramona, Gemma

    2012-12-01

    This article focuses on household water use in Spain by analyzing the influence of a detailed set of factors. We find that, although the presence of both water-saving equipment and water-conservation habits leads to water savings, the factors that influence each are not the same. In particular, our results show that those individuals most committed to the adoption of water-saving equipment and, at the same time, less committed to water-conservation habits tend to have higher incomes.

  1. Families classification including multiopposition asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Andrea; Spoto, Federica; Knežević, Zoran; Novaković, Bojan; Tsirvoulis, Georgios

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we present the results of our new classification of asteroid families, upgraded by using catalog with > 500,000 asteroids. We discuss the outcome of the most recent update of the family list and of their membership. We found enough evidence to perform 9 mergers of the previously independent families. By introducing an improved method of estimation of the expected family growth in the less populous regions (e.g. at high inclination) we were able to reliably decide on rejection of one tiny group as a probable statistical fluke. Thus we reduced our current list to 115 families. We also present newly determined ages for 6 families, including complex 135 and 221, improving also our understanding of the dynamical vs. collisional families relationship. We conclude with some recommendations for the future work and for the family name problem.

  2. An ISU study of asteroid mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, J. D.

    1991-01-01

    During the 1990 summer session of the International Space University, 59 graduate students from 16 countries carried out a design project on using the resources of near-earth asteroids. The results of the project, whose full report is now available from ISU, are summarized. The student team included people in these fields: architecture, business and management, engineering, life sciences, physical sciences, policy and law, resources and manufacturing, and satellite applications. They designed a project for transporting equipment and personnel to a near-earth asteroid, setting up a mining base there, and hauling products back for use in cislunar space. In addition, they outlined the needed precursor steps, beginning with expansion of present ground-based programs for finding and characterizing near-earth asteroids and continuing with automated flight missions to candidate bodies. (To limit the summer project's scope the actual design of these flight-mission precursors was excluded.) The main conclusions were that asteroid mining may provide an important complement to the future use of lunar resources, with the potential to provide large amounts of water and carbonaceous materials for use off earth. However, the recovery of such materials from presently known asteroids did not show an economic gain under the study assumptions; therefore, asteroid mining cannot yet be considered a prospective business.

  3. Modeling Asteroid Dynamics using AMUSE: First Test Cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, Kateryna; Mueller, Michael; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2015-01-01

    We are creating a dynamic model of the current asteroid population. The goal is to reproduce measured impact rates in the current Solar System, from which we'll derive delivery rates of water and organic material by tracing low-albedo C-class asteroids (using the measured albedo distribution from WI

  4. Modeling Asteroid Dynamics using AMUSE: First Test Cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, Kateryna; Mueller, Michael; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2015-01-01

    We are creating a dynamic model of the current asteroid population. The goal is to reproduce measured impact rates in the current Solar System, from which we'll derive delivery rates of water and organic material by tracing low-albedo C-class asteroids (using the measured albedo distribution from

  5. Modeling Asteroid Dynamics using AMUSE: First Test Cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, Kateryna; Mueller, Michael; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2015-01-01

    We are creating a dynamic model of the current asteroid population. The goal is to reproduce measured impact rates in the current Solar System, from which we'll derive delivery rates of water and organic material by tracing low-albedo C-class asteroids (using the measured albedo distribution from WI

  6. Evidence for water structuring forces between surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanley, Christopher B [ORNL; Rau, Dr. Donald [National Institutes of Health

    2011-01-01

    Structured water on apposing surfaces can generate significant energies due to reorganization and displacement as the surfaces encounter each other. Force measurements on a multitude of biological structures using the osmotic stress technique have elucidated commonalities that point toward an underlying hydration force. In this review, the forces of two contrasting systems are considered in detail: highly charged DNA and nonpolar, uncharged hydroxypropyl cellulose. Conditions for both net repulsion and attraction, along with the measured exclusion of chemically different solutes from these macromolecular surfaces, are explored and demonstrate features consistent with a hydration force origin. Specifically, the observed interaction forces can be reduced to the effects of perturbing structured surface water.

  7. Thermal Tomography of Asteroid Surface Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan W.; Drube, Line

    2016-12-01

    Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into its surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. We develop a means to estimate thermal inertia values of asteroids and use it to show that thermal inertia appears to increase with spin period in the case of main-belt asteroids (MBAs). Similar behavior is found on the basis of thermophysical modeling for near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. Our results are consistent with a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids and have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Evidence of a rapid increase of thermal inertia with depth is also an important result for studies of the ejecta-enhanced momentum transfer of impacting vehicles (“kinetic impactors”) in planetary defense.

  8. Applied Astronomy: Asteroid Prospecting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvis, M.

    2013-09-01

    In the age of asteroid mining the ability to find promising ore-bearing bodies will be valuable. This will give rise to a new discipline- "Applied Astronomy". Just as most geologists work in industry, not in academia, the same will be true of astronomers. Just how rare or common ore-rich asteroids are likely to be, and the skills needed to assay their value, are discussed here, with an emphasis on remote - telescopic - methods. Also considered are the resources needed to conduct extensive surveys of asteroids for prospecting purposes, and the cost and timescale involved. The longer-term need for applied astronomers is also covered.

  9. Near-Sun asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emel'yanenko, V. V.

    2017-01-01

    As follows from dynamical studies, in the course of evolution, most near-Earth objects reach orbits with small perihelion distances. Changes of the asteroids in the vicinity of the Sun should play a key role in forming the physical properties, size distribution, and dynamical features of the near-Earth objects. Only seven of the discovered asteroids are currently moving along orbits with perihelion distances q orbits farther from the Sun. In this study, we found asteroids that have been recently orbiting with perihelion distances q orbits for hundreds to tens of thousands of years. To carry out astrophysical observations of such objects is a high priority.

  10. Experimental evidence of water formation on interstellar dust grains

    CERN Document Server

    Dulieu, F; Fillion, J-H; Matar, E; Momeni, A; Pirronello, V; Lemaire, J L

    2009-01-01

    The synthesis of water is one necessary step in the origin and development of life. It is believed that pristine water is formed and grows on the surface of icy dust grains in dark interstellar clouds. Until now, there has been no experimental evidence whether this scenario is feasible or not. We present here the first experimental evidence of water synthesis under interstellar conditions. After D and O deposition on a water ice substrate (HO) held at 10 K, we observe production of HDO and DO. The water substrate itself has an active role in water formation, which appears to be more complicated than previously thought. Amorphous water ice layers are the matrices where complex organic prebiotic species may be synthesized. This experiment opens up the field of a little explored complex chemistry that could occur on interstellar dust grains, believed to be the site of key processes leading to the molecular diversity and complexity observed in our universe.

  11. Visual and near-IR spectrophotometry of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebofsky, Larry A.

    1991-01-01

    We have been continuing our studies of the spectral properties of dark asteroids in the solar system. From these studies we expect to learn about the distribution of volatile materials, such as water in clay materials (water of hydration) and how the asteroids may relate to the comets. Our most recent work has been concentrating on simultaneous visual and near infrared photometry near Earth, main belt, and trojan asteroids. We have made observations of some unusual asteroids such as Chiron, which has recently shown cometary activity, and 944 Hidalgo, which has a comet-like orbit. We have also begun studies of the small, dark satellites of Mars and Jupiter in order to understand better how they may relate to the steroids. Could they actually be captured asteroids or comets?

  12. Non-detection of gaseous H2O on Asteroids (24) Themis and (65) Cybele using the Herschel HIFI instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Rourke, Laurence; Biver, Nicolas; Teyssier, David; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Campins, Humberto; Kueppers, Michael; Mueller, Thomas G.; Lorente, Rosario

    2016-10-01

    The detection of water ice on Asteroids (24) Themis and (65) Cybele and comet-like activity on some asteroids have recently provided evidence for water ice in the outer asteroid belt. This supports the suggestion that water in the Earth's oceans may have been delivered from the outer asteroid belt.On both (24) Themis and (65) Cybele, rotationally resolved near-IR spectra indicated the presence of widespread ice on their surfaces. While the detection of ice served to indicate the wider prevalence of water among minor Solar System bodies, the detection of outgassing through sublimation of this water is considered to be a crucial step in confirming the interpretation of the 2-4 micron spectra. Indeed, an alternative interpretation of the absorption at 3.1 microns has been suggested thus the detection of gaseous H2O around either, or both, of these asteroids would be a definitive test of the source of this band.Observations performed on these two asteroids using ground-based ultraviolet and radio telescopes in the search for sublimation of this ice through OH emission were published in late 2010. However the OH observations could not confirm an exosphere but rather served to provide an upper limit of 1028 molec./sec on this emission.We used the Herschel HIFI Instrument (Wide Band Spectrometer (WBS) and High resolution Spectrometer (HRS)) to observe (65) Cybele on the 21st December 2012 and(24) Themis on the 30th January 2013,. In both cases, the line emission from the fundamental ortho-H2O 11-0 - 10-1 line of ortho-water at 556.936 GHz was searched for in the upper sideband of the HIFI band 1a mixer.Although for both asteroids no water signal was detected, very sensitive 3σ upper-limits were obtained in each case.This talk will summarise the observations carried out, present the results we obtained in each case and finally address the implications of these results on the overall knowledge existing on these asteroids.

  13. International CJMT-1 Workshop on Asteroidal Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Wing-Huen

    2014-03-01

    An international workshop on asteroidal science was held between October 16 and 17, 2012, at the Macau University of Science and Technology gathering together experts on asteroidal study in China, Japan, Macao and Taiwan. For this reason, we have called it CJMT-1 Workshop. Though small in sizes, the asteroids orbiting mainly between the orbit of Mars and of Jupiter have important influence on the evolution of the planetary bodies. Topics ranging from killer asteroids to space resources are frequently mentioned in news reports with prominence similar to the search for water on Mars. This also means that the study of asteroids is very useful in exciting the imagination and interest in science of the general public. Several Asian countries have therefore developed long-term programs integrating ground-based observations and space exploration with Japan being the most advanced and ambitious as demonstrated by the very successful Hayabusa mission to asteroid 25143 Itokawa. In this volume we will find descriptions of the mission planning of Hayabusa II to the C-type near-Earth asteroid, 1999 JU3. Not to be outdone, China's Chang-E 2 spacecraft was re-routed to a flyby encounter with asteroid 4179 Toutatis in December 2012. It is planned that in the next CJMT workshop, we will have the opportunity to learn more about the in-depth data analysis of the Toutatis observations and the progress reports on the Hayabusa II mission which launch date is set to be July 2014. Last but not least, the presentations on the ground-based facilities as described in this volume will pave the way for coordinated observations of asteroidal families and Trojan asteroids - across Asia from Taiwan to Uzbekistan. Such international projects will serve as an important symbol of good will and peaceful cooperation among the key members of this group. Finally, I want to thank the Space Science Institute, Macao University of Science and Technology, for generous support, and its staff members

  14. Using Dust from Asteroids as Regolith Microsamples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, B. A.; Klima, Rachel; Chabot, N. L.; Rivkin, A. S.

    2015-01-01

    Meteorite science is rich with compositional indicators by which we classify parent bodies, but few sample groups are definitively linked with asteroid spectra. More robust links need to be forged between meteorites and their parent bodies to understand the composition, diversity and distribution. A major link can be sample analysis of the parent body material and comparison with meteorite data. Hayabusa, the first sample return mission of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was developed to rendezvous with and collect samples from asteroid Itokawa and return them to Earth. Thousands of sub-100 micron particles were recovered, apparently introduced during the spacecraft impact into the surface of the asteroid, linking the asteroid Itokawa to LL chondrites [1]. Upcoming missions Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS-REx will collect more significant sample masses from asteroids. In all these cases, the samples are or will be a collection of regolith particles. Sample return to earth is not the only method for regolith particle analysis. Dust is present around all airless bodies, generated by micrometeorite impact into their airless surfaces, which in turn lofts regolith particles into a "cloud" around the body. The composition, flux, and size-frequency distribution of dust particles can provide significant insight into the geological evolution of airless bodies [2]. For example, the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) detected salts in Enceladus' icy plume material, providing evidence for a subsurface ocean in contact with a silicate seafloor [3]. Similar instruments have flown on the Rosetta, LADEE, and Stardust missions. Such an instrument may be of great use in obtaining the elemental, isotopic and mineralogical composition measurement of dust particles originating from asteroids without returning the samples to terrestrial laboratories. We investigated the ability of a limited sample analysis capability using a dust instrument to forge links between asteroid

  15. Aqueous alteration on main-belt asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornasier, S.; Lantz, C.; Barucci, M.; Lazzarin, M.

    2014-07-01

    The study of aqueous alteration is particularly important for unraveling the processes occurring during the earliest times in Solar System history, as it can give information both on the thermal processes and on the localization of water sources in the asteroid belt, and for the associated astrobiological implications. The aqueous alteration process produces the low temperature (< 320 K) chemical alteration of materials by liquid water which acts as a solvent and produces materials like phyllosilicates, sulphates, oxides, carbonates, and hydroxides. This means that liquid water was present in the primordial asteroids, produced by the melting of water ice by heating sources, very probably by ^{26}Al decay. Hydrated minerals have been found mainly on Mars surface, on primitive main-belt asteroids (C, G, B, F, and P-type, following the classification scheme by Tholen, 1984) and possibly also on few transneptunian objects. Reflectance spectroscopy of aqueous altered asteroids shows absorption features in the 0.6-0.9 and 2.5-3.5-micron regions, which are diagnostic of, or associated with, hydrated minerals. In this work, we investigate the aqueous alteration process on a large sample of 600 visible spectra of C-complex asteroids available in the literature. We analyzed all these spectra in a similar way to characterize the absorption-band parameters (band center, depth, and width) and spectral slope, and to look for possible correlations between the aqueous alteration process and the asteroids taxonomic classes, orbital elements, heliocentric distances, albedo, and sizes. We find that 4.6 % of P, 7.7 % of F, 9.8 % of B, 50.5 % of C, and 100 % of the G-type asteroids have absorption bands in the visible region due to hydrated silicates. Our analysis shows that the aqueous alteration sequence starts from the P-type objects, practically unaltered, and increases through the P → F → B → C → G asteroids, these last being widely aqueously altered, strengthening thus

  16. Space weathering of asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Shestopalov, D I; Cloutis, E A

    2012-01-01

    Analysis of laboratory experiments simulating space weathering optical effects on atmosphereless planetary bodies reveals that the time needed to alter the spectrum of an ordinary chondrite meteorite to resemble the overall spectral shape and slope of an S-type asteroid is about ~ 0.1 Myr. The time required to reduce the visible albedo of samples to ~ 0.05 is ~ 1 Myr. Since both these timescales are much less than the average collisional lifetime of asteroids larger than several kilometers in size, numerous low-albedo asteroids having reddish spectra with subdued absorption bands should be observed instead of an S-type dominated population. It is not the case because asteroid surfaces cannot be considered as undisturbed, unlike laboratory samples. We have estimated the number of collisions occurring in the time of 105 yr between asteroids and projectiles of various sizes and show that impact-activated motions of regolith particles counteract the progress of optical maturation of asteroid surfaces. Continual r...

  17. The Effects of Water Markets: Evidence from the Rio Grande.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debaere, P.; Li, T.

    2016-12-01

    The Effects of Water Markets: Evidence from the Rio GrandePeter Debaere, University of Virginia Tianshu Li, University of Virginia The Rio Grande water market is one of the oldest water markets in the United States. Employing techniques from the social sciences, we present the first difference-in-difference analysis of the actual impact of water markets on production. We compare from 1954 to 2012 the crop composition in counties in the Rio Grande water market with those in their neighboring control counties before and after the water market was established in 1971. We provide evidence that water markets can facilitate a shift from crops that are on average more to ones that are less water intensive, or, alternatively, from crops that are on average less to ones that are more productive in terms of $ generated per unit of water. In addition, we find that such reallocations are especially prevalent in times of drought. Our findings supports water markets as a tool to manage water more effectively, which is one of the main challenges of an increasingly water-strapped world.

  18. Asteroid families - Physical properties and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Clark R.; Paolicchi, Paolo; Zappala, Vincenzo; Binzel, Richard P.; Bell, Jeffrey F.

    1989-01-01

    Asteroid families are considered to be fragments from collisional destruction of precursor bodies. However, results available on the inferred mineralogy, size distributions, and spins of family members do not confirm the expectations of the traditional model. Only a handful of nearly 100 proposed families, most of them populous, have distributions of inferred mineralogies consistent with simple cosmochemical models for parent bodies. It is suggested that most catastrophic collisions may not result in observable families, but rather in a spray of smaller particles, thus accounting for the small number of confirmed and consistent families, despite evidence for extensive collisional evolution of asteroids.

  19. Thermal Tomography of Asteroid Surface Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Harris, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. We develop a means to estimate thermal inertia values of asteroids and use it to show that thermal inertia appears to increase with spin period in the case of main-belt asteroids (MBAs). Similar behavior is found on the basis of thermophysical modeling for near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. Our results are consistent with a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids and have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Eviden...

  20. Rock legends the asteroids and their discoverers

    CERN Document Server

    Murdin, Paul

    2016-01-01

    This book relates the history of asteroid discoveries and christenings, from those of the early pioneering giants of Hersehel and Piazzi to modern-day amateurs. Moving from history and anecdotal information to science, the book's structure is provided by the names of the asteroids, including one named after the author. Free from a need to conform to scientific naming conventions, the names evidence hero-worship, sycophancy, avarice, vanity, whimsy, erudition and wit, revealing the human side of astronomers, especially where controversy has followed the christening. Murdin draws from extensive historical records to explore the debate over these names. Each age reveals its own biases and preferences in the naming process. < Originally regarded as “vermin of the skies,” asteroids are minor planets, rocky scraps left over from the formation of the larger planets, or broken fragments of worlds that have collided. Their scientific classification as “minor” planets makes them seem unimportant, but over th...

  1. Evidence for Recent Liquid Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    Gullies eroded into the wall of a meteor impact crater in Noachis Terra. This high resolution view (top left) from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) shows channels and associated aprons of debris that are interpreted to have formed by groundwater seepage, surface runoff, and debris flow. The lack of small craters superimposed on the channels and apron deposits indicates that these features are geologically young. It is possible that these gullies indicate that liquid water is present within the martian subsurface today. The MOC image was acquired on September 28, 1999. The scene covers an area approximately 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) wide by 6.7 km (4.1 mi) high (note, the aspect ratio is 1.5 to 1.0). Sunlight illuminates this area from the upper left. The image is located near 54.8S, 342.5W. The context image (above) shows the location of the MOC image on the south-facing wall of an impact crater approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter. The context picture was obtained by the Viking 1 orbiter in 1980 and is illuminated from the upper left. The large mound on the floor of the crater in the context view is a sand dune field. The Mars Orbiter Camera high resolution images are taken black-and-white (grayscale); the color seen here has been synthesized from the colors of Mars observed by the MOC wide angle cameras and by the Viking Orbiters in the late 1970s. A brief description of how the color was generated: The MOC narrow angle camera only takes grayscale (black and white) pictures. To create the color versions seen here, we have taken much lower resolution red and blue images acquired by the MOC's wide angle cameras, and by the Viking Orbiter cameras in the 1970s, synthesized a green image by averaging red and blue, and created a pallete of colors that represent the range of colors on Mars. We then use a relationship that correlates color and brightness to assign a color to each gray level. This is only a crude approximation of

  2. The Asteroid Impact Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnelli, Ian; Galvez, Andres; Mellab, Karim

    2016-04-01

    The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is a small and innovative mission of opportunity, currently under study at ESA, intending to demonstrate new technologies for future deep-space missions while addressing planetary defense objectives and performing for the first time detailed investigations of a binary asteroid system. It leverages on a unique opportunity provided by asteroid 65803 Didymos, set for an Earth close-encounter in October 2022, to achieve a fast mission return in only two years after launch in October/November 2020. AIM is also ESA's contribution to an international cooperation between ESA and NASA called Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA), consisting of two mission elements: the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and the AIM rendezvous spacecraft. The primary goals of AIDA are to test our ability to perform a spacecraft impact on a near-Earth asteroid and to measure and characterize the deflection caused by the impact. The two mission components of AIDA, DART and AIM, are each independently valuable but when combined they provide a greatly increased scientific return. The DART hypervelocity impact on the secondary asteroid will alter the binary orbit period, which will also be measured by means of lightcurves observations from Earth-based telescopes. AIM instead will perform before and after detailed characterization shedding light on the dependence of the momentum transfer on the asteroid's bulk density, porosity, surface and internal properties. AIM will gather data describing the fragmentation and restructuring processes as well as the ejection of material, and relate them to parameters that can only be available from ground-based observations. Collisional events are of great importance in the formation and evolution of planetary systems, own Solar System and planetary rings. The AIDA scenario will provide a unique opportunity to observe a collision event directly in space, and simultaneously from ground-based optical and

  3. Asteroids - NeoWs API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NeoWs (Near Earth Object Web Service) is a RESTful web service for near earth Asteroid information. With NeoWs a user can: search for Asteroids based on their...

  4. 2015 Barcelona Asteroid Day

    CERN Document Server

    Gritsevich, Maria; Palme, Herbert

    2017-01-01

    This volume is a compilation of the research presented at the International Asteroid Day workshop which was celebrated at Barcelona on June 30th, 2015. The proceedings discuss the beginning of a new era in the study and exploration of the solar system’s minor bodies. International Asteroid Day commemorates the Tunguska event of June 30th, 1908. The workshop’s goal was to promote the importance of dealing proactively with impact hazards from space. Multidisciplinary experts contributed to this discussion by describing the nature of comets and asteroids along with their offspring, meteoroids. New missions to return material samples of asteroids back to Earth such as Osiris-REx and Hayabusa 2, as well as projects like AIM and DART which will test impact deflection techniques for Potentially Hazardous Asteroids encounters were also covered. The proceedings include both an outreach level to popularize impact hazards and a scientific character which covers the latest knowledge on these topics, as well as offeri...

  5. Geography of the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, B. H.

    1978-01-01

    The CSM classification serves as the starting point on the geography of the asteroid belt. Raw data on asteroid types are corrected for observational biases (against dark objects, for instance) to derive the distribution of types throughout the belt. Recent work on family members indicates that dynamical families have a true physical relationship, presumably indicating common origin in the breakup of a parent asteroid.

  6. Manuel's asteroid disruption technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Manuel; Ipe, Abraham; Jacob, Ivan

    2015-06-01

    A seventy-year-old male presented with dense asteroid hyalosis in both eyes. He had undergone cataract extraction in one eye 3 years ago, and the other eye had immature cataract. Both the autorefractor and dilated streak retinoscopy did not give readings and subjective visual improvement could not be achieved. Immediately following YAG posterior capsulotomy and anterior vitreous asteroid disruption, the vision improved to 20/20 with recordable auto refractor and streak retinoscopy values. Our initial experience indicates that the treatment is simple, safe and effective but needs controlled and prospective studies to confirm its long-term safety.

  7. Asteroid science by Gaia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, Karri; Cellino, Alberto; Dell Oro, Aldo; Tanga, Paolo; Delbo, Marco; Mignard, Francois; Thuillot, William; Berthier, Jerome; Carry, Benoit; Hestroffer, Daniel; Granvik, Mikael; Fedorets, Grigori

    2016-07-01

    Since the start of its regular observing program in summer 2014, the Gaia mission has carried out systematic photometric, spectrometric, and astrometric observations of asteroids. In total, the unique capabilities of Gaia allow for the collection of an extensive and homogeneous data set of some 350,000 asteroids down to the limiting magnitude of G = 20.7 mag. The Gaia performance remains excellent over the entire available brightness range. Starting from 2003, a working group of European asteroid scientists has explored the main capabilities of the mission, defining the expected scientific impact on Solar System science. These results have served as a basis for developing the Gaia data reduction pipeline, within the framework of the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). We describe the distribution of the existing and forecoming Gaia observations in space and time for different categories of objects. We illustrate the peculiar properties of each single observation, as these properties will affect the subsequent exploitation of the mission data. We will review the expected performances of Gaia, basically as a function of magnitude and proper motion of the sources. We will further focus on the areas that will benefit from complementary observational campaigns to improve the scientific return of the mission, and on the involvement of the planetary science community as a whole in the exploitation of the Gaia survey. We will thus describe the current and future opportunities for ground-based observers and forthcoming changes brought by Gaia in some observational approaches, such as stellar occultations by transneptunian objects and asteroids. We will show first results from the daily, short-term processing of Gaia data, all the way from the onboard data acquisition to the ground-based processing. We illustrate the tools developed to compute predictions of asteroid observations, we discuss the procedures implemented by the daily processing, and we illustrate

  8. Asteroid Control and Resource Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, G.; Radice, G.; Sanchez, J.-P.

    Asteroids are materials rich small solar system bodies which are prime candidates for rendezvous and mining. Up until now much attention has been focused on methods of destroying or deflecting potentially hazardous asteroids from colliding with the Earth. Recently however the concept of asteroid capture has been suggested whereby the asteroid is returned to an orbit close to the Earth before mining can begin. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field for new researchers and to put forward a number of novel strategies for asteroid control.

  9. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Reeves, D. M.; Chodas, P. W.; Gates, M. M.; Johnson, L. N.; Ticker, R. L.

    2017-01-01

    Mission Description and Objectives: NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), a robotic mission to visit a large (greater than approximately 100 meters diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will explore and investigate the boulder and return to Earth with samples. The ARRM is currently planned to launch at the end of 2021 and the ARCM is scheduled for late 2026.

  10. Threat Mitigation: The Asteroid Tugboat

    CERN Document Server

    Schweickart, R; Durda, D; Hut, P; Chapman, Clark; Durda, Dan; Hut, Piet; Schweickart, Russell

    2006-01-01

    The Asteroid Tugboat (AT) is a fully controlled asteroid deflection concept using a robotic spacecraft powered by a high efficiency, electric propulsion system (ion or plasma) which docks with and attaches to the asteroid, conducts preliminary operations, and then thrusts continuously parallel to the asteroid velocity vector until the desired velocity change is achieved. Based on early warning, provided by ground tracking and orbit prediction, it would be deployed a decade or more prior to a potential impact. On completion of the initial rendezvous with the near-Earth object (NEO) the AT would first reduce the uncertainty in the orbit of the asteroid via Earth tracking of its radio transponder while it is station keeping with the asteroid. If on analysis of tracking data a deflection is required the AT would execute a reconnaissance phase collecting and processing information about the physical characteristics of the asteroid to support subsequent operations. The AT would then dock at the appropriate pole (i....

  11. Reconstructing HST Images of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrs, A. D.; Bank, S.; Gerhardt, H.; Makhoul, K.

    2003-12-01

    We present reconstructions of images of 22 large main belt asteroids that were observed by Hubble Space Telescope with the Wide-Field/Planetary cameras. All images were restored with the MISTRAL program (Mugnier, Fusco, and Conan 2003) at enhanced spatial resolution. This is possible thanks to the well-studied and stable point spread function (PSF) on HST. We present some modeling of this process and determine that the Strehl ratio for WF/PC (aberrated) images can be improved to 130 ratio of 80 We will report sizes, shapes, and albedos for these objects, as well as any surface features. Images taken with the WFPC-2 instrument were made in a variety of filters so that it should be possible to investigate changes in mineralogy across the surface of the larger asteroids in a manner similar to that done on 4 Vesta by Binzel et al. (1997). Of particular interest are a possible water of hydration feature on 1 Ceres, and the non-observation of a constriction or gap between the components of 216 Kleopatra. Reduction of this data was aided by grant HST-GO-08583.08A from the Space Telescope Science Institute. References: Mugnier, L.M., T. Fusco, and J.-M. Conan, 2003. JOSA A (submitted) Binzel, R.P., Gaffey, M.J., Thomas, P.C., Zellner, B.H., Storrs, A.D., and Wells, E.N. 1997. Icarus 128 pp. 95-103

  12. The Asteroid Frontier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcfadden, Lucyann A.

    2012-01-01

    There are many ways of studying the Asteroid Frontier as a scientist. In my career, I have used large telescopes atop a 14,000 ft mountain top observatory in Hawaii, used the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit around the Earth, traveled to Antarctica to collect meteorites sitting on the ice waiting for them to be recovered by scientists for scientific investigation, walked the desert with 50 students from University of Khartoum searching for fragments of an asteroid that collided with earth, exploded in the upper atmosphere and rained fragments on the desert floor. Most recently, I have looked at one of the largest Main Belt Asteroids named (4) Vesta through the eyes of a robotic spacecraft named Dawn, exploring the asteroid frontier. I will share my adventures, place the thrill of scientific exploration through NASA's solar system exploration program in context and provide opportunities for students to engage in NASA's exciting missions to expand scientific understanding of Earth and the Universe in which we live

  13. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites provides students, researchers, and general readers with the most up-to-date information on this fascinating field. From the days of the dinosaurs to our modern environment, this book explores all aspects of these cosmic invaders.

  14. Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, Steven

    2015-08-01

    Asteroid impact missions can be carried out as a relatively low-cost add-ons to most asteroid rendezvous missions and such impact experiments have tremendous potential, both scientifically and in the arena of planetary defense.The science returns from an impactor demonstration begin with the documentation of the global effects of the impact, such as changes in orbit and rotation state, the creation and dissipation of an ejecta plume and debris disk, and morphological changes across the body due to the transmission of seismic waves, which might induce landslides and toppling of boulders, etc. At a local level, an inspection of the impact crater and ejecta blanket reveals critical material strength information, as well as spectral differences between the surface and subsurface material.From the planetary defense perspective, an impact demonstration will prove humankind’s capacity to alter the orbit of a potentially threatening asteroid. This technological leap comes in two parts. First, terminal guidance systems that can deliver an impactor with small errors relative to the ~100-200 meter size of a likely impactor have yet to be demonstrated in a deep space environment. Second, the response of an asteroid to such an impact is only understood theoretically due to the potentially significant dependence on the momentum carried by escaping ejecta, which would tend to enhance the deflection by tens of percent and perhaps as much as a factor of a few. A lack of validated understanding of momentum enhancement is a significant obstacle in properly sizing a real-world impactor deflection mission.This presentation will describe the drivers for asteroid impact demonstrations and cover the range of such concepts, starting with ESA’s pioneering Don Quijote mission concept and leading to a brief description of concepts under study at the present time, including the OSIRIS-REx/ISIS, BASiX/KIX and AIM/DART (AIDA) concepts.

  15. How Many Ore-Bearing Asteroids?

    CERN Document Server

    Elvis, Martin

    2013-01-01

    A simple formalism is presented to assess how many asteroids contain ore, i.e. commercially profitable material, and not merely a high concentration of a resource. I apply this formalism to two resource cases: platinum group metals (PGMs) and water. Assuming for now that only Ni-Fe asteroids are of interest for PGMs, then 1% of NEOs are rich in PGMs. The dearth of ultra-low delta-v (= US$1 B and the population of near-Earth objects (NEOs) larger than 100 m diameter is ~20,000 (Mainzer et al. 2011) the total population of PGM ore-bearing NEOs is roughly 10. I stress that this is a conservative and highly uncertain value. For example, an order of magnitude increase in PGM ore-bearing NEOs occurs if delta-v can as large as 5.7 km s-1. Water ore for utilization in space is likely to be found in ~1/1100 NEOs. NEOs as small as 18 m diameter can be water-ore-bodies because of the high richness of water (~20%) expected in ~25% of carbonaceous asteroids, bringing the number of water-ore-bearing NEOs to ~9000 out of th...

  16. Rotation Properties of Small Jovian Trojan Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Linda M.; Stephens, Robert D.; James, David; Coley, Daniel R.; Warner, Brian D.; Rohl, Derrick

    2016-10-01

    Jovian Trojan asteroids are of interest both as objects in their own right (we have no spectral analogs among meteorite samples) and as possible relics of Solar System formation. Asteroid lightcurves can give information about processes that have affected a group of asteroids; they can also give information about the density of the objects when enough lightcurves have been collected. We have been carrying out a survey of Trojan lightcurve properties for comparison with small asteroids and with comets. In a recent paper (French et al. 2015) we presented evidence that a significant number of Trojans have rotation periods greater than 24 hours. We will report our latest results and compare them with results of sparsely-sampled lightcurves from the Palomar Transient Factory (Waszczak et al. 2015). LF, RS, and DR were visiting astronomers at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, operated by AURA under contract with the NSF, and with the SMARTS Consortium at CTIO. This research was sponsored by NSF Planetary Astronomy grant 1212115.ReferencesFrench, L.M. et al. 2015. Icarus 254, pp. 1-17.Waszczak, A. et al. 2015. A.J. 150, Issue 3, I.D. 35.

  17. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-08

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System.

  18. Deglacial intermediate water reorganization: new evidence from the Indian Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Romahn

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The importance of intermediate water masses in climate change and ocean circulation has been emphasized recently. In particular, Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW is thought to have acted as an active interhemispheric transmitter of climate anomalies. Here we reconstruct changes in AAIW signature and spatial and temporal evolution based on a 40 kyr time series of oxygen and carbon isotopes as well as planktic Mg/Ca based thermometry from a site in the western Indian Ocean. Our data suggest that AAIW transmitted Antarctic temperature trends to the equatorial Indian Ocean via the "oceanic tunnel" mechanism. Moreover, our results reveal that deglacial AAIW carried a signature of aged Southern Ocean deep water. We find no evidence of increased formation of intermediate waters during the deglaciation.

  19. Earth encounters as the origin of fresh surfaces on near-Earth asteroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Merouane, Sihane; Demeo, Francesca E; Birlan, Mirel; Vernazza, Pierre; Thomas, Cristina A; Rivkin, Andrew S; Bus, Schelte J; Tokunaga, Alan T

    2010-01-21

    Telescopic measurements of asteroids' colours rarely match laboratory reflectance spectra of meteorites owing to a 'space weathering' process that rapidly reddens asteroid surfaces in less than 10(6) years. 'Unweathered' asteroids (those having spectra matching the most commonly falling ordinary chondrite meteorites), however, are seen among small bodies the orbits of which cross inside Mars and the Earth. Various explanations have been proposed for the origin of these fresh surface colours, ranging from collisions to planetary encounters. Less reddened asteroids seem to cross most deeply into the terrestrial planet region, strengthening the evidence for the planetary-encounter theory, but encounter details within 10(6) years remain to be shown. Here we report that asteroids displaying unweathered spectra (so-called 'Q-types') have experienced orbital intersections closer than the Earth-Moon distance within the past 5 x 10(5) years. These Q-type asteroids are not currently found among asteroids showing no evidence of recent close planetary encounters. Our results substantiate previous work: tidal stress, strong enough to disturb and expose unweathered surface grains, is the most likely dominant short-term asteroid resurfacing process. Although the seismology details are yet to be worked out, the identification of rapid physical processes that can produce both fresh and weathered asteroid surfaces resolves the decades-long puzzle of the difference in colour of asteroids and meteorites.

  20. Capture of Asteroids and Transport of Asteroid Materials to Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Hong-Yee; no Team

    2014-01-01

    Recently there has been much discussion on the capture of asteroids or mining the asteroids. While the technology might be years away, in this paper we will discuss an energy efficient method to transport either a small asteroid or materials gathered from asteroids to the Earth. In particular, I will concentrate on a large and nearby asteroid, 8 Flora in the Flora Family. Generally, asteroids are located between 2 to 3 AU (astronomical unit) from the Earth, and in transporting materials from asteroids to the Earth, an energy equivalent of the gravitational potential energy difference between the Earth and the asteroids to the Sun. This amount of potential energy is a sizable fraction of the orbital kinetic energy of the Earth around the Sun. This amount of energy is considerable. In this paper I propose to use the planet Mars as a medium to remove much of the gravitational energy difference. In the case of the asteroid 8 Flora, it is only necessary to decelerate the asteroid mate- rials by a small decrement, of the order of 3 km/sec. This decrement could even be achieved (pending on the availability of technology) by mechanical devices such as catapults on 8 Flora. It is also proposed to separate a pair of contact asteroid binaries by using impulse propulsion, and to propel one component of the separated asteroids to pass by Mars to be decelerated to reach the Earth orbit and captured by the Earth or the Moon. The plausibility of this ambitious project will be discussed. The author is NASA-GSFC Astrophysicist, Retired.

  1. EURONEAR - Data Mining of Asteroids and Near Earth Asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Vaduvescu, O.; Curelaru, L.; Birlan, M.; Bocsa, G.; Serbanescu, L.; Tudorica, A.; Berthier, J.

    2009-01-01

    Besides new observations, mining old photographic plates and CCD image archives represents an opportunity to recover and secure newly discovered asteroids, also to improve the orbits of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) and Virtual Impactors (VIs). These are the main research aims of the EURONEAR network. As stated by the IAU, the vast collection of image archives stored worldwide is still insufficiently explored, and could be mined for known NEAs and other a...

  2. THE ORIGIN OF ASTEROID 162173 (1999 JU{sub 3})

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campins, Humberto [Physics Department, University of Central Florida, P.O. Box 162385, Orlando, FL 32816-2385 (United States); De Leon, Julia [Department of Edaphology and Geology, University of La Laguna, E-38071 Tenerife (Spain); Morbidelli, Alessandro; Gayon-Markt, Julie; Delbo, Marco; Michel, Patrick [Observatoire de la Cote d' Azur, Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS), CNRS UMR7293, F-06108 Nice Cedex 2 (France); Licandro, Javier [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), C/Via Lactea s/n, E-38205 La Laguna (Spain)

    2013-08-01

    Near-Earth asteroid (162173) 1999 JU{sub 3} (henceforth JU{sub 3}) is a potentially hazardous asteroid and the target of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa-2 sample return mission. JU{sub 3} is also a backup target for two other sample return missions: NASA's OSIRIS-REx and the European Space Agency's Marco Polo-R. We use dynamical information to identify an inner-belt, low-inclination origin through the {nu}{sub 6} resonance, more specifically, the region with 2.15 AU < a < 2.5 AU and i < 8 Degree-Sign . The geometric albedo of JU{sub 3} is 0.07 {+-} 0.01, and this inner-belt region contains four well-defined low-albedo asteroid families (Clarissa, Erigone, Polana, and Sulamitis), plus a recently identified background population of low-albedo asteroids outside these families. Only two of these five groups, the background and the Polana family, deliver JU{sub 3}-sized asteroids to the {nu}{sub 6} resonance, and the background delivers significantly more JU{sub 3}-sized asteroids. The available spectral evidence is also diagnostic; the visible and near-infrared spectra of JU{sub 3} indicate it is a C-type asteroid, which is compatible with members of the background, but not with the Polana family because it contains primarily B-type asteroids. Hence, this background population of low-albedo asteroids is the most likely source of JU{sub 3}.

  3. Active Asteroids: Main-Belt Comets and Disrupted Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Hsieh, Henry H

    2015-01-01

    The study of active asteroids has attracted a great deal of interest in recent years since the recognition of main-belt comets (which orbit in the main asteroid belt, but exhibit comet-like activity due to the sublimation of volatile ices) as a new class of comets in 2006, and the discovery of the first disrupted asteroids (which, unlike MBCs, exhibit comet-like activity due to a physical disruption such as an impact or rotational destabilization, not sublimation) in 2010. In this paper, I will briefly discuss key areas of interest in the study of active asteroids.

  4. Investigating evidence of geologically recent liquid water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Kelly Jean

    2009-06-01

    Geologically young gullies have been proposed to be evidence of recent liquid water on Mars. This dissertation details work I have done to address issues surrounding the Martian gullies and recent water on Mars. In order to determine the elevations at which gullies occur, I created a set of Interactive Data Language programs and Unix C-shell scripts to coregister Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter topography with high resolution Mars images. My scripts represent the first public method that does this. Recently, the Mars Orbiter Camera detected changes in the form of new bright deposits in two gullies. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera detected more gullies with bright deposits. I used my scripts to identify some of the best candidates for liquid water formation based on their shallow average slopes. A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was produced using HiRISE stereo images of my selected candidates in Hale Crater. I model two gullies with bright slope deposits in Hale Crater and find that both water- rich and sediment-rich flows could reproduce the bright deposits' locations and morphologies. Since liquid water is rarely stable on Mars today, I suggest that dry flows formed the bright deposits. The channel gradient where flows deposit, the apex slope, can tell us whether a flow was likely dry and non-fluidized (slopes ~21°) or fluidized (shallower slopes). I measured the apex slope of 75 gullies located in five HiRISE DEMs. I find that 72% of the gullies studied were likely emplaced by a fluidized flow. I also find that modified gullies are more likely to have a fluidized emplacement than relatively fresh gullies. My results suggest that there is no evidence requiring water-rich flows in gullies today. Understanding the concept of water on Mars is crucial to understanding NASA's Mars Exploration Strategy, "Follow the Water." I undertook a study investigating alternative conceptions about water on Mars held by middle school science teachers to

  5. 3-µm Spectroscopy of Asteroid 16 Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takir, Driss; Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan; Shepard, Michael K.

    2016-10-01

    Asteroid 16 Psyche, an M-type asteroid, is thought to be one of the most massive exposed iron metal object in the asteroid belt. The high radar albedos of Psyche suggest that this differentiated asteroid is dominantly composed of metal. Psyche was previously found to be featureless in the 3-µm spectral region. However, in our study we found that this asteroid exhibits a 3-µm absorption feature, possibly indicating the presence of hydrated silicates.We have observed Psyche in the 3-µm spectral region, using the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD:1.9-4.2 µm) mode of the SpeX spectrograph/imager at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). For data reduction, we used the IDL (Interactive Data Language)-based spectral reduction tool Spextool (v4.1). Psyche was observed over the course of three nights with an apparent visual magnitude of ~9.50: 8 December 2015 (3 sets), 9 December 2015 (1 set), and 10 March 2016 (1 set). These observations have revealed that Psyche may exhibit a 3-µm absorption feature, similar to the sharp group in the 2.9-3.3-µm spectral range. Psyche also exhibits an absorption feature similar to the one in Ceres and Ceres-like group in the spectral 3.3-4.0-µm range. These 3-µm observational results revealed that Psyche may not be as featureless as once thought in the 3-µm spectral region.Evidence for the 3-µm band was found on the surfaces of many M-type asteroids and a number of plausible alternative interpretations for the presence of this 3-µm band were previously suggested. These interpretations include the presence of anhydrous silicates containing structural OH, the presence of fluid inclusions, the presence of xenolithic hydrous meteorite components on asteroid surfaces from impacts, solar wind-implanted H, or the presence of troilite. The detection of the Ceres-like feature in the 3.3-4.0-µm spectral range, however, would rule out some of these alternative interpretations, especially the solar wind-implanted H.

  6. Asteroid family ages

    CERN Document Server

    Spoto, Federica; Knezevic, Zoran

    2015-01-01

    A new family classification, based on a catalog of proper elements with $\\sim 384,000$ numbered asteroids and on new methods is available. For the $45$ dynamical families with $>250$ members identified in this classification, we present an attempt to obtain statistically significant ages: we succeeded in computing ages for $37$ collisional families. We used a rigorous method, including a least squares fit of the two sides of a V-shape plot in the proper semimajor axis, inverse diameter plane to determine the corresponding slopes, an advanced error model for the uncertainties of asteroid diameters, an iterative outlier rejection scheme and quality control. The best available Yarkovsky measurement was used to estimate a calibration of the Yarkovsky effect for each family. The results are presented separately for the families originated in fragmentation or cratering events, for the young, compact families and for the truncated, one-sided families. For all the computed ages the corresponding uncertainties are pro...

  7. Asteroid Impact Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, A.

    2006-06-01

    Some asteroids and comets with Earth-crossing orbit may impact our planet, thus we need to be able to identify the cases which could have a dangerous close approach within a century. This must be done as soon as such an asteroid is discovered, allowing for follow up observations which might contradict the impact possibility, and in the worst case to organize mitigation, possibly including deflection. The mathematical problem of predicting possible impacts, even with very low probabilities, has been solved by our group in the last few years. This paper presents the basic theory of these impact prediction, and discusses how they are practically used in the impact monitoring systems now operational, in particular the CLOMON2 robot of the Universities of Pisa and Valladolid.

  8. Asteroid impact monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milani A.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Some asteroids and comets with Earth-crossing orbit may impact our planet, thus we need to be able to identify the cases which could have a dangerous close approach within a century. This must be done as soon as such an asteroid is discovered, allowing for follow up observations which might contradict the impact possibility, and in the worst case to organize mitigation, possibly including deflection. The mathematical problem of predicting possible impacts, even with very low probabilities, has been solved by our group in the last few years. This paper presents the basic theory of these impact prediction, and discusses how they are practically used in the impact monitoring systems now operational, in particular the CLOMON2 robot of the Universities of Pisa and Valladolid.

  9. Asteroid Surface Geophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Murdoch, Naomi; Schwartz, Stephen R; Miyamoto, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    The regolith-covered surfaces of asteroids preserve records of geophysical processes that have occurred both at their surfaces and sometimes also in their interiors. As a result of the unique micro-gravity environment that these bodies posses, a complex and varied geophysics has given birth to fascinating features that we are just now beginning to understand. The processes that formed such features were first hypothesised through detailed spacecraft observations and have been further studied using theoretical, numerical and experimental methods that often combine several scientific disciplines. These multiple approaches are now merging towards a further understanding of the geophysical states of the surfaces of asteroids. In this chapter we provide a concise summary of what the scientific community has learned so far about the surfaces of these small planetary bodies and the processes that have shaped them. We also discuss the state of the art in terms of experimental techniques and numerical simulations that...

  10. Multiple origins of asteroid pairs

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth A

    2015-01-01

    Rotationally fissioned asteroids produce unbound daughter asteroids that have very similar heliocentric orbits. Backward integration of their current heliocentric orbits provides an age of closest proximity that can be used to date the rotational fission event. Most asteroid pairs follow a predicted theoretical relationship between the primary spin period and the mass ratio of the two pair members that is a direct consequence of the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis. If the progenitor asteroid has strength, asteroid pairs may have high mass ratios with possibly fast rotating primaries. However, secondary fission leaves the originally predicted trend unaltered. We also describe the characteristics of pair members produced by four alternative routes from a rotational fission event to an asteroid pair. Unlike direct formation from the event itself, the age of closest proximity of these pairs cannot generally be used to date the rotational fission event since considerable time may have passed.

  11. Silicates in Alien Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates a common mineral on Earth. The data were taken primarily by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into its basic constituents. The yellow dots show averaged data from the spectrograph, while the orange triangles show older data from Spitzer's infrared array camera. The white dwarf is called GD 40.

  12. The Rafita asteroid family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aljbaae, S.; Carruba, V.; Masiero, J. R.; Domingos, R. C.; Huaman, M.

    2017-01-01

    The Rafita asteroid family is an S-type group located in the middle main belt, on the right side of the 3J:-1A mean-motion resonance. The proximity of this resonance to the family left side in semi-major axis caused many former family members to be lost. As a consequence, the family shape in the (a, 1/D) domain is quite asymmetrical, with a preponderance of objects on the right side of the distribution. The Rafita family is also characterized by a leptokurtic distribution in inclination, which allows the use of methods of family age estimation recently introduced for other leptokurtic families such as Astrid, Hansa, Gallia, and Barcelona. In this work we propose a new method based on the behavior of an asymmetry coefficient function of the distribution in the (a, 1/D) plane to date incomplete asteroid families such as Rafita. By monitoring the time behavior of this coefficient for asteroids simulating the initial conditions at the time of the family formation, we were able to estimate that the Rafita family should have an age of 490 ± 200 Myr, in good agreement with results from independent methods such as Monte Carlo simulations of Yarkovsky and Yorp dynamical induced evolution and the time behaviour of the kurtosis of the sin (i) distribution. Asteroids from the Rafita family can reach orbits similar to 8% of the currently known near Earth objects. ≃1% of the simulated objects are present in NEO-space during the final 10 Myr of the simulation, and thus would be comparable to objects in the present-day NEO population.

  13. Silicates in Alien Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates a common mineral on Earth. The data were taken primarily by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into its basic constituents. The yellow dots show averaged data from the spectrograph, while the orange triangles show older data from Spitzer's infrared array camera. The white dwarf is called GD 40.

  14. Modeling of Fragmentation of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Parul; Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Carlozzi, Alexander; Hart, Kenneth; Bryson, Katie; Sears, Derek

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to understand fragmentation and fracture of a given asteroid and mechanisms of break-up. The focus of the present work is to develop modeling techniques for stony asteroids in 10m-100m range to answer two questions: 1) What is the role of material makeup of an asteroid in the stress distribution? 2)How is stress distribution altered in the presence of pre-existing defects?

  15. Reducing the Asteroid and Comet Impact Hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, David

    1998-10-01

    Of the 140 impact craters known on the surface of Earth, the most famous was created about 65 million years ago when a 10 km asteroid or comet came down in shallow water near the present day town of Chicxulub, Mexico. With a kinetic energy equivalent to 100 trillion tons of TNT, the impact event lofted enough debris onto globe-straddling trajectories to flash heat much of the surface of the Earth and then darken the skies for several years. Numerous investigations have demonstrated that such an event, which happens, on average, every 100 million years, caused extreme stress on Earth's climate and most likely led to the extinction of many species. Computational simulations demonstrate that more numerous asteroids or comets as small as 1 km in diameter, impacting, on average, every 300,000 years may be globally catastrophic. Indeed, the odds of an individual dying from a relatively frequent 1 km impacting object (about 1 in 10,000) are substantially greater than from the impact of an infrequent dinosaur killer (1 in 1,000,000). What can we do to reduce the hazard from impacting comets and asteroids? First, we should find what's out there with our name on it. Only about 10 percent of the potential Earth-crossing asteroids have been found. Even at the greatly increased detection rate of recent years, it will be several decades before we've found 90 percent of the Earth-crossers. Second, we should learn everything we can about the physical, compositional and mechanical properties of asteroids and comets. A recent computational study demonstrated that weakly bound asteroids (little more than rubble piles) are easier to break than deflect(E. Asphaug, S. J. Ostro, R. S. Hudson, D. J. Scheeres and W. Benz (1998), Nature, Vol. 393, pp. 437-440.). Is this an advantage or disadvantage? Third, we should study potential means of mitigating the hazard by deflecting the object while still in space or evacuating affected regions (such as coastlines) of the Earth. Because the

  16. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  17. Capillary Action in a Crack on the Surface of Asteroids with an Application to 433 Eros

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Some asteroids contain water ice, and a space mission landing on an asteroid may take liquid to the surface of the asteroid. Gas pressure is very weak on the surface of asteroids. Here we consider the capillary action in a crack on the surface of irregular asteroids. The crack is modelled as a capillary which has a fixed radius. An asteroid s irregular gravitational potential influences the height of the liquid in the capillary. The height of the liquid in the capillary on the surface of such asteroids is derived from the asteroid s irregular gravitational potential. Capillary mechanisms are expected to produce an inhomogeneaous distribution of emergent liquid on the surface. This result is applied to asteroid 433 Eros, which has an irregular, elongated, and concave shape. Two cases are considered 1) we calculate the height of the liquid in the capillary when the direction of the capillary is perpendicular to the local surface of the asteroid; 2) we calculate the height of the liquid in the capillary when the...

  18. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Galvez, A.; Carnelli, I.; Michel, P.; Rivkin, A.; Reed, C.

    2012-12-01

    To protect the Earth from a hazardous asteroid impact, various mitigation methods have been proposed, including deflection of the asteroid by a spacecraft impact. AIDA, consisting of two mission elements, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and the Asteroid Impact Monitoring (AIM) mission, is a demonstration of asteroid deflection. To date, there has been no such demonstration, and there is major uncertainty in the result of a spacecraft impact onto an asteroid, that is, the amount of deflection produced by a given momentum input from the impact. This uncertainty is in part due to unknown physical properties of the asteroid surface, such as porosity and strength, and in part due to poorly understood impact physics such that the momentum carried off by ejecta is highly uncertain. A first mission to demonstrate asteroid deflection would not only be a major step towards gaining the capability to mitigate an asteroid hazard, but in addition it would return unique information on an asteroid's strength, other surface properties, and internal structure. This information return would be highly relevant to future human exploration of asteroids. We report initial results of the AIDA joint mission concept study undertaken by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and ESA with support from NASA centers including Goddard, Johnson and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For AIDA, the DART spacecraft impactor study is coordinated with an ESA study of the AIM mission, which would rendezvous with the same asteroid to measure effects of the impact. Unlike the previous Don Quijote mission study performed by ESA in 2005-2007, DART envisions an impactor spacecraft to intercept the secondary member of a binary near-Earth asteroid. DART includes ground-based observations to measure the deflection independently of the rendezvous spacecraft observations from AIM, which also measures deflection and provides detailed characterization of the target asteroid. The joint mission AIDA

  19. EURONEAR - Data Mining of Asteroids and Near Earth Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Vaduvescu, O; Birlan, M; Bocsa, G; Serbanescu, L; Tudorica, A; Berthier, J

    2009-01-01

    Besides new observations, mining old photographic plates and CCD image archives represents an opportunity to recover and secure newly discovered asteroids, also to improve the orbits of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) and Virtual Impactors (VIs). These are the main research aims of the EURONEAR network. As stated by the IAU, the vast collection of image archives stored worldwide is still insufficiently explored, and could be mined for known NEAs and other asteroids appearing occasionally in their fields. This data mining could be eased using a server to search and classify findings based on the asteroid class and the discovery date as "precoveries" or "recoveries". We built PRECOVERY, a public facility which uses the Virtual Observatory SkyBoT webservice of IMCCE to search for all known Solar System objects in a given observation. To datamine an entire archive, PRECOVERY requires the observing log in a standard format and outputs a database listing the sorted encounters of ...

  20. Alien Asteroid Belt Compared to our Own

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Band of Light Comparison This artist's concept illustrates what the night sky might look like from a hypothetical alien planet in a star system with an asteroid belt 25 times as massive as the one in our own solar system (alien system above, ours below; see Figure 1). NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence for such a belt around the nearby star called HD 69830, when its infrared eyes spotted dust, presumably from asteroids banging together. The telescope did not find any evidence for a planet in the system, but astronomers speculate one or more may be present. The movie begins at dusk on the imaginary world, when HD 69830, like our Sun, has begun to set over the horizon. Time is sped up to show the onset of night and the appearance of a brilliant band of light. This light comes from dust in a massive asteroid belt, which scatters sunlight. In our solar system, anybody observing the skies on a moonless night far from city lights can see the sunlight that is scattered by dust in our asteroid belt. Called zodiacal light and sometimes the 'false dawn,' this light appears as a dim band stretching up from the horizon when the Sun is about to rise or set. The light is faint enough that the disk of our Milky Way galaxy remains the most prominent feature in the sky. (The Milky Way disk is shown perpendicular to the zodiacal light in both pictures.) In contrast, the zodiacal light in the HD 69830 system would be 1,000 times brighter than our own, outshining even the Milky Way.

  1. On the puzzle of space weathering alteration of basaltic asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Marchi, S; Lazzarin, M; Magrin, S

    2010-01-01

    The majority of basaltic asteroids are found in the inner main belt, although a few have also been observed in the outer main belt and near-Earth space. These asteroids -referred to as V-types- have surface compositions that resemble that of the 530km sized asteroid Vesta. Besides the compositional similarity, dynamical evidence also links many V-type asteroids to Vesta. Moreover, Vesta is one of the few asteroids to have been identified as source of specific classes of meteorites, the howardite, eucrite, diogenite achondrites (HEDs). Despite the general consensus on the outlined scenario, several questions remain unresolved. In particular, it is not clear if the observed spectral diversity among Vesta, V-types and HEDs is due to space weathering, as is thought to be the case for S-type asteroids. In this paper, SDSS photometry is used to address the question of whether the spectral diversity among candidate V-types and HEDs can be explained by space weathering. We show that visible spectral slopes of V-types...

  2. A search for differentiated fragments within asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMeo, Francesca E.; Carry, Benoit; Polishook, David; Binzel, Richard; Burt, Brian; Moskovitz, Nicholas

    2016-10-01

    The existence of iron meteorite samples suggest that a number of planetesimals differentiated fully and were subsequently disrupted. Within the current asteroid belt, there is little evidence of bodies that fully differentiated into core, mantle and crust layers (Moskovitz et al. 2008). However, because it has been suggested that differentiation can occur within the interior of a body while the primitive exterior remains intact (Elkins-Tanton et al. 2011), an understanding of the diversity of compositions from differentiated parent bodies is critical. Asteroid families, as constituents of a disrupted progenitor body, provide a glimpse into the interior of their progenitors. However, asteroid families, while spectrally unique from one another, are spectrally similar within each family (Parker et al., 2008, Masiero et al. 2011). Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to search for a "needle in a haystack" we identify candidate basaltic and olivine-rich asteroids that are dynamically associated with asteroid families to constrain the amount of differentiation that could have occurred within the parent asteroid. Using FIRE on the 6-meter Magellan Telescope and SpeX on the 3-meter IRTF Telescope we measure near-infrared spectra of more than thirty of these candidates, most of which are part of the Eunomia and Flora families. Results of these observations are presented in this talk.

  3. Photometric Study of Selected Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevchenko, Vasilij G.; Velichko, Feodor P.; Checha, Vitaly A.; Krugly, Yurij N.

    2014-07-01

    We performed photometric observations for eleven asteroids. New rotation periods were determined for five asteroids: 2812 Scaltriti (7.596 h), 4716 Urey (6.2 h), 7446 Hadrianus (3.402 h), (26657) 2000 SX293 (2.8 - 3.8 h), and (54063) 2000 GC136 (5.154 h).

  4. Gullies and Lobate Deposits as Geomorphological Evidence for Impact-induced Transient Water Flow and Localized, Buried Ice-bearing Deposits on Vesta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scully, J. E. C.; Russell, C. T.; Yin, A.; Jaumann, R.; Carey, E. M.; McSween, H. Y., Jr.; Castillo, J. C.; Raymond, C. A.; Reddy, V.; Le Corre, L.

    2014-12-01

    Vesta, the second most massive asteroid, has long been perceived as anhydrous. However, recent studies suggesting the localized presence of hydrated minerals and past sub-surface water have challenged this perception (e.g. Sarafian et al., 2013; De Sanctis et al., 2012; Prettyman et al., 2012; McCord et al. 2012; Reddy et al. 2012; Treiman et al, 2004). Herein we show evidence that transient water flowed on the surface, in a debris-flow-like process, and left distinctive geomorphologic features. Based on analysis of ~20 m/ pixel images obtained by Dawn, we identify a class of locally occurring, interconnected and curvilinear systems of gullies in the walls of young (< 100s Ma) impact craters, ending in lobate deposits near the crater floors. As curvilinear systems only occur within impact craters, we propose that they formed by a particulate-dominated transient flow of water (≤ 26 minutes) that was released from buried ice-bearing deposits by impact-induced heating. Our interpretation is in accordance with the occurrence of pitted terrain on lobate deposits and crater floors. Pitted terrain is interpreted to result from the degassing of volatiles (Denevi et al., 2012). We also identify linear gully systems, which are morphologically distinct from the curvilinear systems, and are interpreted to form by dry flow of material. Craters containing curvilinear systems are clustered in two regions of Vesta's surface, whereas linear systems are evenly distributed. This indicates that the proposed buried ice-bearing deposits are likely localized in extent. Together with the newly expanded understanding of the distribution and behavior of water in the asteroid belt (e.g. Küppers et al., 2014; Hsieh & Jewitt, 2006), our results support the new paradigm that there is a continuum of small bodies in the solar system with many intermediate states of hydration. The varied hydrologic processes that occur within this new paradigm suggest the evolution of our solar system is more

  5. Formation of Observed Asteroid Systems by Rotational Fission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2010-05-01

    Binary asteroid systems comprise 16% of the Near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. A proposed mechanism for creating these systems is rotational fission, observational evidence for which is being reported at this meeting (Scheeres, Pravec, et al.). We have developed a detailed simulation of this process to mimic the evolution of rubble pile asteroids spun to fission by YORP. We model the proto-binary using tri-axial ellipsoid components to capture spin-orbit coupling, apply instantaneous tidal torques to both members to model energy dissipation, and incorporate solar perturbations. After fission these binaries are located deep in their Hill sphere and their non-spherical shapes strongly couple the spin and orbital states of the bodies, transferring angular momentum and energy across the system. These systems evolve chaotically and quickly, and often reach high apoapsis radii where solar perturbations can play an important role. We find distinct evolution of the systems as a function of the mass ratio of the fissioned asteroid. For mass ratios greater than 0.2 systems cannot escape and all rapidly evolve into doubly-synchronous binaries, similar to Hermes, whose apparent lack of abundance may be due to observational bias and to rapid evolution due to the BYORP effect. For mass ratios less than 0.2 we find a number of different outcomes. First, the systems are Hill unstable and can escape from each other, forming asteroid pairs. Prior to escape, however, the secondary of a significant fraction is spun to fission, thus creating a temporary ternary system subject to three body dynamics, solar perturbations, spin-orbit coupling, and additional fission events. Resulting from our simulations we find final asteroid states that include a-synchronous binaries, high eccentricity binaries, ternary systems, and asteroid pairs - all of which are also found in the observed asteroid population. The process also predicts the creation of primaries with equatorial bulges.

  6. Radar Observations of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostro, S. J.

    2003-05-01

    During the past 25 years, radar investigations have provided otherwise unavailable information about the physical and dynamical properties of more than 200 asteroids. Measurements of the distribution of echo power in time delay and Doppler frequency provide two-dimensional images with spatial resolution as fine as a decameter. Sequences of delay-Doppler images can be used to produce geologically detailed three-dimensional models, to define the rotation state precisely, to constrain the internal density distribution, and to estimate the trajectory of the object's center of mass. Radar wavelengths (4 to 13 cm) and the observer's control of transmitted and received polarizations make the observations sensitive to near-surface bulk density and macroscopic structure. Since delay-Doppler positional measurements are orthogonal to optical angle measurements and typically have much finer fractional precision, they are powerful for refining orbits and prediction ephemerides. Radar astrometry can add decades or centuries to the interval over which an asteroid's close Earth approaches can accurately be predicted and can significantly refine collision probability estimates based on optical astrometry alone. In the highly unlikely case that a small body is on course for an Earth collision in this century, radar reconnaissance would almost immediately distinguish between an impact trajectory and a near miss and would dramatically reduce the difficulty and cost of any effort to prevent the collision. The sizes and rotation periods of radar-detected asteroids span more than four orders of magnitude. These observations have revealed both stony and metallic objects, elongated and nonconvex shapes as well as nearly featureless spheroids, small-scale morphology ranging from smoother than the lunar regolith to rougher than the rockiest terrain on Mars, craters and diverse linear structures, non-principal-axis spin states, contact binaries, and binary systems.

  7. Radar Investigations of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostro, S.

    2004-05-01

    Radar investigations have provided otherwise unavailable information about the physical and dynamical properties of about 230 asteroids. Measurements of the distribution of echo power in time delay (range) and Doppler frequency (line-of-sight velocity) provide two-dimensional images with spatial resolution as fine as a decameter. Sequences of delay-Doppler images can be used to produce geologically detailed three-dimensional models, to define the rotation state precisely, to constrain the internal density distribution, and to estimate the trajectory of the object's center of mass. Radar wavelengths (4 to 13 cm) and the observer's control of transmitted and received polarizations make the observations sensitive to near-surface bulk density and macroscopic structure. Since delay-Doppler measurements are orthogonal to optical angle measurements and typically have much finer fractional precision, they are powerful for refining orbits and prediction ephemerides. Such astrometric measurements can add decades or centuries to the interval over which an asteroid's close Earth approaches can accurately be predicted and can significantly refine collision probability estimates based on optical astrometry alone. In the highly unlikely case that a small body is on course for an Earth collision in this century, radar reconnaissance would almost immediately distinguish between an impact trajectory and a near miss and would dramatically reduce the difficulty and cost of any effort to prevent the collision. The sizes and rotation periods of radar-detected asteroids span more than four orders of magnitude. The observations have revealed both stony and metallic objects, elongated and nonconvex shapes as well as nearly featureless spheroids, small-scale morphology ranging from smoother than the lunar regolith to rougher than the rockiest terrain on Mars, craters and diverse linear structures, non-principal-axis spin states, contact binaries, and binary systems.

  8. Asteroids and Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandez, Yanga R; Howell, Ellen S; Woodney, Laura M

    2015-01-01

    Asteroids and comets are remnants from the era of Solar System formation over 4.5 billion years ago, and therefore allow us to address two fundamental questions in astronomy: what was the nature of our protoplanetary disk, and how did the process of planetary accretion occur? The objects we see today have suffered many geophysically-relevant processes in the intervening eons that have altered their surfaces, interiors, and compositions. In this chapter we review our understanding of the origins and evolution of these bodies, discuss the wealth of science returned from spacecraft missions, and motivate important questions to be addressed in the future.

  9. Evidence of water molecules--a statistical evaluation of water molecules based on electron density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nittinger, Eva; Schneider, Nadine; Lange, Gudrun; Rarey, Matthias

    2015-04-27

    Water molecules play important roles in many biological processes, especially when mediating protein-ligand interactions. Dehydration and the hydrophobic effect are of central importance for estimating binding affinities. Due to the specific geometric characteristics of hydrogen bond functions of water molecules, meaning two acceptor and two donor functions in a tetrahedral arrangement, they have to be modeled accurately. Despite many attempts in the past years, accurate prediction of water molecules-structurally as well as energetically-remains a grand challenge. One reason is certainly the lack of experimental data, since energetic contributions of water molecules can only be measured indirectly. However, on the structural side, the electron density clearly shows the positions of stable water molecules. This information has the potential to improve models on water structure and energy in proteins and protein interfaces. On the basis of a high-resolution subset of the Protein Data Bank, we have conducted an extensive statistical analysis of 2.3 million water molecules, discriminating those water molecules that are well resolved and those without much evidence of electron density. In order to perform this classification, we introduce a new measurement of electron density around an individual atom enabling the automatic quantification of experimental support. On the basis of this measurement, we present an analysis of water molecules with a detailed profile of geometric and structural features. This data, which is freely available, can be applied to not only modeling and validation of new water models in structural biology but also in molecular design.

  10. In Search of Fresh Material on Asteroid Pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishook, David; Moskovitz, N.; Binzel, R. P.; DeMeo, F.; Vokrouhlicky, D.

    2013-10-01

    Asteroid Pairs are those found to share almost identical orbital elements. Studies have shown that each pair had a single progenitor that split in the last ~1 Myrs due to rotational-fission of a ‘rubble-pile’ structured body. This process may have exposed non-weathered sub-surface material, thus examining pairs' reflectance spectra could inform us about the physics of the rotational-fission mechanism. We report near-IR spectroscopic observations of a sample of 25 asteroid pairs, performed with the IRTF and Magellan telescopes. Since the rough division of the spectral taxonomy has arbitrary borders, and in order to quantify the extent of weathering, we analyzed the features of the spectra: the slope and the center and width of the 1-micron absorption band. We compared these values to those of asteroids of the background population that were measured in the same manner and were chosen to match the range of absolute magnitude and an orbit within the main belt. While the preliminary results show that the pairs’ band parameters are distributed most similarly to those of fresh objects (Q-type) than of weathered asteroids (S-type), a careful examination reveals that asteroid pairs of the Ordinary Chondrite type may be observationally biased towards Olivine-rich asteroids (the meteoritic LL-type) that share some of the band parameters of Q-type asteroids. Since Olivine-rich asteroids are more common in the inner main belt (the Flora family) they are just easier to observe, therefore more pairs are identified within this group, even though other types of asteroids can split by rotational-fission as well. The spectral slope distributions of asteroid pairs and of the background population resemble one another with no significant distinction. This suggests that on average, there may be no readily evident for excess in fresh material that is excavated and exposed on the surfaces of asteroid pairs. This leads to a model of a gentle breakup of the fast rotating progenitor

  11. Volatile Survival on Near-Earth Asteroid 2008 EV5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Leos; Britt, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Asteroid 2008 EV5 is currently one of the possible targets of NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The objective of this mission is to recover a boulder from the surface of an asteroid. The selection of the final target requires understanding the physical characteristics of the asteroid such as the size-frequency distribution of boulders on the asteroid's surface, the presence of volatiles on the surface and below, the strength of the surface materials and the degree of their alteration. In our work, we focus on the second criterion, the possibility of volatiles presence on 2008 EV5. These can be expected to survive embedded within the crystal lattice of various phyllosilicates. The positive presence of volatiles on the surface of and inside the asteroid is important especially for ISRU hardware demonstrations. Spectral data suggest that 2008 EV5 is a member of CI chondrite group which is characterized by high phyllosilicate content (~70%) but there is also the possibility of it being a CR chondrite where the phyllosilicate content ranges significantly, from samples with negligible phyllosilicate content to samples with almost 70% phyllosilicate content. If the dynamical history of the asteroid brought it close enough to the Sun, the lattice of phyllosilicates could have disintegrated and released the volatiles (water) and the material could have dehydrated. The depth at which the dehydration might have taken place depends on the characteristic depth of heat wave penetration which in turn depends on material characteristics such as density, heat capacity and heat conductivity. These are in turn are closely linked to the porosity. The characteristic heat penetration depth also depends on orbital geometry and rotational and orbital periods. Besides the temperature itself, the dehydration is also affected by the duration of the crystal lattice breakup temperatures. We use thermal model in conjunction with available experimental data on the dehydration of clays and

  12. Ion Beam Shepherd for Asteroid Deflection

    CERN Document Server

    Bombardelli, C

    2011-01-01

    We present a novel concept to impart a continuous thrust to an Earth threatening asteroid from a hovering spacecraft without need for physical attachment nor gravitational interaction with the asteroid. The concept involves an ion thruster placed at a distance of a few asteroid diameters directing a stream of quasi-neutral plasma against the asteroid surface resulting into a net transferred momentum. As the transmitted force is independent of the asteroid mass and size the method allows deflecting subkilometer asteroids with a spacecraft much lighter when compared to a gravity tractor spacecraft of equal deflection capability. The finding could make low-cost asteroid deflection missions possible in the coming years.

  13. Design study for asteroidal exploitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Carl; Blissit, Jim; Jarrett, Dave; Sanner, Rob; Yanagawa, Koji

    1985-08-01

    A systematic approach to asteroidal exploitation for the 1990 to 2010 time frame is presented as an initial step toward expanding the use of space beyond the space station by providing a source of lower cost materials. With only a limited amount of information known about the asteroids, reconnaissance and exploration phases to determine the exact locations and compositions of several earth-approaching asteroids are required. Earth-based telescopes are used to locate and study the asteroids, while unmanned probes will return samples of asteroidal material to earth for analysis. After these phases are completed, the retrieval of a 35,000 metric ton piece of the asteroid Anteros is undertaken. A cargo transporter uses magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) arcjets outbound and a mass-driver using asteroidal material inbound. A crew ship uses ion engines. Low thrust trajectories are used for both spacecraft. A materials processing facility will manufacture propellant pellets and retrieve non-propellant materials for spacecraft use. The cost is 1/10th that to transport the same materials from earth to high earth orbit. The project will cost 25 percent less if done in conjunction with a lunar and Martian base.

  14. Mine Planning for Asteroid Orebodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gertsch, L. S.; Gertsch, R. E.

    2000-01-01

    Given that an asteroid (or comet) has been determined to contain sufficient material of value to be potentially economic to exploit, a mining method must be selected and implemented. This paper discusses the engineering necessary to bring a mine online, and the opportunities and challenges inherent in asteroid mineral prospects. The very important step of orebody characterization is discussed elsewhere. The mining methods discussed here are based on enclosing the asteroid within a bag in some fashion, whether completely or partially. In general, asteroid mining methods based on bags will consist of the following steps. Not all will be required in every case, nor necessarily in this particular sequence. Some steps will be performed simultaneously. Their purpose is to extract the valuable material from the body of the asteroid in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. In approximate order of initiation, if not of conclusion, the steps are: 1. Tether anchoring to the asteroid. 2. Asteroid motion control. 3. Body/fragment restraint system placement. 4. Operations platform construction. 5. Bag construction. 6. Auxiliary and support equipment placement. 7. Mining operations. 8. Processing operations. 9. Product transport to markets.

  15. Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.

    2016-12-01

    The Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor. AIDA is a joint ESA-NASA cooperative project, consisting of the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) kinetic impactor mission and the ESA Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) which is the rendezvous spacecraft. The AIDA target is the near-Earth binary asteroid 65803 Didymos. During the Didymos close approach to Earth in October, 2022, the DART spacecraft will impact the Didymos secondary at 6 km/s and deflect its trajectory, changing the orbital period of the binary. This change can be measured by Earth-based optical and radar observations. The primary goals of AIDA are to (1) perform a full-scale demonstration of asteroid deflection by kinetic impact; (2) measure the resulting deflection; and (3) validate and improve models for momentum transfer in high-speed impacts on an asteroid. The combined DART and AIM missions will provide the first measurements of momentum transfer efficiency from a kinetic impact at full scale on an asteroid, where the impact conditions of the projectile are known, and physical properties and internal structures of the target asteroid are also characterized. In addition to a measurable change in the binary orbit period, the DART kinetic impact is predicted to induce forced librations of the Didymos secondary of up to several degrees amplitude. It will furthermore make a crater that will be studied in detail by the AIM spacecraft, and it will release a volume of particulate ejecta that may be directly observable from Earth or even resolvable as a coma or an ejecta tail by ground-based telescopes. Updates will be given on DART status and study results.

  16. Evidence on dynamic effects in the water content – water potential relation of building materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheffler, Gregor Albrecht; Plagge, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    the required material functions, i.e. the moisture storage characteristic and the liquid water conductivity, from measured basic properties. The current state of the art in material modelling as well as the corresponding transport theory implies that the moisture transport function is unique...... and that the moisture storage characteristic is process dependent with varying significance for the numerical simulation. On the basis of different building materials, a comprehensive instantaneous profile measurement study has been accomplished. Profiles of water content and relative humidity were obtained during...... a series of adsorption and desorption processes. The data provides clear evidence that the water content – water potential relationship is not only dependent on the process history, but also on the process dynamics. The higher moisture potential gradients were induced, the larger was the deviation between...

  17. Images of an Activated Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-08-01

    In late April of this year, asteroid P/2016 G1 (PANSTARRS) was discovered streaking through space, a tail of dust extending behind it. What caused this asteroids dust activity?Asteroid or Comet?Images of asteroid P/2016 G1 at three different times: late April, late May, and mid June. The arrow in the center panel points out an asymmetric feature that can be explained if the asteroid initially ejected material in a single direction, perhaps due to an impact. [Moreno et al. 2016]Asteroid P/2016 G1 is an interesting case: though it has the orbital elements of a main-belt asteroid it orbits at just under three times the EarthSun distance, with an eccentricity of e ~ 0.21 its appearance is closer to that of a comet, with a dust tail extending 20 behind it.To better understand the nature and cause of this unusual asteroids activity, a team led by Fernando Moreno (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, in Spain) performed deep observations of P/2016 G1 shortly after its discovery. The team used the 10.4-meter Great Canary Telescope to image the asteroid over the span of roughly a month and a half.A Closer Look at P/2016 G1P/2016 G1 lies in the inner region of the main asteroid belt, so it is unlikely to have any ices that suddenly sublimated, causing the outburst. Instead, Moreno and collaborators suggest that the asteroids tail may have been caused by an impact that disrupted the parent body.To test this idea, the team used computer simulations to model their observations of P/2016 G1s dust tail. Based on their models, they demonstrate that the asteroid was likely activated on February 10 2016 roughly 350 days before it reached perihelion in its orbit and its activity was a short-duration event, lasting only ~24 days. The teams models indicate that over these 24 days, the asteroid lost around 20 million kilograms of dust, and at its maximum activity level, it was ejecting around 8 kg/s!Comparison of the observation from late May (panel a) and two models: one in which

  18. Structural Stability of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Toshi

    This thesis develops a technique for analyzing the internal structure of an irregularly shaped asteroid. This research focuses on asteroid (216) Kleopatra, a few-hundred-kilometer-sized main belt asteroid spinning about its maximum moment of inertia axis with a rotation period of 5.385 hours, to motivate the techniques. While Ostro et al. [117] reported its dog bone-like shape, estimation of its size has been actively discussed. There are at least three different size estimates: Ostro et al., Descamps et al., and Marchis et al. Descamps et al. reported that (216) Kleopatra has satellites and obtained the mass of this object. This research consists of determination of possible failure modes of (216) Kleopatra and its subsequent detailed stress analysis, with each part including an estimation of the internal structure. The first part of this thesis considers the failure mode of Kleopatra and evaluates the size from it. Possible failure modes are modeled as either material shedding from the surface or plastic failure of the internal structure. The surface shedding condition is met when a zero-velocity curve with the same energy level as one of the dynamical equilibrium points attaches to the surface at the slowest spin period, while the plastic failure condition is characterized by extending the theorem by Holsapple (2008) that the yield condition of the averaged stress over the whole volume is identical to an upper bound for global failure. The prime result shows that while surface shedding does not occur at the current spin period and thus cannot result in the formation of the satellites, the neck may be situated near its plastic deformation state. From the failure condition, we also find that the size estimated by Descamps et al. (2011) is the most structurally stable. The second part of this thesis discusses finite element analyses with an assumption of an elastic-perfectly plastic material and a non-associated flow rule. The yield condition is modeled as the

  19. The Main Asteroid Belt: The Crossroads of the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, main belt asteroids are leftover planetary building blocks that never accreted enough material to become planets. They are therefore keys to understanding how the Solar System formed and evolved. They may also provide clues to the origin of life, as similar bodies may have delivered organics and water to the early Earth.Strong associations between asteroids and meteorites emerged thanks to multi-technique observations, modeling, in situ and sample return analyses. Spacecraft images revolutionized our knowledge of these small worlds. Asteroids are stunning in their diversity in terms of physical properties. Their gravity varies by more orders of magnitude than its variation among the terrestrial planets, including the Moon. Each rendezvous with an asteroid thus turned our geological understanding on its head as each asteroid is affected in different ways by a variety of processes such as landslides, faulting, and impact cratering. Composition also varies, from ice-rich to lunar-like to chondritic.Nearly every asteroid we see today, whether of primitive or evolved compositions, is the product of a complex history involving accretion and one or more episodes of catastrophic disruption that sometimes resulted in families of smaller asteroids that have distinct and indicative petrogenic relationships. These families provide the best data to study the impact disruption process at scales far larger than those accessible in laboratory. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of early asteroids grew large enough to thermally differentiate. Their traces are scattered pieces of their metal-rich cores and, more rarely, their mantles and crusts.Asteroids represent stages on the rocky road to planet formation. They have great stories to tell about the formation and evolution of our Solar System as well as other planetary systems: asteroid belts seem common around Sun-like stars. We will review our current knowledge on their properties, their link to

  20. Near Earth Asteroid Scout Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In considering targets for human asteroid missions, there are several major factors that will make a significant difference in assessment of mission risks that...

  1. Solar wind tans young asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    A new study published in Nature this week reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought -- in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid. This study has finally confirmed that the solar wind is the most likely cause of very rapid space weathering in asteroids. This fundamental result will help astronomers relate the appearance of an asteroid to its actual history and identify any after effects of a catastrophic impact with another asteroid. ESO PR Photo 16a/09 Young Asteroids Look Old "Asteroids seem to get a ‘sun tan' very quickly," says lead author Pierre Vernazza. "But not, as for people, from an overdose of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, but from the effects of its powerful wind." It has long been known that asteroid surfaces alter in appearance with time -- the observed asteroids are much redder than the interior of meteorites found on Earth [1] -- but the actual processes of this "space weathering" and the timescales involved were controversial. Thanks to observations of different families of asteroids [2] using ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla and the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, as well as telescopes in Spain and Hawaii, Vernazza's team have now solved the puzzle. When two asteroids collide, they create a family of fragments with "fresh" surfaces. The astronomers found that these newly exposed surfaces are quickly altered and change colour in less than a million years -- a very short time compared to the age of the Solar System. "The charged, fast moving particles in the solar wind damage the asteroid's surface at an amazing rate [3]", says Vernazza. Unlike human skin, which is damaged and aged by repeated overexposure to sunlight, it is, perhaps rather surprisingly, the first moments of exposure (on the timescale considered) -- the first million years -- that causes most of the aging in asteroids. By studying different families of asteroids, the team has also shown that an asteroid

  2. Asteroid named after CAS scientist

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ An asteroid has been named after CAS astronomy historian XI Zezong with the approval of the International Minor Planet Nomenclature Committee (IMPNC), announced China's National Astronomical Observatories at CAS (NAOC) on 17 August.

  3. Water Transport and the Evolution of CM Parent Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, R.; Cohen, B.

    2014-01-01

    Extraterrestrial water-bearing minerals are of great importance both for understanding the formation and evolution of the solar system and for supporting future human activities in space. Asteroids are the primary source of meteorites, many of which show evidence of an early heating episode and varying degrees of aqueous alteration. The origin and characterization of hydrated minerals (minerals containing H2O or OH) among both the main-belt and near-earth asteroids is important for understanding a wide range of solar system formation and evolutionary processes, as well as for planning for human exploration. Current hypotheses postulate asteroids began as mixtures of water ice and anhydrous silicates. A heating event early in solar system history was then responsible for melting the ice and driving aqueous alteration. The link between asteroids and meteorites is forged by reflectance spectra, which show 3-µm bands indicative of bound OH or H2O on the C-class asteroids, which are believed to be the parent bodies of the carbonaceous chondrites in our collections. The conditions at which aqueous alteration occurred in the parent bodies of carbonaceous chondrites are thought to be well-constrained: at 0-25 C for less than 15 Myr after asteroid formation. In previous models, many scenarios exhibit peak temperatures of the rock and co-existing liquid water in more than 75 percent of the asteroid's volume rising to 150 C and higher, due to the exothermic hydration reactions triggering a thermal runaway effect. However, even in a high porosity, water-saturated asteroid very limited liquid water flow is predicted (distances of 100's nm at most). This contradiction has yet to be resolved. Still, it may be possible for water to become liquid even in the near-surface environment, for a long enough time to drive aqueous alteration before vaporizing or freezing then subliming. Thus, we are using physics- and chemistry-based models that include thermal and fluid transport as well

  4. Solar Radiation and Asteroidal Motion

    CERN Document Server

    Klacka, J

    2000-01-01

    Effects of solar wind and solar electromagnetic radiation on motion of asteroids are discussed. The results complete the statements presented in Vokrouhlick\\'{y} and Milani (2000). As for the effect of electromagnetic radiation, the complete equation of motion is presented to the first order in $v/c$ -- the shape of asteroid (spherical body is explicitly presented) and surface distribution of albedo should be taken into account. Optical quantities must be calculated in proper frame of reference.

  5. The Cool Surfaces of Binaries Near-Earth Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delbo, Marco; Walsh, K.; Mueller, M.

    2008-01-01

    We present results from thermal-infrared observations of binary near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). These objects, in general, have surface temperatures cooler than the average values for non-binary NEAs. We discuss how this may be evidence of higher-than-average surface thermal inertia. The comparison of

  6. Anatomy of an Asteroid Breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-05-01

    A team of scientists has observed the breakup of an asteroid as it orbits the Sun. In a new study, they reveal what theyve learned from their ground- and space-based observations of this disintegration.These Hubble images show the fragments of R3 in higher resolution over the span of October 2013 to February 2014. [Jewitt et al. 2017]Observations of DisintegrationActive asteroids are objects that move on asteroid-like orbits while displaying comet-like behavior. The cause of their activity can vary ranging from outgassing as the asteroid heats up in its solar approach, to expelled debris from a collision, to the entire asteroid flying apart because its spinning too fast.Led by David Jewitt (University of California at Los Angeles), a team of scientists has analyzed observations of the disintegrating asteroid P/2013 R3. The observations span two years and were made by a number of telescopes, including Hubble, Keck (in Hawaii), Magellan (in Chile), and the Very Large Telescope (in Chile).A schematic diagram of the different fragments of R3 and how they relate to each other. Black numbers estimate the fragment separation velocities; red numbers estimate the separation date. [Jewitt et al. 2017]Jewitt and collaborators then used these observations and a bit of modeling to understand what asteroid R3 was like originally, what its pieces are doing now, and what caused it to break up.Cause of the BreakupThe team found that P/2013 R3 broke up into at least 13 pieces, the biggest of which was likely no more than 100-200 meters in size. The original asteroid was probably less than 400 m in radius.By measuring the velocities of the fragments in the various observations, Jewitt and collaborators were able to work backward to determine when each piece broke off. They found that the fragmentation process was spread out over the span of roughly 5 months suggesting that the asteroids breakup wasnt impact-related (otherwise the fragmentation would likely have been all at once

  7. Water poverty and rural development: Evidence from South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matshe, I

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available link between household water and economic poverty of rural households, with households’ total monthly income used as an indicator of economic poverty. An adaptation of a comprehensive water poverty index, which considers water access, quality, use...

  8. Refining the asteroid taxonomy by polarimetric observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belskaya, I. N.; Fornasier, S.; Tozzi, G. P.; Gil-Hutton, R.; Cellino, A.; Antonyuk, K.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Dovgopol, A. N.; Faggi, S.

    2017-03-01

    We present new results of polarimetric observations of 15 main belt asteroids of different composition. By merging new and published data we determined polarimetric parameters characterizing individual asteroids and mean values of the same parameters characterizing different taxonomic classes. The majority of asteroids show polarimetric phase curves close to the average curve of the corresponding class. We show that using polarimetric data it is possible to refine asteroid taxonomy and derive a polarimetric classification for 283 main belt asteroids. Polarimetric observations of asteroid (21) Lutetia are found to exhibit possible variations of the position angle of the polarization plane over the surface.

  9. Can Asteroid Airbursts Cause Dangerous Tsunami?.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boslough, Mark B. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2015-10-01

    I have performed a series of high-resolution hydrocode simulations to generate “source functions” for tsunami simulations as part of a proof-of-principle effort to determine whether or not the downward momentum from an asteroid airburst can couple energy into a dangerous tsunami in deep water. My new CTH simulations show enhanced momentum multiplication relative to a nuclear explosion of the same yield. Extensive sensitivity and convergence analyses demonstrate that results are robust and repeatable for simulations with sufficiently high resolution using adaptive mesh refinement. I have provided surface overpressure and wind velocity fields to tsunami modelers to use as time-dependent boundary conditions and to test the hypothesis that this mechanism can enhance the strength of the resulting shallow-water wave. The enhanced momentum result suggests that coupling from an over-water plume-forming airburst could be a more efficient tsunami source mechanism than a collapsing impact cavity or direct air blast alone, but not necessarily due to the originally-proposed mechanism. This result has significant implications for asteroid impact risk assessment and airburst-generated tsunami will be the focus of a NASA-sponsored workshop at the Ames Research Center next summer, with follow-on funding expected.

  10. Discovery of Spin-Rate-Dependent Asteroid Thermal Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan; Drube, Line

    2016-10-01

    Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. Using WISE/NEOWISE data and our new asteroid thermal-inertia estimator we show that the thermal inertia of main-belt asteroids (MBAs) appears to increase with spin period. Similar behavior is found in the case of thermophysically-modeled thermal inertia values of near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. On the basis of a picture of depth-dependent thermal inertia our results suggest that, in general, thermal inertia values representative of solid rock are reached some tens of centimeters to meters below the surface in the case of MBAs (the median diameter in our dataset = 24 km). In the case of the much smaller (km-sized) NEOs a thinner porous surface layer is indicated, with large pieces of solid rock possibly existing just a meter or less below the surface. These conclusions are consistent with our understanding from in-situ measurements of the surfaces of the Moon, and a few asteroids, and suggest a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids. Our results have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Evidence of a rapid increase of thermal inertia with depth is also an important result for studies of the ejecta-enhanced momentum transfer of impacting vehicles ("kinetic impactors") in planetary defense.

  11. THE UV/BLUE EFFECTS OF SPACE WEATHERING MANIFESTED IN S-COMPLEX ASTEROIDS. I. QUANTIFYING CHANGE WITH ASTEROID AGE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vilas, Faith [MMT Observatory, Tucson, AZ (United States); Hendrix, Amanda R., E-mail: fvilas@psi.edu [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Fort Lowell Rd., Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2015-08-15

    Evidence for the manifestation of space weathering in S-complex asteroids as a bluing of the UV/blue reflectance spectrum is extended using high resolution CCD reflectance spectra of 21 main-belt, 1 Mars-crossing, and 3 near-Earth asteroids covering a wavelength range of 320–620 nm. Demonstration of the transition of iron-bearing materials from volume scattering to surface (Fresnel) scattering is apparent as an abrupt downturn at wavelengths just short of 400 nm in reflectance spectra of fresh asteroid surfaces. The weathering away of this downturn is demonstrated by its absence in reflectance spectra of mature S-complex asteroids, consistent with an increase in npFe{sup 0} on the material's surface. Modeling of the effects of the addition of small amounts of npFe{sup 0} to particles from both a hypothetical mineral and a terrestrial basalt shows that evidence of the addition of 0.0001% npFe{sup 0} affects the reflectance at UV/blue wavelengths, while the addition of 0.01% is required to see the visible/near-infrared reddening and diminution of absorption features. Thus, the UV/blue reflectance characteristics allow earlier detection of the onset of space weathering effects. Combining UV/blue spectral characteristics of asteroids and ordinary chondrite meteorites with estimated ages of the young Datura family, we establish a method of dating asteroid surface ages during the early stages of space weathering. We demonstrate by dating the surface of NEA 163249 2002 GT to be 109 (±18) to 128 (±10) Kyr.

  12. Reconstructing the spin distributions of main-belt asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holsapple, K.

    2014-07-01

    INTRODUCTION: We now have spin data for almost six thousand asteroids, each value being a result of that asteroid's history. Some features of that distribution are now evident. The gravity spin limit at the period of about 2.3 h for asteroids with a diameter greater than a few kilometers is well established (Harris 1996, Pravec and Harris 2000, Holsapple 2001, and others). The strength of smaller asteroids as inferred from the ''fast spinners'' has been presented by Holsapple (2007), Sanchez and Scheeres (2014), and others. Several statistical analyses of the database have been presented (e.g., Pravec and Harris 2002). Here that database is used as a means of investigating the prior history of the asteroid belt. THEORETICAL APPROACHES: A way to understand the data is to attempt to reproduce it using theoretical models and numerical simulations of the physics of the processes that created it. Such studies have evolved since McAdoo and Burns (1973) first suggested collisions as a source of the spins; they include Davis et al. (1979), Dobrovolskis and Burns (1984), Harris (1979), Davis et al. (1989), Farinella et al. (1992), Henych and Pravec (2013), and others. These analyses are based upon averaging the effects of a number of individual impacts into a given target asteroid. I retrace the path and analyses of those authors in this work, but make important modifications and updates. The primary elements introduced in those prior studies include: 1) a population of asteroids in a given space; 2) a distribution of impact velocities and angles; 3) the efficiency of angular-momentum transfer in an impact; 4) the loss or gain of mass and angular inertia; 5) the amount, direction, and speed of the cratering ejecta. The characteristics of the ejecta are especially important: they determine the ''angular-momentum drain'' first identified by Dobrovolskis and Burns (1984). It is caused by the preferential escape of ejecta in the downrange spin direction. Here I revisit, update

  13. Excluding interlopers from asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic, B.; Radovic, V.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: Asteroid families are believed to have originated from catastrophic collisions among asteroids. They are a very important subject of Solar System investigation, because practically any research topic carried out in asteroid-related science sooner or later encounters problems pertaining to asteroid families. One basic problem encountered when dealing with families is to determine reliably the list of its members, i.e. to reduce the number of interlopers as much as possible. This is an important problem, because many conclusions derived from analyses of the physical properties of family members must be necessarily based on firm and well established membership. However, as the number of known asteroids increases fast it becomes more and more difficult to obtain robust list of members of an asteroid family. To cope with these challenges we are proposing a new approach that may help to significantly reduce presence of interlopers among the family members. This method should be particularly useful once additional information become available, including primarily spectro-photometric data. This is exactly the kind of information that will be provided by Gaia. Metodology: Families (and their members) have been commonly identified by analysing the distribution of asteroids in the space of proper orbital elements, using the Hierarchical Clustering Method (HCM) [1]. A well-known drawback of the HCM based on the single linkage rule is the so-called chaining phenomenon: first concentrations naturally tend to incorporate nearby groups, forming a kind of 'chain'. Thus, any family membership obtained by the pure HCM must unavoidably include some interlopers. The method we are proposing here could be used to identify these interlopers, with its main advantage being an ability to significantly reduce the chaining effect. The method consists of three main steps. First we determine an asteroid family members by applying the HCM to the catalogue of proper elements obtained

  14. Aqueous alteration on main belt primitive asteroids: results from visible spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Fornasier, S; Barucci, M A; Lazzarin, M

    2014-01-01

    This work focuses on the study of the aqueous alteration process which acted in the main belt and produced hydrated minerals on the altered asteroids. The aqueous alteration is particularly important for unraveling the processes occurring during the earliest times of the Solar System history, as it can give information both on the asteroids thermal evolution and on the localization of water sources in the asteroid belt. We present new spectral observations in the visible region of 80 asteroids belonging to the primitive classes C, G, F, B and P. We combine the present observations with the visible spectra of asteroids available in the literature for a total of 600 primitive main belt asteroids. Our analysis shows that the aqueous alteration sequence starts from the P-type objects, practically unaltered, and increases through the F, B, C, and G asteroids. Around 50% of the observed C-type asteroids show absorption features in the vis. range due to hydrated silicates, implying that more than 70% of them will ha...

  15. Near-infrared spectra of high-albedo outer main-belt asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Shirahata, Mai [National Institutes of Natural Science, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8588 (Japan); Usui, Fumihiko [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Kuroda, Daisuke [Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 3037-5 Honjo, Kamogata-cho, Asakuchi, Okayama 719-0232 (Japan); Ootsubo, Takafumi [Department of Earth Science and Astronomy, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-8902 (Japan); Okamura, Natsuko [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo Kiban Bldg. 408, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Hasegawa, Sunao, E-mail: toshi.kasuga@nao.ac.jp [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan)

    2015-02-01

    Most outer main-belt asteroids have low albedos because of their carbonaceouslike bodies. However, infrared satellite surveys have revealed that some asteroids have high albedos, which may suggest the presence of unusual surface minerals for those primitive objects. We present new near-infrared (1.1–2.5 μm) spectra of four outer main-belt asteroids with albedos ≥ 0.1. The C-complex asteroids (555) Norma and (2542) Calpurnia are featureless and have (50%–60%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes that might explain the high albedos. Asteroids (701) Oriola (which is a C-complex asteroid) and (2670) Chuvashia (a D/T-type or M-type asteroid) show possible broad absorption bands (1.5–2.1 μm). The feature can be reproduced by either Mg-rich amorphous pyroxene (with 50%–60% and 80%–95% Mg, respectively) or orthopyroxene (crystalline silicate), which might be responsible for the high albedos. No absorption features of water ice (near 1.5 and 2.0 μm) are detected in the objects. We discuss the origin of high albedo components in the outer main-belt asteroids and their physical relations to comets.

  16. Asteroid airburst altitude vs. strength

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Darrel; Wheeler, Lorien; Mathias, Donovan

    2016-10-01

    Small NEO asteroids (<Ø140m) may not be a threat on a national or global level but can still cause a significant amount of local damage as demonstrated by the Chelyabinsk event where there was over $33 million worth of damage (1 billion roubles) and 1500 were injured, mostly due to broken glass. The ground damage from a small asteroid depends strongly on the altitude at which they "burst" where most of the energy is deposited in the atmosphere. The ability to accurately predict ground damage is useful in determining appropriate evacuation or shelter plans and emergency management.Strong asteroids, such as a monolithic boulder, fail and create peak energy deposition close to the altitude at which ram dynamic pressure exceeds the material cohesive strength. Weaker asteroids, such as a rubble pile, structurally fail at higher altitude, but it requires the increased aerodynamic pressure at lower altitude to disrupt and disperse the rubble. Consequently the resulting airbursts have a peak energy deposition at similar altitudes.In this study hydrocode simulations of the entry and break-up of small asteroids were performed to examine the effect of strength, size, composition, entry angle, and speed on the resulting airburst. This presentation will show movies of the simulations, the results of peak burst height, and the comparison to semi-analytical models.

  17. Discovery of a Satellite around a Near-Earth Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    the data necessary for these determinations, observations will be continued during the present period of good visibility that lasts until September-October 1997. For this reason the discoverers have initiated an international observation campaign devoted to the study of this intriguing object and now involving astronomers from many countries. How common are such satellites? Satellites in orbit around small bodies in the solar system - asteroids and cometary nuclei - have been predicted on theoretical grounds for a long time, even though there is no consensus among planetary scientists about the actual numbers of such systems. Hints about the existence of asteroid satellites also come from the presence of double impact craters on the Moon and other planetary surfaces. This suggests that the projectiles forming these craters were `double' asteroids. Moreover, measurements obtained when an asteroid passes in front of a relatively bright star (a so-called `occultation') have on a few occasions shown features which could be interpreted as due to the presence of a satellite. However, because of the difficult nature of such measurements, it has never been possible to draw unambiguous conclusions. The existence of double asteroids was invoked earlier by Petr Pravec and Gerhard Hahn to explain the unusual features observed in the lightcurves of two other Earth-approaching asteroids 1991 VH and 1994 AW1 . In the case of Dionysus , however, it is possible to predict eclipse events and to confirm them by subsequent measurements. There is therefore mounting evidence that asteroid binary systems might be comparatively common. Observational programmes like the present one by the DLR and Ondrejov groups will help to verify this possibility. Where to find additional information Detailed and up-to-date information about (3671) Dionysus can be found in the Web at the following URL: http://earn.dlr.de/dionysus. Notes: [1] This institute and its parent organisation are known in Germany as

  18. Drinking water infrastructure and environmental disparities: evidence and methodological considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanDerslice, James

    2011-12-01

    Potable drinking water is essential to public health; however, few studies have investigated income or racial disparities in water infrastructure or drinking water quality. There were many case reports documenting a lack of piped water or serious water quality problems in low income and minority communities, including tribal lands, Alaskan Native villages, colonias along the United States-Mexico border, and small communities in agricultural areas. Only 3 studies compared the demographic characteristics of communities by the quality of their drinking water, and the results were mixed in these studies. Further assessments were hampered by difficulties linking specific water systems to the sociodemographic characteristics of communities, as well as little information about how well water systems operated and the effectiveness of governmental oversight.

  19. Drinking Water Infrastructure and Environmental Disparities: Evidence and Methodological Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Potable drinking water is essential to public health; however, few studies have investigated income or racial disparities in water infrastructure or drinking water quality. There were many case reports documenting a lack of piped water or serious water quality problems in low income and minority communities, including tribal lands, Alaskan Native villages, colonias along the United States–Mexico border, and small communities in agricultural areas. Only 3 studies compared the demographic characteristics of communities by the quality of their drinking water, and the results were mixed in these studies. Further assessments were hampered by difficulties linking specific water systems to the sociodemographic characteristics of communities, as well as little information about how well water systems operated and the effectiveness of governmental oversight. PMID:21836110

  20. The Micro-mechanics of Asteroid Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez Lana, Diego Paul; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2016-10-01

    Current understanding is that small asteroids in the Solar System are gravitational aggregates that are held together by gravitational, cohesive and adhesive forces. Though the mechanics of how gravitational forces work is very well understood, the same cannot be said about the other two.In our earlier research we used a Discrete-Element-Method simulation code to calculate the tensile strength of an assemblage of cohesive particles and found that the main geometrical factor controlling bulk strength was the average size of the particles (Sanchez and Scheeres 2014, MAPS). Specifically, the smaller the average size, the greater the tensile strength as r^-1, as though the magnitude of the van der Waals force applied decrease with the radius of the grains (r), the number of contacts per unit area increases with r^-2. This dependency has been corroborated by some observational evidence of the global strength of granular asteroids; however, our simulations were carried out with spherical particles and therefore in these simulations it is impossible to consider more than one contact per pair of particles. Other parameters such as different chemical composition and wider size distribution of the grains, changes in porosity and number of contacts per particle (coordination number) were not taken into direct account either. The study of each one of these parameters is of interest, and our research has started to explore the effect of these on the net cohesive force found in an asteroid's regolith and interior.Our initial study will simulate the effect of a wider size distribution in the granular material, comparing this with theoretical predictions. This parameter can cause a change in porosity and coordination number of the grains. This will have a measurable effect in the tensile strength of the aggregate and will provide a first look into the strength of a more realistic cohesive granular media. The results of this research will be shown at the conference.

  1. New active asteroid 313P/Gibbs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David; Hui, Man-To; Li, Jing [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Agarwal, Jessica [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Peixinho, Nuno [Unidad de Astronomía, Fac. de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avda. U. de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta (Chile); Weaver, Harold [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland, MD 20723 (United States); Mutchler, Max [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Larson, Stephen, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Blvd. Tucson AZ 85721-0092 (United States)

    2015-02-01

    We present initial observations of the newly discovered active asteroid 313P/Gibbs (formerly P/2014 S4), taken to characterize its nucleus and comet-like activity. The central object has a radius ∼0.5 km (geometric albedo 0.05 assumed). We find no evidence for secondary nuclei and set (with qualifications) an upper limit to the radii of such objects near 20 m, assuming the same albedo. Both aperture photometry and a morphological analysis of the ejected dust show that mass-loss is continuous at rates ∼0.2–0.4 kg s{sup −1}, inconsistent with an impact origin. Large dust particles, with radii ∼50–100 μm, dominate the optical appearance. At 2.4 AU from the Sun, the surface equilibrium temperatures are too low for thermal or desiccation stresses to be responsible for the ejection of dust. No gas is spectroscopically detected (limiting the gas mass-loss rate to <1.8 kg s{sup −1}). However, the protracted emission of dust seen in our data and the detection of another episode of dust release near perihelion, in archival observations from 2003, are highly suggestive of an origin by the sublimation of ice. Coincidentally, the orbit of 313P/Gibbs is similar to those of several active asteroids independently suspected to be ice sublimators, including P/2012 T1, 238P/Read, and 133P/Elst–Pizarro, suggesting that ice is abundant in the outer asteroid belt.

  2. A Gravitational Tractor for Towing Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Lu, E T; Lu, Edward T.; Categories, Stanley G. Love

    2005-01-01

    We present a concept for a spacecraft that can controllably alter the trajectory of an Earth threatening asteroid using gravity as a towline. The spacecraft hovers near the asteroid with thrusters angled outward so the exhaust does not impinge on the surface. This deflection method is insensitive to the structure, surface properties, and rotation state of the asteroid.

  3. Benchmarking Asteroid-Deflection Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Tane; Bruck Syal, Megan; Owen, John Michael; Miller, Paul L.

    2016-10-01

    An asteroid impacting Earth could have devastating consequences. In preparation to deflect or disrupt one before it reaches Earth, it is imperative to have modeling capabilities that adequately simulate the deflection actions. Code validation is key to ensuring full confidence in simulation results used in an asteroid-mitigation plan. We are benchmarking well-known impact experiments using Spheral, an adaptive smoothed-particle hydrodynamics code, to validate our modeling of asteroid deflection. We describe our simulation results, compare them with experimental data, and discuss what we have learned from our work. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. LLNL-ABS-695540

  4. On the Astrid asteroid family

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, V

    2016-01-01

    Among asteroid families, the Astrid family is peculiar because of its unusual inclination distribution. Objects at $a\\simeq$~2.764 au are quite dispersed in this orbital element, giving the family a "crab-like" appearance. Recent works showed that this feature is caused by the interaction of the family with the $s-s_C$ nodal secular resonance with Ceres, that spreads the inclination of asteroids near its separatrix. As a consequence, the currently observed distribution of the $v_W$ component of terminal ejection velocities obtained from inverting Gauss equation is quite leptokurtic, since this parameter mostly depends on the asteroids inclination. The peculiar orbital configuration of the Astrid family can be used to set constraints on key parameters describing the strength of the Yarkovsky force, such as the bulk and surface density and the thermal conductivity of surface material. By simulating various fictitious families with different values of these parameters, and by demanding that the current value of ...

  5. Dynamics of Rotationally Fissioned Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2010-10-01

    We present a model for near-Earth asteroid (NEA) rotational fission that results in the evolution of all observed types of NEA systems: synchronous binaries, asteroid pairs, doubly synchronous binaries, high-e binaries, ternary systems, and contact binaries. The model consists of "rubble pile” asteroid geophysics, the YORP and binary YORP effects, and mutual gravitational interactions. An NEA can be modeled as a ``rubble pile"--a collection of gravitationally bound boulders with a distribution of size scales and very little tensile strength between them. The YORP effect torques a "rubble pile” asteroid until the asteroid reaches its disruption spin limit, and then two collections of boulders will enter into orbit about each other determined by the largest distance between mass centers. This binary system dynamically evolves under the effects of non-spherical gravitational potentials, solar gravitational perturbations, and mutual body tides. The coupling between the spin states and orbit state chaotically drives the system into the observed asteroid classes with mass ratio, q, distinguishing two evolutionary tracks. High mass ratio systems, q>0.2, evolve tidally into doubly synchronous binaries and then continued to be evolved by BYORP. Low mass ratio systems, qfission, creating a chaotic ternary system. We call this new process secondary fission. The resulting triple system may eject one body or, more often, send one into a slow speed impact with the primary. These processes tend to stabilize the initially chaotic binaries to create synchronous binaries. These results emphasize the importance of the initial component size distribution and configuration within the parent body. This work is supported by NASA's PGG and OPR programs through grants: NNX08AL51G and NNX09AU23G.

  6. Project RAMA: Reconstructing Asteroids Into Mechanical Automata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Jason; Fagin, Max; Snyder, Michael; Joyce, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Many interesting ideas have been conceived for building space-based infrastructure in cislunar space. From O'Neill's space colonies, to solar power satellite farms, and even prospecting retrieved near earth asteroids. In all the scenarios, one thing remained fixed - the need for space resources at the outpost. To satisfy this need, O'Neill suggested an electromagnetic railgun to deliver resources from the lunar surface, while NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission called for a solar electric tug to deliver asteroid materials from interplanetary space. At Made In Space, we propose an entirely new concept. One which is scalable, cost effective, and ensures that the abundant material wealth of the inner solar system becomes readily available to humankind in a nearly automated fashion. We propose the RAMA architecture, which turns asteroids into self-contained spacecraft capable of moving themselves back to cislunar space. The RAMA architecture is just as capable of transporting conventional-sized asteroids on the 10-meter length scale as transporting asteroids 100 meters or larger, making it the most versatile asteroid retrieval architecture in terms of retrieved-mass capability. This report describes the results of the Phase I study funded by the NASA NIAC program for Made In Space to establish the concept feasibility of using space manufacturing to convert asteroids into autonomous, mechanical spacecraft. Project RAMA, Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata, is designed to leverage the future advances of additive manufacturing (AM), in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and in-situ manufacturing (ISM) to realize enormous efficiencies in repeated asteroid redirect missions. A team of engineers at Made In Space performed the study work with consultation from the asteroid mining industry, academia, and NASA. Previous studies for asteroid retrieval have been constrained to studying only asteroids that are both large enough to be discovered, and small enough to be

  7. Field evidence for buoyancy-driven water flow in a Sphagnum dominated peat bog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adema, E.B.; Baaijens, G. J.; van Belle, J.; Rappoldt, C.; Grootjans, A. P.; Smolders, A. J. P.

    2006-01-01

    Nocturnal buoyancy-driven water flow in bogs is proposed as a mechanism to replenish the nutrient availability in the top of the acrotelm. In an earlier paper, we provided evidence for buoyancy-driven water flow on theoretical and experimental grounds. In this paper, field evidence is given for the

  8. On the possible origin of the asteroid (1) Ceres

    CERN Document Server

    Rogozin, Yury I

    2014-01-01

    The last three decades the asteroid (1) Ceres is an object of the intensive ground-and space-based observations. A new unusual contributing to these studies represents the recent detection of localized sources of water vapour releasing from its surface at a rate about 6 kg s-1 (K\\"uppers et al 2014). A drastic distinction between asteroid (1) Ceres and nearest the large asteroid (4) Vesta in terms of their composition and appearance emphasizes an urgent state of a problem of the possible origin of Ceres in the main asteroid belt. By analogy with the early assumptions of some well-known astronomers of Mercury and Mars as the escaped satellites of their host planets we have put forward and semi-empirically have justified a hypothesis for the plausible origin of Ceres as the satellite of a disrupted planet in the past orbited the Sun of ~ 5 AU. The orbital location of this host of Ceres beyond the snow line of the Solar System explains a formation the icy mantle of Ceres, which appears may be a water vapour sour...

  9. Flying Through Dust From Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    How can we tell what an asteroid is made of? Until now, weve relied on remote spectral observations, though NASAs recently launched OSIRIS-REx mission may soon change this by landing on an asteroid and returning with a sample.But what if we could learn more about the asteroids near Earth without needing to land on each one? It turns out that we can by flying through their dust.The aerogel dust collector of the Stardust mission. [NASA/JPL/Caltech]Ejected CluesWhen an airless body is impacted by the meteoroids prevalent throughout our solar system, ejecta from the body are flung into the space around it. In the case of small objects like asteroids, their gravitational pull is so weak that most of the ejected material escapes, forming a surrounding cloud of dust.By flying a spacecraft through this cloud, we could perform chemical analysis of the dust, thereby determining the asteroids composition. We could even capture some of the dust during a flyby (for example, by using an aerogel collector like in the Stardust mission) and bring it back home to analyze.So whats the best place to fly a dust-analyzing or -collecting spacecraft? To answer this, we need to know what the typical distribution of dust is around a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) a problem that scientists Jamey Szalay (Southwest Research Institute) and Mihly Hornyi (University of Colorado Boulder) address in a recent study.The colors show the density distribution for dust grains larger than 0.3 m around a body with a 10-km radius. The distribution is asymmetric, with higher densities on the apex side, shown here in the +y direction. [Szalay Hornyi 2016]Moon as a LaboratoryTo determine typical dust distributions around NEAs, Szalay and Hornyi first look at the distribution of dust around our own Moon, caused by the same barrage of meteorites wed expect to impact NEAs. The Moons dust cloud was measured in situ in 2013 and 2014 by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) on board the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment

  10. Water in SNC meteorites - Evidence for a Martian hydrosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Haraldur R.; Clayton, Robert N.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Mayeda, Toshiko K.

    1992-01-01

    The Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny (SNC) meteorites, purportedly of Martian origin, contain 0.04 to 0.4 percent water by weight. Oxygen isotopic analysis can be used to determine whether this water is extraterrestrial or terrestrial. Such analysis reveals that a portion of the water is extraterrestrial and furthermore was not in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with the host rock. Lack of equilibrium between water and host rock implies that the lithosphere and hydrosphere of the SNC parent body formed two distinct oxygen isotopic reservoirs. If Mars was the parent body, the maintenance of two distinct reservoirs may result from the absence of plate tectonics on the planet.

  11. Spectral Classification of Asteroids by Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C.; Ma, Y. H.; Zhao, H. B.; Lu, X. P.

    2016-09-01

    With the increasing asteroid spectral and photometric data, a variety of classification methods for asteroids have been proposed. This paper classifies asteroids based on the observations of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue (MOC) by using the random forest algorithm. With the training data derived from the taxonomies of Tholen, Bus, Lazzaro, DeMeo, and Principal Component Analysis, we classify 48642 asteroids according to g, r, i, and z SDSS magnitudes. In this way, asteroids are divided into 8 spectral classes (C, X, S, B, D, K, L, and V).

  12. Genetic Structure of Water Chestnut Beetle: Providing Evidence for Origin of Water Chestnut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Jing; Lu, Ming-Xing; Du, Yu-Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Water chestnut beetle (Galerucella birmanica Jacoby) is a pest of the water chestnut (Trapa natans L.). To analyze the phylogeny and biogeography of the beetle and provide evidence for the origin of T. natans in China, we conducted this by using three mitochondrial genes (COI, COII and Cytb) and nuclear ITS2 ribosomal DNA of G. birmanica. As for mtDNA genes, the beetle could be subdivided into three groups: northeastern China (NEC), central-northern-southern China (CC-NC-SC) and southwestern China (SWC) based on SAMOVA, phylogenetic analyses and haplotype networks. But for ITS2, no obvious lineages were obtained but individuals which were from NEC region clustered into one clade, which might be due to sequence conservation of ITS2. Significant genetic variation was observed among the three groups with infrequent gene flow between groups, which may have been restricted due to natural barriers and events in the Late Pleistocene. Based on our analyses of genetic variation in the CC-NC-SC geographical region, the star-like haplotype networks, approximate Bayesian computation, niche modelling and phylogeographic variation of the beetle, we concluded that the beetle population has been lasting in the lower, central reaches of the Yangtze River Basin with its host plant, water chestnut, which is consistent with archaeological records. Moreover, we speculate that the CC-NC-SC population of G. birmanica may have undergone a period of expansion coincident with domestication of the water chestnut approximately 113,900–126,500 years ago. PMID:27459279

  13. AsteroidZoo: A New Zooniverse project to detect asteroids and improve asteroid detection algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, M.; Lewicki, C. A.; Smith, A.; Lintott, C.; Christensen, E.

    2013-12-01

    We present a new citizen science project: AsteroidZoo. A collaboration between Planetary Resources, Inc., the Zooniverse Team, and the Catalina Sky Survey, we will bring the science of asteroid identification to the citizen scientist. Volunteer astronomers have proved to be a critical asset in identification and characterization of asteroids, especially potentially hazardous objects. These contributions, to date, have required that the volunteer possess a moderate telescope and the ability and willingness to be responsive to observing requests. Our new project will use data collected by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), currently the most productive asteroid survey, to be used by anyone with sufficient interest and an internet connection. As previous work by the Zooniverse has demonstrated, the capability of the citizen scientist is superb at classification of objects. Even the best automated searches require human intervention to identify new objects. These searches are optimized to reduce false positive rates and to prevent a single operator from being overloaded with requests. With access to the large number of people in Zooniverse, we will be able to avoid that problem and instead work to produce a complete detection list. Each frame from CSS will be searched in detail, generating a large number of new detections. We will be able to evaluate the completeness of the CSS data set and potentially provide improvements to the automated pipeline. The data corpus produced by AsteroidZoo will be used as a training environment for machine learning challenges in the future. Our goals include a more complete asteroid detection algorithm and a minimum computation program that skims the cream of the data suitable for implemention on small spacecraft. Our goal is to have the site become live in the Fall 2013.

  14. Constraining the wavelength dependence of polarization for various asteroid taxonomies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maleszewski, Chester; Smith, Paul S.; McMillan, Robert S.

    2016-10-01

    The polarization of sunlight reflected from asteroids is known to be inversely proportional to geometric albedo (Umov 1905). However, that was mainly derived from observations in the V-filter. Preliminary observations of the wavelength dependence were conducted by Belskaya et al. (2009) in the major asteroid taxonomic classes. The limited UBVRI data revealed trends of spectral slope vs. phase angle. To study the wavelength dependence of asteroid polarization more robustly, we have used the SPOL spectropolarimeter at the 2.3-m Bok and 1.6-m Kuiper telescopes. The finer spectral resolution of spectropolarimetry is needed to confirm the linearity of the wavelength dependence of polarization.We present polarization spectra from four asteroid taxonomic groups: B-, C-, S-, and X-types. Across the observed wavelength range (0.45 to 0.7 microns), the linear trend described by Belskaya et al. is confirmed and we determined the best-fit linear slope of each spectrum. For the S-type asteroids, the slope of the polarization spectra becomes more negative as the phase angle increases. The rate at which the polarization slope changes increases at phase angles greater than the inversion angle. C-type asteroids behave differently from the S-types in two ways. First, the polarization spectra for the C-types are positively sloped as opposed to negative (also noted in Belskaya et al.). Also, as you observe the C-types closer to the inversion angle (~20 degrees phase angle), the polarization slopes tend to flatten as opposed to steepen. The polarization spectra of B-type asteroids are positively sloped, but the tendency to flatten near the inversion angle like the C-type spectra is not evident. Our observations of low albedo X-types exhibit positive polarization slopes, while the high albedo observations exhibit negative slopes. Differences in the wavelength dependencies of polarization between various asteroid types appear to be driven by differences in their geometric albedos. Better

  15. A hypothesis on the origin of C-type asteroids and carbonaceous chondrites

    OpenAIRE

    Busarev, V. V.

    2012-01-01

    A hypothesis based on observational and theoretical results on the origin of C-type asteroids and carbonaceous chondrites is proposed. Asteroids of C-type and close BGF-types could form from hydrated silicate-organic matter accumulated in the cores of water-differentiated (due to 26Al and other short-lived isotopes decay) bodies existed in the growth zones of Jupiter. Gravitational scattering of such bodies by Jupiter at its final stage of formation to the main asteroid belt might have led to...

  16. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-08-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  17. Asteroid taxonomic signatures from photometric phase curves

    CERN Document Server

    Oszkiewicz, D A; Wasserman, L H; Muinonen, K; Penttilä, A; Pieniluoma, T; Trilling, D E; Thomas, C A

    2012-01-01

    We explore the correlation between an asteroid's taxonomy and photometric phase curve using the H, G12 photometric phase function, with the shape of the phase function described by the single parameter G12. We explore the usability of G12 in taxonomic classification for individual objects, asteroid families, and dynamical groups. We conclude that the mean values of G12 for the considered taxonomic complexes are statistically different, and also discuss the overall shape of the G12 distribution for each taxonomic complex. Based on the values of G12 for about half a million asteroids, we compute the probabilities of C, S, and X complex membership for each asteroid. For an individual asteroid, these probabilities are rather evenly distributed over all of the complexes, thus preventing meaningful classification. We then present and discuss the G12 distributions for asteroid families, and predict the taxonomic complex preponderance for asteroid families given the distribution of G12 in each family. For certain ast...

  18. SOFIA + FORCAST Observations of 10 Aqueously Altered Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, Margaret; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Kelley, Michael S.; Bus, Schelte J.

    2016-10-01

    Aqueous alteration, or the reaction of water and minerals to produce hydrated minerals, has affected certain groups of carbonaceous meteorites (e.g., the CM and CI meteorites) and asteroids. In the visible/near-infrared (VNIR), CM/CI meteorites and some dark C-complex asteroids are known to have 0.7-µm absorptions that indicate the presence of hydrated minerals [1, 2, 3]. However, this feature does not provide any information about the amount of hydrated minerals in asteroids or meteorites [1]. In contrast, at mid-infrared (MIR) wavelengths, strong spectral features change continuously with amount of hydrated minerals in a suite of well-characterized CM/CI meteorites [1].Using these results, we analyze the spectra of 10 C-complex asteroids observed by SOFIA + FORCAST. These targets are large objects (>95 km diameter) situated in the mid to outer Main Asteroid Belt (2.4 – 3.4 AU). We present spectra of the following asteroids, spectral types in parentheses: 36 Atalante (C), 38 Leda (Cgh), 62 Erato (Ch), 121 Hermione (Ch), 165 Loreley (Cb), 194 Prokne (C), 203 Pompeja (C), 266 Aline (Ch), 52 Europa (Ch), and 19 Fortuna (Ch). Spectra were obtained in two wavelength regions: 8.5-13.6-μm and 17.6-27.7-μm. In these spectral regions, mineralogical features that are known to change continuously with amount of hydrated minerals appear. Most of these targets are known to have hydrated minerals on their surfaces by the presence of the 0.7-μm feature [e.g. 3, 4] or from observations in the 3-μm region [5]. We interpret the spectral features observed using SOFIA and estimate the abundances of hydrated minerals for each asteroid. Additionally, we compare these observations to Spitzer observations of similar objects. A subset of these asteroids have also been measured in VNIR, which allows us to directly compare the signatures of hydration in both the VNIR and the MIR.[1] McAdam et al., (2015), Icarus, 245, 320-332. [2] Cloutis, et al., (2011), Icarus, 216, 309-346. [3

  19. The empty primordial asteroid belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Sean N; Izidoro, Andre

    2017-09-01

    The asteroid belt contains less than a thousandth of Earth's mass and is radially segregated, with S-types dominating the inner belt and C-types the outer belt. It is generally assumed that the belt formed with far more mass and was later strongly depleted. We show that the present-day asteroid belt is consistent with having formed empty, without any planetesimals between Mars and Jupiter's present-day orbits. This is consistent with models in which drifting dust is concentrated into an isolated annulus of terrestrial planetesimals. Gravitational scattering during terrestrial planet formation causes radial spreading, transporting planetesimals from inside 1 to 1.5 astronomical units out to the belt. Several times the total current mass in S-types is implanted, with a preference for the inner main belt. C-types are implanted from the outside, as the giant planets' gas accretion destabilizes nearby planetesimals and injects a fraction into the asteroid belt, preferentially in the outer main belt. These implantation mechanisms are simple by-products of terrestrial and giant planet formation. The asteroid belt may thus represent a repository for planetary leftovers that accreted across the solar system but not in the belt itself.

  20. Chemo-dynamical deuterium fractionation in the early solar nebula: The origin of water on Earth and in asteroids and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Albertsson, T; Henning, Th

    2014-01-01

    Formation and evolution of water in the Solar System and the origin of water on Earth constitute one of the most interesting questions in astronomy. The prevailing hypothesis for the origin of water on Earth is by delivery through water-rich small Solar system bodies. In this paper, the isotopic and chemical evolution of water during the early history of the solar nebula, before the onset of planetesimal formation, is studied. A gas-grain chemical model that includes multiply-deuterated species and nuclear spin-states is combined with a steady-state solar nebula model. To calculate initial abundances, we simulated 1 Myr of evolution of a cold and dark TMC1-like prestellar core. Two time-dependent chemical models of the solar nebula are calculated over 1 Myr: (1) a laminar model and (2) a model with 2D turbulent mixing. We find that the radial outward increase of the H2O D/H ratio is shallower in the chemo-dynamical nebular model compared to the laminar model. This is related to more efficient de-fractionation...

  1. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-07-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human spaceflight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human spaceflight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM). Mission Description: NASA's ARM consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the first robotic mission to visit a large (greater than ~100 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, demonstrate a planetary defense technique, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will take the Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic vehicle, conduct multiple extravehicular activities to explore the boulder, and return to Earth with samples. NASA's proposed

  2. A Martian origin for the Mars Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishook, D.; Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.; Aharonson, O.

    2017-08-01

    Seven of the nine known Mars Trojan asteroids belong to an orbital cluster1,2 named after its largest member, (5261) Eureka. Eureka is probably the progenitor of the whole cluster, which formed at least 1 Gyr ago3. It has been suggested3 that the thermal YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) effect spun up Eureka, resulting in fragments being ejected by the rotational-fission mechanism. Eureka's spectrum exhibits a broad and deep absorption band around 1 μm, indicating an olivine-rich composition4. Here we show evidence that the Trojan Eureka cluster progenitor could have originated as impact debris excavated from the Martian mantle. We present new near-infrared observations of two Trojans ((311999) 2007 NS2 and (385250) 2001 DH47) and find that both exhibit an olivine-rich reflectance spectrum similar to Eureka's. These measurements confirm that the progenitor of the cluster has an achondritic composition4. Olivine-rich reflectance spectra are rare amongst asteroids5 but are seen around the largest basins on Mars6. They are also consistent with some Martian meteorites (for example, Chassigny7) and with the material comprising much of the Martian mantle8,9. Using numerical simulations, we show that the Mars Trojans are more likely to be impact ejecta from Mars than captured olivine-rich asteroids transported from the main belt. This result directly links specific asteroids to debris from the forming planets.

  3. Rectified Asteroid Albedos and Diameters from IRAS and MSX Photometry Catalogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Erin Lee; Woodward, Charles E.

    2010-10-01

    Rectified diameters and albedo estimates of 1517 main-belt asteroids selected from IRAS and the Mid-Course Space Experiment asteroid photometry catalogs are derived from updated infrared thermal models, the Standard Thermal Model and the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM), and Monte Carlo simulations, using new Minor Planet Center compilations of absolute magnitudes (H values) constrained by occultation- and radar-derived parameters. The NEATM approach produces a more robust estimate of albedos and diameters, yielding albedos of pv (NEATM mean) =0.081 ± 0.064. The asteroid beaming parameter (η) for the selected asteroids has a mean value of 1.07 ± 0.27, and the smooth distribution of η suggests that this parameter is independent of asteroid properties such as composition. No trends in η due to size-dependent rotation rates are evident. Comparison of derived values of η as a function of taxonomic type indicates that the beaming parameter values for S- and C-type asteroids are identical within the standard deviation of the population of beaming parameters.

  4. Asteroid magnitudes, UBV colors, and IRAS albedos and diameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.

    1989-01-01

    This paper lists absolute magnitudes and slope parameters for known asteroids numbered through 3318. The values presented are those used in reducing asteroid IR flux data obtained with the IRAS. U-B colors are given for 938 asteroids, and B-V colors are given for 945 asteroids. The IRAS albedos and diameters are tabulated for 1790 asteroids.

  5. Asteroids. Prospective energy and material resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Badescu, Viorel (ed.) [Bucharest Polytechnic Univ. (Romania). Candida Oancea Institute

    2013-11-01

    Recent research on Prospective Energy and Material Resources on Asteroids. Carefully edited book dedicated to Asteroids prospective energy and material resources. Written by leading experts in the field. The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power. Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth. Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space. This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions to old problems that could become reality in our life time. The book therefore is a great source of condensed information for specialists involved in current and impending asteroid-related activities and a good starting point for space researchers, inventors, technologists and potential investors. Written for researchers, engineers, and businessmen interested in asteroids' exploration and exploitation.

  6. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Alan; Date, Medha; Duarte, Manny; Erian, Neil; Gafka, George; Kappler, Peter; Patano, Scott; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar; Radovich, Brian

    1991-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources which may exist on asteroids could have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. With the possibly limitless opportunities that exist, it is clear that asteroids are the next step for human existence in space. This report comprises the efforts of NEW WORLDS, Inc. to develop a comprehensive design for an asteroid exploration/sample return mission. This mission is a precursor to proof-of-concept missions that will investigate the validity of mining and materials processing on an asteroid. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on two utilization scenarios: (1) moving an asteroid to an advantageous location for use by Earth; and (2) mining an asteroids and transporting raw materials back to Earth. The asteroid explorer/sample return mission is designed in the context of both scenarios and is the first phase of a long range plane for humans to utilize asteroid resources. The report concentrates specifically on the selection of the most promising asteroids for exploration and the development of an exploration scenario. Future utilization as well as subsystem requirements of an asteroid sample return probe are also addressed.

  7. The Asteroid 1998 QE2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto Q.; Pereira, M. R.; Arecibo Observatory Team; JPL Target Asteroids Team

    2013-10-01

    This big asteroid was at 5.8 millions of kilometers from the Earth on May 31 (2013) and it has a diameter of 2.7 km. The radar images obtained by JPL showed that the period of rotation around its axis is close to five hours. Hills. K (2013) reported that the period is of 5.281 +/- 0.002 hours. On June 4 the team of Goldstone-Arecibo found a period of 4.75 +/- 0.01 hours. We also contributed with the light and phase curves to estimate the period by means of the telescope (with red filter). The radar imagery (JPL and Arecibo) revealed that 1998 QE2 has a moon, and we captured a mutual event (eclipse). From our Observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we captured several pictures, videos and astrometry data during several days. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and also appears at the web page of NEODyS. The pictures of the asteroid were captured with the following equipment: CGE PRO 1400 CELESTRON (f/11 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope) and STL-1001 SBIG camera. We obtained the light curve of the body. Astrometry was carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements. We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity = 0.5692181, semi-major axis = 2.41104631 A.U, orbital inclination = 12.82771 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 250.16876 deg, argument of perihelion = 345.61328 deg, mean motion = 0.26326658 deg/d, perihelion distance = 1.03863508 A.U, aphelion distance = 3.78345755 A.U. The asteroid has an orbital period of 3.74 years The parameters were calculated based on 191 observations (2013 May: 17-24) with mean residual = 0.162 arcseconds. A video of the asteroid from our Observatory was published on the main page of the “SPACEWEATHER” web: http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=21&month=05&year=2013 Note: The autors would like to thank to: Dr. Alessondra Springmann (Arecibo Observatory), Dr. Petr Pravec (Czech Republic), Dr. Lance Benner (JPL), Dr. Carl Hergenrother (Target Asteroids Team), and Dr. Dolores Hill

  8. Evidence from Opportunity's microscopic imager for water on Meridiani Planum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herkenhoff, K.E.; Squyres, S.W.; Arvidson, R.

    2004-01-01

    on a millimeter scale; image mosaics of cross-stratification suggest that some sediments were deposited by flowing water. Vugs in some outcrop faces are probably molds formed by dissolution of relatively soluble minerals during diagenesis. Microscopic images support the hypothesis that hematite-rich spherules...

  9. 3 micron spectrophotometry of Comet Halley - Evidence for water ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bregman, Jesse D.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Witteborn, Fred C.; Rank, David M.; Wooden, Diane

    1988-01-01

    Structure has been observed in the 3-3.6 micron preperihelion spectrum of Comet Halley consistent with either an absorption band near 3.1 microns or emission near 3.3 microns. The results suggest that a large fraction of the water molecules lost by the comet are initially ejected in the form of small ice particles rather than in the gas phase.

  10. Regular Motions of Resonant Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraz-Mello, S.

    1990-11-01

    RESUMEN. Se revisan resultados analiticos relativos a soluciones regulares del problema asteroidal eliptico promediados en la vecindad de una resonancia con jupiten Mencionamos Ia ley de estructura para libradores de alta excentricidad, la estabilidad de los centros de liberaci6n, las perturbaciones forzadas por la excentricidad de jupiter y las 6rbitas de corotaci6n. ABSTRAC This paper reviews analytical results concerning the regular solutions of the elliptic asteroidal problem averaged in the neighbourhood of a resonance with jupiter. We mention the law of structure for high-eccentricity librators, the stability of the libration centers, the perturbations forced by the eccentricity ofjupiter and the corotation orbits. Key words: ASThROIDS

  11. Colorimetry and magnitudes of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowell, E.; Lumme, K.

    1979-01-01

    In the present paper, 1500 UBV observations are analyzed by a new rather general multiple scattering theory which provided clear insight into previously poorly-recognized optical nature of asteroid surfaces. Thus, phase curves are shown to consist of a surface-texture controlled component, due to singly scattered light, and a component due to multiple scattering. Phase curve shapes can be characterized by a single parameter, the multiple scattering factor, Q. As Q increases, the relative importance of the opposition effect diminishes. Asteroid surfaces are particulate and strikingly similar to texture, being moderately porous and moderately rough on a scale greater than the wavelength of light. In concequence, Q (and also the phase coefficient) correlate well with geometric albedo, and there exists a purely photometric means of determining albedos and diameters.

  12. A method to determine asteroid poles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deangelis, G.

    1993-01-01

    The determination of spin axis and shape is well known to be of fundamental importance for studies about the rotational and physical properties of asteroids. In particular, knowledge that the pole coordinate distribution is random or not could indicate the probable non-Maxwellian distribution of asteroid spin axes, while the distribution in terms of size and shape could place important constraints on the theories about the collisional history of some individual asteroids, of asteroid families, and of the asteroid population as a whole. Many kinds of methods have been developed to determine pole coordinates. An EA method is presented, from which it is possible to obtain the solution with no trial poles, but with a simultaneous least square fit on both the E and A part. Results for rotational and shape parameters were obtained for 18 asteroids: the values of the obtained parameters are generally in close agreement with those of others.

  13. Selecting asteroids for a targeted spectroscopic survey

    CERN Document Server

    Oszkiewicz, D A; Tomov, T; Birlan, M; Geier, S; Penttilä, A; Polińska, M

    2014-01-01

    Asteroid spectroscopy reflects surface mineralogy. There are few thousand asteroids whose surfaces have been observed spectrally. Determining the surface properties of those objects is important for many practical and scientific applications, such as for example developing impact deflection strategies or studying history and evolution of the Solar System and planet formation. The aim of this study is to develop a pre-selection method that can be utilized in searching for asteroids of any taxonomic complex. The method could then be utilized im multiple applications such as searching for the missing V-types or looking for primitive asteroids. We used the Bayes Naive Classifier combined with observations obtained in the course of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer surveys as well as a database of asteroid phase curves for asteroids with known taxonomic type. Using the new classification method we have selected a number of possible V-type candidates. Some of the candidates we...

  14. Eccentricity distribution in the main asteroid belt

    CERN Document Server

    Malhotra, Renu

    2016-01-01

    The observationally complete sample of the main belt asteroids now spans more than two orders of magnitude in size and numbers more than 64,000 (excluding collisional family members). We undertook an analysis of asteroids' eccentricities and their interpretation with simple physical models. We find that Plummer's (1916) conclusion that the asteroids' eccentricities follow a Rayleigh distribution holds for the osculating eccentricities of large asteroids, but the proper eccentricities deviate from a Rayleigh distribution: there is a deficit of eccentricities smaller than $\\sim0.1$ and an excess of larger eccentricities. We further find that the proper eccentricities do not depend significantly on asteroid size but have strong dependence on heliocentric distance: the outer asteroid belt follows a Rayleigh distribution, but the inner belt is strikingly different. Eccentricities in the inner belt can be modeled as a vector sum of a primordial eccentricity vector of random orientation and magnitude drawn from a Ra...

  15. Mining the Apollo and Amor asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleary, B.

    1977-01-01

    Earth-approaching asteroids could provide raw materials for space manufacturing. For certain asteroids the total energy per unit mass for the transfer of asteroidal resources to a manufacturing site in high earth orbit is comparable to that for lunar materials. For logistical reasons the cost may be many times less. Optical studies suggest that these asteroids have compositions corresponding to those of carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites, with some containing large quantities of iron and nickel; other are thought to contain carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen, elements that appear to be lacking on the moon. The prospect that several new candidate asteroids will be discovered over the next few years increases the likelihood that a variety of asteroidal resource materials can be retrieved on low-energy missions.

  16. Asteroids prospective energy and material resources

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power.   Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth.   Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space.   This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions t...

  17. First known terrestrial impact of a binary asteroid from a main belt breakup event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormö, Jens; Sturkell, Erik; Alwmark, Carl; Melosh, Jay

    2014-10-23

    Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt, which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. We here provide evidence that Lockne and its nearby companion, the 0.7-km diameter, contemporaneous, Målingen crater, formed by the impact of a binary, presumably 'rubble pile' asteroid. This newly discovered crater doublet provides a unique reference for impacts by combined, and poorly consolidated projectiles, as well as for the development of binary asteroids.

  18. Recovering and Mining Asteroids with a Gas-Sealed Enclosure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, P.; Damer, B.; Norkus, R.; Pilotz, S.; Grigsby, B.; Adams, C.; Blair, B. R.

    2015-01-01

    The internal structure of weakly consolidated rubble piles and primitive asteroids can be studied closer to home, and such asteroids can be mined, if it is possible to create a gas-sealed enclosure around the asteroid.

  19. Storyboard GALILEO CRUISE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES describes asteroid encounters

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

    Storyboard with mosaicked image of an asteroid and entitled GALILEO CRUISE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES describes asteroid objectives. These objectives include: first asteroid encounter; surface geology, composition size, shape, mass; and relation of primitive bodies to meteorites.

  20. Anchoring a lander on an asteroid using foam stabilization Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has proposed several missions to land a craft on an asteroid and potentially to return samples from it. While large asteroids in the asteroid belt can exhibit a...

  1. Stabilities of asteroid orbits in resonances

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    A map of the asteroid motion is studied carefully. An exponential diffusion law in the chaotic sea and an algebraic law in the mixed region are observed. The effects of perturbations on diffusion are also discussed. The fixed points, their stabilities and the diffusion properties of the map give qualitative explanations of the distribution of asteroids, i.e. the depletion and accumulation of asteroids in the outer main belt, particularly in the first order mean motion resonances with Jupiter.

  2. Asteroid families, dynamics and astrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Gibson, J.

    1987-01-01

    The proper elements and family assignments for the 1227 Palomar-Leiden Survey asteroids of high quality were tabulated. In addition to the large table, there are also auxiliary tables of Mars crossers and commensurate objects, histograms of the proper element distributions, and a discussion. Probably the most important part of the discussion describes the Mars crossing boundary, how the closest distances of approach to Mars and Jupiter are calculated, and why the observed population of Mars crossers should bombard that planet episodically rather than uniformly. Analytical work was done to derive velocity distributions of family forming events from proper element distributions subject to assumptions which may be appropriate for cratering events. Software was developed for a microcomputer to permit plotting of the proper elements. Three orthogonal views are generated and stereo pairs can be printed when desired. This program was created for the study of asteroid families. The astrometry task is directed toward measuring and reducing positions on faint comets and the minor planets with less common orbits. The observational material is CCD frames taken with the Palomar 1.5 m telescope. Positions of 10 comets and 16 different asteroids were published on the Minor Planet Circulars.

  3. Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Dervan, Jared; McNutt, Leslie

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing solar sail propulsion for a near-term Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) reconnaissance mission that will lay the groundwork for the future use of solar sails. The NEA Scout mission will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image one NEA's of interest for future human exploration. NEA Scout will launch on the first mission of the Space Launch System (SLS) in 2018. After its first encounter with the Moon, NEA Scout will enter the sail characterization phase by the 86 square meter sail deployment. A mechanical Active Mass Translation (AMT) system, combined with the remaining ACS propellant, will be used for sail momentum management. The spacecraft will perform a series of lunar flybys to achieve optimum departure trajectory before beginning its two year-long cruise. About one month before the asteroid flyby, NEA Scout will start its approach phase using optical navigation on top of radio tracking. The solar sail will provide NEA Scout continuous low thrust to enable a relatively slow flyby of the target asteroid under lighting conditions favorable to geological imaging. Once complete, NASA will have demonstrated the capability to fly low-cost, high delta V CubeSats to perform interplanetary missions.

  4. A Review of Evidence for Corrosion of Copper by water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apted, Michael J. (Monitor Scientific LLC (United Kingdom)); Bennett, David G. (TerraSalus Limited (United Kingdom)); Saario, Timo (VTT Materials and Building (Finland))

    2009-09-15

    The planned spent nuclear fuel repository in Sweden relies on a copper cast iron canister as the primary engineered barrier. The corrosion behaviour of copper in the expected environment needs to be thoroughly understood as a basis for the post-closure safety analysis. It has been shown that corrosion may indeed be the primary canister degradation process during the utilised assessment period of 1 million years (this period is the longest time for which risk calculations will be needed according guidelines issued by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority). Previous analysis work has been based on that copper is corroded during the initial oxic environment as well as by sulphide in groundwater once reducing conditions have been restored. The quantitative analyses of these processes consider upper-bound amounts of atmospheric oxidation as well as representative sulphide concentrations coupled with the transport limitation of the bentonite buffer and of the surrounding bedrock. A group of researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden suggest, based on published experimental results, that disposed canisters will also be corroded by water itself under hydrogen evolution. The purpose of the project is to evaluate the findings of the KTH research group based on an assessment of their experimental methods and chemical analysis work, thermodynamic models, and a discussion of reaction mechanisms as well as comparison with the analogue behaviour of native copper. As a background, the authors also provide a brief overview of other corrosion processes and safety assessment significance. The authors conclude that the KTH researchers have not convincingly demonstrated that copper will indeed be corroded by pure water and that it is in any case very unlikely that this process will be dominant under the reducing chemical conditions that are expected in the repository environment. How-ever, the authors do not completely rule out that copper may corrode

  5. Properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    Environments and surface properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids are discussed. Topics include gravity, atmospheres, surface properties, surface compositions, seismicity, radiation environment, degradation, use of robotics, and environmental impacts. Gravity fields vary from large fractions of the earth's field such as 1/3 on Mars and 1/6 on the moon to smaller fractions of 0.0004 g on an asteroid 1 km in diameter. Spectral data and the analogy with meteor compositions suggest that near-earth asteroids may contain many resources such as water-rich carbonaceous materials and iron-rich metallic bodies. It is concluded that future mining and materials processing operations from extraterrestrial bodies require an investment now in both (1) missions to the moon, Mars, Phobos, Deimos, and near-earth asteroids and (2) earth-based laboratory research in materials and processing.

  6. The Distribution of Crystalline Hematite on Mars from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer: Evidence for Liquid Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.; Malin, M.; Morris, D.; Bandfield, J.; Lane, M.; Edgett, K.

    2000-01-01

    Crystalline hematite on Mars has been mapped using the MGS TES. Two major, and several minor areas of significant accumulation are identified. We favor precipitation models involving Fe-rich water, providing direct mineralogic evidence for large-scale water interactions.

  7. XANES evidence of arsenate removal from water with magnetic ferrite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Yao-Jen; You, Chen-Feng; Chang, Chien-Kuei; Wang, Shan-Li

    2013-05-15

    Arsenic (As) in groundwater and surface water is a worldwide problem possessing a serious threat to public health. In this study, a magnetic ferrite, was synthesized and investigated for its As(V) removal efficiency. The adsorption of As(V) by magnetic ferrite exhibited an L-shaped nonlinear isotherm, suggesting limiting binding sites on the adsorbent surface. The As K-edge X-Ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure (XANES) revealed that the adsorbed As(V) on ferrite was not reduced to more toxic As(III) by Fe(2+) in the ferrite structure. The maximum As adsorption capacity of ferrite was 14 mg/g at pH 3 and decreased with increasing pH due to enhanced electrostatic repulsion between As(V) and the adsorbent surface. Desorption of As(V) using six different acid and salt solutions showed that the desorption rate decreased in an order of H3PO4 > Na3PO4 > H2SO4 > Na2SO4 > HCl > HNO3. These results suggest that magnetic ferrite without surface modification is an effective adsorbent for removing As(V) from water, which was confirmed by the effective removal of As(V) from contaminated groundwater using this material. The used material can then be recovered using a magnet because of its paramagnetism; the adsorbed As(V) on the material can be recovered using H3PO4 or Na3PO4 solutions.

  8. Evidence of water ice near the lunar poles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feldman, W. C. (William C.); Maurice, S. (Sylvestre); Lawrence, David J. (David Jeffery),; Little, R. C. (Robert C.); Lawrence, S. L. (Stefanie L.); Gasnault, O. M. (Olivier M.); Wiens, R. C. (Roger C.); Barraclough, B. L. (Bruce L.); Elphic, Richard C.,; Prettyman, T. H. (Thomas H.); Steinberg, John Tyree; Binder, A. B.

    2001-01-01

    the large sunlit polar craters and the relatively high [H] in neighboring inter-crater plains. A closer look at the 'inter-crater' plains near the poles, shows that they are covered by many small craters that harbor permanent shade [4]. The temperatures within many of these craters are low enough [5] that they can disable sublimation as a viable loss process of [H{sub 2}O]. It is therefore tempting to postulate that the enhanced hydrogen within most regions of permanent shade is in the form of water molecules. This postulate is certainly viable within the bottoms of several large, permanently shaded craters near the south pole. Predicted temperatures within them [5] fall well below the 100 K temperature that is needed to stabilize water ice for aeons. The picture is different near the north pole. Here, there are relatively few permanently-shaded craters that are large enough to harbor temperatures that are sufficiently low to stabilize water ice indefinitely against sublimation [5]. Instead, the 'inter-crater' polar plains are a jumble of many permanently-shaded craters that have diameters less than 10 km [4]. Although simulations of temperatures within this class of craters show they are only marginally cold enough to indefinitely stabilize water ice [5], this terrane appears to have the highest [H]. Nevertheless, predicted temperatures are close enough to that needed to permanently stabilize [H{sub 2}O] to suggest that sublimation is indeed the process that discriminates between polar terrane that contains enhanced [H] and those that do not (see, e.g., the temperature estimates for doubly-shaded craters [6]). If correct, then an important fraction of the hydrogen near the north pole must be in the form of H{sub 2}O, which then resides within these small craters. Estimates using our improved data set of [H] within craters near the south pole remain unchanged from those derived from our previous analysis [2], [H] = 1700{+-}900 ppm. This translates

  9. Eccentricity distribution in the main asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, Renu; Wang, Xianyu

    2017-03-01

    The observationally complete sample of the main belt asteroids now spans more than two orders of magnitude in size and numbers more than 64 000 (excluding collisional family members). We undertook an analysis of asteroids' eccentricities and their interpretation with simple physical models. We find that a century old conclusion that the asteroids' eccentricities follow a Rayleigh distribution holds for the osculating eccentricities of large asteroids, but the proper eccentricities deviate from a Rayleigh distribution; there is a deficit of eccentricities smaller than ∼0.1 and an excess of larger eccentricities. We further find that the proper eccentricities do not depend significantly on asteroid size but have strong dependence on heliocentric distance; the outer asteroid belt follows a Rayleigh distribution, but the inner belt is strikingly different. Eccentricities in the inner belt can be modelled as a vector sum of a primordial eccentricity vector of random orientation and magnitude drawn from a Rayleigh distribution of parameter ∼0.06, and an excitation of random phase and magnitude ∼0.13. These results imply that when a late dynamical excitation of the asteroids occurred, it was independent of asteroid size and was stronger in the inner belt than in the outer belt. We discuss implications for the primordial asteroid belt and suggest that the observationally complete sample size of main belt asteroids is large enough that more sophisticated model-fitting of the eccentricities is warranted and could serve to test alternative theoretical models of the dynamical excitation history of asteroids and its links to the migration history of the giant planets.

  10. GRASPING THE NATURE OF POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS ASTEROIDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perna, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Fornasier, S.; Deshapriya, J. D. P. [LESIA—Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon (France); Dotto, E.; Ieva, S.; Epifani, E. Mazzotta [INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, I-00040 Monte Porzio Catone (Roma) (Italy); Bernardi, F. [SpaceDyS, via Mario Giuntini 63, I-56023 Cascina (Pisa) (Italy); Luise, F. De [INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo, via Mentore Maggini snd, I-64100 Teramo (Italy); Perozzi, E. [Deimos Space, Strada Buchesti 75-77, Bucharest (Romania); Rossi, A. [IFAC—CNR, via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Firenze) (Italy); Micheli, M., E-mail: davide.perna@obspm.fr [ESA—NEOCC, ESRIN, via Galileo Galilei 64, I-00044 Frascati (Rome) (Italy)

    2016-01-15

    Through their delivery of water and organics, near-Earth objects (NEOs) played an important role in the emergence of life on our planet.  However, they also pose a hazard to the Earth, as asteroid impacts could significantly affect our civilization. Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) are those that, in principle, could possibly impact the Earth within the next century, producing major damage. About 1600 PHAs are currently known, from an estimated population of 4700 ± 1450. However, a comprehensive characterization of the PHA physical properties is still missing. Here we present spectroscopic observations of 14 PHAs, which we have used to derive their taxonomy, meteorite analogs, and mineralogy. Combining our results with the literature, we investigated how PHAs are distributed as a function of their dynamical and physical properties. In general, the “carbonaceous” PHAs seem to be particularly threatening, because of their high porosity (limiting the effectiveness of the main deflection techniques that could be used in space) and low inclination and minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) with the Earth (favoring more frequent close approaches). V-type PHAs also present low MOID values, which can produce frequent close approaches (as confirmed by the recent discovery of a limited space weathering on their surfaces). We also identified those specific objects that deserve particular attention because of their extreme rotational properties, internal strength, or possible cometary nature. For PHAs and NEOs in general, we identified a possible anti-correlation between the elongation and the rotational period, in the range of P{sub rot} ≈ 5–80 hr. This would be compatible with the behavior of gravity-dominated aggregates in rotational equilibrium. For periods ≳80–90 hr, such a trend stops, possibly under the influence of the YORP effect and collisions. However, the statistics is very low, and further observational and theoretical work is required

  11. Aqueous alteration affecting the irregular outer planets satellites: Evidence from spectral reflectance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, Faith; Lederer, Susan M.; Gill, Sara L.; Jarvis, Kandy S.; Thomas-Osip, Joanna E.

    2006-02-01

    The surface reflectance properties of the irregular outer planets satellites are probed for evidence for the presence of aqueous alteration products on their surfaces using the strong correlation between the 3.0-μm water of hydration absorption feature and the 0.7-μm Fe 2+ → Fe 3+ oxidized iron feature seen in low-albedo asteroid reflectances, in an effort to expand our understanding of the composition of the precursor bodies from which the dynamical satellite clusters are derived. Equations converting Johnson V and Kron-Cousins RI photometry to Eight Color Asteroid Survey v (0.550 μm), w (0.701 μm), and x (0.853 μm) photometry are derived from relationships defined by Howell (1995, Ph.D. thesis), and coupled with an algorithm previously defined to detect the presence of the 0.7-μm absorption feature in ECAS asteroid photometry [Vilas, F., 1994. Icarus 111, 456-467]. Broadband VRI photometry of Ch-class Asteroid 19 Fortuna acquired during 2004 confirms the efficacy of this method of identifying the presence of the 0.7-μm feature. Photometric observations of many recently discovered irregular outer jovian, saturnian, uranian, and neptunian satellites, coupled with limited asteroid spectroscopy, were examined for the presence of aqueous alteration. The dynamical clusters of outer irregular jovian satellites are mixed between objects that do and do not show this absorption feature. Multiple observations of some objects test both positively and negatively, similar to the surface variegation that has been observed among many C-class asteroids in the main asteroid belt. Evidence for aqueous alteration on these jovian satellites augers for an origin in or near the same location as the asteroids now occupying the aqueous alteration zone (2.6-3.5 AU), at heliocentric distances internal to Jupiter's orbit. Among the saturnian irregular satellites, only S IX Phoebe shows limited evidence of aqueous alteration from ground-based observations. The other satellites show

  12. Modeling the onset of photosynthesis after the Chicxulub asteroid impact

    CERN Document Server

    Perez, Noel; Martin, Osmel; Rojas, Reinaldo

    2012-01-01

    We do a preliminary modelling of the photosynthetic rates of phytoplankton at the very beginning of the Paleogene, just after the impact of the Chicxulub asteroid, which decisively contributed to the last known mass extinction of the Phanerozoic eon. We assume the worst possible scenario from the photobiological point of view: an already clear atmosphere with no ozone, as the timescale for soot and dust settling (years) is smaller than that of the full ozone regeneration (decades). Even in these conditions we show that most phytoplankton species would have had reasonable potential for photosynthesis in all the three main optical ocean water types. This modelling could help explain why the recovery of phytoplankton was relatively rapid after the huge environmental stress of that asteroid impact. In a more general scope, it also reminds us of the great resilience of the unicellular biosphere against huge environmental perturbations.

  13. Asteroid impact effects and their immediate hazards for human populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumpf, Clemens M.; Lewis, Hugh G.; Atkinson, Peter M.

    2017-04-01

    A set of 50,000 artificial Earth impacting asteroids was used to obtain, for the first time, information about the dominance of individual impact effects such as wind blast, overpressure shock, thermal radiation, cratering, seismic shaking, ejecta deposition, and tsunami for the loss of human life during an impact event for impactor sizes between 15 and 400 m and how the dominance of impact effects changes over size. Information about the dominance of each impact effect can enable disaster managers to plan for the most relevant effects in the event of an asteroid impact. Furthermore, the analysis of average casualty numbers per impactor shows that there is a significant difference in expected loss for airburst and surface impacts and that the average impact over land is an order of magnitude more dangerous than one over water.

  14. Spitzer Survey of the Karin Cluster Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harris, Alan W.; Mueller, M.; Lisse, C.; Cheng, A.; Osip, D.

    2007-01-01

    The Karin cluster is one of the youngest known families of main-belt asteroids, dating back to a collisional event only 5.8 Myr ago. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope we have sampled the thermal continua of 17 Karin cluster asteroids, down to the smallest members discovered so far, in order to deriv

  15. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1992-01-01

    The Steward Observatory Asteroid Relational Database (SOARD) was created as a flexible tool for undertaking studies of asteroid populations and sub-populations, to probe the biases intrinsic to asteroid databases, to ascertain the completeness of data pertaining to specific problems, to aid in the development of observational programs, and to develop pedagogical materials. To date SOARD has compiled an extensive list of data available on asteroids and made it accessible through a single menu-driven database program. Users may obtain tailored lists of asteroid properties for any subset of asteroids or output files which are suitable for plotting spectral data on individual asteroids. A browse capability allows the user to explore the contents of any data file. SOARD offers, also, an asteroid bibliography containing about 13,000 references. The program has online help as well as user and programmer documentation manuals. SOARD continues to provide data to fulfill requests by members of the astronomical community and will continue to grow as data is added to the database and new features are added to the program.

  16. Spitzer Survey of the Karin Cluster Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harris, Alan W.; Mueller, M.; Lisse, C.; Cheng, A.; Osip, D.

    2007-01-01

    The Karin cluster is one of the youngest known families of main-belt asteroids, dating back to a collisional event only 5.8 Myr ago. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope we have sampled the thermal continua of 17 Karin cluster asteroids, down to the smallest members discovered so far, in order to

  17. [Asteroid hyalopathy (benson's disease): about a case].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bienvenu, Yogolelo Asani; Angel, Musau Nkola; Leon, Kabamba Ngombe; Socrate, Kapalu Mwangala; Bruno, Iye Ombamba Kayimba; Gaby, Chenge Borasisi

    2017-01-01

    We here report a case of a 58 year-old diabetic male patient with asteroid hyalopathy, an affection rarely described in the literature. This study can help focus the attention of scientists on the pathologies of the vitreous disorders in diabetic patients as well as on other systemic diseases asteroid hyalopathy may be associated with.

  18. Periodic Motion near the Surface of Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, Yu; Li, Hengnian

    2015-01-01

    We are interested in the periodic motion and bifurcations near the surface of an asteroid. The gravity field of an irregular asteroid and the equation of motion of a particle near the surface of an asteroid are studied. The periodic motions around the major body of triple asteroid 216 Kleopatra and the OSIRIS REx mission target asteroid 101955 Bennu are discussed. We find that motion near the surface of an irregular asteroid is quite different from the motion near the surface of a homoplastically spheroidal celestial body. The periodic motions around the asteroid 101955 Bennu and 216 Kleopatra indicate that the geometrical shapes of the orbits are probably very sophisticated. There exist both stable periodic motions and unstable periodic motions near the surface of the same irregular asteroid. This periodic motion which is unstable can be resonant or non resonant. The period doubling bifurcation and pseudo period doubling bifurcation of periodic orbits coexist in the same gravity field of the primary of the t...

  19. The Near Earth Asteroid Medical Conditions List

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Yael R.; Watkins, S. D.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) element is one of six elements within NASA s Human Research Program (HRP) and is responsible for addressing the risk of "the inability to adequately recognize or treat an ill or injured crewmember" for exploration-class missions. The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Medical Conditions List, constructed by ExMC, is the first step in addressing the above-mentioned risk for the 13-month long NEA mission. The NEA mission is being designed by NASA's Human Space Flight Architecture Team (HAT). The purpose of the conditions list is to serve as an evidence-based foundation for determining which medical conditions could affect a crewmember during the NEA mission, which of those conditions would be of concern and require treatment, and for which conditions a gap in knowledge or technology development exists. This information is used to focus research efforts and technology development to ensure that the appropriate medical capabilities are available for exploration-class missions. Scope and Approach: The NEA Medical Conditions List is part of a broader Space Medicine Exploration Medical Conditions List (SMEMCL), which incorporates various exploration-class design reference missions (DRMs). The conditions list contains 85 medical conditions which could occur during space flight and which are derived from several sources: Long-Term Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH) in-flight occurrence data, The Space Shuttle (STS) Medical Checklist, The International Space Station (ISS) Medical Checklist, and subject matter expert opinion. Each medical condition listed has been assigned a clinical priority and a clinical priority rationale based on incidence, consequence, and mitigation capability. Implementation: The conditions list is a "living document" and as such, new conditions can be added to the list, and the priority of conditions on the list can be adjusted as the DRM changes, and as screening, diagnosis, or treatment capabilities

  20. The Compositional Structure of the Asteroid Belt

    CERN Document Server

    DeMeo, Francesca E; Walsh, Kevin J; Chapman, Clark R; Binzel, Richard P

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has brought major improvements in large-scale asteroid discovery and characterization with over half a million known asteroids and over 100,000 with some measurement of physical characterization. This explosion of data has allowed us to create a new global picture of the Main Asteroid Belt. Put in context with meteorite measurements and dynamical models, a new and more complete picture of Solar System evolution has emerged. The question has changed from "What was the original compositional gradient of the Asteroid Belt?" to "What was the original compositional gradient of small bodies across the entire Solar System?" No longer is the leading theory that two belts of planetesimals are primordial, but instead those belts were formed and sculpted through evolutionary processes after Solar System formation. This article reviews the advancements on the fronts of asteroid compositional characterization, meteorite measurements, and dynamical theories in the context of the heliocentric distribution of...

  1. Evidence for a Heterogeneous Distribution of Water in the Martian Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Srinvasan, Poorna; Santos, Alison R.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Filiberto, Justin; Steele, Andrew; Shearer, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and distribution of H2O within the terrestrial planets, as well as its timing of delivery, is a topic of vital importance for understanding the chemical and physical evolution of planets and their potential for hosting habitable environments. Analysis of planetary materials from Mars, the Moon, and the eucrite parent body (i.e., asteroid 4Vesta) have confirmed the presence of H2O within their interiors. Moreover, H and N isotopic data from these planetary materials suggests H2O was delivered to the inner solar system very early from a common source, similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrites. Despite the ubiquity of H2O in the inner Solar System, the only destination with any prospects for past or present habitable environments at this time, outside of the Earth, is Mars. Although the presence of H2O within the martian interior has been confirmed, very little is known regarding its abundance and distribution within the martian interior and how the martian water inventory has changed over time. By combining new analyses of martian apatites within a large number of martian meteorite types with previously published volatile data and recently determined mineral-melt partition coefficients for apatite, we report new insights into the abundance and distribution of volatiles in the martian crust and mantle. Using the subset of samples that did not exhibit crustal contamination, we determined that the enriched shergottite mantle source has 36-73 ppm H2O and the depleted shergottite mantle source has 14-23 ppm H2O. This result is consistent with other observed geochemical differences between enriched and depleted shergottites and supports the idea that there are at least two geochemically distinct reservoirs in the martian mantle. We also estimated the H2O content of the martian crust using the revised mantle H2O abundances and known crust-mantle distributions of incompatible lithophile elements. We determined that the bulk martian crust has

  2. Association of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level: a systematic review of the evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McDonagh Marian

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A review of the safety and efficacy of drinking water fluoridation was commissioned by the UK Department of Health to investigate whether the evidence supported a beneficial effect of water fluoridation and whether there was any evidence of adverse effects. Down's syndrome was one of the adverse effects reported. The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for an association between water fluoride level and Down's syndrome. Methods A systematic review of research. Studies were identified through a comprehensive literature search, scanning citations and online requests for papers. Studies in all languages which investigated the incidence of Down's syndrome in areas with different levels of fluoride in their water supplies were included. Study inclusion and quality was assessed independently by 2 reviewers. A qualitative analysis was conducted. Results Six studies were included. All were ecological in design and scored poorly on the validity assessment. The estimates of the crude relative risk ranged from 0.84 to 3.0. Four studies showed no significant associations between the incidence of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level and two studies by the same author found a significant (p Conclusions The evidence of an association between water fluoride level and Down's syndrome incidence is inconclusive.

  3. High-albedo C-complex outer-belt asteroids: The near-infrared spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasuga, T.; Usui, F.; Ootsubo, T.; Hasegawa, S.; Kuroda, D.; Shirahata, M.; Okamura, N.

    2014-07-01

    Primitive, outer-belt asteroids are generally of low albedo, reflecting carbonaceous compositions like those of CI and CM meteorites. However, a few outer-belt asteroids having high albedos are known, suggesting the presence of unusually reflective surface minerals or, conceivably, even exposed water ice. Here, we present near-infrared (1.1--2.5 micron) spectra of four outer-belt C-complex asteroids with albedos > 0.1. We find no absorption features characteristic of water ice (near 1.5 and 2.0 micron) in the objects. Intimate mixture models set limits to the water ice by weight Journal, Volume 146, Issue 1, article id. 1, 6 pp. (2013).

  4. Asteroid spin-up fission systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, P.

    2014-07-01

    Among asteroids smaller than about 15 km in diameter, there is a population of binary and multiple asteroid systems that show characteristics strongly suggesting their formation by spin-up fission. I will review the current observational data we have on the systems and compare them with predictions from theories of formation of asteroid systems. I will show that the best explanation of their observed properties is provided by the theory of fission of cohesionless (rubble-pile) asteroids spun up to the critical spin frequency by the YORP effect. Observed asteroid systems are of two kinds: bound and unbound. Bound asteroid systems typically consist of a larger primary and one or two smaller satellites. Unbound systems consist of two asteroids orbiting the Sun on highly similar orbits, again with one being typically larger (primary) and the other being smaller (secondary). These two groups are not exclusive; there exist systems with one or two bound and an unbound secondary. Our current sample consists of 133 bound asteroid systems (binaries or triples) with primary sizes between 0.12 and 13 km and of 178 asteroid pairs with similar primary sizes. Bound systems have been observed in heliocentric orbits from near the Earth to the outer main belt, while asteroid pairs are recognizable only in the main belt where their orbits are only slowly dispersed so the pairs can be identified for up to 2 Myr after formation. The leading observational techniques for discovery and characterization of asteroid systems are radar imagery (for near-Earth asteroid systems) and lightcurve photometry (for main-belt ones). The observed characteristics of asteroid systems suggesting their formation by rotational fission of parent rubble-pile asteroids after being spun up by the YORP effect are as follows. The angular momentum content of binary asteroids is close to critical. The orientations of satellite orbits are non-random; the orbital poles concentrate near the obliquities of 0 and 180

  5. Evident?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind...

  6. An integrated view of asteroid regeneration: tissues, cells and molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Khadra, Yousra; Sugni, Michela; Ferrario, Cinzia; Bonasoro, Francesco; Varela Coelho, Ana; Martinez, Pedro; Candia Carnevali, Maria Daniela

    2017-03-22

    The potential for repairing and replacing cells, tissues, organs and body parts is considered a primitive attribute of life shared by all the organisms, even though it may be expressed to a different extent and which is essential for the survival of both individual and whole species. The ability to regenerate is particularly evident and widespread within invertebrates. In spite of the wide availability of experimental models, regeneration has been comprehensively explored in only a few animal systems (i.e., hydrozoans, planarians, urodeles) leaving many other animal groups unexplored. The regenerative potential finds its maximum expression in echinoderms. Among echinoderm classes, asteroids offer an impressive range of experimental models in which to study arm regeneration at different levels. Many studies have been recently carried out in order to understand the regenerative mechanisms in asteroids and the overall morphological processes have been well documented in different starfish species, such as Asterias rubens, Leptasterias hexactis and Echinaster sepositus. In contrast, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms that control regeneration development and patterning in these models. The origin and the fate of cells involved in the regenerative process remain a matter of debate and clear insights will require the use of complementary molecular and proteomic approaches to study this problem. Here, we review the current knowledge regarding the cellular, proteomic and molecular aspects of asteroid regeneration.

  7. U and sr isotopes in ground water and calcite, yucca mountain, nevada: evidence against upwelling water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, J S; Peterman, Z E; Muhs, D R

    1991-10-25

    Hydrogenic calcite and opaline silica deposits in fault zones at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have created considerable public and scientific controversy because of the possible development of a high-level nuclear waste repository at this location. Strontium and uranium isotopic compositions of hydrogenic materials were used to test whether the veins could have formed by upwelling of deep-seated waters. The vein deposits are isotopically distinct from ground water in the two aquifers that underlie Yucca Mountain, indicating that the calcite could not have precipitated from ground water. The data are consistent with a surficial origin for the hydrogenic deposits.

  8. Olivine-dominated Asteroids: Mineralogy and Origin

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Juan A; Kelley, Michael S; Cloutis, Edward A; Bottke, William F; Nesvorný, David; Lucas, Michael P; Hardersen, Paul S; Gaffey, Michael J; Abell, Paul A; Corre, Lucille Le

    2013-01-01

    Olivine-dominated asteroids are a rare type of objects formed either in nebular processes or through magmatic differentiation. The analysis of meteorite samples suggest that at least 100 parent bodies in the main belt experienced partial or complete melting and differentiation before being disrupted. However, only a few olivine-dominated asteroids, representative of the mantle of disrupted differentiated bodies, are known to exist. Due to the paucity of these objects in the main belt their origin and evolution have been a matter of great debate over the years. In this work we present a detailed mineralogical analysis of twelve olivine-dominated asteroids. Within our sample we distinguish two classes, one that we call pure-olivine asteroids and another referred to as olivine-rich asteroids. For the pure-olivine asteroids the olivine chemistry was found to range from ~ Fo49 to Fo70, consistent with the values measured for brachinites and R chondrites. In the case of the olivine-rich asteroids we determined thei...

  9. VESTOIDS, PART II: THE BASALTIC NATURE AND HED METEORITE ANALOGS FOR EIGHT V{sub p}-TYPE ASTEROIDS AND THEIR ASSOCIATIONS WITH (4) VESTA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hardersen, Paul S. [University of North Dakota, Department of Space Studies, 4149 University Avenue, Stop 9008, 530 Clifford Hall, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9008 (United States); Reddy, Vishnu [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Fort Lowell Road, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Roberts, Rachel, E-mail: Hardersen@space.edu [University of North Dakota, Department of Space Studies, 4149 University Avenue, Stop 9008, 521 Clifford Hall, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9008 (United States)

    2015-11-15

    Improving the constraints on the abundance of basaltic asteroids in the main asteroid belt is necessary for better understanding the thermal and collisional environment in the early solar system, for more rigorously identifying the genetic family for (4) Vesta, for determining the effectiveness of Yarkovsky/YORP in dispersing asteroid families, and for better quantifying the population of basaltic asteroids in the outer main belt (a > 2.5 AU) that is likely unrelated to (4) Vesta. Near-infrared (NIR) spectral observations in this work were obtained for the V{sub p}-type asteroids (2011) Veteraniya, (5875) Kuga, (8149) Ruff, (9147) Kourakuen, (9553) Colas, (15237) 1988 RL{sub 6}, (31414) Rotaryusa, and (32940) 1995 UW{sub 4} during 2014 August/September utilizing the SpeX spectrograph at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Spectral band parameter (band centers, band area ratios) and mineralogical analysis (pyroxene chemistry) for each average asteroid NIR reflectance spectrum suggest a howardite–eucrite–diogenite meteorite analog for each asteroid. (5875) Kuga is most closely associated with the eucrite meteorites, (31414) Rotaryusa is most closely associated with the diogenites, and the remaining other six asteroids are most closely associated with the howardite meteorites. Along with their orbital locations in the inner main belt and in the vicinity of (4) Vesta, the existing evidence suggests that these eight V{sub p}-type asteroids are also likely Vestoids.

  10. Vestoids, Part II: The Basaltic Nature and HED Meteorite Analogs for Eight Vp-type Asteroids and their Associations with (4) Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardersen, Paul S.; Reddy, Vishnu; Roberts, Rachel

    2015-11-01

    Improving the constraints on the abundance of basaltic asteroids in the main asteroid belt is necessary for better understanding the thermal and collisional environment in the early solar system, for more rigorously identifying the genetic family for (4) Vesta, for determining the effectiveness of Yarkovsky/YORP in dispersing asteroid families, and for better quantifying the population of basaltic asteroids in the outer main belt (a > 2.5 AU) that is likely unrelated to (4) Vesta. Near-infrared (NIR) spectral observations in this work were obtained for the Vp-type asteroids (2011) Veteraniya, (5875) Kuga, (8149) Ruff, (9147) Kourakuen, (9553) Colas, (15237) 1988 RL6, (31414) Rotaryusa, and (32940) 1995 UW4 during 2014 August/September utilizing the SpeX spectrograph at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Spectral band parameter (band centers, band area ratios) and mineralogical analysis (pyroxene chemistry) for each average asteroid NIR reflectance spectrum suggest a howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorite analog for each asteroid. (5875) Kuga is most closely associated with the eucrite meteorites, (31414) Rotaryusa is most closely associated with the diogenites, and the remaining other six asteroids are most closely associated with the howardite meteorites. Along with their orbital locations in the inner main belt and in the vicinity of (4) Vesta, the existing evidence suggests that these eight Vp-type asteroids are also likely Vestoids.

  11. Target Asteroids! Observing Campaigns for April through June 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hergenrother, Carl; Hill, Dolores

    2017-04-01

    Asteroid campaigns to be conducted by the Target Asteroids! program during the April-June 2017 quarter are described. In addition to asteroids on the original Target Asteroids! list of easily accessible spacecraft targets, an effort has been made to identify other asteroids that are 1) brighter and easier to observe for small telescope users and 2) analogous to (101955) Bennu and (162173) Ryugu, targets of the OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2 sample return missions.

  12. Dynamics of rotationally fissioned asteroids: Source of observed small asteroid systems

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth A

    2014-01-01

    We present a model of near-Earth asteroid (NEA) rotational fission and ensuing dynamics that describes the creation of synchronous binaries and all other observed NEA systems including: doubly synchronous binaries, high- e binaries, ternary systems, and contact binaries. Our model only presupposes the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, "rubble pile" asteroid geophysics, and gravitational interactions. The YORP effect torques a "rubble pile" asteroid until the asteroid reaches its fission spin limit and the components enter orbit about each other (Scheeres, D.J. [2007]. Icarus 189, 370-385). Non-spherical gravitational potentials couple the spin states to the orbit state and chaotically drive the system towards the observed asteroid classes along two evolutionary tracks primarily distinguished by mass ratio. Related to this is a new binary process termed secondary fission - the secondary asteroid of the binary system is rotationally accelerated via gravitational torques until it fissions, thu...

  13. Interaction of surface water and groundwater in the Nile River basin: isotopic and piezometric evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebede, Seifu; Abdalla, Osman; Sefelnasr, Ahmed; Tindimugaya, Callist; Mustafa, Osman

    2016-12-01

    Past discussions around water-resources management and development in the River Nile basin disregard groundwater resources from the equation. There is an increasing interest around factoring the groundwater resources as an integral part of the Nile Basin water resources. This is hampered by knowledge gap regarding the groundwater resources dynamics (recharge, storage, flow, quality, surface-water/groundwater interaction) at basin scale. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of surface-water/groundwater interaction from the headwater to the Nile Delta region. Piezometric and isotopic (δ18O, δ2H) evidence reveal that the Nile changes from a gaining stream in the headwater regions to mostly a loosing stream in the arid lowlands of Sudan and Egypt. Specific zones of Nile water leakage to the adjacent aquifers is mapped using the two sources of evidence. Up to 50% of the surface-water flow in the equatorial region of the Nile comes from groundwater as base flow. The evidence also shows that the natural direction and rate of surface-water/groundwater interaction is largely perturbed by human activities (diversion, dam construction) particularly downstream of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. The decrease in discharge of the Nile River along its course is attributed to leakage to the aquifers as well as to evaporative water loss from the river channel. The surface-water/groundwater interaction occurring along the Nile River and its sensitivity to infrastructure development calls for management strategies that account groundwater as an integral part of the Nile Basin resources.

  14. Interaction of surface water and groundwater in the Nile River basin: isotopic and piezometric evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebede, Seifu; Abdalla, Osman; Sefelnasr, Ahmed; Tindimugaya, Callist; Mustafa, Osman

    2017-05-01

    Past discussions around water-resources management and development in the River Nile basin disregard groundwater resources from the equation. There is an increasing interest around factoring the groundwater resources as an integral part of the Nile Basin water resources. This is hampered by knowledge gap regarding the groundwater resources dynamics (recharge, storage, flow, quality, surface-water/groundwater interaction) at basin scale. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of surface-water/groundwater interaction from the headwater to the Nile Delta region. Piezometric and isotopic (δ18O, δ2H) evidence reveal that the Nile changes from a gaining stream in the headwater regions to mostly a loosing stream in the arid lowlands of Sudan and Egypt. Specific zones of Nile water leakage to the adjacent aquifers is mapped using the two sources of evidence. Up to 50% of the surface-water flow in the equatorial region of the Nile comes from groundwater as base flow. The evidence also shows that the natural direction and rate of surface-water/groundwater interaction is largely perturbed by human activities (diversion, dam construction) particularly downstream of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. The decrease in discharge of the Nile River along its course is attributed to leakage to the aquifers as well as to evaporative water loss from the river channel. The surface-water/groundwater interaction occurring along the Nile River and its sensitivity to infrastructure development calls for management strategies that account groundwater as an integral part of the Nile Basin resources.

  15. Difficult cases in photometric studies of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciniak, Anna; Pilcher, Frederick; Oszkiewicz, Dagmara; Bartczak, Przemysław; Santana-Ros, Toni; Kamiński, Krzysztof; Urakawa, Seitaro; Ogłoza, Waldemar; Fauvaud, Stéphane; Kankiewicz, Paweł; Kudak, Viktor; Żejmo, Michał; Nishiyama, Kota; Okumura, Shin-ichiro; Nimura, Tokuhiro; Hirsch, Roman; Konstanciak, Izabella; Tychoniec, Łukasz; Figas, Michał

    2016-06-01

    We present a photometric campaign targeted at asteroids that display both long periods of rotation and small amplitudes of brightness variations. Our aim is to debias available sample of spin and shape modelled asteroids and to correct previous wrong period determinations. Our newest findings are corrected period determinations for asteroids (279) Thule (P=23.896h ± 0.005 h), (673) Edda (P=22.340h ± 0.004 h), and (737) Arequipa (P=7.0259h ± 0.0003 h). Supporting lightcurves are presented in this paper.

  16. Spectroscopy of near-Earth asteroids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, René; Nathues, Andreas; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    2006-01-01

    We present spectra and taxonomic classifications of 12 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and 2 inner Main Belt asteroids. The observations were carried out with the ESO 3.5 m NTT and the Danish 1.54 m telescope at La Silla, Chile. Eleven of the investigated NEAs belong to the S class while only one C......-type has been identified. Two NEAs were observed at phase angles larger than 60 degrees introducing significant phase reddening. In order to allow for comparisons between spectra of asteroids observed at different phase angles we make attempts to correct for this effect. However, it turned out...

  17. Spectroscopy of near-Earth asteroids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, René; Nathues, Andreas; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    2006-01-01

    We present spectra and taxonomic classifications of 12 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and 2 inner Main Belt asteroids. The observations were carried out with the ESO 3.5 m NTT and the Danish 1.54 m telescope at La Silla, Chile. Eleven of the investigated NEAs belong to the S class while only one C......-type has been identified. Two NEAs were observed at phase angles larger than 60 degrees introducing significant phase reddening. In order to allow for comparisons between spectra of asteroids observed at different phase angles we make attempts to correct for this effect. However, it turned out...

  18. Asteroids@home - A BOINC distributed computing project for asteroid shape reconstruction

    CERN Document Server

    Durech, Josef; Vanco, Radim

    2015-01-01

    We present the project Asteroids@home that uses distributed computing to solve the time-consuming inverse problem of shape reconstruction of asteroids. The project uses the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) framework to distribute, collect, and validate small computational units that are solved independently at individual computers of volunteers connected to the project. Shapes, rotational periods, and orientations of the spin axes of asteroids are reconstructed from their disk-integrated photometry by the lightcurve inversion method.

  19. Seismic evidence of negligible water carried below 400-km depth in subducting lithosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Harry W; Chen, Wang-Ping; Brudzinski, Michael R

    2010-10-14

    Strong evidence exists that water is carried from the surface into the upper mantle by hydrous minerals in the uppermost 10-12 km of subducting lithosphere, and more water may be added as the lithosphere bends and goes downwards. Significant amounts of that water are released as the lithosphere heats up, triggering earthquakes and fluxing arc volcanism. In addition, there is experimental evidence for high solubility of water in olivine, the most abundant mineral in the upper mantle, for even higher solubility in olivine's high-pressure polymorphs, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, and for the existence of dense hydrous magnesium silicates that potentially could carry water well into the lower mantle (deeper than 1,000 km). Here we compare experimental and seismic evidence to test whether patterns of seismicity and the stabilities of these potentially relevant hydrous phases are consistent with a wet lithosphere. We show that there is nearly a one-to-one correlation between dehydration of minerals and seismicity at depths less than about 250 km, and conclude that the dehydration of minerals is the trigger of instability that leads to seismicity. At greater depths, however, we find no correlation between occurrences of earthquakes and depths where breakdown of hydrous phases is expected. Lastly, we note that there is compelling evidence for the existence of metastable olivine (which, if present, can explain the distribution of deep-focus earthquakes) west of and within the subducting Tonga slab and also in three other subduction zones, despite metastable olivine being incompatible with even extremely small amounts of water (of the order of 100 p.p.m. by weight). We conclude that subducting slabs are essentially dry at depths below 400 km and thus do not provide a pathway for significant amounts of water to enter the mantle transition zone or the lower mantle.

  20. Water Detected in the Terrestrial Zone of Extreme Solar Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farihi, Jay

    2015-12-01

    Life as we know it requires water in contact with a rocky planetary surface. In the Solar System, water and other volatiles must have been delivered to a dry Earth from planetesimals, where asteroids in the outer main belt and Jupiter-Saturn region are excellent candidates. The first extrasolar analog of these rocky and water-rich planetesimals was reported between ESS II and III (Farihi et al. 2013, Science, 342, 218), and there is now evidence for additional examples. These results imply an underlying population of large, extrasolar planetesimals formed near a snow line, and suggesting a common mechanism for water delivery to habitable exoplanets.I will present Hubble, Spitzer, and ground-based data that demonstrate the confirmed and likely water-rich nature of exo-asteroids identified in a growing number of white dwarf planetary systems. These extreme solar systems formed and evolved around A-type (and similar) stars -- now firmly retired -- and the asteroid debris now orbits and pollutes the white dwarf with heavy elements, including oxygen in excess of that expected for oxide minerals. The abundance patterns are also carbon-poor, indicating the parent bodies were not icy planetesimals analogous to comets, but instead similar in overall composition to asteroids in the outer main belt.Importantly, these remnant exoplanetary systems imply architectures similar to the Solar System, where a giant planet exterior to a snow line perturbs rocky asteroids on the interior. Thus, they appear to share basic characteristics with HR 8799, Vega, Fomalhaut, and epsilon Eridani where two disks of debris are separated by giant planet(s), with one belt near the snow line. If such archictectures are as common as implied by polluted white dwarfs, then at least 30% of 1.2-3.0 Msun stars have both the tools and ingredentients for water delivery in their terrestrial planet zones.

  1. Dynamics of rotationally fissioned asteroids: Source of observed small asteroid systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2011-07-01

    We present a model of near-Earth asteroid (NEA) rotational fission and ensuing dynamics that describes the creation of synchronous binaries and all other observed NEA systems including: doubly synchronous binaries, high- e binaries, ternary systems, and contact binaries. Our model only presupposes the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, "rubble pile" asteroid geophysics, and gravitational interactions. The YORP effect torques a "rubble pile" asteroid until the asteroid reaches its fission spin limit and the components enter orbit about each other (Scheeres, D.J. [2007]. Icarus 189, 370-385). Non-spherical gravitational potentials couple the spin states to the orbit state and chaotically drive the system towards the observed asteroid classes along two evolutionary tracks primarily distinguished by mass ratio. Related to this is a new binary process termed secondary fission - the secondary asteroid of the binary system is rotationally accelerated via gravitational torques until it fissions, thus creating a chaotic ternary system. The initially chaotic binary can be stabilized to create a synchronous binary by components of the fissioned secondary asteroid impacting the primary asteroid, solar gravitational perturbations, and mutual body tides. These results emphasize the importance of the initial component size distribution and configuration within the parent asteroid. NEAs may go through multiple binary cycles and many YORP-induced rotational fissions during their approximately 10 Myr lifetime in the inner Solar System. Rotational fission and the ensuing dynamics are responsible for all NEA systems including the most commonly observed synchronous binaries.

  2. ASIME 2016 White Paper: In-Space Utilisation of Asteroids: "Answers to Questions from the Asteroid Miners"

    OpenAIRE

    Graps, Amara L.; Blondel, Philippe; Bonin, Grant; Britt, Daniel; Centuori, Simone; Delbo, Marco; Drube, Line; Duffard, Rene; Elvis, Martin; Faber, Daniel; Frank, Elizabeth; Galache, JL; Green, Simon F.; Grundmann, Jan Thimo; Hsieh, Henry

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the Asteroid Science Intersections with In-Space Mine Engineering (ASIME) 2016 conference on September 21-22, 2016 in Luxembourg City was to provide an environment for the detailed discussion of the specific properties of asteroids, with the engineering needs of space missions that utilize asteroids. The ASIME 2016 Conference produced a layered record of discussions from the asteroid scientists and the asteroid miners to understand each other's key concerns and to address key scien...

  3. Evidence of Photocatalytic Dissociation of Water on TiO2 with Atomic Resolution

    CERN Document Server

    Tan, Shijing; Wang, Yang; Zhao, Jin; Zhao, Aidi; Wang, Bing; Luo, Yi; Yang, Jinlong; Hou, J G

    2011-01-01

    Photocatalytic water splitting reaction on TiO2 surface is one of the fundamental issues that bears significant implication in hydrogen energy technology and has been extensively studied. However, the existence of the very first reaction step, the direct photo-dissociation of water, has been disregarded. Here, we provide unambiguously experimental evidence to demonstrate that adsorbed water molecules on reduced rutile TiO2(110)-1\\times1 surface can be dissociated under UV irradiation using low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. It is identified that a water molecule at fivefold coordinated Ti (Ti5c) site can be photocatalytically dissociated, resulting in a hydroxyl at Ti5c and another hydroxyl at bridge oxygen row. Our findings reveal a missing link in the photocatalytic water splitting reaction chain, which greatly contribute to the detailed understanding of underlying mechanism.

  4. New Active Asteroid 313P/Gibbs

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, David; Peixinho, Nuno; Weaver, Harold; Mutchler, Max; Hui, Man-To; Li, Jing; Larson, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    We present initial observations of the newly-discovered active asteroid 313P/Gibbs (formerly P/2014 S4), taken to characterize its nucleus and comet-like activity. The central object has a radius $\\sim$0.5 km (geometric albedo 0.05 assumed). We find no evidence for secondary nuclei and set (with qualifications) an upper limit to the radii of such objects near 25 m, assuming the same albedo. Both aperture photometry and a morphological analysis of the ejected dust show that mass-loss is continuous at rates $\\sim$0.2 to 0.4 kg s$^{-1}$, inconsistent with an impact origin. Large dust particles, with radii $\\sim$50 to 100 $\\mu$m, dominate the optical appearance. At 2.4 AU from the Sun, the surface equilibrium temperatures are too low for thermal or desiccation stresses to be responsible for the ejection of dust. No gas is spectroscopically detected (limiting the gas mass loss rate to $<$1.8 kg s$^{-1}$). However, the protracted emission of dust seen in our data and the detection of another episode of dust rele...

  5. Mineralogy and Surface Composition of Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Reddy, Vishnu; Thomas, Cristina A; Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Burbine, Thomas H

    2015-01-01

    Methods to constrain the surface mineralogy of asteroids have seen considerable development during the last decade with advancement in laboratory spectral calibrations and validation of our interpretive methodologies by spacecraft rendezvous missions. This has enabled the accurate identification of several meteorite parent bodies in the main asteroid belt and helped constrain the mineral chemistries and abundances in ordinary chondrites and basaltic achondrites. With better quantification of spectral effects due to temperature, phase angle, and grain size, systematic discrepancies due to non-compositional factors can now be virtually eliminated for mafic silicate-bearing asteroids. Interpretation of spectrally featureless asteroids remains a challenge. This paper presents a review of all mineralogical interpretive tools currently in use and outlines procedures for their application.

  6. Chelyabinsk: Portrait of an asteroid airburst

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kring, David A.; Boslough, Mark

    2014-09-01

    Video and audio from hundreds of smartphones and dashboard cameras combined with seismic, acoustic, and satellite measurements provide the first precise documentation of a 10 000-ton asteroid explosion.

  7. Colors of Dynamically Associated Asteroid Pairs

    CERN Document Server

    Moskovitz, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Recent dynamical studies have identified pairs of asteroids that reside in nearly identical heliocentric orbits. Possible formation scenarios for these systems include dissociation of binary asteroids, collisional disruption of a single parent body, or spin-up and rotational fission of a rubble-pile. Aside from detailed dynamical analyses and measurement of rotational light curves, little work has been done to investigate the colors or spectra of these unusual objects. A photometric and spectroscopic survey was conducted to determine the reflectance properties of asteroid pairs. New observations were obtained for a total of 34 individual asteroids. Additional photometric measurements were retrieved from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Moving Object Catalog. Colors or spectra for a total of 42 pair components are presented here. The main findings of this work are: (1) the components in the observed pair systems have the same colors within the uncertainties of this survey, and (2) the color distribution of asteroi...

  8. Origins for the near-earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; Xu, Shui; Bus, Schelte J.; Bowell, Edward

    1992-01-01

    Because of their short dynamical lifetimes, the population of near-earth asteroids (NEAs) must be resupplied. Two sources have been hypothesized: main-belt asteroids and extinct comet nuclei. A new survey of physical properties for less than 5 kilometers diameter main-belt asteroids reveals that their spin rate and shape distributions are similar to those of NEAs, as is fully consistent with a main-belt origin for most NEAs. Physical data on comet nuclei are limited. If the existing sample is representative of the comet population, analysis of the asteroid and comet samples constrains the fraction of comet nuclei to between 0 and 40 percent of the total NEA population.

  9. The Cratering History of Asteroid (21) Lutetia

    CERN Document Server

    Marchi, S; Vincent, J -B; Morbidelli, A; Mottola, S; Marzari, F; Kueppers, M; Besse, S; Thomas, N; Barbieri, C; Naletto, G; Sierks, H

    2011-01-01

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft passed by the main belt asteroid (21) Lutetia the 10th July 2010. With its ~100km size, Lutetia is one of the largest asteroids ever imaged by a spacecraft. During the flyby, the on-board OSIRIS imaging system acquired spectacular images of Lutetia's northern hemisphere revealing a complex surface scarred by numerous impact craters, reaching the maximum dimension of about 55km. In this paper, we assess the cratering history of the asteroid. For this purpose, we apply current models describing the formation and evolution of main belt asteroids, that provide the rate and velocity distributions of impactors. These models, coupled with appropriate crater scaling laws, allow us to interpret the observed crater size-frequency distribution (SFD) and constrain the cratering history. Thanks to this approach, we derive the crater retention age of several regions on Lutetia, namely the time lapsed since their formation or global surface reset. We also investigate the influe...

  10. Asteroid models from the Lowell photometric database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ďurech, J.; Hanuš, J.; Oszkiewicz, D.; Vančo, R.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Information about shapes and spin states of individual asteroids is important for the study of the whole asteroid population. For asteroids from the main belt, most of the shape models available now have been reconstructed from disk-integrated photometry by the lightcurve inversion method. Aims: We want to significantly enlarge the current sample (~350) of available asteroid models. Methods: We use the lightcurve inversion method to derive new shape models and spin states of asteroids from the sparse-in-time photometry compiled in the Lowell Photometric Database. To speed up the time-consuming process of scanning the period parameter space through the use of convex shape models, we use the distributed computing project Asteroids@home, running on the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform. This way, the period-search interval is divided into hundreds of smaller intervals. These intervals are scanned separately by different volunteers and then joined together. We also use an alternative, faster, approach when searching the best-fit period by using a model of triaxial ellipsoid. By this, we can independently confirm periods found with convex models and also find rotation periods for some of those asteroids for which the convex-model approach gives too many solutions. Results: From the analysis of Lowell photometric data of the first 100 000 numbered asteroids, we derived 328 new models. This almost doubles the number of available models. We tested the reliability of our results by comparing models that were derived from purely Lowell data with those based on dense lightcurves, and we found that the rate of false-positive solutions is very low. We also present updated plots of the distribution of spin obliquities and pole ecliptic longitudes that confirm previous findings about a non-uniform distribution of spin axes. However, the models reconstructed from noisy sparse data are heavily biased towards more elongated bodies with high

  11. An Early Warning System for Asteroid Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonry, John L.

    2011-01-01

    Earth is bombarded by meteors, occasionally by one large enough to cause a significant explosion and possible loss of life. It is not possible to detect all hazardous asteroids, and the efforts to detect them years before they strike are only advancing slowly. Similarly, ideas for mitigation of the danger from an impact by moving the asteroid are in their infancy. Although the odds of a deadly asteroid strike in the next century are low, the most likely impact is by a relatively small asteroid, and we suggest that the best mitigation strategy in the near term is simply to move people out of the way. With enough warning, a small asteroid impact should not cause loss of life, and even portable property might be preserved. We describe an early warning system that could provide a week’s notice of most sizeable asteroids or comets on track to hit the Earth. This may be all the mitigation needed or desired for small asteroids, and it can be implemented immediately for relatively low cost. This system, dubbed Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), comprises two observatories separated by about 100 km that simultaneously scan the visible sky twice a night. Software automatically registers a comparison with the unchanging sky and identifies everything that has moved or changed. Communications between the observatories lock down the orbits of anything approaching the Earth, within one night if its arrival is less than a week. The sensitivity of the system permits detection of 140 m asteroids (100 Mton impact energy) three weeks before impact and 50 m asteroids a week before arrival. An ATLAS alarm, augmented by other observations, should result in a determination of impact location and time that is accurate to a few kilometers and a few seconds. In addition to detecting and warning of approaching asteroids, ATLAS will continuously monitor the changing universe around us: most of the variable stars in our Galaxy, many microlensing events from stellar

  12. Asteroid Geophysics and Quantifying the Impact Hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D.; Wooden, D. H.; Korycanksy, D. G.

    2015-01-01

    Probably the major challenge in understanding, quantifying, and mitigating the effects of an impact on Earth is understanding the nature of the impactor. Of the roughly 25 meteorite craters on the Earth that have associated meteorites, all but one was produced by an iron meteorite and only one was produced by a stony meteorite. Equally important, even meteorites of a given chemical class produce a wide variety of behavior in the atmosphere. This is because they show considerable diversity in their mechanical properties which have a profound influence on the behavior of meteorites during atmospheric passage. Some stony meteorites are weak and do not reach the surface or reach the surface as thousands of relatively harmless pieces. Some stony meteorites roll into a maximum drag configuration and are strong enough to remain intact so a large single object reaches the surface. Others have high concentrations of water that may facilitate disruption. However, while meteorite falls and meteorites provide invaluable information on the physical nature of the objects entering the atmosphere, there are many unknowns concerning size and scale that can only be determined by from the pre-atmospheric properties of the asteroids. Their internal structure, their thermal properties, their internal strength and composition, will all play a role in determining the behavior of the object as it passes through the atmosphere, whether it produces an airblast and at what height, and the nature of the impact and amount and distribution of ejecta.

  13. Modelling asteroid brightness variations. I - Numerical methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karttunen, H.

    1989-01-01

    A method for generating lightcurves of asteroid models is presented. The effects of the shape of the asteroid and the scattering law of a surface element are distinctly separable, being described by chosen functions that can easily be changed. The shape is specified by means of two functions that yield the length of the radius vector and the normal vector of the surface at a given point. The general shape must be convex, but spherical concavities producing macroscopic shadowing can also be modeled.

  14. Olivine-dominated asteroids: Mineralogy and origin

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez, Juan A.; Reddy, Vishnu; Kelley, Michael S.; Cloutis, Edward A.; Bottke, William F.; Nesvorný, David; Lucas, Michael P.; Hardersen, Paul S.; Gaffey, Michael J.; Abell, Paul A.; Corre, Lucille Le

    2013-01-01

    Olivine-dominated asteroids are a rare type of objects formed either in nebular processes or through magmatic differentiation. The analysis of meteorite samples suggest that at least 100 parent bodies in the main belt experienced partial or complete melting and differentiation before being disrupted. However, only a few olivine-dominated asteroids, representative of the mantle of disrupted differentiated bodies, are known to exist. Due to the paucity of these objects in the main belt their or...

  15. The Relationship between the Boltysh and Chicxulub Asteroid Impacts: Implications for Celestial Mechanics at the K/Pg boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, S. P.; Jolley, D.; Gurov, E.; Gilmour, I.; Watson, J.

    2009-12-01

    One of the most popular explanations for the mass extinction of life at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago has been a single asteroid impact at Chicxulub on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. The discovery of a second smaller crater at Boltysh in the Ukraine with a similar age raised the possibility that a shower of asteroids or comets impacted Earth close to the K/Pg boundary. Similar terrestrial impact clusters have been detected 35, 370 and 470 Ma. New palynological, sedimentary and del13C evidence from the lowest 5 m of a new core of crater fill sediments in the Boltysh impact crater. Our analyses demonstrate that a post-impact flora formed on the ejecta layer of the Boltysh crater, was in turn devastated by the K/Pg events just a few hundred to a few thousand years later. We conclude that the Boltysh crater pre-dated Chicxulub by less than 2,000 years, a timescale that constrains the likely origin of the bodies that formed the two known craters. Sudden expulsions of asteroids from resonance bands in the asteroid belt shower Earth over many millions of years, but asteroids ejected from the J5:2 resonance band reach Earth within 50,000 to 1 million years, making it likely that two or more large craters would form within a few hundred to a few thousand years. This result implies that the K/Pg boundary events included at least two large asteroid impacts and that showers of asteroids are perhaps more prominent features of the long term terrestrial impact record than background random impacts. If asteroid showers also dominate the recent impact record, tracking and mapping the currently known asteroid families is likely to reduce the long term NEO hazard.

  16. Voyage to Troy: A mission concept for the exploration of the Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikia, S.; Das, A.; Laipert, F.; Dapkus, C.; Kendall, J.; Bowling, T.; Steckloff, J.; Holbert, S.; Graves, K.; Anthony, T.; Bobick, R.; Huang, Y.; Stuart, J.; Longuski, J.; Minton, D.

    2014-07-01

    The Trojan asteroids, located at Jupiter's L4 and L5 Lagrange points, are a potential source of insights into long-standing questions on the origin and early history of the Solar System. The 2013 Planetary Science Decadal Survey recommends a Trojan Tour and Rendezvous mission as high-priority among medium-class missions. A dedicated mission to the Trojan asteroids could confirm or refute multiple theories to correctly explain the Trojan asteroids' current location, characteristics, and behavior. In-depth and conclusive evidence for the Trojan asteroids' internal and external make-up as well as dynamical behavior hav been challenging due to limitations of ground- and space-based observations. Notwithstanding these limitations, it has been inferred that there are two distinct sub- populations that are distinguishable in visible and near-infrared spectra (redder and less red) within the swarms. These spectral groupings have not yet been conclusively linked to physical characteristics (e.g. size) or other observed parameters (e.g. albedo) of the primordial bodies. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's concept studies for Decadal Survey evaluated three concepts for missions to Trojan asteroids: each utilizing chemical- solar-electric, and radioisotope-electric for propulsion. Both Solar and Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators were considered for power [2]. We present a new conceptual mission to explore the Trojan asteroids that achieves the science goals prioritized in the 2013 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. The proposed mission aims to study both a redder and less red asteroid for the surface mineralogical and elemental composition, state of surface regolith, evidence and consequences of external modification processes such as collisional evolution, space weathering, and irradiation. Some potential targets in the L4 Greek camp currently under consideration for this mission include Achilles, Hektor and Agamemnon (redder) and Eurybates, Deipylos and Kalchas (less

  17. Evidence for a role of claudin 2 as a proximal tubular stress responsive paracellular water channel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilmes, Anja, E-mail: Anja.Wilmes@i-med.ac.at; Aschauer, Lydia; Limonciel, Alice; Pfaller, Walter; Jennings, Paul

    2014-09-01

    Claudins are the major proteins of the tight junctions and the composition of claudin subtypes is decisive for the selective permeability of the paracellular route and thus tissue specific function. Their regulation is complex and subject to interference by several factors, including oxidative stress. Here we show that exposure of cultured human proximal tubule cells (RPTEC/TERT1) to the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine A (CsA) induces an increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), a decrease in dome formation (on solid growth supports) and a decrease in water transport (on microporous growth supports). In addition, CsA induced a dramatic decrease in the mRNA for the pore forming claudins -2 and -10, and the main subunits of the Na{sup +}/K{sup +} ATPase. Knock down of claudin 2 by shRNA had no discernable effect on TEER or dome formation but severely attenuated apical to basolateral water reabsorption when cultured on microporous filters. Generation of an osmotic gradient in the basolateral compartment rescued water transport in claudin 2 knock down cells. Inhibition of Na{sup +}/K{sup +} ATPase with ouabain prevented dome formation in both cell types. Taken together these results provide strong evidence that dome formation is primarily due to transcellular water transport following a solute osmotic gradient. However, in RPTEC/TERT1 cells cultured on filters under iso-osmotic conditions, water transport is primarily paracellular, most likely due to local increases in osmolarity in the intercellular space. In conclusion, this study provides strong evidence that claudin 2 is involved in paracellular water transport and that claudin 2 expression is sensitive to compound induced cellular stress. - Highlights: • Cyclosporine A increased TEER and decreased water transport in RPTEC/TERT1 cells. • Claudins 2 and 10 were decreased in response to cyclosporine A. • Knock down of claudin 2 inhibited water transport in proximal tubular cells. • We

  18. Formation of asteroid pairs by rotational fission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, P; Vokrouhlický, D; Polishook, D; Scheeres, D J; Harris, A W; Galád, A; Vaduvescu, O; Pozo, F; Barr, A; Longa, P; Vachier, F; Colas, F; Pray, D P; Pollock, J; Reichart, D; Ivarsen, K; Haislip, J; Lacluyze, A; Kusnirák, P; Henych, T; Marchis, F; Macomber, B; Jacobson, S A; Krugly, Yu N; Sergeev, A V; Leroy, A

    2010-08-26

    Pairs of asteroids sharing similar heliocentric orbits, but not bound together, were found recently. Backward integrations of their orbits indicated that they separated gently with low relative velocities, but did not provide additional insight into their formation mechanism. A previously hypothesized rotational fission process may explain their formation-critical predictions are that the mass ratios are less than about 0.2 and, as the mass ratio approaches this upper limit, the spin period of the larger body becomes long. Here we report photometric observations of a sample of asteroid pairs, revealing that the primaries of pairs with mass ratios much less than 0.2 rotate rapidly, near their critical fission frequency. As the mass ratio approaches 0.2, the primary period grows long. This occurs as the total energy of the system approaches zero, requiring the asteroid pair to extract an increasing fraction of energy from the primary's spin in order to escape. We do not find asteroid pairs with mass ratios larger than 0.2. Rotationally fissioned systems beyond this limit have insufficient energy to disrupt. We conclude that asteroid pairs are formed by the rotational fission of a parent asteroid into a proto-binary system, which subsequently disrupts under its own internal system dynamics soon after formation.

  19. Asteroid hyalosis--current state of knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabłońska, Anna; Ciszewska, Joanna; Kęcik, Dariusz

    2014-01-01

    The search query into the Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus and ScienceDirect enabled selection of research papers addressing the issue of asteroid hyalosis published in English between 1963 and January 2014. Asteroid hyalosis is a degenerative condition of the vitreous in which small, creamy or white, spherical particles (asteroid bodies) are randomly diffused within the vitreous. They consist mainly of calcium and phosphorus and have a structure of hydroxy lapatite. In 80.2-92.0% of cases the condition affects one eye only and it occurs in 0.36-1.96% of population, mostly in patients over 50 years of age and in males. Hypercholesterolemia and hypertension are systemic risk factors, but asteroid hyalosis is postulated to occur more often in retinitis pigmentosa and Leber amaurosis caused by mutations in lecithin retinol acyltransferase gene. Asteroid hyalosis also causes calcification of some intraocular lenses--mostly silicone ones. Vitreous of patients with asteroid hyalosis shows reduced gel liquefaction and anomalous vitreoretinal adhesion.

  20. An Early Warning System for Asteroid Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Tonry, John L

    2010-01-01

    Earth is bombarded by meteors, occasionally by one large enough to cause a significant explosion and possible loss of life. Although the odds of a deadly asteroid strike in the next century are low, the most likely impact is by a relatively small asteroid, and we suggest that the best mitigation strategy in the near term is simply to move people out of the way. We describe an "early warning" system that could provide a week's notice of most sizable asteroids or comets on track to hit the Earth. This system, dubbed "Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS), comprises two observatories separated by about 100km that simultaneously scan the visible sky twice a night, and can be implemented immediately for relatively low cost. The sensitivity of ATLAS permits detection of 140m asteroids (100 Mton impact energy) three weeks before impact, and 50m asteroids a week before arrival. An ATLAS alarm, augmented by other observations, should result in a determination of impact location and time that is accura...

  1. Asteroid secular dynamics: Ceres' fingerprint identified

    CERN Document Server

    Novaković, Bojan; Tsirvoulis, Georgios; Knezević, Zoran

    2015-01-01

    Here we report on the significant role of a so far overlooked dynamical aspect, namely a secular resonance between the dwarf planet Ceres and other asteroids. We demonstrate that this type of secular resonance can be the dominant dynamical factor in certain regions of the main asteroid belt. Specifically, we performed a dynamical analysis of the asteroids belonging to the (1726) Hoffmeister family. To identify which dynamical mechanisms are actually at work in this part of the main asteroid belt, i.e. to isolate the main perturber(s), we study the evolution of this family in time. The study is accomplished using numerical integrations of test particles performed within different dynamical models. The obtained results reveal that the post-impact evolution of the Hoffmeister asteroid family is a direct consequence of the nodal secular resonance with Ceres. This leads us to the conclusion that similar effects must exist in other parts of the asteroid belt. In this respect, the obtained results shed light on an i...

  2. Asteroid Models from Multiple Data Sources

    CERN Document Server

    Durech, J; Delbo, M; Kaasalainen, M; Viikinkoski, M

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, hundreds of asteroid shape models have been derived using the lightcurve inversion method. At the same time, a new framework of 3-D shape modeling based on the combined analysis of widely different data sources such as optical lightcurves, disk-resolved images, stellar occultation timings, mid-infrared thermal radiometry, optical interferometry, and radar delay-Doppler data, has been developed. This multi-data approach allows the determination of most of the physical and surface properties of asteroids in a single, coherent inversion, with spectacular results. We review the main results of asteroid lightcurve inversion and also recent advances in multi-data modeling. We show that models based on remote sensing data were confirmed by spacecraft encounters with asteroids, and we discuss how the multiplication of highly detailed 3-D models will help to refine our general knowledge of the asteroid population. The physical and surface properties of asteroids, i.e., their spin, 3-D shape, densit...

  3. The Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, A.; Cohen, B. A.; Barnouin, O. S.; Chabot, N. L.; Ernst, C. M.; Klima, R. L.; Helbert, J.; Sternovsky, Z.

    2015-12-01

    The asteroids preserve information from the earliest times in solar system history, with compositions in the population reflecting the material in the solar nebula and experiencing a wide range of temperatures. Today they experience ongoing processes, some of which are shared with larger bodies but some of which are unique to their size regime. They are critical to humanity's future as potential threats, resource sites, and targets for human visitation. However, over twenty years since the first spacecraft encounters with asteroids, they remain poorly understood. The mission we propose here, the Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS), explores the diversity of asteroids to understand our solar system's past history, its present processes, and future opportunities and hazards. MANTIS addresses many of NASA's highest priorities as laid out in its 2014 Science Plan and provides additional benefit to the Planetary Defense and Human Exploration communities via a low-risk, cost-effective tour of the near-Earth and inner asteroid belt. MANTIS visits the materials that witnessed solar system formation and its earliest history, addressing the NASA goal of exploring and observing the objects in the solar system to understand how they formed and evolve. MANTIS measures OH, water, and organic materials via several complementary techniques, visiting and sampling objects known to have hydrated minerals and addressing the NASA goal of improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of life on Earth. MANTIS studies the geology and geophysics of nine diverse asteroids, with compositions ranging from water-rich to metallic, representatives of both binary and non-binary asteroids, and sizes covering over two orders of magnitude, providing unique information about the chemical and physical processes shaping the asteroids, addressing the NASA goal of advancing the understanding of how the chemical and physical processes in our solar system

  4. Permanent dissipative structures in water: the matrix of life? Experimental evidences and their quantum origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elia, V; Germano, R; Napoli, E

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a short review of the evidence - both experimental and theoretical - of the formation of dissipative structures in liquid water induced by three kinds of physical perturbations having a low energy content: extremely diluted solution (EDS), iteratively filtered water (IFW), and iteratively nafionated water (INW). Particular attention is devoted to the very recent discovery that such structures are tremendously persistent even in the solid phase: large ponderal quantities of supramolecular aggregates of water (with each nucleus hundreds of nanometers in size) have been observed - at ambient pressure and temperature - using easily-reproducible experimental methods. The nature of these dissipative structures is analyzed and explained in terms of the thermodynamics of far-from-equilibrium systems and irreversible processes, showing their spontaneous quantum origin. Are these kinds of structures the matrix itself of life?.

  5. More chips off of Asteroid (4) Vesta: characterization of eight Vestoids and their HED meteorite analogs

    CERN Document Server

    Hardersen, Paul S; Roberts, Rachel; Mainzer, Amy

    2014-01-01

    This work reports high quality NIR spectra, and their respective interpretations, for eight Vp type asteroids, as defined by Carvano et al. (2010), that were observed at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on January 14, 2013 UT. They include (3867) Shiretoko, (5235) Jean-Loup, (5560) Amytis, (6331) 1992 FZ1, (6976) Kanatsu, (17469) 1991 BT, (29796) 1999 CW77, and (30872) 1992 EM17. All eight asteroids exhibit the broad 0.9 and 1.9 micron mineral absorption features indicative of pyroxene on each asteroid's surface. Data reduction and analysis via multiple techniques produced consistent results for the derived spectral absorption band centers and average pyroxene surface chemistries for all eight asteroids (Reddy et al., 2012; Lindsay et al., 2013,2014; Gaffey et al., 2002; Burbine et al., 2009). (3867) Shiretoko is most consistent with the eucrite meteorites while the remaining seven asteroids are most consistent with the howardite meteorites. The existing evidence suggests that all eight of these Vp type a...

  6. Mineralogical Characterization of Baptistina Asteroid Family: Implications for K/T Impactor Source

    CERN Document Server

    Reddy, Vishnu; Lazzaro, Daniela; Michtchenko, Tatiana A; Gaffey, Michael J; Kelley, Michael S; Diniz, Thais Mothé; Candal, Alvaro Alvarez; Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Cloutis, Edward A; Ryan, Erin L; 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.08.027

    2011-01-01

    Bottke et al. (2007) linked the catastrophic formation of Baptistina Asteroid Family (BAF) to the K/T impact event. This linkage was based on dynamical and compositional evidence, which suggested the impactor had a composition similar to CM2 carbonaceous chondrites. However, our recent study (Reddy et al. 2009) suggests that the composition of (298) Baptistina is similar to LL-type ordinary chondrites rather than CM2 carbonaceous chondrites. This rules out any possibility of it being related to the source of the K/T impactor, if the impactor was of CM-type composition. Mineralogical study of asteroids in the vicinity of BAF has revealed a plethora of compositional types suggesting a complex formation and evolution environment. A detailed compositional analysis of 16 asteroids suggests several distinct surface assemblages including ordinary chondrites (Gaffey SIV subtype), primitive achondrites (Gaffey SIII subtype), basaltic achondrites (Gaffey SVII subtype and V-type), and a carbonaceous chondrite. Based on ...

  7. Vitreous asteroid hyalosis prolapse into the anterior chamber simulating iris metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Carol L; Romanelli-Gobbi, Massi; Lally, Sara E; Shields, Jerry A

    2012-01-01

    Two asymptomatic elderly women who underwent cataract extraction 7 or more years previously and with intraocular lens placement presented with a linear bead-like white multinodular mass in the inferior angle simulating iris metastasis versus large inflammatory precipitates. There was no iris infiltration. In the first case, the posterior lens capsule was intact and there was no evidence of gelatinous vitreous in the anterior chamber, whereas in the second case, the capsule was open and there was gelatinous vitreous prolapse. In both cases, there was asteroid hyalosis in the vitreous. Both patients were diagnosed with prolapsed vitreous asteroid hyalosis into the anterior chamber and managed with observation. Vitreous asteroid hyalosis can prolapse into the anterior chamber of pseudophakic elderly patients with or without capsular opening and can simulate an intraocular tumor.

  8. An asteroid breakup 160 Myr ago as the probable source of the K/T impactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottke, William F; Vokrouhlický, David; Nesvorný, David

    2007-09-06

    The terrestrial and lunar cratering rate is often assumed to have been nearly constant over the past 3 Gyr. Different lines of evidence, however, suggest that the impact flux from kilometre-sized bodies increased by at least a factor of two over the long-term average during the past approximately 100 Myr. Here we argue that this apparent surge was triggered by the catastrophic disruption of the parent body of the asteroid Baptistina, which we infer was a approximately 170-km-diameter body (carbonaceous-chondrite-like) that broke up 160(-20)+30Myr ago in the inner main asteroid belt. Fragments produced by the collision were slowly delivered by dynamical processes to orbits where they could strike the terrestrial planets. We find that this asteroid shower is the most likely source (>90 per cent probability) of the Chicxulub impactor that produced the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) mass extinction event 65 Myr ago.

  9. Vitreous asteroid hyalosis prolapse into the anterior chamber simulating iris metastasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol L Shields

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Two asymptomatic elderly women who underwent cataract extraction 7 or more years previously and with intraocular lens placement presented with a linear bead-like white multinodular mass in the inferior angle simulating iris metastasis versus large inflammatory precipitates. There was no iris infiltration. In the first case, the posterior lens capsule was intact and there was no evidence of gelatinous vitreous in the anterior chamber, whereas in the second case, the capsule was open and there was gelatinous vitreous prolapse. In both cases, there was asteroid hyalosis in the vitreous. Both patients were diagnosed with prolapsed vitreous asteroid hyalosis into the anterior chamber and managed with observation. Vitreous asteroid hyalosis can prolapse into the anterior chamber of pseudophakic elderly patients with or without capsular opening and can simulate an intraocular tumor.

  10. Lightcurves for Two Near-Earth Asteroids by Asteroids Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: 2016 April-May

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Vicente Mas; Silva, Gonzalo Fornas; Martinez, Angel Flores; Garceran, Alfonso Carreno; Mansego, Enrique Arce; Rodriguez, Pedro Brines; de Haro, Juan Lozano; Silva, Alvaro Fornas; Chiner, Onofre Rodrigo; Porta, David Herrero

    2016-10-01

    We report on the results of photometric analysis of two near-Earth asteroids (NEA) by Asteroids Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database (MPPD) project initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  11. Sixteen Asteroids Lightcurves at Asteroids Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: 2016 June-November

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brines, Pedro; Lozano, Juan; Rodrigo, Onofre; Fornas, A.; Herrero, David; Mas, Vicente; Fornas, G.; Carreño, A.; Arce, Enrique

    2017-04-01

    We report on the photometric analysis result of sixteen main-belt asteroids (MBA) done by Asteroids Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database tasks, initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  12. Eighteen Asteroids Lightcurves at Asteroides Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: 2016 March-May

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansego, Enrique Arce; Rodriguez, Pedro Brines; de Haro, Juan Lozano; Chiner, Onofre Rodrigo; Silva, Alvaro Fornas; Porta, David Herrero; Martinez, Vicente Mas; Silva, Gonzalo Fornas; Garceran, Alfonso Carreno

    2016-10-01

    We report on the analysis of photometric observations of 18 main-belt asteroids (MBA) done by Asteroides Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database program initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  13. Twenty-three Asteroids Lightcurves at Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS): 2015 October - December

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aznar Macias, Amadeo; Carreno Garcerain, Alfonso; Arce Mansego, Enrique; Brines Rodriguez, Pedro; Lozano de Haro, Juan; Fornas Silva, Alvaro; Fornas Silva, Gonzalo; Mas Martinez, Vicente; Rodrigo Chiner, Onofre

    2016-04-01

    We report on the photometric analysis results for 23 main-belt asteroids (MBA) done by Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database that was initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate, complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  14. Evidence for high salinity of Early Cretaceous sea water from the Chesapeake Bay crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanford, Ward E; Doughten, Michael W; Coplen, Tyler B; Hunt, Andrew G; Bullen, Thomas D

    2013-11-14

    High-salinity groundwater more than 1,000 metres deep in the Atlantic coastal plain of the USA has been documented in several locations, most recently within the 35-million-year-old Chesapeake Bay impact crater. Suggestions for the origin of increased salinity in the crater have included evaporite dissolution, osmosis and evaporation from heating associated with the bolide impact. Here we present chemical, isotopic and physical evidence that together indicate that groundwater in the Chesapeake crater is remnant Early Cretaceous North Atlantic (ECNA) sea water. We find that the sea water is probably 100-145 million years old and that it has an average salinity of about 70 per mil, which is twice that of modern sea water and consistent with the nearly closed ECNA basin. Previous evidence for temperature and salinity levels of ancient oceans have been estimated indirectly from geochemical, isotopic and palaeontological analyses of solid materials in deep sediment cores. In contrast, our study identifies ancient sea water in situ and provides a direct estimate of its age and salinity. Moreover, we suggest that it is likely that remnants of ECNA sea water persist in deep sediments at many locations along the Atlantic margin.

  15. A hypothesis on the origin of C-type asteroids and carbonaceous chondrites

    CERN Document Server

    Busarev, V V

    2012-01-01

    A hypothesis based on observational and theoretical results on the origin of C-type asteroids and carbonaceous chondrites is proposed. Asteroids of C-type and close BGF-types could form from hydrated silicate-organic matter accumulated in the cores of water-differentiated (due to 26Al and other short-lived isotopes decay) bodies existed in the growth zones of Jupiter. Gravitational scattering of such bodies by Jupiter at its final stage of formation to the main asteroid belt might have led to fragmentation and re-accretion of their primitive materials on the surfaces of many asteroids and/or asteroid parent bodies. The hypothesis makes clear a row of long-standing puzzling facts, the main of which are as follows. The low-albedo and carbonaceous-chondritic surface properties of (1) Ceres contradict to its probable differentiated structure and icy crust (e. g., Thomas et al., 2005, Nature 437: 224-226; Castillo-Rogez et al., 2010, Icarus 205, 443-459), but it could be explained by the process of primitive matte...

  16. Lightcurve Survey of V-type Asteroids in the Inner Asteroid Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Hasegawa, Sunao; Mito, Hiroyuki; Sarugaku, Yuki; Ozawa, Tomohiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Nishihara, Setsuko; Harada, Akari; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Shimizu, Yasuhiro; Nagayama, Shogo; Toda, Hiroyuki; Okita, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Mori, Machiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Ishiguro, Masateru; Abe, Takumi; Abe, Masanao

    2013-01-01

    We have observed the lightcurves of 13 V-type asteroids ((1933) Tinchen, (2011) Veteraniya, (2508) Alupka, (3657) Ermolova, (3900) Knezevic, (4005) Dyagilev, (4383) Suruga, (4434) Nikulin, (4796) Lewis, (6331) 1992 $\\mathrm{FZ_{1}}$, (8645) 1998 TN, (10285) Renemichelsen, and (10320) Reiland). Using these observations we determined the rotational rates of the asteroids, with the exception of Nikulin and Renemichelsen. The distribution of rotational rates of 59 V-type asteroids in the inner main belt, including 29 members of the Vesta family that are regarded as ejecta from the asteroid (4) Vesta, is inconsistent with the best-fit Maxwellian distribution. This inconsistency may be due to the effect of thermal radiation Yarkovsky--O'Keefe--Radzievskii--Paddack (YORP) torques, and implies that the collision event that formed V-type asteroids is sub-billion to several billion years in age.

  17. An Inquiry-Based Activity to Investigate Evidence for Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, A.; Shankar, B.; Osinski, G. R.

    2013-04-01

    With funding from Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council PromoScience program, the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) at Western University is developing a new initiative called Interactive Mapping of the Planets (IMAPS), which will be a suite of inquiry-based activities and online resources on the topic of planetary mapping. The first inquiry-based activity developed for the IMAPS program focuses on searching for evidence of past water flow on Mars. Over a period of three class-periods, students learn about the different land features on Mars, build basic mapping skills, use Google Mars and other online image databases to search for evidence of past water flow, and choose and defend the best landing site for the next rover. All of the resources needed for this activity, as well as others, can be found on the CPSX outreach webpage: www.cpsx.ca/outreach

  18. Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.; Morgan, Thomas H.; Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Yeomans, Donald K.

    2011-03-01

    Preface; 1. Recent progress in interpreting the nature of the near-Earth object population W. Bottke, A. Morbidelli and R. Jedicke; 2. Earth impactors: orbital characteristics and warning times S. R. Chesley and T. B. Spahr; 3. The role of radar in predicting and preventing asteroid and comet collisions with Earth S. J. Ostro and J. D. Giorgini; 4. Interior structures for asteroids and cometary nuclei E. Asphaug; 5. What we know and don't know about surfaces of potentially hazardous small bodies C. R. Chapman; 6. About deflecting asteroids and comets K. A. Holsapple; 7. Scientific requirements for understanding the near-Earth asteroid population A. W. Harris; 8. Physical properties of comets and asteroids inferred from fireball observations M. D. Martino and A. Cellino; 9. Mitigation technologies and their requirements C. Gritzner and R. Kahle; 10. Peering inside near-Earth objects with radio tomography W. Kofman and A. Safaeinili; 11. Seismological imvestigation of asteroid and comet interiors J. D. Walker and W. F. Huebner; 12. Lander and penetrator science for near-Earth object mitigation studies A. J. Ball, P. Lognonne, K. Seiferlin, M. Patzold and T. Spohn; 13. Optimal interpretation and deflection of Earth-approaching asteroids using low-thrust electric propulsion B. A. Conway; 14. Close proximity operations at small bodies: orbiting, hovering, and hopping D. J. Scheeres; 15. Mission operations in low gravity regolith and dust D. Sears, M. Franzen, S. Moore, S. Nichols, M. Kareev and P. Benoit; 16. Impacts and the public: communicating the nature of the impact hazard D. Morrison, C. R. Chapman, D. Steel and R. P. Binzel; 17. Towards a program to remove the threat of hazardous NEOs M. J. S. Belton.

  19. Drinking Water Arsenic Contamination, Skin Lesions, and Malignancies: A Systematic Review of the Global Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karagas, Margaret R; Gossai, Anala; Pierce, Brandon; Ahsan, Habibul

    2015-03-01

    Skin lesions and cancer are known manifestations of chronic exposure to arsenic contaminated drinking water. Epidemiologic data primarily comes from regions with exposures 1-2 orders of magnitude above the current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines of 10 μg/L. Emerging evidence indicates that more common exposures may also be related to both noncancerous and cancerous changes to the skin. In this review, we focus on the body of epidemiologic literature that encompasses exposures within the WHO guidelines, excluding studies that lacked individual exposure estimates and case reports. For skin lesions and skin cancers, 15 and 10 studies were identified that met our criteria, respectively. For skin lesions, a consistent dose-response relationship with water arsenic has been observed, with increased risk evident at low- to moderate-dose exposure. Of the larger studies of specific histologic types of skin cancers, although with differing exposure definitions, there was evidence of dose-related relationships with both basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. The effect of arsenic exposure on skin lesion risk is likely modified by genetic variants that influence arsenic metabolism. Accumulating evidence suggests that arsenic may increase risk of skin lesions and skin cancers at levels not previously considered harmful, and that genetic factors may influence risk.

  20. Experimental Evidence for a Liquid-Liquid Crossover in Deeply Cooled Confined Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cupane, Antonio; Fomina, Margarita; Piazza, Irina; Peters, Judith; Schirò, Giorgio

    2014-11-01

    In this work we investigate, by means of elastic neutron scattering, the pressure dependence of mean square displacements (MSD) of hydrogen atoms of deeply cooled water confined in the pores of a three-dimensional disordered SiO2 xerogel; experiments have been performed at 250 and 210 K from atmospheric pressure to 1200 bar. The "pressure anomaly" of supercooled water (i.e., a mean square displacement increase with increasing pressure) is observed in our sample at both temperatures; however, contrary to previous simulation results and to the experimental trend observed in bulk water, the pressure effect is smaller at lower (210 K) than at higher (250 K) temperature. Elastic neutron scattering results are complemented by differential scanning calorimetry data that put in evidence, besides the glass transition at about 170 K, a first-order-like endothermic transition occurring at about 230 K that, in view of the neutron scattering results, can be attributed to a liquid-liquid crossover. Our results give experimental evidence for the presence, in deeply cooled confined water, of a crossover occurring at about 230 K (at ambient pressure) from a liquid phase predominant at 210 K to another liquid phase predominant at 250 K; therefore, they are fully consistent with the liquid-liquid transition hypothesis.

  1. The Economic Value of Water in Recreation: Evidence from the California Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Frank A.; Roach, Brian A.; Henderson, Jim E.

    1996-04-01

    A significant barrier to economically efficient management of most reservoir systems is lack of reliable information about how recreational values change with reservoir levels. This paper presents evidence on marginal values of water for recreation at Corps of Engineer reservoirs in the Sacramento, California, District. Data on visitors were collected by origin and destination before and during the early part of the 1985-1991 California drought. Because lake levels varied widely during the sample period, water's effect on visits was isolated from price and other effects. An estimated regional travel cost model containing water level as a visit predictor provided information to compute marginal values of water in recreation. For the range of the lake levels seen, annual recreational values per acre-foot (1234 m3) of water vary from 6 at Pine Flat Reservoir to more than 600 at Success Lake. These findings are limited to use values of visitors who travel to the reservoirs and do not reflect passive use values to people who value the reservoirs but never visit them. Analysts could apply similar methods to other river basins in which a public agency controls the management of multiple water uses.

  2. Water transport and the evolution of CM parent bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, R.; Cohen, B.

    2014-07-01

    Extraterrestrial water-bearing minerals are of great importance both for understanding the formation and evolution of the solar system and for supporting future human activities in space. Asteroids are the primary source of meteorites, many of which show evidence of an early heating episode and varying degrees of aqueous alteration. The origin and characterization of hydrated minerals (minerals containing H_2O or OH) among both the main-belt and near-Earth asteroids is important for understanding a wide range of solar-system formation and evolutionary processes, as well as for planning for human exploration. Current hypotheses postulate asteroids began as mixtures of water ice and anhydrous silicates. A heating event early in solar-system history was then responsible for melting the ice and driving aqueous alteration. The link between asteroids and meteorites is forged by reflectance spectra, which show 3-μm bands indicative of bound OH or H_2O on the C-class asteroids, which are believed to be the parent bodies of the carbonaceous chondrites in our collections [1]. The conditions at which aqueous alteration occurred in the parent bodies of carbonaceous chondrites are thought to be well-constrained: at 0--25°C for less than 15 Myr after asteroid formation [2]. In previous models, many scenarios exhibit peak temperatures of the rock and co-existing liquid water in more than 75 % of the asteroid's volume rising to 150°C and higher[3,4], due to the exothermic hydration reactions triggering a thermal runaway effect. However, even in a high-porosity, water-saturated asteroid, very limited liquid water flow is predicted (distances of 100's μ m at most) [5]. This contradiction has yet to be resolved. Still, it may be possible for water to become liquid even in the near-surface environment, for a long enough time to drive aqueous alteration before vaporizing or freezing then subliming. Thus, we are using physics- and chemistry-based models that include thermal and

  3. A Fast Ellipsoid Model for Asteroids Inverted From Lightcurves

    CERN Document Server

    Lu, Xiaoping; You, Zhong

    2012-01-01

    The research about asteroids attracts more and more attention recently, especially focusing on their physical structures, such as the spin axis, the rotation period and the shape. The long distance between Earth observers and asteroids makes it impossible to get the shape and other parameters of asteroids directly with the exception of the NEAs (Near Earth Asteroids) and others passed by some spacecrafts. Generally photometric measurement is still the main way to obtain the research data for asteroids now, i.e. the lightcurves recording the brightness and positions of asteroids. Supposing that the shape of the asteroid is a triaxial ellipsoid with a stable spinning status, a new method is present in this article to reconstruct the shape models of asteroids from the lightcurves, with the other physical parameters together. By applying a special curvature function, the method calculates the brightness integration on a unit sphere and Lebedev Quadrature is employed for the discretization. At last the method sear...

  4. Human Robotic Systems (HRS): Robotic Technologies for Asteroid Missions Element

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During 2014, the Robotic Technologies for Asteroid Missions activity has four tasks:Asteroid Retrieval Capture Mechanism Development and Testbed;Mission Operations...

  5. Rotational properties of Maria asteroid family

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, Myung-Jin; Moon, Hong-Kyu; Byun, Yong-Ik; Brosch, Noah; Kaplan, Murat; Kaynar, Suleyman; Uysal, Omer; Guzel, Eda; Behrend, Raoul; Yoon, Joh-Na; Mottola, Stefano; Hellmich, Stephan; Hinse, Tobias C; Eker, Zeki; Park, Jang-Hyun

    2013-01-01

    Maria family is regarded as an old-type (~3 +/- 1 Gyr) asteroid family which has experienced substantial collisional and dynamical evolution in the Main-belt. It is located nearby the 3:1 Jupter mean motion resonance area that supplies Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) to the inner Solar System. We carried out observations of Maria family asteroids during 134 nights from 2008 July to 2013 May, and derived synodic rotational periods for 51 objects, including newly obtained periods of 34 asteroids. We found that there is a significant excess of fast and slow rotators in observed rotation rate distribution. The two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test confirms that the spin rate distribution is not consistent with a Maxwellian at a 92% confidence level. From correlations among rotational periods, amplitudes of lightcurves, and sizes, we conclude that the rotational properties of Maria family asteroids have been changed considerably by non-gravitational forces such as the YORP effect. Using a lightcurve inversion method (Kaa...

  6. The Dynamical Evolution of the Asteroid Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; O'Brien, David P; Minton, David A; Bottke, William F

    2015-01-01

    The asteroid belt is the leftover of the original planetesimal population in the inner solar system. However, currently the asteroids have orbits with all possible values of eccentricities and inclinations compatible with long-term dynamical stability, whereas the initial planetesimal orbits should have been quasi-circular and almost co-planar. The total mass in the asteroid population is a small fraction of that existing primordially. Also, asteroids with different chemical/mineralogical properties are not ranked in an orderly manner with mean heliocentric distance as one could expect from the existence of a radial gradient of the temperature in the proto-planetary disk, but they are partially mixed. These properties show that the asteroid belt has been severely sculpted by one or a series of processes during its lifetime. This paper reviews the processes that have been proposed so far, discussing the properties that they explain and the problems that they are confronted with. Emphasis is paid to the interpl...

  7. Tracking a Very Near Earth Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruck, R.; Rashid, S.; Peppard, T.

    2013-09-01

    The potential effects of an asteroid passing within close proximity to the Earth were recently realized. During the February 16, 2013 event, Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed within an estimated 27,700 kilometers of the earth, well within the geosynchronous (GEO) orbital belt. This was the closest known approach of a planetoid of this size, in modern history. The GEO belt is a region that is filled with critical communications satellites which provide relays for essential government, business and private datum. On the day of the event, optical instruments at Detachment 3, 21OG, Maui GEODSS were able to open in marginal atmospheric conditions, locate and collect metric and raw video data on the asteroid as it passed a point of near heliocentric orbital propinquity to the Earth. Prior to the event, the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) used propagated trajectory data from NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to assess potential collisions with man-made objects in Earth orbit. However, the ability to actively track this asteroid through the populated satellite belt not only allowed surveillance for possible late orbital perturbations of the asteroid, but, afforded the ability to monitor possible strikes on all other orbiting bodies of anthropogenic origin either not in orbital catalogs or not recently updated in those catalogs. Although programmed only for tracking satellites in geocentric orbits, GEODSS was able to compensate and maintain track on DA14, collecting one hundred and fifty four metric observations during the event.

  8. Search for a Differentiated Asteroid Family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina A.; Lim, Lucy F.; Trilling, David E.; Moskovitz, Nicholas

    2014-08-01

    Dynamical asteroid families resulting from catastrophic disruptions represent the interiors of their former parent bodies. Differentiation of a large initially chondritic parent body is expected to produce an ``onion shell" object with a metal core, a thick olivine-rich mantle, and a thin basaltic crust. However, instead of the mineralogical diversity expected from the disruption of a differentiated parent body, most asteroid families tend to show similar spectra among the members. Moreover, spectra of metal-like materials and olivine-dominated assemblages have not been detected in asteroid families in the Main Belt and the expected mantle material is missing from the meteorite record. The deficit of olivine-rich mantle material in the meteorite record and in asteroid observations is known as the ``Missing Mantle" problem. For years the best explanation for the lack of mantle material has been the ``battered to bits" hypothesis that states that all differentiated parent bodies (aside from Vesta) were disrupted very early in the solar system and the resulting olivine-rich material was collisionally broken down until the object diameters fell below our observational limits. However, in a new, competing, hypothesis, Elkins-Tanton et al. (2013) has suggested that previous work has overestimated the amount of olivine produced by the differentiation of a chondritic parent body. We propose to obtain visible spectra of asteroids within the Massalia, Merxia, and Agnia S-type families to search for compositional variations that are indicators of differentiation and to quantitatively constrain the two competing ``Missing Mantle" hypotheses.

  9. On the Applicability of the Green Chemistry Principles to Sustainability of Organic Matter on Asteroids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera M. Kolb

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The connection between astrobiology and green chemistry represents a new approach to sustainability of organic matter on asteroids or similar bodies. Green chemistry is chemistry which is environmentally friendly. One obvious way for chemistry to be green is to use water as a solvent, instead of more toxic organic solvents. Many astrobiological reactions occur in the aqueous medium, for example in the prebiotic soup or during the aqueous alteration period on asteroids. Thus any advances in the green organic reactions in water are directly applicable to astrobiology. Another green chemistry approach is to abolish use of toxic solvents. This can be accomplished by carrying out the reactions without a solvent in the solventless or solid-state reactions. The advances in these green reactions are directly applicable to the chemistry on asteroids during the periods when water was not available. Many reactions on asteroids may have been done in the solid mixtures. These reactions may be responsible for a myriad of organic compounds that have been isolated from the meteorites.

  10. Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Asteroid(4) Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-Yang; Bodewits, Dennis; Feaga, Lori M.; Landsman, Wayne; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Mutchler, Max J.; Russell, Christopher T.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Raymond, Carol A.

    2011-01-01

    We report a comprehensive review of the UV-visible spectrum and rotational lightcurve of Vesta combining new observations by Hubble Space Telescope and Swift with archival International Ultraviolet Explorer observations. The geometric albedos of Vesta from 220 nm to 953 nm arc derived by carefully comparing these observations from various instruments at different times and observing geometries. Vesta has a rotationally averaged geometric albedo of 0.09 at 250 nm, 0.14 at 300 nm, 0.26 at 373 nm, 0.38 at 673 nm, and 0.30 at 950 nm. The linear spectral slope in the ultraviolet displays a sharp minimum ncar sub-Earth longitude of 20deg, and maximum in the eastern hemisphere. This is completely consistent with the distribution of the spectral slope in the visible wavelength. The uncertainty of the measurement in the ultraviolet is approx.20%, and in the visible wavelengths better than 10%. The amplitude of Vesta's rotational lightcurves is approx.10% throughout the range of wavelengths we observed, but is smaller at 950 nm (approx.6%) ncar the 1-micron mafic band center. Contrary to earlier reports, we found no evidence for any difference between the phasing of the ultraviolet and visible/ncar-infrared lightcurves with respect to sub-Earth longitude. Vesta's average spectrum between 220 and 950 nm can well be described by measured reflectance spectra of fine particle howardite-like materials of basaltic achondrite meteorites. Combining this with the in-phase behavior of the ultraviolet, visible. and ncar-infrared lightcurves, and the spectral slopes with respect to the rotational phase, we conclude that there is no global ultraviolet/visible reversal on Vesta. Consequently, this implies lack of global space weathering on Vesta. Keyword,: Asteroid Vesta; Spectrophotometry; Spectroscopy; Ultraviolet observations; Hubble Space Telescope observations

  11. Space Rocks: A Series of Papers on Meteorites and Asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Hooper, Nina Louise

    2016-01-01

    The subject of this work is the compositions of asteroids and meteorites. Studies of the composition of small Solar System bodies are fundamental to theories of planet formation. Meteorites, samples available for analysis in the lab, help constrain the timeline and conditions in the early Solar System. Asteroid reflectance spectra help define the links between asteroids and meteorites. Studies of the spectral types and sizes of asteroids test dynamical models. These studie...

  12. Characterization of the near-Earth Asteroid 2002NY40

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, Jr., Lewis C.; Hall, Doyle T.; Lambert, John V.; Africano, John L.; Knox, Keith T.; Barros, Jacob K.; Hamada, Kris M.; Liang, Dennis; Sydney, Paul F.; Kervin, Paul

    2007-01-01

    In August 2002, the near-Earth asteroid 2002 NY40, made its closest approach to the Earth. This provided an opportunity to study a near-Earth asteroid with a variety of instruments. Several of the telescopes at the Maui Space Surveillance System were trained at the asteroid and collected adaptive optics images, photometry and spectroscopy. Analysis of the imagery reveals the asteroid is triangular shaped with significant self-shadowing. The photometry reveals a 20-hour period and the spectros...

  13. On the Discovery of the Asteroid 3784 Chopin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elst, E. W.

    Le 31 octobre 1986 lords d'une campagne de recherche d'asteroides a l'observatoire de Haute Provence, un asteroide de septieme magnitude fut decouvert. A l'occasion de l'opposition consecutive en 1988, l'asteroide fut observe a nouveau a l'observatoire de Haute Provence, ce qui entraina la numerotation definitive. L'asteroide recoit le numero 3874 et le nom du grand compositeur polonais, Chopin.

  14. Asteroid Redirect Mission Proximity Operations for Reference Target Asteroid 2008 EV5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, David M.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Cichy, Benjamin D.; Broschart, Steve B.; Deweese, Keith D.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is composed of two segments, the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), and the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM). In March of 2015, NASA selected the Robotic Boulder Capture Option1 as the baseline for the ARRM. This option will capture a multi-ton boulder, (typically 2-4 meters in size) from the surface of a large (greater than approx.100 m diameter) Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and return it to cis-lunar space for subsequent human exploration during the ARCM. Further human and robotic missions to the asteroidal material would also be facilitated by its return to cis-lunar space. In addition, prior to departing the asteroid, the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV) will perform a demonstration of the Enhanced Gravity Tractor (EGT) planetary defense technique2. This paper will discuss the proximity operations which have been broken into three phases: Approach and Characterization, Boulder Capture, and Planetary Defense Demonstration. Each of these phases has been analyzed for the ARRM reference target, 2008 EV5, and a detailed baseline operations concept has been developed.

  15. Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission: the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A.; Michel, P.

    2015-10-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor. AIDA is a joint ESA-NASA cooperative project, which includes the ESA Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) rendezvous spacecraft and the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. The AIDA target is the near-Earth binary asteroid 65803 Didymos, which will make an unusually close approach to Earth in October, 2022. The ~300-kg DART spacecraft is designed to impact the Didymos secondary at 6.5 km/s and demonstrate the ability to modify its trajectory through momentum transfer. The primary goals of AIDA are (i) to investigate the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos, (ii) to demonstrate asteroid deflection by kinetic impact and to characterize the deflection. The primary DART objectives are to demonstrate a hypervelocity impact on the Didymos moon and to determine the resulting deflection from ground-based observatories. The DART impact on the Didymos secondary will cause a measurable change in the orbital period of the binary.

  16. Early warning risk assessment for drinking water production: decoding subtle evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christoph; Lischeid, Gunnar; Böttcher, Steven

    2016-04-01

    Due to increasing demands for high quality water for drinking water supply all over the world there is acute need for methods to detect possible threats to groundwater resources early. Especially drinking water production in complex geologic settings has a particularly high risk for unexpected degradation of the groundwater quality due to the unknown interplay between anthropogenically induced hydraulic changes and geochemical processes. This study investigates the possible benefit of the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for groundwater and drinking water management using common sets of physicochemical monitoring data. The approach was used to identify the prevailing processes driving groundwater quality shifts and related threats, which might be masked in anthropogenically impacted aquifer systems. The approach was applied to a data set from a waterworks located in the state of Brandenburg, NE Germany, which has been operating since nearly four decades. The region faces confronting and increasing demands due to rising peri-urban settlements. The PCA subdivided the data set according to different strengths of effects induced by differing geochemical processes at different sites in the capture zone of the waterworks and varying in time. Thus a spatial assessment of these processes could be performed as well as a temporal assessment of long-term groundwater quality shifts in the extracted water. The analysis revealed that over the period of 16 years of water withdrawal the geochemistry of the extracted groundwater had become increasingly more dissimilar compared to the characteristics found at the majority of observation wells. This component could be identified as highly mineralized CaSO4 dominated water from unexamined deeper zones of the aquifer system. Due to the complex geochemical and hydraulic interactions in the system, this process was masked and was not evident in the data set without validation by the applied statistical analysis. The findings give a

  17. Determination of pole orientations and shapes of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnusson, Per; Barucci, M. Antonietta; Drummond, Jack D.; Lumme, Kari; Ostro, Steven J.

    1989-01-01

    The principles of asteroid light-curve inversion are discussed together with basic principles involved in approaches for deriving asteroid pole and shape parameters from photometry data. The merits of various pole determination techniques are described and compared. Results obtained so far on the pole orientations and shapes of asteroids are presented.

  18. 78 FR 51750 - NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-21

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop AGENCY: National Aeronautics and... for the agency's Asteroid Initiative. SUMMARY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a public conference to provide a status on the Agency's Asteroid Initiative planning and to enable...

  19. 78 FR 31977 - NASA Asteroid Initiative Call for Ideas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-28

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Asteroid Initiative Call for Ideas AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space... announces a public forum to provide a status on the agency's asteroid initiative planning and to encourage...: This meeting will be streamed live online. Viewing options will be posted at www.nasa.gov/asteroid...

  20. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-28

    ... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop AGENCY: National Aeronautics and... to the recent RFI for the agency's Asteroid Initiative. SUMMARY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces that the agency will resume the NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis public...

  1. Ivar asteroid rendezvous mission system scenario and trajectory design

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔平远; 李立涛; 崔祜涛; 栾恩杰; 吴伟仁; 田玉龙

    2003-01-01

    The asteroid exploration opportunities are searched and calculated with launch dates in 2006 to2010, and with asteroid Ivar 1627 as the target, the spacecraft and its subsystems are designed and analyzed,and the transfer trajectory is designed using △VEGA technology for the asteroid rendezvous. The design resultssatisfied the energy requirements for small explorers.

  2. Close Approaches of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids during Two Centuries

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Asteroids are the most important small bodies in the solar system and the near-earth asteroids (NEAs) are of especial concern to the world. The reasonis that they will make close approaches to the earth in the near future. We usea reasonable dynamical model and an efficient computing method to calculate the orbits of over 160 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) for two centuries.

  3. Dormant Comets in the Near-Earth Asteroid Population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mommert, Michael; Harris, Alan W.; Mueller, Michael; Hora, Joseph L.; Trilling, David E.; Knight, Matthew; Bottke, William F.; Thomas, Cristina; Delbo', Marco; Emery, Josh P.; Fazio, Giovanni; Smith, Howard A.

    2015-01-01

    The population of near-Earth objects comprises active comets and asteroids, covering a wide range of dynamical parameters and physical properties. Dormant (or extinct) comets, masquerading as asteroids, have long been suspected of supplementing the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. We present a

  4. Results of Observations of Occultations of Stars by Main-Belt and Trojan Asteroids, and the Promise of Gaia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, David W.; Herald, David Russell; Preston, Steven; Loader, Brian; Bixby Dunham, Joan

    2016-10-01

    For 40 years, the sizes and shapes of scores of asteroids have been determined from observations of asteroidal occultations, and many hundreds of high-precision positions of the asteroids relative to stars have been measured. Earlier this year, the 3000th observation of an asteroidal occultation was documented. Some of the first evidence for satellites of asteroids was obtained from the early efforts; now, the orbits and sizes of some satellites discovered by other means have been refined from occultation observations. Also, several close binary stars have been discovered, and the angular diameters of some stars have been measured from analysis of these observations. The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) coordinates this activity worldwide, from predicting and publicizing the events, to accurately timing the occultations from as many stations as possible, and publishing and archiving the observations. The first observations were timed visually, but now nearly all observations are either video-recorded, or recorded with CCD drift scans, allowing small magnitude-drop events to be recorded, and resulting in more consistent results. Techniques have been developed allowing one or two observers to set up multiple stations with small telescopes, video cameras, and timers, thereby recording many chords, even across a whole asteroid; some examples will be shown.Later this year, the first release of Gaia data will allow us to greatly improve the vast star catalog that we use for both predicting and analyzing these events. Although the first asteroidal data will wait until the 4th Gaia release, before that, we can greatly improve the orbits of asteroids that have occulted 3 or more stars in the past so that we can start computing the paths of future occultations by them to few km accuracy. In a couple of years, we'll be able to realistically predict one to two orders of magnitude more events than we can now, allowing efforts to be concentrated on smaller

  5. Defining a successful commercial asteroid mining program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Dana G.; Bonner, K. D.; Butterworth, A. W.; Calvert, H. R.; Dagang, B. R. H.; Dimond, K. J.; Eckenroth, L. G.; Erickson, J. M.; Gilbertson, B. A.; Gompertz, N. R.; Igbinosun, O. J.; Ip, T. J.; Khan, B. H.; Marquez, S. L.; Neilson, N. M.; Parker, C. O.; Ransom, E. H.; Reeve, B. W.; Robinson, T. L.; Rogers, M.; Schuh, P. M.; Tom, C. J.; Wall, S. E.; Watanabe, N.; Yoo, C. J.

    2015-03-01

    This paper summarizes a commercial Asteroid Mining Architecture synthesized by the Senior Space Design Class at the University of Washington in Winter/Spring Quarters of 2013. The main author was the instructor for that class. These results use design-to-cost development methods and focused infrastructure advancements to identify and characterize a workable space industrialization architecture including space transportation elements, asteroid exploration and mining equipment, and the earth orbit infrastructure needed to make it all work. Cost analysis predicts that for an initial investment in time and money equivalent to that for the US North Slope Oil Field, the yearly world supply of Platinum Group Metals could be increased by 50%, roughly 1500 t of LOX/LH2 propellant/year would be available in LEO, and very low cost solar panels could be assembled at GEO using asteroidal materials. The investment also would have a discounted net present value return on investment of 22% over twenty years.

  6. AIDA: the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-07-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is a joint cooperation between European and US space agencies that consists of two separate and independent spacecraft that will be launched to a binary asteroid system, the near-Earth asteroid Didymos, to assess the possibility of deflecting an asteroid trajectory by using a kinetic impactor. The European Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is under Phase A/B1 study at ESA from March 2015 until summer 2016. AIM is set to rendez-vous with the asteroid system a few months prior to the impact by the US Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft to fully characterize the smaller of the two binary components. AIM is a unique mission as it will be the first time that a spacecraft will investigate the surface, subsurface, and internal properties of a small binary near Earth asteroid. In addition it will perform various important technology demonstrations that can serve other space missions: AIM will release a set of CubeSats in deep space and a lander on the surface of the smaller asteroid and for the first time, deep-space inter-satellite linking will be demonstrated between the main spacecraft, the CubeSats, and the lander, and data will also be transmitted from interplanetary space to Earth by a laser communication system. The knowledge obtained by this mission will have great implications for our understanding of the history of the Solar System. Small asteroids are believed to result from collisions and other processes (e.g., spinup, shaking) that made them what they are now. Having direct information on their surface and internal properties will allow us to understand how these processes work and transform these small bodies as well as, for this particular case, how a binary system forms. So far, our understanding of the collisional process and the validation of numerical simulations of the impact process rely on impact experiments at laboratory scales. With DART, thanks to the characterization of the

  7. The Potentially Dangerous Asteroid (101955 Bennu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Włodarczyk

    2014-01-01

    searching for close approaches with the earth, which can lead to possible impacts up to 2200. With the A2 nongravitational parameter in the motion of the asteroid (101955 Bennu we computed possible impact solutions using different JPL planetary and lunar ephemerides and different number of additional massive perturbed asteroids. The possible impact path of risk for 2175 is presented. Additionally, we computed possible impact solutions using the normal places method of the selection of Bennu’s astrometric observations. Moreover, we computed time evolution of the mean orbital elements and the orbital nodes of Bennu 5 kyr in the backwards and 1 kyr in the future using the Yarkovsky effects. We computed the mean motion and secular orbital resonances of the Bennu. We also computed the influence of the JPL planetary and lunar ephemerides DE403, DE405, DE406, DE414, and DE423 on the close approaches of the asteroid (101955 Bennu with the earth.

  8. Measurement of Cohesion in Asteroid Regolith Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Gaier, James R.; Waters, Deborah L.; Harvey, Ralph; Zeszut, Zoe; Carreno, Brandon; Shober, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    A study has been initiated to examine cohesive forces in asteroid materials to contribute to a better understanding of low density bodies such as asteroids and Phobos, and assist in exploration missions involving interaction with their surface material. The test specimen used in this study was a lightly weathered CM2 meteorite which is spectroscopically similar to Type C (carbonaceous) asteroids, and thought to have representative surface chemistry. To account for sample heterogeneity, adhesion forces were measured between the CM2 sample and its five primary mineral phase components. These adhesive forces bound the range of cohesive force that can be expected for the bulk material. All materials were characterized using a variety of optical and spectroscopic methods. Adhesive forces on the order of 50 to 400 µN were measured using a torsion balance in an ultrahigh vacuum chamber. The mineral samples exhibited clearly different adhesive strengths in the following hierarchy: Serpentine > Siderite > Bronzite > Olivine ˜ Fe-Ni.

  9. Impact Record of a Asteroid Regolith Recorded in a Carbonaceous Chrondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, Michael; Mikouchi, Takashi; Hagiya, Kenji; Ohsumi, Kazumasa; Komatsu, Mutsumi; Chan, Queenie H. S.; Le, Loan; Kring, David; Cato, Michael; Fagan, Amy L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    C-class asteroids frequently exhibit reflectance spectra consistent with thermally metamor-phosed carbonaceous chondrites [1], or a mixture of phyllosilicate-rich material along with regions where they are absent [2]. One particularly important example appears to be asteroid 162173 Ryugu, the target of the Hayabusa 2 mission [1], although most spectra of Ryugu are featureless, suggesting a heterogeneous regolith [3]. Here we explore an alternative cause of dehydration of regolith of C-class asteroids - impact shock melting. Impact shock melting has been proposed to ex-plain some mineralogical characteristics of CB chondrites [4], but has rarely been considered a major process for hydrous carbonaceous chondrites [5]. Jbilet Winselwan (JW) is a very fresh CM breccia from Morocco, with intriguing characteristics. While some lithologies are typical of CM2s (Figure 1, top), other clasts show evidence of brief, though significant impact brecciation and heating. The first evidence for this came from preliminary petrographic and stable isotope studies [6,7]. We contend that highly-brecciated, partially-shocked, and dehydrated lithologies like those in JW dominate C-class asteroid regolith.

  10. Rotational properties of the Maria asteroid family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M.; Choi, Y.; Moon, H.; Byun, Y.; Brosch, N.; Kaplan, M.; Kaynar, S.; Uysal, O.; Guzel, E.; Behrend, R.; Yoon, J.; Mottola, S.; Hellmich, S.; Hinse, T.; Eker, Z.; Park, J.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The Maria family is regarded as an old-type (˜3 ± 1 Gyr) [1] asteroid family which has experienced substantial collisional and dynamical evolution in the main belt. It is located near the 3:1 Jupiter mean-motion resonance area that supplies near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) to the inner Solar System. Observations: We carried out observations of Maria family asteroids in 134 nights from July 2008 to May 2013 using 0.5-m to 2-m class telescopes at seven observatories in the northern hemisphere, and derived synodic rotational periods for 51 objects, including new periods for 34 asteroids [2]. Results: We found that there is a significant excess of fast and slow rotators in the observed rotation-rate distribution. From the correlations among rotational periods, the amplitudes of lightcurves, and the sizes, we conclude that the rotational properties of the Maria family asteroids have been changed considerably by non-gravitational forces such as the YORP effect. Using the lightcurve inversion method [3,4], we successfully determined pole orientations for 13 Maria members, and found an excess of prograde spins over retrograde spins with a ratio (N_p/N_r) of 3. This implies that the retrograde rotators could have been ejected by the 3:1 resonance into the inner Solar System since the formation of the Maria family. We estimate that approximately 37 to 75 Maria family asteroids larger than 1 km have entered the near-Earth space as per 100 Myr [2].

  11. A Proposed Unified Theory of Hydrated Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2016-10-01

    The last decade has seen tremendous growth in the study of hydrated and hydroxylated minerals (hereafter simply called "hydrated minerals") on asteroids. Several workers have used absorptions in the 3-µm region and a correlated absorption near 0.7 µm to determine not only the presence or absence of these minerals but gain insight into the compositions of asteroid surfaces. Spectra of hundreds of asteroids have been measured and published or presented at meetings, and we are in a position to use these newer datasets to globally assess the patterns and relationships we see, as previously done by Jones et al. (1990) and Takir et al. (2012). There are several points to be addressed by any such assessment. Several different band shapes are seen in the 3-µm region, only one of which is seen in the hydrated meteorites in our collections. However, each of the main 3-µm band shapes is represented among parent bodies of collisional families. There seems to be little correlation in general between asteroid spectral class and 3-µm band shape, save for the Ch meteorites which are overwhelmingly likely to share the same band shape as the CM meteorites. Ceres has an unusual but not unique band shape, which has thus far only been found on the largest asteroids. I will present an outline scenario for the formation and evolution of hydrated asteroids, where aqueous alteration serves to lithify some objects while other objects remain unlithified and still others differentiate and suffer collisional modification. While some details will no doubt be altered to account for better or new information, this scenario is offered as a starting point for discussion.

  12. Orbital Mechanics near a Rotating Asteroid

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Yu Jiang; Hexi Baoyin

    2014-03-01

    This study investigates the different novel forms of the dynamical equations of a particle orbiting a rotating asteroid and the effective potential, the Jacobi integral, etc. on different manifolds. Nine new forms of the dynamical equations of a particle orbiting a rotating asteroid are presented, and the classical form of the dynamical equations has also been found. The dynamical equations with the potential and the effective potential in scalar form in the arbitrary body-fixed frame and the special body-fixed frame are presented and discussed. Moreover, the simplified forms of the effective potential and the Jacobi integral have been derived. The dynamical equation in coefficient-matrix form has been derived. Other forms of the dynamical equations near the asteroid are presented and discussed, including the Lagrange form, the Hamilton form, the symplectic form, the Poisson form, the Poisson-bracket form, the cohomology form, and the dynamical equations on Kähler manifold and another complex manifold. Novel forms of the effective potential and the Jacobi integral are also presented. The dynamical equations in scalar form and coefficient-matrix form can aid in the study of the dynamical system, the bifurcation, and the chaotic motion of the orbital dynamics of a particle near a rotating asteroid. The dynamical equations of a particle near a rotating asteroid are presented on several manifolds, including the symplectic manifold, the Poisson manifold, and complex manifolds, which may lead to novel methods of studying the motion of a particle in the potential field of a rotating asteroid.

  13. PHYS: Division of Physical Chemistry 258 - Properties and Origins of Cometary and Asteroidal Organic Matter Delivered to the Early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Nguyen, Ann

    2017-01-01

    Comets and asteroids may have contributed much of the Earth's water and organic matter. The Earth accretes approximately 4x10(exp 7) Kg of dust and meteorites from these sources every year. The least altered meteorites contain complex assemblages of organic compounds and abundant hydrated minerals. These carbonaceous chondrite meteorites probably derive from asteroids that underwent hydrothermal processing within the first few million years after their accretion. Meteorite organics show isotopic and chemical signatures of low-T ion-molecule and grain-surface chemistry and photolysis of icy grains that occurred in cold molecular clouds and the outer protoplanetary disk. These signatures have been overprinted by aqueously mediated chemistry in asteroid parent bodies, forming amino acids and other prebiotic molecules. Comets are much richer in organic matter but it is less well characterized. Comet dust collected in the stratosphere shows larger H and N isotopic anomalies than most meteorites, suggesting better preservation of primordial organics. Rosetta studies of comet 67P coma dust find complex organic matter that may be related to the macromolecular material that dominates the organic inventory of primitive meteorites. The exogenous organic material accreting on Earth throughout its history is made up of thousands of molecular species formed in diverse processes ranging from circumstellar outflows to chemistry at near absolute zero in dark cloud cores and the formative environment within minor planets. NASA and JAXA are currently flying sample return missions to primitive, potentially organic-rich asteroids. The OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2 missions will map their target asteroids, Bennu and Ryugu, in detail and return regolith samples to Earth. Laboratory analyses of these pristine asteroid samples will provide unprecedented views of asteroidal organic matter relatively free of terrestrial contamination within well determined geological context. Studies of

  14. Asteroidal Quadruples in non Rooted Path Graphs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutierrez Marisa

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A directed path graph is the intersection graph of a family of directed subpaths of a directed tree. A rooted path graph is the intersection graph of a family of directed subpaths of a rooted tree. Rooted path graphs are directed path graphs. Several characterizations are known for directed path graphs: one by forbidden induced subgraphs and one by forbidden asteroids. It is an open problem to find such characterizations for rooted path graphs. For this purpose, we are studying in this paper directed path graphs that are non rooted path graphs. We prove that such graphs always contain an asteroidal quadruple.

  15. Capturing near-Earth asteroids around Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasnain, Zaki; Lamb, Christopher A.; Ross, Shane D.

    2012-12-01

    The list of detected near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is constantly growing. NEAs are likely targets for resources to support space industrialization, as they may be the least expensive source of certain needed raw materials. The limited supply of precious metals and semiconducting elements on Earth may be supplemented or even replaced by the reserves floating in the form of asteroids around the solar system. Precious metals make up a significant fraction NEAs by mass, and even one metallic asteroid of ˜1km size and fair enrichment in platinum-group metals would contain twice the tonnage of such metals already harvested on Earth. There are ˜1000 NEAs with a diameter of greater than 1 km. Capturing these asteroids around the Earth would expand the mining industry into an entirely new dimension. Having such resources within easy reach in Earth's orbit could provide an off-world environmentally friendly remedy for impending terrestrial shortages, especially given the need for raw materials in developing nations. In this paper, we develop and implement a conceptually simple algorithm to determine trajectory characteristics necessary to move NEAs into capture orbits around the Earth. Altered trajectories of asteroids are calculated using an ephemeris model. Only asteroids of eccentricity less than 0.1 have been studied and the model is restricted to the ecliptic plane for simplicity. We constrain the time of retrieval to be 10 years or less, based on considerations of the time to return on investment. For the heliocentric phase, constant acceleration is assumed. The acceleration required for transporting these asteroids from their undisturbed orbits to the sphere of influence of the Earth is the primary output, along with the impulse or acceleration necessary to effect capture to a bound orbit once the Earth's sphere of influence is reached. The initial guess for the constant acceleration is provided by a new estimation method, similar in spirit to Edelbaum's. Based on the

  16. Collisional evolution of the early asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Hutton, Ricardo; Brunini, Adrián

    1999-04-01

    We present numerical results obtained by a simulation of the collisional process between asteroids and scattered comets from the Uranus-Neptune zone. This mechanism allows the use of single exponent incremental size distributions for the initial belt reaching a final distribution that matches the observed population very well. Since the cometary bombardment was extremely efficient removing mass from the primordial asteroid belt in a very short time, we always obtained belts with total masses less than 0.001 M ⊕ after ≈ 2×10 7 yrs. This result allows processes with an important initial mass preserving Vestas basaltic crust.

  17. Gravitational Capture of Asteroids by Gas Drag

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Vieira Neto

    2009-01-01

    captured by the planet got its velocity reduced and could been trapped as an irregular satellite. It is well known that, depending on the time scale of the gas envelope, an asteroid will spiral and collide with the planet. So, we simulate the passage of the asteroid in the gas envelope with its density decreasing along the time. Using this approach, we found effective captures, and have a better understanding of the whole process. Finally, we conclude that the origin of the irregular satellites cannot be attributed to the gas drag capture mechanism alone.

  18. Manuel′s asteroid disruption technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel John

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A seventy-year-old male presented with dense asteroid hyalosis in both eyes. He had undergone cataract extraction in one eye 3 years ago, and the other eye had immature cataract. Both the autorefractor and dilated streak retinoscopy did not give readings and subjective visual improvement could not be achieved. Immediately following YAG posterior capsulotomy and anterior vitreous asteroid disruption, the vision improved to 20/20 with recordable auto refractor and streak retinoscopy values. Our initial experience indicates that the treatment is simple, safe and effective but needs controlled and prospective studies to confirm its long-term safety.

  19. Two- and Three-Dimensional Simulations of Asteroid Ocean Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisler, G.; Weaver, R. P.; Mader, C. L.; Gittings, M. L.

    2003-01-01

    We have performed a series of two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations of asteroid impacts into an ocean using the SAGE code from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Science Applications International Corporation. The SAGE code is a compressible Eulerian hydrodynamics code using continuous adaptive mesh refinement for following discontinuities with a fine grid while treating the bulk of the simulation more coarsely. We have used tabular equations of state for the atmosphere, water, the oceanic crust, and the mantle. In two dimensions, we simulated asteroid impactors moving at 20 km/s vertically through an exponential atmosphere into a 5 km deep ocean. The impactors were composed of mantle material (3.32 g/cc) or iron (7.8 g/cc) with diameters from 250m to 10 km. In our three-dimensional runs we simulated asteroids of 1 km diameter composed of iron moving at 20 km/s at angles of 45 and 60 degrees from the vertical. All impacts, including the oblique ones, produce large underwater cavities with nearly vertical walls followed by a collapse starting from the bottom and subsequent vertical jetting. Substantial amounts of water are vaporized and lofted high into the atmosphere. In the larger impacts, significant amounts of crustal and even mantle material are lofted as well. Tsunamis up to a kilometer in initial height are generated by the collapse of the vertical jet. These waves are initially complex in form, and interact strongly with shocks propagating through the water and the crust. The tsunami waves are followed out to 100 km from the point of impact. Their periods and wavelengths show them to be intermediate type waves, and not (in general) shallow-water waves. At great distances, the waves decay faster than the inverse of the distance from the impact point, ignoring sea-floor topography. For all impactors smaller than about 2 km diameter, the impacting body is highly fragmented and its remains lofted into the stratosphere with the water vapor and crustal

  20. TWO- AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL SIMULATIONS OF ASTEROID OCEAN IMPACTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Gittings

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available We have performed a series of two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations of asteroid impacts into an ocean using the SAGE code from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Science Applications International Corporation. The SAGE code is a compressible Eulerian hydrodynamics code using continuous adaptive mesh refinement for following discontinuities with a fine grid while treating the bulk of the simulation more coarsely. We have used realistic equations of state for the atmosphere, sea water, the oceanic crust, and the mantle. In two dimensions, we simulated asteroid impactors moving at 20 km/s vertically through an exponential atmosphere into a 5 km deep ocean. The impactors were composed of mantle material (3.32 g/cc or iron (7.8 g/cc with diameters from 250m to 10 km. In our three-dimensional runs we simulated asteroids of 1 km diameter composed of iron moving at 20 km/s at angles of 45 and 60 degrees from the vertical. All impacts, including the oblique ones, produce a large underwater cavities with nearly vertical walls followed by a collapse starting from the bottom and subsequent vertical jetting. Substantial amounts of water are vaporized and lofted high into the atmosphere. In the larger impacts, significant amounts of crustal and even mantle material are lofted as well. Tsunamis up to a kilometer in initial height are generated by the collapse of the vertical jet. These waves are initially complex in form, and interact strongly with shocks propagating through the water and the crust. The tsunami waves are followed out to 100 km from the point of impact. Their periods and wavelengths show them to be intermediate type waves, and not (in general shallow-water waves. At great distances, the waves decay as the inverse of the distance from the impact point, ignoring sea-floor topography. For all impactors smaller than about 2 km diameter, the impacting body is highly fragmented and its remains lofted into the stratosphere with the water

  1. Heliocentric zoning of the asteroid belt by aluminum-26 heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, R. E.; Mcsween, H. Y., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Variations in petrology among meteorites attest to a strong heating event early in solar system history, but the heat source has remained unresolved. Aluminum-26 has been considered the most likely high-energy, short-lived radionuclide (half-life 0.72 million years) since the discovery of its decay product - excess Mg-26 - in Allende CAI's. Furthermore, observation of relict Mg-26 in an achondritic clast and in feldspars within ordinary chondrites (3,4) provided strong evidence for live Al-26 in meteorite parent bodies and not just in refractory nebular condensates. The inferred amount of Al-26 is consistent with constraints on the thermal evolution of both ordinary and carbonaceous chondrite parent objects up to a few hundred kilometers in diameter. Meteorites can constrain the early thermal evolution of their parent body locations, provided that a link can be established between asteroid spectrophotometric signature and meteorite class. Asteroid compositions are heliocentrically distributed: objects thought to have experienced high metamorphic or even melting temperatures are located closer to the sun, whereas apparently unaltered or mildly heated asteroids are located farther away. Heliocentric zoning could be the result of Al-26 heating if the initial amount of the radionuclide incorporated into planetesimals was controlled by accretion time, which in turn varies with semimajor axis. Analytic expressions for planetary accretion may be integrated to given the time, tau, required for a planetesimal to grow to a specified radius: tau varies as a(sup n), where n = 1.5 to 3 depending on the assumptions about variations in the surface density of the planetesimal swarm. Numerical simulations of planetesimal accretion at fixed semimajor axis demonstrate that variations in accretion time among small planetesimals can be strongly nonlinear depending on the initial conditions and model assumptions. The general relationship with semimajor axis remains valid because it

  2. Evidence from Chile that arsenic in drinking water may increase mortality from pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Allan H; Marshall, Guillermo; Yuan, Yan; Liaw, Jane; Ferreccio, Catterina; Steinmaus, Craig

    2011-02-15

    Arsenic in drinking water causes increased mortality from several cancers, ischemic heart disease, bronchiectasis, and other diseases. This paper presents the first evidence relating arsenic exposure to pulmonary tuberculosis, by estimating mortality rate ratios for Region II of Chile compared with Region V for the years 1958-2000. The authors compared mortality rate ratios with time patterns of arsenic exposure, which increased abruptly in 1958 in Region II and then declined starting in 1971. Tuberculosis mortality rate ratios in men started increasing in 1968, 10 years after high arsenic exposure commenced. The peak male 5-year mortality rate ratio occurred during 1982-1986 (rate ratio = 2.1, 95% confidence interval: 1.7, 2.6; P cause of chronic lung disease. Finding weaker associations in women is unsurprising, because this is true of most arsenic-caused health effects. Confirmatory evidence is needed from other arsenic-exposed populations.

  3. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: Overview and Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Brophy, John; Mazanek, Dan; Muirhead, Brian

    A major element of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) new Asteroid Initiative is the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). This concept was first proposed in 2011 during a feasibility study at the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)[1] and is under consideration for implementation by NASA. The ARM involves sending a high-efficiency (ISP 3000 s), high-power (40 kW) solar electric propulsion (SEP) robotic vehicle that leverages technology developed by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) and return asteroidal material to a stable lunar distant retrograde orbit (LDRO)[2]. There are two mission concepts currently under study, one that captures an entire 7 - 10 meter mean diameter NEA[3], and another that retrieves a 1 - 10 meter mean diameter boulder from a 100+ meter class NEA[4]. Once the retrieved asteroidal material is placed into the LDRO, a two person crew would launch aboard an Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic SEP vehicle. After docking, the crew would conduct two extra-vehicular activities (EVA) to collect asteroid samples and deploy instruments prior to Earth return. The crewed portion of the mission is expected to last approximately 25 days and would represent the first human exploration mission beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) since the Apollo program. The ARM concept leverages NASA’s activities in Human Exploration, Space Technology, and Planetary Defense to accomplish three primary objectives and several secondary objectives. The primary objective relevant to Human Exploration is to gain operational experience with vehicles, systems, and components that will be utilized for future deep space exploration. In regard to Space Technology, the ARM utilizes advanced SEP technology that has high power and long duration capabilities that enable future missions to deep space destinations, such as the Martian system. With respect to Planetary Defense, the ARM

  4. A Potpourri of Near-Earth Asteroid Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholen, David J.; Ramanjooloo, Yudish; Fohring, Dora; Hung, Denise; Micheli, Marco

    2016-10-01

    Ongoing astrometric follow-up of near-Earth asteroids has yielded a variety of interesting results. In the limited space of a DPS abstract, three recently observed objects are worth mentioning.2008 HU4 is among the most accessible asteroids for a human space flight mission. We successfully recovered this object at a second opposition on 2016 April 26 despite the large ephemeris uncertainty. The small size of this asteroid makes it relatively easy to detect the departure from purely gravitational motion caused by solar radiation pressure, which can be used to estimate the density of the object. At the time of this writing, the object remains bright enough for additional observations, so we expect to improve on our five-sigma detection of a relatively low density (roughly similar to water, indicating a high porosity) between now and the DPS meeting.2016 HO3 is a newly-discovered co-orbital with the Earth. Our 2016 May 10-11 observations extended the observational arc by enough to permit backward extrapolation that led to prediscovery observations by Pan-STARRS in 2015, and then annually back to 2011, and ultimately to Sloan DSS observations in 2004. The 12-year arc is sufficient to examine the dynamical behavior of the object, which shows how it will remain in the vicinity of the Earth for decades, if not centuries. Our observations also revealed a rapid rotation (less than a half hour) with large brightness variation (in excess of 1 magnitude), which helps to explain why this object eluded discovery until this year.2011 YV62 is among the top 20 largest near-Earth asteroids with Earth impact solutions (in 2078 and 2080). At the time of this writing, the object is flagged as being "lost", but a re-examination of observations made in 2013 and 2015 finally yielded a successful recovery at a magnitude fainter than 24. We expect the new observations to eliminate the impact possibilities. The story behind this difficult recovery is fascinating.

  5. The Science of Asteroid Sample Return Mission Hayabusa2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Yoshikawa, M.; Watanabe, S.

    2015-12-01

    Hayabusa2, which is the follow-on mission of Hayabusa, was launched on Dec. 3, 2014. The target asteroid is (162173) 1999 JU3, a C-type, small Near Earth Asteroid. The principal purpose of Hayabusa2 is to study the origin and evolution of the solar system, especially the origin of organic matters and waters on the earth. Hayabusa2 will arrive at 1999 JU3 in June or July 2018, stay there for about one and half years, leave there at the end of 2019, and come back to the earth at the end of 2020. The main mission is the sample return, taking the surface materials of 1999 JU3 and bringing them back to the earth. We will try to get the samples not only from the surface but also from the subsurface by creating a small crater on the surface of the asteroid (see the figure). Hayabusa2 has remote sensing instruments as follows: Optical Navigation Cameras (ONC-T/W1/W2), Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRS3), Thermal Infrared Imager (TIR), and Laser Altimeter (LIDAR). It has also three small rovers (MINERVA-II-1A/1B/2), and one small lander (MASCOT), which was provided by DLR and CNES. Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) is used to create a small crater and the impact event is observed by a deployable camera (DCAM3). Thus we can use a wide variety of data to study this C-type asteroid. And of course, we will analyze the samples in detail after the capsule of Hayabusa2 comes back to the earth. For the science researches, we have Hayabusa2 science team in Japan. As for the international science discussions we organized Hayabusa2 Joint Science Team (HJST). HJST is presently consists of Japanese science members and European members who are mostly related MASCOT. We had four general meetings up to now. In this year (2015), NASA announced Hayabusa2 Participating Scientist Program. If US scientists are selected, they will be the members of HJST. In addition to this, we have started discussions with OSIRIS-REx team for the science collaboration. We hope that Hayabusa2 will produce much more

  6. Experimental evidence of wave chaos from a double slit experiment with water surface waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yunfei; Shen, Yifeng; Yang, Jiong; Liu, Xiaohan; Zi, Jian; Li, Baowen

    2008-10-01

    In this paper, we report experimental evidence of wave chaos using the double slit water surface wave experiment. We demonstrate that classical dynamics of a domain manifests itself in the interference patterns after the diffraction behind the double slit. For a domain whose classical dynamics is integrable clear interference fringes can be observed behind the double slits; for a domain whose classical dynamics is chaotic, however, interference fringes can totally disappear. Our experimental results clearly demonstrate that the centuries-old double slit experiment can render an excellent tool to observe the manifestations of wave chaos.

  7. Failure mode diagram of rubble pile asteroids: Application to (25143) asteroid Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Proposing a diagram which shows the variation in asteroidal failure as a function of a spin period, later called the failure mode diagram, this paper considers the failure modes and conditions of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. This diagram is useful to describe when and where failure occurs in an asteroid. Assuming that Itokawa is homogeneous, we use a plastic finite element code to obtain the diagram for this object. The results show that if the bulk cohesive strength is less than 0.1 Pa, Itokawa experiences compressional failure on the neck surface at the current spin period 12.1 hours. At a spin period shorter than 4.5 hours, tension across the neck causes this asteroid to split into two components. It is also found that if the breakup spin period is longer than 5.2 hours, their motion is bounded. This implies that once Itokawa splits, the components may escape from one another.

  8. Hungaria asteroid region telescopic spectral survey (HARTSS) I: Stony asteroids abundant in the Hungaria background population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Michael P.; Emery, Joshua P.; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Lindsay, Sean S.; Lorenzi, Vania

    2017-07-01

    The Hungaria asteroids remain as survivors of late giant planet migration that destabilized a now extinct inner portion of the primordial asteroid belt and left in its wake the current resonance structure of the Main Belt. In this scenario, the Hungaria region represents a ;purgatory; for the closest, preserved samples of the asteroidal material from which the terrestrial planets accreted. Deciphering the surface composition of these unique samples may provide constraints on the nature of the primordial building blocks of the terrestrial planets. We have undertaken an observational campaign entitled the Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS) to record near-infrared (NIR) reflectance spectra in order to characterize their taxonomy, surface mineralogy, and potential meteorite analogs. The overall objective of HARTSS is to evaluate the compositional diversity of asteroids located throughout the Hungaria region. This region harbors a collisional family of Xe-type asteroids, which are situated among a background (i.e., non-family) of predominantly S-complex asteroids. In order to assess the compositional diversity of the Hungaria region, we have targeted background objects during Phase I of HARTSS. Collisional family members likely reflect the composition of one original homogeneous parent body, so we have largely avoided them in this phase. We have employed NIR instruments at two ground-based telescope facilities: the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), and the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG). Our data set includes the NIR spectra of 42 Hungaria asteroids (36 background; 6 family). We find that stony S-complex asteroids dominate the Hungaria background population (29/36 objects; ∼80%). C-complex asteroids are uncommon (2/42; ∼5%) within the Hungaria region. Background S-complex objects exhibit considerable spectral diversity as band parameter measurements of diagnostic absorption features near 1- and 2-μm indicate that several

  9. Sensitivity of the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) to Launch Date and Asteroid Stay Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcguire, Melissa L.; Burke, Laura M.; McCarty, Steven L.; Strange, Nathan J.; Qu, Min; Shen, Haijun; Vavrina, Matthew A.

    2017-01-01

    National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASAs) proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is being designed to robotically capture and then redirect an asteroidal boulder mass into a stable orbit in the vicinity of the moon, where astronauts would be able to visit and study it. The current reference trajectory for the robotic portion, ARRM, assumes a launch on a Delta IV H in the end of the calendar year 2021, with a return for astronaut operations in cislunar space in 2026. The current baseline design allocates 245 days of stay time at the asteroid for operations and boulder collection. This paper outlines analysis completed by the ARRM mission design team to understand the sensitivity of the reference trajectory to launch date and asteroid stay time.

  10. The Chelyabinsk superbolide: a fragment of asteroid 2011 EO40?

    CERN Document Server

    Marcos, C de la Fuente

    2013-01-01

    Bright fireballs or bolides are caused by meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed. On 2013 February 15, a superbolide was observed in the skies near Chelyabinsk, Russia. Such a meteor could be the result of the decay of an asteroid and here we explore this possibility applying a multistep approach. First, we use available data and Monte Carlo optimization (validated using 2008 TC3 as template) to obtain a robust solution for the pre-impact orbit of the Chelyabinsk impactor (semimajor axis = 1.62 au, eccentricity = 0.53, inclination = 3.82 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 326.41 deg and argument of perihelion = 109.44 deg). Then, we use this most probable orbit and numerical analysis to single out candidates for membership in, what we call, the Chelyabinsk asteroid family. Finally, we perform N-body simulations to either confirm or reject any dynamical connection between candidates and impactor. We find reliable statistical evidence on the existence of the Chelyabinsk cluster. It appears...

  11. Laboratory Studies of Cometary Materials - Continuity Between Asteroid and Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Walker, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Laboratory analysis of cometary samples have been enabled by collection of cometary dust in the stratosphere by high altitude aircraft and by the direct sampling of the comet Wild-2 coma by the NASA Stardust spacecraft. Cometary materials are composed of a complex assemblage of highly primitive, unprocessed interstellar and primordial solar system materials as well as a variety of high temperature phases that must have condensed in the inner regions of the protoplanetary disk. These findings support and contradict conclusions of comet properties based solely on astronomical observations. These sample return missions have instead shown that there is a continuity of properties between comets and asteroids, where both types of materials show evidence for primitive and processed materials. Furthermore, these findings underscore the importance and value of direct sample return. There will be great value in comparing the findings of the Stardust cometary coma sample return mission with those of future asteroid surface sample returns OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa II as well as future comet nucleus sample returns.

  12. Core Formation and Evolution of Asteroid 4 Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Mittlefehldt, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The howardites, eucrites, and diogenites (HEDs) are a suite of related meteorite types that formed by igneous and impact processes on the same parent body. Multiple lines of evidence, including infrared spectroscopy of the asteroid belt and the petrology and geochemistry of the HEDs, suggest that the asteroid 4 Vesta is the parent body for the HEDs. Observations by NASA's Dawn spacecraft mission strongly support the conclusion that the HEDs are from Vesta. The abundances of the moderately siderophile elements Ni, Co, Mo, W, and P in eucrites require that most or all of the metallic phase in Vesta segregated to form a core prior to eucrite solidification. These observations place important constraints on the mode and timescale of core formation on Vesta. Possible core formation mechanisms include porous flow, which potentially could occur prior to initiation of silicate melting, and metallic rain in a largely molten silicate magma ocean. Once the core forms, convection within the core could possible sustain a magnetic dynamo for a period of time. We consider each process in turn.

  13. Tidal stress and failure in the moon of binary asteroid systems: Application to asteroid (65803) Didymos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sophal Pou, Laurent; Garcia, Raphael F.; Mimoun, David; Murdoch, Naomi; Karatekin, Ozgur

    2017-04-01

    Rocky remnants left over from the early formation of the Solar System, asteroids are a target of choice for planetary science since much about the history of planetary formation and small body evolution processes can be learnt by studying them. Here we consider the case of the binary asteroid (65803) Didymos, the target of several mission proposals e.g., AIM [1] and DART [2]. A mission to Didymos would be a great opportunity for in-situ geophysical investigation, providing information on the surface and interior of asteroids. Such studies would improve our knowledge of binary asteroid formation and subsequent evolution of asteroids, thus of the history of the Solar System. As Didymos is a binary asteroid [3] with the main 800-meter diameter asteroid named Didymain and a 150-meter sized moon named Didymoon, both are subject to tidal stress. Recent investigations suggest that Didymoon is tidally locked and moves in a retrograde motion around Didymain along an elliptic orbit with a 0.03 eccentricity at most. In the case of an eccentric orbit, the tidal stress varies periodically and may be strong enough to cause tidal quakes on Didymoon at some points of the orbit. For this study, we modelled Didymoon as a spherical, layered body with different internal structures: a homogeneous model, and two models with a 1-meter and 10-meter regolith layer on top of a stronger internal core. Simulations show that, for a cohesionless body with an internal friction angle of 30°, tidal stress is strong enough to cause failure at the surface of Didymoon. A maximal stress is reached around the poles and for a mean anomaly of 90°. These results would mean that if tidal quakes occur on Didymoon, then they are likely to happen at these locations. An extension of these results to an ellipsoidal model of Didymoon is also presented for comparison with the spherical case and for application to other bodies. [1]: P. Michel et al., Science case for the asteroid impact mission (aim): A

  14. Searching for a Differentiated Asteroid Family: A Spectral Survey of the Massalia, Merxia, and Agnia Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina A.; Lim, Lucy; Moskovitz, Nicholas; Trilling, David

    2015-11-01

    Asteroid families were formed by catastrophic collisions or large cratering events that caused fragmentation of the parent body and ejection of asteroidal fragments with velocities sufficient to prevent re-accretion. Due to these formation processes, asteroid families should provide us with the opportunity to probe the interiors of the former parent bodies. Differentiation of a large initially chondritic parent body is expected to result in an "onion shell" object with an iron-nickel core, a thick olivine-dominated mantle, and a thin plagioclase/pyroxene crust. However, most asteroid families tend to show similar spectra (and therefore composition) among the members. Spectroscopic studies have observed a paucity of metal-like materials and olivine-dominated assemblages within the Main Belt asteroid families.The deficit of olivine-rich mantle material in the meteorite record and in asteroid observations is known as the "Missing Mantle" problem. For years the best explanation has been the "battered to bits" hypothesis: that all differentiated parent bodies (aside from Vesta) were disrupted very early in the Solar System and the resulting olivine-rich material was collisionally broken down over time until the object diameters fell below our observational limits. In a competing hypothesis, Elkins-Tanton et al. (2013) have suggested that previous work has overestimated the amount of olivine produced by the differentiation of a chondritic parent body.We are conducting a visible and near-infrared wavelength spectral survey of asteroids in the Massalia, Merxia, and Agnia S-type Main Belt asteroid families. These families were carefully chosen for the proposed spectroscopic survey because they have compositions most closely associated with a history of thermal metamorphism and because they represent a range of collisional formation scenarios. In addition, the relatively young ages (under 400 Myr) of these families permit testing of the “battering to bits'' timescale. We

  15. Unveiling clues from Spacecraft Missions to Comets and Asteroids through Impact Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, Susan M.; Jensen, Elizabeth; Fane, Michael; Smith, Douglas; Holmes, Jacob; Keller, Lindsay P.; Lindsay, Sean S.; Wooden, Diane H.; Whizin, Akbar; Cintala, Mark J.; Zolensky, Michael

    2016-10-01

    The Deep Impact Spacecraft mission was the first to boldly face the challenge of impacting the surface of a comet, 9P/Tempel 1, to investigate surface and subsurface 'pristine' materials. The Stardust mission to Comet 81P/Wild 2 brought back an exciting surprise: shocked minerals which were likely altered during the comet's lifetime. Signatures of shock in meteorites also suggest that the violent past of the solar system has left our small bodies with signatures of impacts and collisions. These results have led to the question: How have impacts affected the evolutionary path taken by comets and asteroids, and what signatures can be observed?A future planetary mission to a near-Earth asteroid is proposing to take the next steps toward understanding small bodies through impacts. The mission would combine an ESA led AIM (Asteroid Impact Mission) with a JHU/APL led DART (Double Asteroid Redirect Mission) spacecraft to rendezvous with binary near-Earth asteroid 65803 Didymus (1996 G2). DART would impact the smaller asteroid, 'Didymoon' while AIM would characterize the impact and the larger Didymus asteroid.With these missions in mind, a suite of experiments have been conducted at the Experimental Impact Laboratory (EIL) at NASA Johnson Space Center to investigate the effects that collisions may have on comets and asteroids. With the new capability of the vertical gun to cool targets in the chamber through the use of a cold jacket fed by liquid nitrogen, the effects of target temperature have been the focus of recent studies. Mg-rich forsterite and enstatite (orthopyroxene), diopside (monoclinic pyroxene) and magnesite (Mg-rich carbonate) were impacted. Target temperatures ranged from 25°C to -100°C, monitored by connecting thermocouples to the target container. Impacted targets were analyzed with a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Here we present the evidence for impact-induced shock in the minerals through

  16. Searching for Brazil Nuts on Q-type near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLennan, Eric M.; Emery, Joshua P.; Rozitis, Benjamin

    2016-10-01

    Q-type asteroids, the best spectral analogs of ordinary chondrite meteorites have only been definitively detected in near-Earth space. S-type asteroids, the space weathered counterparts of Q-types, however, are common, indicating that surfaces exposed to the space environment are rapidly weathered. Nevertheless, the existence of Q-type asteroids is evidence that one or more processes act to freshen asteroid surfaces, overturning the regolith to expose the un-weathered material that lies beneath. Nearly all Q-type near-Earth asteroids have been shown to currently or recently exist in orbits that bring them within close proximity to at least one terrestrial planet (i.e. a few planetary radii away). This observation has been used to infer that tidal interactions during close planetary encounters cause regolith mobilization on these bodies. This mechanism may lead to particle size segregation on the surface and interior of these bodies, particularly the sorting of large boulders to the surface. Because a large number of boulders raises the average surface thermal inertia, we hypothesize that the thermal inertia of Q-type asteroids are systematically larger than the average near-Earth asteroid population.To test this hypothesis, we determine the thermal inertia of approximately one dozen Q-type near-Earth asteroids from measurements of their thermal emission. The targets for this study are selected based on known rotation periods and observations that are made at pre- and post-opposition, with a large difference in solar phase angle. This observing geometry is crucial in constraining thermal inertia, which influences the surficial diurnal temperature variation and thus the thermal emission as a function of phase angle. We have been acquiring observations at 3.6 and 4.5 μm with the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. At these wavelengths, the measured flux is generally dominated by thermal flux, but may contain a component of reflected flux. A

  17. Cocaine in surface waters: a new evidence-based tool to monitor community drug abuse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bagnati Renzo

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cocaine use seems to be increasing in some urban areas worldwide, but it is not straightforward to determine the real extent of this phenomenon. Trends in drug abuse are currently estimated indirectly, mainly by large-scale social, medical, and crime statistics that may be biased or too generic. We thus tested a more direct approach based on 'field' evidence of cocaine use by the general population. Methods Cocaine and its main urinary metabolite (benzoylecgonine, BE were measured by mass spectrometry in water samples collected from the River Po and urban waste water treatment plants of medium-size Italian cities. Drug concentration, water flow rate, and population at each site were used to estimate local cocaine consumption. Results We showed that cocaine and BE are present, and measurable, in surface waters of populated areas. The largest Italian river, the Po, with a five-million people catchment basin, steadily carried the equivalent of about 4 kg cocaine per day. This would imply an average daily use of at least 27 ± 5 doses (100 mg each for every 1000 young adults, an estimate that greatly exceeds official national figures. Data from waste water treatment plants serving medium-size Italian cities were consistent with this figure. Conclusion This paper shows for the first time that an illicit drug, cocaine, is present in the aquatic environment, namely untreated urban waste water and a major river. We used environmental cocaine levels for estimating collective consumption of the drug, an approach with the unique potential ability to monitor local drug abuse trends in real time, while preserving the anonymity of individuals. The method tested here – in principle extendable to other drugs of abuse – might be further refined to become a standardized, objective tool for monitoring drug abuse.

  18. Residential Water Demand in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve: Evidence of the Effects of Perceived Price

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonio Almendarez-Hernández

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence for policy-makers of water management, evaluate the applicability of economic variables such as price and other factors that affect demand, and determine the impact thereof on decision-making surrounding water management in the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. We estimated a dynamic function with an average price specification, as well as price perception specification. Findings demonstrated that consumers tend to react to perceived average price but not to the marginal price. Furthermore, long-term price elasticity was found to be higher than short-term elasticity, and both elasticities were found to be inelastic. Inelastic elasticities, coupled with rising prices, generate substantial revenues with which to improve water planning and supply quality and to expand service coverage. The results suggest that users’ level of knowledge surrounding price is a key factor to take into account when restructuring rates, especially in situations where consumers do not readily possess the necessary information about their rate structure and usage within a given billing period. Furthermore, the results can help water management policy-makers to achieve goals of economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability.

  19. Seven Near-Earth Asteroids at Asteroids Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: 2016 June-November

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Juan; Flores, Angel; Mas, Vicente; Fornas, Gonzalo; Rodrigo, Onofre; Brines, Pedro; Forna, Alvaro; Herrero, David; Carreño, Alfonso; Arce, Enrique

    2017-04-01

    We report on the results of photometric analysis on seven near-Earth asteroids (NEA) by Asteroides Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database effort that was initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  20. Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS): Stony Asteroids Abundant in the Background and Family Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Michael P.; Emery, Joshua P.; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Lindsay, Sean S.; Lorenzi, Vania

    2016-10-01

    The Hungaria region represents a "purgatory" for the closest, preserved samples of the material from which the terrestrial planets accreted. The Hungaria region harbors a collisional family of Xe-type asteroids, which are situated among a background of predominantly S-complex asteroids. Deciphering their surface composition may provide constraints on the nature of the primordial building blocks of the terrestrial planets. We hypothesize that planetesimals in the inner part of the primordial asteroid belt experienced partial- to full-melting and differentiation, the Hungaria region should retain any petrologically-evolved material that formed there.We have undertaken an observational campaign entitled the Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS) to record near-infrared (NIR) spectra to characterize taxonomy, surface mineralogy, and potential meteorite analogs. We used NIR instruments at two ground-based facilities (NASA IRTF; TNG). Our data set includes spectra of 82 Hungaria asteroids (61 background; 21 family), 65 were observed during HARTSS. We compare S-complex background asteroids to calibrations developed via laboratory analyses of ordinary chondrites, and to our analyses (EPMA, XRD, VIS+NIR spectra) of 11 primitive achondrite (acapulcoite-lodranite clan) meteorites.We find that stony S-complex asteroids dominate the Hungaria background population (~80%). Background objects exhibit considerable spectral diversity, when quantified by spectral band parameter measurements, translates to a variety of surface compositions. Two main meteorite groups are represented within the Hungaria background: unmelted, nebular L chondrites (and/or L chondrites), and partially-melted primitive achondrites. H-chondrite mineralogies appear to be absent from the Hungaria background. Xe-type Hungaria family members exhibit spectral homogeneity, consistent with the hypothesis that the family was derived from the disruption of a parent body analogous to an enstatite

  1. Twenty-one Asteroid Lightcurves at Group Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS): Late 2015 to Early 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aznar Macias, Amadeo; Carreno Garcerain, Alfonso; Arce Masego, Enrique; Brines Rodriguez, Pedro; Lozano de Haro, Juan; Fornas Silva, Alvaro; Fornas Silva, Gonzalo; Mas Martinez, Vicente; Rodrigo Chiner, Onofre; Herrero Porta, David

    2016-07-01

    We report on the photometric analysis result of 21 mainbelt asteroids (MBA) done by Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database task initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions. This is a compilation of lightcurves obtained during last quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016.

  2. Asteroid mass estimation using Markov-Chain Monte Carlo techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siltala, Lauri; Granvik, Mikael

    2016-10-01

    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 a 13-dimensional inverse problem where the aim is to derive the mass of the perturbing asteroid and six orbital elements for both the perturbing asteroid and the test asteroid using astrometric observations. We have developed and implemented three different mass estimation algorithms utilizing asteroid-asteroid perturbations into the OpenOrb asteroid-orbit-computation software: the very rough 'marching' approximation, in which the asteroid orbits are fixed at a given epoch, 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 will introduce each of these algorithms with particular focus on the MCMC algorithm, and present example results for 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, particularly in connection with ESA's Gaia mission.

  3. Asteroid modeling for testing spacecraft approach and landing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Iain; Parkes, Steve; Dunstan, Martin; Rowell, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Spacecraft exploration of asteroids presents autonomous-navigation challenges that can be aided by virtual models to test and develop guidance and hazard-avoidance systems. Researchers have extended and applied graphics techniques to create high-resolution asteroid models to simulate cameras and other spacecraft sensors approaching and descending toward asteroids. A scalable model structure with evenly spaced vertices simplifies terrain modeling, avoids distortion at the poles, and enables triangle-strip definition for efficient rendering. To create the base asteroid models, this approach uses two-phase Poisson faulting and Perlin noise. It creates realistic asteroid surfaces by adding both crater models adapted from lunar terrain simulation and multiresolution boulders. The researchers evaluated the virtual asteroids by comparing them with real asteroid images, examining the slope distributions, and applying a surface-relative feature-tracking algorithm to the models.

  4. Near Infrared Observations of Comet-Like Asteroid (596) Scheila

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Bin

    2011-01-01

    steroid (596) Scheila was reported to exhibit a cometary appearance and an increase in brightness on UT 2010 December 10.4. We used the IRCS spectrograph on the 8-m Subaru telescope to obtain medium-resolution spectra of Scheila in the HK-band (1.4 - 2.5$\\mu$m) and low-resolution spectra in the KL-band (2.0 - 4.0$\\mu$m) on UT 2010 December 13 and 14. In addition, we obtained low-resolution spectroscopy using the SpeX spectrograph on the 3-m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) telescope on UT 2011 January 04 and 05. The spectrum of Scheila shows a consistent red slope from 0.8 to 4.0$\\mu$m with no apparent absorption features, resembling spectra of D-type asteroids. An intimate mixing model suggests that the amount of water ice that might be present on the surface of Scheila is no more than a few percent. The spectrum of the Tagish Lake chondrite matches the asteroid's spectrum at shorter wavelengths ($\\lambda < 2.5 \\mu$m), but no hydration features are observed at longer wavelengths on Scheila. Our ana...

  5. Asteroid models from the Lowell Photometric Database

    CERN Document Server

    Durech, J; Oszkiewicz, D; Vanco, R

    2016-01-01

    We use the lightcurve inversion method to derive new shape models and spin states of asteroids from the sparse-in-time photometry compiled in the Lowell Photometric Database. To speed up the time-consuming process of scanning the period parameter space through the use of convex shape models, we use the distributed computing project Asteroids@home, running on the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform. This way, the period-search interval is divided into hundreds of smaller intervals. These intervals are scanned separately by different volunteers and then joined together. We also use an alternative, faster, approach when searching the best-fit period by using a model of triaxial ellipsoid. By this, we can independently confirm periods found with convex models and also find rotation periods for some of those asteroids for which the convex-model approach gives too many solutions. From the analysis of Lowell photometric data of the first 100,000 numbered asteroids, we derived 328 new ...

  6. Spectroscopic Survey of X-type Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Fornasier, Sonia; Dotto, Elisabetta

    2011-01-01

    We present reflected light spectral observations from 0.4 to 2.5 micron of 24 asteroids chosen from the population of asteroids initially classified as Tholen X-type objects (Tholen, 1984). The X complex in the Tholen taxonomy comprises the E, M and P classes which have very different inferred mineralogies but which are spectrally similar to each other, with featureless spectra in visible wavelengths. The data were obtained during several observing runs in the 2004-2007 years at the NTT, TNG and IRTF telescopes. We find a large variety of near-infrared spectral behaviors within the X class, and we identify weak absorption bands in spectra of 11 asteroids. Our spectra, together with albedos published by Tedesco et al. (2002), can be used to suggest new Tholen classifications for these objects. In order to constrain the possible composition of these asteroids, we perform a least-squares search through the RELAB spectral database. Many of the best fits are consistent with meteorite analogue materials suggested i...

  7. Comet nucleus and asteroid sample return missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Three Advanced Design Projects have been completed this academic year at Penn State. At the beginning of the fall semester the students were organized into eight groups and given their choice of either a comet nucleus or an asteroid sample return mission. Once a mission had been chosen, the students developed conceptual designs. These were evaluated at the end of the fall semester and combined into three separate mission plans, including a comet nucleus same return (CNSR), a single asteroid sample return (SASR), and a multiple asteroid sample return (MASR). To facilitate the work required for each mission, the class was reorganized in the spring semester by combining groups to form three mission teams. An integration team consisting of two members from each group was formed for each mission so that communication and information exchange would be easier among the groups. The types of projects designed by the students evolved from numerous discussions with Penn State faculty and mission planners at the Johnson Space Center Human/Robotic Spacecraft Office. Robotic sample return missions are widely considered valuable precursors to manned missions in that they can provide details about a site's environment and scientific value. For example, a sample return from an asteroid might reveal valuable resources that, once mined, could be utilized for propulsion. These missions are also more adaptable when considering the risk to humans visiting unknown and potentially dangerous locations, such as a comet nucleus.

  8. NASA hits back in asteroid spat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartlidge, Edwin

    2016-07-01

    Nathan Myhrvold, chief executive of the company Intellectual Ventures and a former chief technology officer of Microsoft, is at loggerheads with a group of NASA astrophysicists over the latter's ability to accurately measure the properties of tens of thousands of asteroids in the solar system.

  9. A note on cement in asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Bilalbegovic, G

    2016-01-01

    Cement mineral tobermorite was formed in hydrothermal experiments on alternation of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Unidentified bands at 14 microns were measured for CAIs and the matrix of the Allende meteorite sample, as well as for Hektor and Agamemnon asteroids. The presence of cement nanoparticles may explain the feature at 14 microns.

  10. Asteroid-Generated Tsunami and Impact Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boslough, M.; Aftosmis, M.; Berger, M. J.; Ezzedine, S. M.; Gisler, G.; Jennings, B.; LeVeque, R. J.; Mathias, D.; McCoy, C.; Robertson, D.; Titov, V. V.; Wheeler, L.

    2016-12-01

    The justification for planetary defense comes from a cost/benefit analysis, which includes risk assessment. The contribution from ocean impacts and airbursts is difficult to quantify and represents a significant uncertainty in our assessment of the overall risk. Our group is currently working toward improved understanding of impact scenarios that can generate dangerous tsunami. The importance of asteroid-generated tsunami research has increased because a new Science Definition Team, at the behest of NASA's Planetary Defense Coordinating Office, is now updating the results of a 2003 study on which our current planetary defense policy is based Our group was formed to address this question on many fronts, including asteroid entry modeling, tsunami generation and propagation simulations, modeling of coastal run-ups, inundation, and consequences, infrastructure damage estimates, and physics-based probabilistic impact risk assessment. We also organized the Second International Workshop on Asteroid Threat Assessment, focused on asteroid-generated tsunami and associated risk (Aug. 23-24, 2016). We will summarize our progress and present the highlights of our workshop, emphasizing its relevance to earth and planetary science. Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  11. Spectroscopic survey of M--type asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Fornasier, S; Dotto, E; Migliorini, A; Ockert-Bell, M; Barucci, M A

    2010-01-01

    M-type asteroids, as defined in the Tholen taxonomy (Tholen, 1984), are medium albedo bodies supposed to have a metallic composition and to be the progenitors both of differentiated iron-nickel meteorites and enstatite chondrites. We carried out a spectroscopic survey in the visible and near infrared wavelength range (0.4-2.5 micron) of 30 asteroids chosen from the population of asteroids initially classified as Tholen M -types, aiming to investigate their surface composition. The data were obtained during several observing runs during the years 2004-2007 at the TNG, NTT, and IRTF telescopes. We computed the spectral slopes in several wavelength ranges for each observed asteroid, and we searched for diagnostic spectral features. We confirm a large variety of spectral behaviors for these objects as their spectra are extended into the near-infrared, including the identification of weak absorption bands, mainly of the 0.9 micron band tentatively attributed to orthopyroxene, and of the 0.43 micron band that may b...

  12. Asteroid Risk Assessment: A Probabilistic Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, Jason C; Chen, Xi; Liu, Wenhao; Manchev, Petar; Paté-Cornell, M Elisabeth

    2016-02-01

    Following the 2013 Chelyabinsk event, the risks posed by asteroids attracted renewed interest, from both the scientific and policy-making communities. It reminded the world that impacts from near-Earth objects (NEOs), while rare, have the potential to cause great damage to cities and populations. Point estimates of the risk (such as mean numbers of casualties) have been proposed, but because of the low-probability, high-consequence nature of asteroid impacts, these averages provide limited actionable information. While more work is needed to further refine its input distributions (e.g., NEO diameters), the probabilistic model presented in this article allows a more complete evaluation of the risk of NEO impacts because the results are distributions that cover the range of potential casualties. This model is based on a modularized simulation that uses probabilistic inputs to estimate probabilistic risk metrics, including those of rare asteroid impacts. Illustrative results of this analysis are presented for a period of 100 years. As part of this demonstration, we assess the effectiveness of civil defense measures in mitigating the risk of human casualties. We find that they are likely to be beneficial but not a panacea. We also compute the probability-but not the consequences-of an impact with global effects ("cataclysm"). We conclude that there is a continued need for NEO observation, and for analyses of the feasibility and risk-reduction effectiveness of space missions designed to deflect or destroy asteroids that threaten the Earth. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

  13. Asteroid thermal modeling: recent developments and applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harris, A. W.; Mueller, M.

    2006-01-01

    A variety of thermal models are used for the derivation of asteroid physical parameters from thermal-infrared observations Simple models based on spherical geometry are often adequate for obtaining sizes and albedos when very little information about an object is available However sophisticated ther

  14. A note on cement in asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilalbegović, G.

    2016-09-01

    Cement mineral tobermorite was formed in hydrothermal experiments on alternation of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Unidentified bands at 14 μm were measured for CAIs and the matrix of the Allende meteorite sample, as well as for Hektor and Agamemnon asteroids. The presence of cement nanoparticles may explain the feature at 14 μm.

  15. Asteroid thermal modeling: recent developments and applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harris, A. W.; Mueller, M.

    2006-01-01

    A variety of thermal models are used for the derivation of asteroid physical parameters from thermal-infrared observations Simple models based on spherical geometry are often adequate for obtaining sizes and albedos when very little information about an object is available However sophisticated

  16. Asteroids Lightcurves Analysis: 2015 October-December

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbognani, Albino; Buzzi, Luca

    2016-04-01

    Eight asteroids, main-belt (MBA) and near-Earth (NEA), were observed in 2015 Oct-Dec: 6853 Silvanomassaglia, (112985) 2002 RS28, (155110) 2005 TB, (163899) 2003 SD220, (253106) 2002 UR3, (337866) 2001 WL15, 2015 XC, and 2015 WG9.

  17. Collisional Excavation of Asteroid (596) Scheila

    CERN Document Server

    Bodewits, D; Li, J -Y; Landsman, W B; Besse, S; A'Hearn, M F

    2011-01-01

    We observed asteroid (596) Scheila and its ejecta cloud using the Swift UV-optical telescope. We obtained photometry of the nucleus and the ejecta, and for the first time measured the asteroid's reflection spectrum between 290 - 500 nm. Our measurements indicate significant reddening at UV wavelengths (13% per 1000 {\\AA}) and a possible broad, unidentified absorption feature around 380 nm. Our measurements indicate that the outburst has not permanently increased the asteroid's brightness. We did not detect any of the gases that are typically associated with either hypervolatile activity thought responsible for cometary outbursts (CO+, CO2+), or for any volatiles excavated with the dust (OH, NH, CN, C2, C3). We estimate that 6 x 10^8 kg of dust was released with a high ejection velocity of 57 m/s (assuming 1 {\\mu}m sized particles). While the asteroid is red in color and the ejecta have the same color as the Sun, we suggest that the dust does not contain any ice. Based on our observations, we conclude that (59...

  18. Anisotropic Ejection from Active Asteroid P/2010 A2: An Implication of Impact Shattering on an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yoonyoung; Ishiguro, Masateru; Michikami, Tatsuhiro; Nakamura, Akiko M.

    2017-05-01

    We revisited a mass ejection phenomenon that occurred in asteroid P/2010 A2 in terms of the dynamical properties of the dust particles and large fragments. We constructed a model assuming anisotropic ejection within a solid cone-shaped jet and succeeded in reproducing the time-variant features in archival observational images over ˜3 years from 2010 January to 2012 October. We assumed that the dust particles and fragments were ejected in the same direction from a point where no object had been detected in any observations, and the anisotropic model explains all of the observations including (i) the unique dust cloud morphology, (ii) the trail surface brightness, and (iii) the motions of the fragments. Our results suggest that the original body was shattered by an impact with specific energy {Q}* ≲ 350 J kg-1, and remnants of slow antipodal ejecta (i.e., anisotropic ejection in our model) were observed as P/2010 A2. The observed quantities are consistent with those obtained through laboratory impact experiments, supporting the idea that the P/2010 A2 event is the first evidence of the impact shattering that occurred in the present main asteroid belt. Based in part on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  19. The Advanced Jovian Asteroid Explorer (AJAX)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S. L.; Adams, E. Y.; Mustard, J. F.; Rivkin, A.; Peplowski, P. N.

    2015-12-01

    The Advanced Jovian Asteroid eXplorer (AJAX) is the first mission to characterize the geology, morphology, geophysical properties, and chemistry of a Trojan asteroid. The Decadal Survey outlined a notional New Frontiers class Trojan asteroid rendezvous mission to conduct geological, elemental composition, mineralogical, and geophysical investigations. AJAX, our Discovery mission proposal, addresses the Decadal Survey science goals by using a focused payload and an innovative mission design. By responding to the most important questions about the Trojan asteroids, AJAX advances our understanding of all of the Solar System. Are these objects a remnant population of the local primordial material from which the outer planets and their satellites formed, or did they originate in the Kuiper Belt? Landed measurements of major and minor elements test hypotheses for the Trojan asteroid origin, revealing the outer Solar System dynamical history. How and when were prebiotic materials delivered to the terrestrial planets? AJAX's landed measurements include C and H concentrations, necessary to determine their inventories of volatiles and organic compounds, material delivered to the inner Solar System during the Late Heavy Bombardment. What chemical and geological processes shaped the small bodies that merged to form the planets in our Solar System? AJAX investigates the asteroid internal structure, geology, and regolith by using global high-resolution stereo and multispectral imaging, determining density and estimating interior porosity by measuring gravity, and measuring regolith mechanical properties by landing. AJAX's science phase starts with search for natural satellites and dust lifted by possible cometary activity and shape and pole position determination. AJAX descends to lower altitudes for global mapping, and conducts a low flyover for high-resolution surface characterization and measurement of hydrogen abundance. Finally, it deploys a small landed package, which

  20. The partial fission of fast spinning asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardivel, Simon; Sanchez, Paul; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2016-10-01

    The spin rates of asteroids systematically change over time due the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect. Above a certain spin rate that depends on the body's density, regions of an asteroid can enter in tension, with components held to the body by cohesive forces. When the body fails, deformation or fission can occur. Catastrophic fission leading to complete disruption has been directly observed in active asteroid P/2013 R3. Partial fission, the loss of only part of the body, has been proposed as a mechanism for the formation of binaries and is explored here.The equatorial cavities of (341843) 2008 EV5 and of (185851) 2000 DP107 (a binary system) are consistent with a localized partial fission of the body (LPSC 2016 #1036). The examination of the gravity field of these bodies reveals that a mass placed within these cavities could be shed. In this mechanism, the outward pull of inertial forces creates an average stress at the cavity interface of ≈1 Pa for 2008 EV5 and ≈3 Pa for 2000 DP107 at spin periods of ≈3.15 h for the assumed densities of 1.3 g/cm3.This work continues the study of this partial, localized fission. Specifically, it addresses the issue of the low cohesion necessary to the mechanism. These cohesion values are typically lower than global strength values inferred on other asteroids (10 - 200 Pa), meaning that partial fission may occur prior to larger-scale deformations. Yet, several processes can explain the discrepancy, as they can naturally segregate particles by size. For instance, landslides or granular convection (Brazil nut effect) could bring larger boulders to the equator of the body, while finer particles are left at higher latitudes or sink to the center. Conversely, failure of the interior could bring boulders to the surface. The peculiar profile shape of these asteroids, shared by many binaries (e.g. 1999 KW4, 1996 FG3) may also be a clue of this heterogeneity, as this "spin top" shape is obtained in simulations with

  1. Massive identification of asteroids in three-body resonances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnov, Evgeny A.; Shevchenko, Ivan I.

    2013-01-01

    An essential role in the asteroidal dynamics is played by the mean motion resonances. Two-body planet-asteroid resonances are widely known, due to the Kirkwood gaps. Besides, so-called three-body mean motion resonances exist, in which an asteroid and two planets participate. Identification of asteroids in three-body (namely, Jupiter-Saturn-asteroid) resonances was initially accomplished by Nesvorný and Morbidelli (Nesvorný D., Morbidelli, A. [1998]. Astron. J. 116, 3029-3037), who, by means of visual analysis of the time behaviour of resonant arguments, found 255 asteroids to reside in such resonances. We develop specialized algorithms and software for massive automatic identification of asteroids in the three-body, as well as two-body, resonances of arbitrary order, by means of automatic analysis of the time behaviour of resonant arguments. In the computation of orbits, all essential perturbations are taken into account. We integrate the asteroidal orbits on the time interval of 100,000 yr and identify main-belt asteroids in the three-body Jupiter-Saturn-asteroid resonances up to the 6th order inclusive, and in the two-body Jupiter-asteroid resonances up to the 9th order inclusive, in the set of ˜250,000 objects from the "Asteroids - Dynamic Site" (AstDyS) database. The percentages of resonant objects, including extrapolations for higher-order resonances, are determined. In particular, the observed fraction of pure-resonant asteroids (those exhibiting resonant libration on the whole interval of integration) in the three-body resonances up to the 6th order inclusive is ≈0.9% of the whole set; and, using a higher-order extrapolation, the actual total fraction of pure-resonant asteroids in the three-body resonances of all orders is estimated as ≈1.1% of the whole set.

  2. OSIRIS-REx, Returning the Asteroid Sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajluni, Thomas, M.; Everett, David F.; Linn, Timothy; Mink, Ronald; Willcockson, William; Wood, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    This paper addresses the technical aspects of the sample return system for the upcoming Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission. The overall mission design and current implementation are presented as an overview to establish a context for the technical description of the reentry and landing segment of the mission.The prime objective of the OSIRIS-REx mission is to sample a primitive, carbonaceous asteroid and to return that sample to Earth in pristine condition for detailed laboratory analysis. Targeting the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, the mission launches in September 2016 with an Earth reentry date of September 24, 2023.OSIRIS-REx will thoroughly characterize asteroid Bennu providing knowledge of the nature of near-Earth asteroids that is fundamental to understanding planet formation and the origin of life. The return to Earth of pristine samples with known geologic context will enable precise analyses that cannot be duplicated by spacecraft-based instruments, revolutionizing our understanding of the early Solar System. Bennu is both the most accessible carbonaceous asteroid and one of the most potentially Earth-hazardous asteroids known. Study of Bennu addresses multiple NASA objectives to understand the origin of the Solar System and the origin of life and will provide a greater understanding of both the hazards and resources in near-Earth space, serving as a precursor to future human missions to asteroids.This paper focuses on the technical aspects of the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) design and concept of operations, including trajectory design and reentry retrieval. Highlights of the mission are included below.The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft provides the essential functions for an asteroid characterization and sample return mission: attitude control propulsion power thermal control telecommunications command and data handling structural support to ensure successful

  3. Water system hardware and management rehabilitation: Qualitative evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Tori; Shields, Katherine F; Cronk, Ryan; Kelly, Emma; Behnke, Nikki; Lee, Kristen; Bartram, Jamie

    2017-05-01

    Sufficient, safe, continuously available drinking water is important for human health and development, yet one in three handpumps in sub-Saharan Africa are non-functional at any given time. Community management, coupled with access to external technical expertise and spare parts, is a widely promoted model for rural water supply management. However, there is limited evidence describing how community management can address common hardware and management failures of rural water systems in sub-Saharan Africa. We identified hardware and management rehabilitation pathways using qualitative data from 267 interviews and 57 focus group discussions in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Study participants were water committee members, community members, and local leaders in 18 communities (six in each study country) with water systems managed by a water committee and supported by World Vision (WV), an international non-governmental organization (NGO). Government, WV or private sector employees engaged in supporting the water systems were also interviewed. Inductive analysis was used to allow for pathways to emerge from the data, based on the perspectives and experiences of study participants. Four hardware rehabilitation pathways were identified, based on the types of support used in rehabilitation. Types of support were differentiated as community or external. External support includes financial and/or technical support from government or WV employees. Community actor understanding of who to contact when a hardware breakdown occurs and easy access to technical experts were consistent reasons for rapid rehabilitation for all hardware rehabilitation pathways. Three management rehabilitation pathways were identified. All require the involvement of community leaders and were best carried out when the action was participatory. The rehabilitation pathways show how available resources can be leveraged to restore hardware breakdowns and management failures for rural water systems in sub

  4. PRIMitive Asteroids Spectroscopic Survey - PRIMASS: First Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leon, Julia; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Campins, Humberto; Lorenzi, Vania; Licandro, Javier; Morate, David; Tanga, Paolo; Cellino, Alberto; Delbo, Marco

    2015-11-01

    NASA OSIRIS-REx and JAXA Hayabusa 2 sample-return missions have targeted two near-Earth asteroids: (101955) Bennu and (162173) 1999 JU3, respectively. These are primitive asteroids that are believed to originate in the inner belt, where five distinct sources have been identified: four primitive collisional families (Polana, Erigone, Sulamitis, and Clarissa), and a population of low-albedo and low-inclination background asteroids. Identifying and characterizing the populations from which these two NEAs might originate will enchance the science return of the two missions.With this main objective in mind, we initiated in 2010 a spectroscopic survey in the visible and the near-infrared to characterize the primitive collisional families in the inner belt and the low-albedo background population. This is the PRIMitive Asteroids Spectroscopic Survey - PRIMASS. So far we have obtained more than 200 spectra using telescopes located at different observatories. PRIMASS uses a variety of ground based facilities. Most of the spectra have been obtained using the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), and the 3.6m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), both located at the El Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma, Spain), and the 3.0m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea (Hawai, USA).We present the first results from our on-going survey (de Leon et al. 2015; Pinilla-Alonso et al. 2015; Morate et al. 2015), focused on the Polana and the Erigone primitive families, with visible and near-infrared spectra of more than 200 objects, most of them with no previous spectroscopic data. Our survey is already the largest database of primitive asteroids spectra, and we keep obtaining data on the Sulamitis and the Clarissa families, as well as on the background low-albedo population.

  5. Near Earth Asteroid Characterization for Threat Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie; Mathias, Donovan; Wheeler, Lorien; Wooden, Diane; Bryson, Kathryn; Ostrowski, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Physical characteristics of NEAs are an essential input to modeling behavior during atmospheric entry and to assess the risk of impact but determining these properties requires a non-trivial investment of time and resources. The characteristics relevant to these models include size, density, strength and ablation coefficient. Some of these characteristics cannot be directly measured, but rather must be inferred from related measurements of asteroids and/or meteorites. Furthermore, for the majority of NEAs, only the basic measurements exist so often properties must be inferred from statistics of the population of more completely characterized objects. The Asteroid Threat Assessment Project at NASA Ames Research Center has developed a probabilistic asteroid impact risk (PAIR) model in order to assess the risk of asteroid impact. Our PAIR model and its use to develop probability distributions of impact risk are discussed in other contributions to PDC 2017 (e.g., Mathias et al.). Here we utilize PAIR to investigate which NEA characteristics are important for assessing the impact threat by investigating how changes in these characteristics alter the damage predicted by PAIR. We will also provide an assessment of the current state of knowledge of the NEA characteristics of importance for asteroid threat assessment. The relative importance of different properties as identified using PAIR will be combined with our assessment of the current state of knowledge to identify potential high impact investigations. In addition, we will discuss an ongoing effort to collate the existing measurements of NEA properties of interest to the planetary defense community into a readily accessible database.

  6. Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Some types of meteorites - most irons, stony irons, some achondrites - hail from asteroids that were heated to the point where magmatism occurred within a very few million years of the formation of the earliest solids in the solar system. The largest clan of achondrites, the howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites, represent the crust of their parent asteroid]. Diogenites are cumulate harzburgites and orthopyroxenites from the lower crust whilst eucrites are basalts, diabases and cumulate gabbros from the upper crust. Howardites are impact-engendered breccias mostly of diogenites and eucrites. There remains only one large asteroid with a basaltic crust, 4 Vesta, which is thought to be the source of the HED clan. Differentiation models for Vesta are based on HED compositions. Proto-Vesta consisted of chondritic materials containing Al-26, a potent, short-lived heat source. Inferences from compositional data are that Vesta was melted to high degree (=50%) allowing homogenization of the silicate phase and separation of a metallic core. Convection of the silicate magma ocean allowed equilibrium crystallization, forming a harzburgitic mantle. After convective lockup occurred, melt collected between the mantle and the cool thermal boundary layer and underwent fractional crystallization forming an orthopyroxene-rich (diogenite) lower crust. The initial thermal boundary layer of chondritic material was replaced by a mafic upper crust through impact disruption and foundering. The mafic crust thickened over time as additional residual magma intrudes and penetrates the mafic crust forming plutons, dikes, sills and flows of cumulate and basaltic eucrite composition. This magmatic history may have taken only 2-3 Myr. This magma ocean scenario is at odds with a model of heat and magma transport that indicates that small degrees of melt would be rapidly expelled from source regions, precluding development of a magma ocean. Constraints from radiogenic Mg-26 distibutions

  7. M-type asteroids in the mid-infrared: thermal inertias and emissivity spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landsman, Zoe A.; Emery, Joshua P.; Campins, Humberto

    2016-10-01

    The M-type asteroid taxon has been inferred to contain metallic asteroids. This inference comes mainly from spectral analogy to iron meteorites and from the observation of high radar albedos among M-types. There is, nevertheless, evidence for significant compositional diversity within the M-type population. Spectral signatures of both high-temperature silicates (λ~0.9 μm) and hydrated minerals (λ~3 μm) are common in this group. The nature of the M-types is, therefore, still not well understood. In order to further test the hypothesis that many M-types are metallic, we have undertaken an observational study at mid-infrared wavelengths (5.2 – 38 μm). Our aim is to characterize the silicate composition and the thermal properties of a sample of M-type asteroids. If metallic, we expect relatively high thermal inertia and an absence of silicate emissivity features. The spectra we analyze were measured with the InfraRed Spectrograph (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. We present emissivity spectra and the initial results of thermophysical modeling, including derived thermal inertias. We chose our sample because these asteroids have also been observed at complementary wavelengths, such as visible, near-infrared and radar, which places further constraints on the interpretation of our results.

  8. Asteroid age distributions determined by space weathering and collisional evolution models

    CERN Document Server

    Willman, Mark; 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.02.017

    2010-01-01

    We provide evidence of consistency between the dynamical evolution of main belt asteroids and their color evolution due to space weathering. The dynamical age of an asteroid's surface \\citep{bib.bot05a,bib.nes05} is the time since its last catastrophic disruption event which is a function of the object's diameter. The age of an S-complex asteroid's surface may also be determined from its color using a space weathering model \\citep[e.g.][]{bib.wil10,bib.jed04,bib.wil08,bib.mar06}. We used a sample of 95 S-complex asteroids from SMASS and obtained their absolute magnitudes and $u,g,r,i,z$ filter magnitudes from SDSS. The absolute magnitudes yield a size-derived age distribution. The $u,g,r,i,z$ filter magnitudes lead to the principal component color which yields a color-derived age distribution by inverting our color-age relationship, an enhanced version of the `dual $\\tau$' space weathering model of \\citet{bib.wil10}. We fit the size-age distribution to the enhanced dual $\\tau$ model and found characteristic w...

  9. Enhanced Gravity Tractor Derived from the Asteroid Redirect Mission for Deflecting Hypothetical Asteroid 2017 PDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Reeves, David M.; Abell, Paul A.; Shen, Haijun; Qu, Min

    2017-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) concept would robotically visit a hazardous-size near-Earth asteroid (NEA) with a rendezvous spacecraft, collect a multi-ton boulder and regolith samples from its surface, demonstrate an innovative planetary defense technique known as the Enhanced Gravity Tractor (EGT), and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon, allowing astronauts to explore the returned material in the mid-2020s. Launch of the robotic vehicle to rendezvous with the ARM reference target, NEA (341843) 2008 EV5, would occur in late 2021 [1,2]. The robotic segment of the ARM concept uses a 40 kW Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system with a specific impulse (Isp) of 2600 s, and would provide the first ever demonstration of the EGT technique on a hazardous-size asteroid and validate one method of collecting mass in-situ. The power, propellant, and thrust capability of the ARM robotic spacecraft can be scaled from a 40 kW system to 150 kW and 300 kW, which represent a likely future power level progression. The gravity tractor technique uses the gravitational attraction of a station-keeping spacecraft with the asteroid to provide a velocity change and gradually alter the trajectory of the asteroid. EGT utilizes a spacecraft with a high-efficiency propulsion system, such as Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), along with mass collected in-situ to augment the mass of the spacecraft, thereby increasing the gravitational force between the objects [3]. As long as the spacecraft has sufficient thrust and propellant capability, the EGT force is only limited by the amount of in-situ mass collected and can be increased several orders of magnitude compared to the traditional gravity tractor technique in which only the spacecraft mass is used to generate the gravitational attraction force. This increase in available force greatly reduces the required deflection time. The collected material can be a single boulder, multiple boulders, regolith, or a

  10. Exploring glacier dynamics with subglacial water pressure pulses: Evidence for self-organized criticality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanaugh, J. L.

    2009-03-01

    In order to determine whether brief excursions, or "pulses," in subglacial water pressure inferred by Kavanaugh and Clarke (2000, 2001) occur, water pressures at the bed of Trapridge Glacier, Yukon, Canada, were recorded using an interface board that continuously monitored a pressure transducer. During the 231 day period between 16 July 2005 and 4 March 2006, more than 7000 pressure pulses were recorded, with magnitudes reaching nearly 3 times the flotation value. Comparison of the pressure pulse record with those from a number of other instruments installed in this soft-bedded glacier indicates that these pulses are generated by stress transients that compress the water within the borehole; calculations suggest that these transients are as large as 75 times the nominal driving stress. Both the magnitudes and interevent times for these pulses are well fitted by power law distributions that are remarkably similar to those exhibited by earthquakes. These similarities suggest that the ice-bed interface of a soft-bedded glacier behaves much like an earthquake fault and raises the possibility that such glaciers self-organize to a critical state. Further evidence for self-organized criticality (SOC) of soft-bedded glaciers is suggested by an examination of well-known ice dynamical properties and the rheological properties of subglacial sediments, which suggests that SOC might be a natural consequence of the rate-independent behavior of subglacial sediments.

  11. Orbital bistatic radar observations of asteroid Vesta by the Dawn mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Elizabeth M; Heggy, Essam; Kofman, Wlodek

    2017-09-12

    We present orbital bistatic radar observations of a small-body, acquired during occultation by the Dawn spacecraft at asteroid Vesta. The radar forward-scattering properties of different reflection sites are used to assess the textural properties of Vesta's surface at centimeter-to-decimeter scales and are compared to subsurface hydrogen concentrations observed by Dawn's Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector to assess potential volatile occurrence in the surface and shallow subsurface. We observe significant differences in surface radar reflectivity, implying substantial spatial variations in centimeter-to-decimeter-scale surface roughness. Our results suggest that unlike the Moon, Vesta's surface roughness variations cannot be explained by cratering processes only. In particular, the occurrence of heightened hydrogen concentrations within large smoother terrains (over hundreds of square kilometers) suggests that potential ground-ice presence may have contributed to the formation of Vesta's current surface texture. Our observations are consistent with geomorphological evidence of transient water flow from Dawn Framing Camera images.The Dawn spacecraft has provided orbital bistatic radar observations of a small body in the solar system. Here, the authors present results from Vesta suggesting that smooth terrains with heightened hydrogen concentrations indicate that ground-ice presence potentially helped shape Vesta's current surface texture.

  12. More chips off of Asteroid (4) Vesta: Characterization of eight Vestoids and their HED meteorite analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardersen, Paul S.; Reddy, Vishnu; Roberts, Rachel; Mainzer, Amy

    2014-11-01

    Vestoids are generally considered to be fragments from Asteroid (4) Vesta that were ejected by past collisions that document Vesta's collisional history. Dynamical Vestoids are defined by their spatial proximity with Vesta (Zappala, V., Bendjoya, Ph., Cellino, A., Farinella, P., Froeschle', C. [1995]. Icarus 116, 291-314; Nesvorny, D. [2012]. Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V2.0. EAR-A-VARGBDET-5-NESVORNYFAM-V2.0. NASA Planetary Data System.). Taxonomic Vestoids are defined as V-type asteroids that have a photometric, visible-wavelength spectral, or other observational relationship with Vesta (Tholen, D.J., 1984. Asteroid Taxonomy from Cluster Analysis of Photometry. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Arizona, Tucson; Bus, S.J., Binzel, R.P. [2002]. Icarus 158, 106-145; Carvano, J., Hasselmann, P.H., Lazzaro, D., Mothe'-Diniz, T. [2010]. Astron. Astrophys. 510, A43). We define 'genetic Vestoids' as V-type asteroids that are probable fragments ejected from (4) Vesta based on the supporting combination of dynamical, near-infrared (NIR) spectral, and taxonomic evidence. NIR reflectance spectroscopy is one of the primary ground-based techniques to constrain an asteroid's major surface mineralogy (Burns, R.G. [1993a]. Mineralogical Applications of Crystal Field Theory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 551 p). Despite the reasonable likelihood that many dynamical and taxonomic Vestoids likely originate from Vesta, ambiguity exists concerning the fraction of these populations that are from Vesta as compared to the fraction of asteroids that might not be related to Vesta. Currently, one of the most robust techniques to identify the genetic Vestoid population is through NIR reflectance spectroscopy from ∼0.7 to 2.5 μm. The derivation of spectral band parameters, and the comparison of those band parameters with those from representative samples from the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) meteorite types, allows a direct comparison of their primary mineralogies

  13. Asteroid 4 Vesta: A Fully Differentiated Dwarf Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David

    2014-01-01

    One conclusion derived from the study of meteorites is that some of them - most irons, stony irons, some achondrites - hail from asteroids that were heated to the point where metallic cores and basaltic crusts were formed. Telescopic observations show that there remains only one large asteroid with a basaltic crust, 4 Vesta; present day mean radius 263 km. The largest clan of achondrites, the howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites, represent the crust of their parent asteroid. Diogenites are cumulate harzburgites and orthopyroxenites from the lower crust whilst eucrites are cumulate gabbros, diabases and basalts from the upper crust. Howardites are impact-engendered breccias of diogenites and eucrites. A strong case can be made that HEDs are derived from Vesta. The NASA Dawn spacecraft orbited Vesta for 14 months returning data allowing geological, mineralogical, compositional and geophysical interpretations of Vesta's surface and structure. Combined with geochemical and petrological observations of HED meteorites, differentiation models for Vesta can be developed. Proto-Vesta probably consisted of primitive chondritic materials. Compositional evidence, primarily from basaltic eucrites, indicates that Vesta was melted to high degree (>=50%) which facilitated homogenization of the silicate phase and separation of immiscible Fe,Ni metal plus Fe sulphide into a core. Geophysical models based on Dawn data support a core of 110 km radius. The silicate melt vigorously convected and initially followed a path of equilibrium crystallization forming a harzburgitic mantle, possibly overlying a dunitic restite. Once the fraction of crystals was sufficient to cause convective lockup, the remaining melt collected between the mantle and the cool thermal boundary layer. This melt undergoes fractional crystallization to form a dominantly orthopyroxenite (diogenite) lower crust. The initial thermal boundary layer of primitive chondritic material is gradually replaced by a

  14. Regolith Levitation on Small Fast Rotating Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo Bagatin, Adriano; Moreno, Fernando; Molina, Antonio

    2014-11-01

    A number of NEAs larger than few hundred meters are found with relatively high spin rates (from ~2.2 to less than 4 hr, depending on composition). On those bodies, local acceleration near their equator may be directed outwards, as in the case of the primaries of binary asteroids Didymos and 1996 FG3. They both are potential targets of future space missions. What are the effects of high spin states on regolith material at low asteroidal latitudes?NEAs come from the asteroid belt and are believed to be mostly gravitational aggregates at D > 0.5 - 1 km due to their former collisional evolution history (Campo Bagatin et al, 2001). Once in the inner Solar System, NEAs may undergo spin up evolution through YORP causing their components to disperse, shed mass or fission and eventually form binary, multiple systems or asteroid pairs (Walsh et al, 2008, Jacobson and Scheers, 2010, Pravec et al, 2009 and 2010). The end state of those events is often an object spinning above any Chandrasekhar stability limit, kept together by friction (Holsapple, 2007) and sometimes characterized by an equatorial “bulge”, as shown by radar images (Ostro et al, 2006).The centrifugal force acting on surface particles at equatorial latitudes may overcome the gravitational pull of the asteroid itself, and particles may leave its suface. Centrifugal is an apparent contact force, and as soon as particles lift off they mainly move under the gravitational field of the asteroid and the satellite, they may levitate for some time, land on the surface and repeat this cycle over and over. We are studying the motion of particles in the 1 μm to 10 cm range in the non-inertial reference frame of the rotating primary, accounting for centrifugal and Coriolis apparent forces as well as the gravitational fields of the primary, the secondary, the Sun and the radiation forces by the Sun itself. The main features of this effect are presented in the case of Didymos and 1996 FG3.

  15. Open Access Discovery of alunite in Cross crater, Terra Sirenum, Mars: Evidence for acidic, sulfurous waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Swayze, Gregg A.; Milliken, Ralph E.; Mustard, John F.; Clark, Roger N.; Murchie, Scott L.; Breit, George N.; Wray, James J.; Gondet, Brigitte; Poulet, Francois; Carter, John; Calvin, Wendy M.; Benzel, William M.; Seelos, Kimberly D.

    2016-01-01

    Cross crater is a 65 km impact crater, located in the Noachian highlands of the Terra Sirenum region of Mars (30°S, 158°W), which hosts aluminum phyllosilicate deposits first detected by the Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, L’Eau, les Glaces et l’Activitié (OMEGA) imaging spectrometer on Mars Express. Using high-resolution data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, we examine Cross crater’s basin-filling sedimentary deposits. Visible/shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectra from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) show absorptions diagnostic of alunite. Combining spectral data with high-resolution images, we map a large (10 km × 5 km) alunite-bearing deposit in southwest Cross crater, widespread kaolin-bearing sediments with variable amounts of alunite that are layered in <10 m scale beds, and silica- and/or montmorillonite-bearing deposits that occupy topographically lower, heavily fractured units. The secondary minerals are found at elevations ranging from 700 to 1550 m, forming a discontinuous ring along the crater wall beneath darker capping materials. The mineralogy inside Cross crater is different from that of the surrounding terrains and other martian basins, where Fe/Mg-phyllosilicates and Ca/Mg-sulfates are commonly found. Alunite in Cross crater indicates acidic, sulfurous waters at the time of its formation. Waters in Cross crater were likely supplied by regionally upwelling groundwaters as well as through an inlet valley from a small adjacent depression to the east, perhaps occasionally forming a lake or series of shallow playa lakes in the closed basin. Like nearby Columbus crater, Cross crater exhibits evidence for acid sulfate alteration, but the alteration in Cross is more extensive/complete. The large but localized occurrence of alunite suggests a localized, high-volume source of acidic waters or vapors, possibly supplied by sulfurous (H2S- and/or SO2-bearing) waters in contact with a magmatic source, upwelling

  16. Applications of granular-dynamics numerical simulations to asteroid surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, D. C.; Michel, P.; Schwartz, S. R.; Yu, Y.; Ballouz, R.-L.; Matsumura, S.

    2014-07-01

    Spacecraft images and indirect observations including thermal inertia measurements indicate most small bodies have surface regolith. Evidence of granular flow is also apparent in the images. This material motion occurs in very low gravity, therefore in a totally different gravitational environment than on the Earth. Upcoming sample-return missions to small bodies, and possible future manned missions, will involve interaction with the surface regolith, so it is important to develop tools to predict the surface response. We have added new capabilities to the N-body gravity tree code pkdgrav [1,2] that permit the simulation of granular dynamics, including multi-contact physics and friction forces, using the soft-sphere discrete-element method [3]. The numerical approach has been validated through comparison with laboratory experiments (e.g., [3,4]). (1) We carried out impacts into granular materials using different projectile shapes under Earth's gravity [5] and compared the results to laboratory experiments [6] in support of JAXA's Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample-return mission. We tested different projectile shapes and confirmed that the 90-degree cone was the most efficient at excavating mass when impacting 5-mm-diameter glass beads. Results are sensitive to the normal coefficient of restitution and the coefficient of static friction. Preliminary experiments in micro-gravity for similar impact conditions show both the amount of ejected mass and the timescale of the impact process increase, as expected. (2) It has been found (e.g., [7,8]) that ''fresh'' (unreddened) Q-class asteroids have a high probability of recent planetary encounters (˜1 Myr; also see [9]), suggesting that surface refreshening may have occurred due to tidal effects. As an application of the potential effect of tidal interactions, we carried out simulations of Apophis' predicted 2029 encounter with the Earth to see whether regolith motion might occur, using a range of plausible material parameters

  17. MarcoPolo-R: Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brucato, John Robert

    2012-07-01

    applied to individual components of the complex mixture of materials that forms an asteroid regolith, in orer to determine their precise chemical, mineralogical and isotopic composition. Such measurements are vital for revealing the evidence of stellar, interstellar medium, pre-solar nebula and parent body processes that are retained in primitive asteroidal material. In addition to addressing the exciting science goals, the MarcoPolo-R mission also involves technologies for which technical development programmes are well under way. It is the ideal platform to (i) demonstrate innovative capabilities such as: accurate planetary navigation and landing, sample return operational chain; (ii) prepare the next generation of curation facilities for extra-terrestrial sample storage and analysis; (iii) develop high speed re-entry capsule; (iv) pave the way as a pathfinder mission for future sample returns from bodies with high surface gravity.

  18. Radar observations and shape model of asteroid 16 Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Michael K.; Richardson, James; Taylor, Patrick A.; Rodriguez-Ford, Linda A.; Conrad, Al; de Pater, Imke; Adamkovics, Mate; de Kleer, Katherine; Males, Jared R.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Close, Laird M.; Kaasalainen, Mikko; Viikinkoski, Matti; Timerson, Bradley; Reddy, Vishnu; Magri, Christopher; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Warner, Brian D.; Harris, Alan W.

    2017-01-01

    Using the S-band radar at Arecibo Observatory, we observed 16 Psyche, the largest M-class asteroid in the main belt. We obtained 18 radar imaging and 6 continuous wave runs in November and December 2015, and combined these with 16 continuous wave runs from 2005 and 6 recent adaptive-optics (AO) images (Drummond et al., 2016) to generate a three-dimensional shape model of Psyche. Our model is consistent with a previously published AO image (Hanus et al., 2013) and three multi-chord occultations. Our shape model has dimensions 279 × 232 × 189 km (± 10%), Deff = 226 ± 23 km, and is 6% larger than, but within the uncertainties of, the most recently published size and shape model generated from the inversion of lightcurves (Hanus et al., 2013). Psyche is roughly ellipsoidal but displays a mass-deficit over a region spanning 90° of longitude. There is also evidence for two ∼50-70 km wide depressions near its south pole. Our size and published masses lead to an overall bulk density estimate of 4500 ± 1400 kgm-3. Psyche's mean radar albedo of 0.37 ± 0.09 is consistent with a near-surface regolith composed largely of iron-nickel and ∼40% porosity. Its radar reflectivity varies by a factor of 1.6 as the asteroid rotates, suggesting global variations in metal abundance or bulk density in the near surface. The variations in radar albedo appear to correlate with large and small-scale shape features. Our size and Psyche's published absolute magnitude lead to an optical albedo of pv = 0.15 ± 0.03, and there is evidence for albedo variegations that correlate with shape features.

  19. Asteroid 16 Psyche: Radar Observations and Shape Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Michael K.; Richardson, James E.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Rodriguez-Ford, Linda A.; Conrad, Al; de Pater, Imke; Adamkovics, Mate; de Kleer, Katherine R.; Males, Jared; Morzinski, Kathleen M.; Miller Close, Laird; Kaasalainen, Mikko; Viikinkoski, Matti; Timerson, Bradley; Reddy, Vishnu; Magri, Christopher; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Warner, Brian D.; Harris, Alan W.

    2016-10-01

    We observed 16 Psyche, the largest M-class asteroid in the main belt, using the S-band radar at Arecibo Observatory. We obtained 18 radar imaging and 6 continuous wave runs in November and December 2015, and combined these with 16 continuous wave runs from 2005 and 6 recent adaptive-optics (AO) images to generate a three-dimensional shape model of Psyche. Our model is consistent with a previously published AO image [Hanus et al. Icarus 226, 1045-1057, 2013] and three multi-chord occultations. Our shape model has dimensions 279 x 232 x 189 km (±10%), Deff = 226 ± 23 km, and is 6% larger than, but within the uncertainties of, the most recently published size and shape model generated from the inversion of lightcurves [Hanus et al., 2013]. Psyche is roughly ellipsoidal but displays a mass-deficit over a region spanning 90° of longitude. There is also evidence for two ~50-70 km wide depressions near its south pole. Our size and published masses lead to an overall bulk density estimate of 4500 ± 1400 kg m-3. Psyche's mean radar albedo of 0.37 ± 0.09 is consistent with a near-surface regolith composed largely of iron-nickel and ~40% porosity. Its radar reflectivity varies by a factor of 1.6 as the asteroid rotates, suggesting global variations in metal abundance or bulk density in the near surface. The variations in radar albedo appear to correlate with large and small-scale shape features. Our size and Psyche's published absolute magnitude lead to an optical albedo of pv = 0.15 ± 0.03, and there is evidence for albedo variegations that correlate with shape features.

  20. Molybdenum evidence for expansive sulfidic water masses in ~ 750 Ma oceans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Tais Wittchen; Canfield, Donald Eugene; Rosing, Minik Thorleif

    2011-01-01

    composition of ancient seawater. Further, we investigate the ~ 750 Ma Walcott Member of the Chuar Group, Grand Canyon, which accumulated in a rift basin with open connection to the ocean. Iron speciation data from upper Walcott shales indicate that local bottom waters were anoxic and sulfidic, consistent......The Ediacaran appearance of large animals, including motile bilaterians, is commonly hypothesized to reflect a physiologically enabling increase in atmospheric and oceanic oxygen abundances (pO2). To date, direct evidence for low oxygen in pre-Ediacaran oceans has focused on chemical signatures...... in the rock record that reflect conditions in local basins, but this approach is both biased to constrain only shallower basins and statistically limited when we seek to follow the evolution of mean ocean chemical state through time. Because the abundance and isotopic composition of molybdenum (Mo) in organic...

  1. Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment by comets and asteroids has become more widely accepted. Comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are devoid of liquid water and therefore unsuitable for life. Complex organic compounds have been observed in comets and on the water-rich asteroid 1998 KY26 and near IR observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar that has resurfacing suggesting cryovolcanic outgassing. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have shown that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx. 350-400 K) can be reached on the surfae of the very black (albedo approx. 0.03) nuclei of comets when they approach the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets from the nuclei of several comets indicate that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the comet crust. The Deep Impact mission found the temperature of the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from a minimum of 280 plus or minus 8 K the 330K (57 C) on the sunlit side. In this paper it is argued that that pools and films of liquid water exist (within a wide range of temperatures) in cavities and voids just beneath the hot, black crust. The possibility of liquid water existing over a wide range of temperatures significantly enhances the possibility that comets might contain niches suitable for the growth of microbial communities and ecosystems. These regimes would be ideal for the growth of psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic

  2. The evolutionary and ecological benefits of asteroid and comet impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Bland, Philip A

    2005-04-01

    Commonly viewed solely as agents of destruction, asteroid and comet impact events can also have a beneficial influence on processes from the molecular to the evolutionary scale. On the heavily bombarded early Earth, impacts might have delivered and caused the synthesis of prebiotic compounds that eventually led to life. At the organismal and ecosystem level, impact events can provide new habitats through the shock processing of target materials and by enhancing water availability, such as within intracrater lakes. At the evolutionary level, by destroying entire groups of organisms, impacts might have been instrumental in enabling the rise of new groups, such as the dinosaurs and mammals. Here, we synthesize the emerging literature on the beneficial effects of impacts to provide a novel perspective on these extraterrestrial agents of biological change.

  3. Reverse Asteroids: Searching for an Effective Tool to Combat Asteroid Belt Misconceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, F.; Eisenhamer, B.

    2014-12-01

    The public 'knows' that asteroid belts are densely packed and dangerous for spaceships to cross. Visuals from "Star Wars" to, unfortunately, the recent "Cosmos" TV series have firmly established this astronomical misconception. However, even scientifically correct graphics, such as the Minor Planet Center's plot of the inner solar system, reinforces that view. Each pixel in the image is more than a million kilometers in width, making an accurate representation of the object density impossible.To address this widespread misconception, we are investigating an educational exercise built around a computer interactive that we call "Reverse Asteroids". In the arcade classic video game, the asteroids came to the player's spaceship. For our reverse implementation, we consider an inquiry-based activity in which the spaceship must go hunting for the asteroids, using a database of real objects in our solar system. Both 3D data visualization and basic statistical analysis play crucial roles in bringing out the true space density within the asteroid belt, and perhaps a reconciliation between imagination and reality. We also emphasize that a partnership of scientists and educators is fundamental to the success of such projects.

  4. Feasibility study for the quantitative assessment of mineral resources in asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keszthelyi, Laszlo; Hagerty, Justin; Bowers, Amanda; Ellefsen, Karl; Ridley, Ian; King, Trude; Trilling, David; Moskovitz, Nicholas; Grundy, Will

    2017-04-21

    This study was undertaken to determine if the U.S. Geological Survey’s process for conducting mineral resource assessments on Earth can be applied to asteroids. Successful completion of the assessment, using water and iron resources to test the workflow, has resulted in identification of the minimal adjustments required to conduct full resource assessments beyond Earth. We also identify the types of future studies that would greatly reduce uncertainties in an actual future assessment. Whereas this is a feasibility study and does not include a complete and robust analysis of uncertainty, it is clear that the water and metal resources in near-Earth asteroids are sufficient to support humanity should it become a fully space-faring species.

  5. Spectroscopic investigation of asteroids belonging to the Themis and Beagle families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornasier, S.; Perna, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Merlin, F.; Dotto, E.

    2012-09-01

    24 Themis is the largest body of the Themis family. Within this big family a cluster of very young asteroids (age Beagle sub-family, has been identified. Recently water ice and organics were detected on 24 Themis indicating that the Themis family may be an important reservoir of ice. Moreover, the main belt comets 133P, 238P, and 176P may be related with the Themis family because of orbital proximities and spectral properties analogies. The aim of this work is to spectroscopically investigate some asteroids belonging to the Themis family and to the young Beagle sub-family in order to look for absorption bands related to water ice, hydrated silicates and organics.

  6. The Themis-Beagle families: clues into space weathering processes on primitive asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornasier, S.; Perna, D.; Lantz, C.; Barucci, M. A.

    2015-10-01

    The Themis family is a natural laboratory to study the asteroids-comets continuum and space weathering effects. Recently water ice and organics were detected on 24 Themis indicating that the Themis family may be an important reservoir of ice. Moreover, some main belt comets may be related with the Themis family because of orbital proximities and spectral properties analogies. Within the old Themis family members, a young sub-family, Beagle, formed less than 10 Myr ago, has been identified. Thus the Themis family is very important to shed light on the asteroid-comet continuum, to constrain the abundances of water ices in the outer part of the main belt, and to probe space weathering effects on old Themis and young Beagle families' members.

  7. A Newborn Asteroid Family of Likely Rotational Origin Harboring a Doubly-Synchronous Binary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drahus, Michal; Waniak, Waclaw

    2016-10-01

    From the total number of about twenty active asteroids identified to date, one of the most intriguing is P/2012 F5. The 2-km sized object has a short rotation period of 3.24 hr – the shortest known among main-belt active asteroids and comets – and is trailed by several fragments recently separated from the main nucleus (Drahus et al. 2015, ApJL 802, L8). Our extensive observations with Hubble in late 2015 and early 2016 have revealed that the fragments are real and stable "baby asteroids", still cocooned in their birth dust trail. Consequently, P/2012 F5 is the first known asteroid family forming in the present-day epoch. Given the rapid spin of the main nucleus, the system is also the best candidate for the first "rotational" asteroid family originating from rotational fission (as opposed to the long-known "collisional" families), extending the recently identified class of asteroid pairs (Pravec et al. 2010, Nature 466, 1085). Furthermore, the HST data allowed us to measure a light curve of the brightest fragment of P/2012 F5, several magnitudes fainter than the main nucleus. The light curve has all the characteristics of a close binary with significantly elongated, roughly equal sized components, having equal rotation and orbital periods of about 9 hr. The existence of a doubly-synchronous binary in an ultra-young asteroid family is seemingly inconsistent with the established "slow" binary formation path, in which YORP torques first lead to rotational fission and then tides lead to synchronization (Jacobson & Scheeres 2011, Icarus 214, 161). Instead, we believe that the object fissioned while orbiting the main nucleus and drawing its angular momentum, and was subsequently ejected from the system as a finished doubly-synchronous binary. This scenario is consistent with computer simulations in that the timescales for secondary fission and ejection from the system are indeed very short (Jacobson & Scheeres 2011, Icarus 214, 161). But the empirical evidence that

  8. European asteroid sample return mission: MarcoPolo-R and its future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, M.

    2014-07-01

    MarcoPolo-R is a sample return mission study to a primitive Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) carried out at ESA from 2008 in the framework of ESA's Cosmic Vision (CV) programme, with the objective to answer to the fundamental CV questions ''How does the Solar System work?'' and ''What are the conditions for life and planetary formation?''. The returned material will allow us to study in terrestrial laboratories some of the most primitive materials available to investigate early solar system formation processes, to explore initial stages of habitable planet formation, to identify and characterize the organics and volatiles in a primitive asteroid. In fact, only in the laboratory can instruments with the necessary precision and sensitivity be applied to individual components of the complex mixture of materials that forms an asteroid regolith, to determine their precise chemical and isotopic composition. Such measurements are vital for revealing the evidence of interstellar medium, pre-solar nebula and parent body processes that are retained in primitive asteroidal material, unaltered by atmospheric entry or terrestrial contamination. In addition to addressing these major science goals, the MarcoPolo-R mission study (ESA/SRE (2013)4) also involved innovative European technologies for which ESA technical development programs are still under way. As a result of the several industrial studies, ESA designed a remarkably cost-effective and robust asteroid sample return mission scenario. The spacecraft has been defined making use of low-cost units for most of the sub-systems. The key sample return capabilities, i.e. asteroid navigation, touch and go, sampling mechanism and the re-entry capsule have reached at ESA a validation status to enter implementation phase. In this new era of international effort and interest of sample return with the selected missions of Hayabusa-2 (JAXA) and OSIRIS-Rex (NASA), the development of sample return technology represents in Europe a crucial

  9. Asteroids - the modern challenge of celestial dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikova, Smiliana

    2002-11-01

    Among the most powerful statements in Science are those that mark absolute limits to knowledge. For example, Relativity and Quantum Theory touched the limits of speed and accuracy. Deterministic Chaos - the new scientific paradigma of our days, also falls in this class theories. Chaos means complexity in space and unpredictability in time. It shows the limit of our basic counting system and leads to a limited predictability of the long time dynamical evolution. Perhaps for that reason, in 1986 Sir James Lighthill remarked for all physicists: "We collectively wish to apologize for having misled the general educated public by spreading ideas about the determinism of systems satisfying Newton's laws of motion that, after 1960, were proved incorrect." Our main thesis is that Asteroid Dynamics is the arena where the drama Chaos versus predictability is initiated and developed. The aim of the present research is to show the way in which Deterministic Chaos restricts the long term dynamical predictability of asteroid motions.

  10. Computation of Asteroid Proper Elements: Recent Advances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knežević, Z.

    2017-06-01

    The recent advances in computation of asteroid proper elements are briefly reviewed. Although not representing real breakthroughs in computation and stability assessment of proper elements, these advances can still be considered as important improvements offering solutions to some practical problems encountered in the past. The problem of getting unrealistic values of perihelion frequency for very low eccentricity orbits is solved by computing frequencies using the frequency-modified Fourier transform. The synthetic resonant proper elements adjusted to a given secular resonance helped to prove the existence of Astraea asteroid family. The preliminary assessment of stability with time of proper elements computed by means of the analytical theory provides a good indication of their poorer performance with respect to their synthetic counterparts, and advocates in favor of ceasing their regular maintenance; the final decision should, however, be taken on the basis of more comprehensive and reliable direct estimate of their individual and sample average deviations from constancy.

  11. The Bering small vehicle asteroid mission concept

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, Rene; Andersen, Anja; Haack, Henning

    2004-01-01

    targets. The dilemma obviously being the resolution versus distance and the statistics versus DeltaV requirements. Using advanced instrumentation and onboard autonomy, we have developed a space mission concept whose goal is to map the flux, size, and taxonomy distributions of asteroids. The main focus......The study of asteroids is traditionally performed by means of large Earth based telescopes, by means of which orbital elements and spectral properties are acquired. Space borne research, has so far been limited to a few occasional flybys and a couple of dedicated flights to a single selected target....... Although the telescope based research offers precise orbital information, it is limited to the brighter, larger objects, and taxonomy as well as morphology resolution is limited. Conversely, dedicated missions offer detailed surface mapping in radar, visual, and prompt gamma, but only for a few selected...

  12. Is 1220 Crocus a precessing, binary asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, R. P.

    1985-01-01

    Photoelectric data of the asteroid 1220 Crocus over a 13 night period in 1984 revealed the presence of two separate periods. The light curves were indicative of a precessing body, but not one in free precession due to motions induced by a collision. Closer examinations revealed periods of 30.7 and 7.9 hr with amplitudes of 0.87 and 0.15 mag, respectively. An analysis of the source of an external torque which could be causing a forced precession led to the hypothesis that 1220 Crocus has a satellite. Verification of the binary asteroid configuration will depend on more detailed light curves, the possible modulation of the shorter period by the longer, and possible use of the Space Telescope.

  13. Is 1220 Crocus a precessing, binary asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, R. P.

    1985-07-01

    Photoelectric data of the asteroid 1220 Crocus over a 13 night period in 1984 revealed the presence of two separate periods. The light curves were indicative of a precessing body, but not one in free precession due to motions induced by a collision. Closer examinations revealed periods of 30.7 and 7.9 hr with amplitudes of 0.87 and 0.15 mag, respectively. An analysis of the source of an external torque which could be causing a forced precession led to the hypothesis that 1220 Crocus has a satellite. Verification of the binary asteroid configuration will depend on more detailed light curves, the possible modulation of the shorter period by the longer, and possible use of the Space Telescope.

  14. Asteroid absolute magnitudes and slope parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.

    1991-01-01

    A new listing of absolute magnitudes (H) and slope parameters (G) has been created and published in the Minor Planet Circulars; this same listing will appear in the 1992 Ephemerides of Minor Planets. Unlike previous listings, the values of the current list were derived from fits of data at the V band. All observations were reduced in the same fashion using, where appropriate, a single basis default value of 0.15 for the slope parameter. Distances and phase angles were computed for each observation. The data for 113 asteroids was of sufficiently high quality to permit derivation of their H and G. These improved absolute magnitudes and slope parameters will be used to deduce the most reliable bias-corrected asteroid size-frequency distribution yet made.

  15. New CCD photometry of asteroid (1028) Lydina

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yi-Bo Wang; Xiao-Bin Wang

    2012-01-01

    New CCD photometric observations for asteroid (1028) Lydina,carried out with the 1-m and 2.4-m telescopes at Yunnan Observatory from 2011 December 19 to 2012 February 3,are presented.Using the new light curves,the rotation period of 11.680±0.001 hours is derived with the Phase Dispersion Minimization (PDM) method.In addition,using the Amplitude-Aspect method,the elementary results of the pole orientation of asteroid (1028) Lydina are obtained:λp= 111°+4°-4°,βp= 31°+4°-5°.Meanwhile,the axial ratios of the tri-axial ellipsoid are estimated:a/b = 1.77+0.10-0.08and b/c = 1.17+0.07-0.09.

  16. Equilibrium figures of inhomogeneous synchronous binary asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Descamps, P.

    2010-06-01

    The present paper deals with the application of the classical theory of equilibrium figures of two rotating liquid masses to the case where bodies exhibit a radially stratified internal density distribution so that they can be considered as inhomogeneous bodies. The derived ellipsoidal shape solutions are applied to five real systems of equal-sized synchronous asteroids. Furthermore, internal inhomogeneity puts strong constraints on the surface grain density. A satisfactory model fit is achieved with internal densities of asteroids steadily increasing outwards. In particular, from such an approach we derived grain densities of the considered systems in agreement with their mineralogical composition inferred from reflectance spectroscopy. According to this new approach, 4492 Debussy, presently of unknown spectral type, is predicted to appear as a C-type object with a grain density on the order of 2 g/cm 3.

  17. Effective stability of the Trojan asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Skokos, C; Skokos, Ch.

    2001-01-01

    We study the spatial circular restricted problem of three bodies in the light of Nekhoroshev theory of stability over large time intervals. We consider in particular the Sun-Jupiter model and the Trojan asteroids in the neighborhood of the Lagrangian point $L_4$. We find a region of effective stability around the point $L_4$ such that if the initial point of an orbit is inside this region the orbit is confined in a slightly larger neighborhood of the equilibrium (in phase space) for a very long time interval. By combining analytical methods and numerical approximations we are able to prove that stability over the age of the universe is guaranteed on a realistic region, big enough to include one real asteroid. By comparing this result with the one obtained for the planar problem we see that the regions of stability in the two cases are of the same magnitude.

  18. Catalogue of ISO LWS observations of asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Hormuth, Felix

    2009-01-01

    (Abridged) The Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) onboard the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) observed the four large main-belt asteroids (1) Ceres, (2) Pallas, (4) Vesta, and (10) Hygiea multiple times. The photometric and spectroscopic data cover the wavelength range between 43 and 197 um, and are a unique dataset for future investigations and detailed characterisations of these bodies. The standard ISO archive products, produced through the last post-mission LWS pipeline, were still affected by instrument artefacts. Our goal was to provide the best possible data products to exploit the full scientific potential of these observations. We performed a refined reduction of all measurements, corrected for various instrumental effects, and re-calibrated the data. We outline the data reduction process and give an overview of the available data and the quality of the observations. We apply a thermophysical model to the flux measurements to derive far-IR based diameter and albedo values of the asteroids. The measu...

  19. Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Jianghui; Jiang, Yun; Zhao, Yuhui; Wang, Su; Yu, Liangliang

    2016-01-01

    On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.

  20. Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Jianghui; Zhao, Yuhui; Wang, Su; Yu, Liangliang

    2015-01-01

    On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.

  1. Asteroid Deflection Using a Spacecraft in Restricted Keplerian Motion

    CERN Document Server

    Ketema, Yohannes

    2016-01-01

    A method for asteroid deflection that makes use of a spacecraft moving back and forth on a segment of an appropriate Keplerian orbit about the asteroid is described and evaluated. It is shown that, on average, the spacecraft describing such a trajectory can exert a significantly larger force on the asteroid than e.g. a stationary gravity tractor, thereby reducing the time needed to effect a desired velocity change for the asteroid. Furthermore, the current method does not require canted thrusters on the spacecraft (unlike a stationary gravity tractor), markedly reducing the amount of fuel needed to create a given change in the asteroid velocity. In addition, the method allows for the simultaneous use of several spacecraft, further strengthening the overall tugging effect on the asteroid, and distributing the thrust requirement among the spacecraft.

  2. Radar observations of the asteroid 2011 UW158

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, A. V.; Bondarenko, Yu. S.; Medvedev, Yu. D.; Mishina, N. A.; Marshalov, D. A.; Benner, L. A.

    2016-12-01

    In July 2015 intercontinental bistatic radar observations of the potentially dangerous asteroid 2011 UW158 during its close approach to the Earth were carried out. The asteroid was illuminated at a frequency of 8.4 GHz with the 70-m DSS-14 antenna of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, while the signal reflected from the asteroid was received with the 32-m radio telescopes of the Quasar VLBI network at the Zelenchukskaya and Badary Observatories. The spectra of the reflected radio signals were obtained. The sizes and rotation period of the asteroid consistent with photometric observations and the ratio of the powers of the reflected signals with left- and right-hand circular polarizations were determined. The derived values suggest that the asteroid has an inhomogeneous surface and a prolate shape. The observations of the Doppler shift of the reflected signal frequency were obtained, which allowed the orbital parameters of the asteroid to be improved.

  3. Observational evidence for volcanic impact on sea level and the global water cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinsted, A; Moore, J C; Jevrejeva, S

    2007-12-11

    It has previously been noted that there are drops in global sea level (GSL) after some major volcanic eruptions. However, observational evidence has not been convincing because there is substantial variability in the global sea level record over periods similar to those at which we expect volcanoes to have an impact. To quantify the impact of volcanic eruptions we average monthly GSL data from 830 tide gauge records around five major volcanic eruptions. Surprisingly, we find that the initial response to a volcanic eruption is a significant rise in sea level of 9 +/- 3 mm in the first year after the eruption. This rise is followed by a drop of 7 +/- 3 mm in the period 2-3 years after the eruption relative to preeruption sea level. These results are statistically robust and no particular volcanic eruption or ocean region dominates the signature we find. Neither the drop nor especially the rise in GSL can be explained by models of lower oceanic heat content. We suggest that the mechanism is a transient disturbance of the water cycle with a delayed response of land river runoff relative to ocean evaporation and global precipitation that affects global sea level. The volcanic impact on the water cycle and sea levels is comparable in magnitude to that of a large El Niño-La Niña cycle, amounting to approximately 5% of global land precipitation.

  4. 3382 Cassidy: A Short Period Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risley, Ethan

    2013-04-01

    The asteroid 3382 Cassidy was observed from the Etscorn Campus Observatory (ECO, 2012) at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM, on nine nights over a span of 43 days in 2012 September-November. A bimodal synodic period of 4.254 ± 0.002 h and an amplitude of 0.15 ± 0.02 mag were obtained.

  5. Polarimetry of M-type asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Hutton, R.

    2007-03-01

    Aims:Results of a polarimetric program at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (Casleo), San Juan, Argentina are presented. The aim of this campaign is to estimate the polarimetric properties of asteroids belonging to the X taxonomic class. In this paper results of the campaign for M-type objects are presented. Methods: The data have been obtained with Casprof and Torino polarimeters at the 2.15 m telescope. The Casprof polarimeter is a two-hole aperture polarimeter with rapid modulation and the Torino polarimeter is an instrument that allows simultaneous measurement of polarization in the U-, B-, V-, R-, and I-bands. Results: The campaign began in 2000, and data on a sample of 26 M-type asteroids were obtained. Most of these objects were polarimetricaly observed for the first time. Combining these data with those available in the literature, an estimate of the polarimetric parameters and albedo for 12 objects is presented. Furthermore, the data show that asteroids 21 Lutetia and 77 Frigga have a large inversion angle and 441 Bathilde a deep polarization minimum, implying a controversial taxonomic classification as M-type for these objects. Also, the polarimetric parameters estimated for the M-type asteroids showing in their spectra the 3 μm band and classified as W-type by Rivkin et al. (1995, Icarus, 117, 90; 2000, ApJ, 145, 351) could be different from those without that feature. Based on observations carried out at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina, and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba and San Juan.

  6. Consequences of Predicted or Actual Asteroid Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C. R.

    2003-12-01

    Earth impact by an asteroid could have enormous physical and environmental consequences. Impactors larger than 2 km diameter could be so destructive as to threaten civilization. Since such events greatly exceed any other natural or man-made catastrophe, much extrapolation is necessary just to understand environmental implications (e.g. sudden global cooling, tsunami magnitude, toxic effects). Responses of vital elements of the ecosystem (e.g. agriculture) and of human society to such an impact are conjectural. For instance, response to the Blackout of 2003 was restrained, but response to 9/11 terrorism was arguably exaggerated and dysfunctional; would society be fragile or robust in the face of global catastrophe? Even small impacts, or predictions of impacts (accurate or faulty), could generate disproportionate responses, especially if news media reports are hyped or inaccurate or if responsible entities (e.g. military organizations in regions of conflict) are inadequately aware of the phenomenology of small impacts. Asteroid impact is the one geophysical hazard of high potential consequence with which we, fortunately, have essentially no historical experience. It is thus important that decision makers familiarize themselves with the hazard and that society (perhaps using a formal procedure, like a National Academy of Sciences study) evaluate the priority of addressing the hazard by (a) further telescopic searches for dangerous but still-undiscovered asteroids and (b) development of mitigation strategies (including deflection of an oncoming asteroid and on- Earth civil defense). I exemplify these issues by discussing several representative cases that span the range of parameters. Many of the specific physical consequences of impact involve effects like those of other geophysical disasters (flood, fire, earthquake, etc.), but the psychological and sociological aspects of predicted and actual impacts are distinctive. Standard economic cost/benefit analyses may not

  7. CCD Photometry of Asteroid (147) Protogeneia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xi-Liang Zhang; Xiao-Bin Wang; Li-Yun Zhang

    2006-01-01

    We measured the light-curve of the asteroid (147) Protogeneia in November 2004, with a CCD detector attached to the 1-meter telescope at the Yunnan Observatory, China. The synodic period and maximum amplitude of (147) at this apparition are 7.852 hours and 0.25 mag, respectively. The value of a/b for (147), from a preliminary estimation, is not less than 1.26:1.

  8. Asteroids in the service of humanity

    CERN Document Server

    Crawford, Ian A

    2013-01-01

    There are at least three compelling reasons for the human race to initiate a major programme to explore and better understand the 'minor planets' of the Solar System: (1) Enhancing scientific knowledge; (2) Mitigating the impact hazard; and (3) Utilizing extraterrestrial resources. Strong synergies exist between all three. Moreover, all these activities would benefit from greater international cooperation in space exploration by the World's space agencies, and the recognition that asteroids are important targets for human and robotic exploration.

  9. Curation of Osiris-REx Asteroid Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2013-01-01

    The New Frontiers mission, OSIRIS-REx, will encounter carbonaceous asteroid 101955 Bennu (1999 RQ36; [1]) in 2018, collect a sample and return it to Earth and deliver it to NASA-JSC for curation in 2023. The mission curation plan is being developed and an overview will be given, including the main elements of contamination control, sample recovery, cleanroom construction, and curation support once the sample is returned to Earth.

  10. Phylogenetic analysis of the true water bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Nepomorpha: evidence from mitochondrial genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xie Qiang

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The true water bugs are grouped in infraorder Nepomorpha (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera and are of great economic importance. The phylogenetic relationships within Nepomorpha and the taxonomic hierarchies of Pleoidea and Aphelocheiroidea are uncertain. Most of the previous studies were based on morphological characters without algorithmic assessment. In the latest study, the molecular markers employed in phylogenetic analyses were partial sequences of 16S rDNA and 18S rDNA with a total length about 1 kb. Up to now, no mitochondrial genome of the true water bugs has been sequenced, which is one of the largest data sets that could be compared across animal taxa. In this study we analyzed the unresolved problems in Nepomorpha using evidence from mitochondrial genomes. Results Nine mitochondrial genomes of Nepomorpha and five of other hemipterans were sequenced. These mitochondrial genomes contain the commonly found 37 genes without gene rearrangements. Based on the nucleotide sequences of mt-genomes, Pleoidea is not a member of the Nepomorpha and Aphelocheiroidea should be grouped back into Naucoroidea. Phylogenetic relationships among the superfamilies of Nepomorpha were resolved robustly. Conclusion The mt-genome is an effective data source for resolving intraordinal phylogenetic problems at the superfamily level within Heteroptera. The mitochondrial genomes of the true water bugs are typical insect mt-genomes. Based on the nucleotide sequences of the mt-genomes, we propose the Pleoidea to be a separate heteropteran infraorder. The infraorder Nepomorpha consists of five superfamilies with the relationships (Corixoidea + ((Naucoroidea + Notonectoidea + (Ochteroidea + Nepoidea.

  11. International Asteroid Search Campaign: An Educational Outreach Program in Astronomy for High Schools and Colleges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J. P.; Juliano, D.; Davis, J. W.; Holmes, R. E.; Devore, H.; Raab, H.; Pennypacker, C. R.; White, G. L.; Gould, A.

    2008-03-01

    The International Asteroid Search Campaign is an Internet-based program for high schools and colleges. Schools receive images, analyzed by students searching for asteroids and NEOs. Students have 71 asteroid discoveries and 1376 NEO observations.

  12. Example Solar Electric Propulsion System asteroid tours using variational calculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, R. R.

    1985-01-01

    Exploration of the asteroid belt with a vehicle utilizing a Solar Electric Propulsion System has been proposed in past studies. Some of those studies illustrated multiple asteroid rendezvous with trajectories obtained using approximate methods. Most of the inadequacies of those approximations are overcome in this paper, which uses the calculus of variations to calculate the trajectories and associated payloads of four asteroid tours. The modeling, equations, and solution techniques are discussed, followed by a presentation of the results.

  13. Asteroid Detection Results Using the Space Surveillance Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-18

    Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release, distribution unlimited. Asteroid Detection Results Using the Space Surveillance Telescope...USA ABSTRACT From 1998-2013, MIT Lincoln Laboratory operated a highly successful near-Earth asteroid search program using...two 1-m optical telescopes located at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Experimental Test Site (ETS) in Socorro, N.M. In 2014, the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid

  14. Design of MGA trajectories for main belt asteroid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔祜涛; 乔栋; 崔平远; 栾恩杰

    2003-01-01

    Asteroid exploration is one of the most sophisticated missions currently being investigated. Gravityassist trajectories have proven valuable in interplanetary missions such as the Pioneer, Voyager and Galileo. In this paper, we design interplanetary trajectory for main belt asteroid exploration mission with the Mars gravityassist (MGA) using "pork chop" plots and patched-conic theory and give some initial valuable trajectory parameters on main belt asteroid exploration mission with MGA.

  15. Solar System evolution from compositional mapping of the asteroid belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMeo, F E; Carry, B

    2014-01-30

    Advances in the discovery and characterization of asteroids over the past decade have revealed an unanticipated underlying structure that points to a dramatic early history of the inner Solar System. The asteroids in the main asteroid belt have been discovered to be more compositionally diverse with size and distance from the Sun than had previously been known. This implies substantial mixing through processes such as planetary migration and the subsequent dynamical processes.

  16. The small binary asteroid (939) Isberga

    CERN Document Server

    Carry, B; Scheirich, P; Pravec, P; Molnar, L; Mottola, S; Carbognani, A; Jehin, E; Marciniak, A; Binzel, R P; DeMeo, F E; Birlan, M; Delbo, M; Barbotin, E; Behrend, R; Bonnardeau, M; Colas, F; Farissier, P; Fauvaud, M; Fauvaud, S; Gillier, C; Gillon, M; Hellmich, S; Hirsch, R; Leroy, A; Manfroid, J; Montier, J; Morelle, E; Richard, F; Sobkowiak, K; Strajnic, J; Vachier, F

    2014-01-01

    In understanding the composition and internal structure of asteroids, their density is perhaps the most diagnostic quantity. We aim here to characterize the surface composition, mutual orbit, size, mass, and density of the small main-belt binary asteroid (939) Isberga. For that, we conduct a suite of multi-technique observations, including optical lightcurves over many epochs, near-infrared spectroscopy, and interferometry in the thermal infrared. We develop a simple geometric model of binary systems to analyze the interferometric data in combination with the results of the lightcurve modeling. From spectroscopy, we classify Ibserga as a Sq-type asteroid, consistent with the albedo of 0.14$^{+0.09}_{-0.06}$ (all uncertainties are reported as 3-$\\sigma$ range) we determine (average albedo of S-types is 0.197 $\\pm$ 0.153, Pravec et al., 2012, Icarus 221, 365-387). Lightcurve analysis reveals that the mutual orbit has a period of 26.6304 $\\pm$ 0.0001 h, is close to circular, and has pole coordinates within 7 deg...

  17. Spacewatch discovery of near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehrels, Tom

    1992-01-01

    Our overall scientific goal is to survey the solar system to completion - that is, to find the various populations and to study their statistics, interrelations, and origins. The practical benefit to SERC is that we are finding Earth-approaching asteroids that are accessible for mining. Our system can detect Earth-approachers in the 1-km size range even when they are far away, and can detect smaller objects when they are moving rapidly past Earth. Until Spacewatch, the size range of 6-300 meters in diameter for the near-Earth asteroids was unexplored. This important region represents the transition between the meteorites and the larger observed near-Earth asteroids. One of our Spacewatch discoveries, 1991 VG, may be representative of a new orbital class of object. If it is really a natural object, and not man-made, its orbital parameters are closer to those of the Earth than we have seen before; its delta V is the lowest of all objects known thus far. We may expect new discoveries as we continue our surveying, with fine-tuning of the techniques.

  18. The preventive destruction of a hazardous asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksandrova, A. G.; Galushina, T. Yu.; Prishchepenko, A. B.; Kholshevnikov, K. V.; Chechetkin, V. M.

    2016-06-01

    One means of countering a hazardous asteroid is discussed: destruction of the object using a nuclear charge. Explosion of such an asteroid shortly before its predicted collision would have catastrophic consequences, with numerous highly radioactive fragments falling onto the Earth. The possibility of exploding the asteroid several years before its impact is also considered. Such an approach is made feasible because the vast majority of hazardous objects pass by the Earth several times before colliding with it. Computations show that, in the 10 years following the explosion, only a negligible number of fragments fall onto the Earth, whose radioactivity has substantially reduced during this time. In most cases, none of these fragments collides with the Earth. Thus, this proposed method for eliminating a threat from space is reasonable in at least two cases: when it is not possible to undergo a soft removal of the object from the collisional path, and to destroy objects that are continually returning to near-Earth space and require multiple removals from hazardous orbits.

  19. A Probabilistic Asteroid Impact Risk Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathias, Donovan L.; Wheeler, Lorien F.; Dotson, Jessie L.

    2016-01-01

    Asteroid threat assessment requires the quantification of both the impact likelihood and resulting consequence across the range of possible events. This paper presents a probabilistic asteroid impact risk (PAIR) assessment model developed for this purpose. The model incorporates published impact frequency rates with state-of-the-art consequence assessment tools, applied within a Monte Carlo framework that generates sets of impact scenarios from uncertain parameter distributions. Explicit treatment of atmospheric entry is included to produce energy deposition rates that account for the effects of thermal ablation and object fragmentation. These energy deposition rates are used to model the resulting ground damage, and affected populations are computed for the sampled impact locations. The results for each scenario are aggregated into a distribution of potential outcomes that reflect the range of uncertain impact parameters, population densities, and strike probabilities. As an illustration of the utility of the PAIR model, the results are used to address the question of what minimum size asteroid constitutes a threat to the population. To answer this question, complete distributions of results are combined with a hypothetical risk tolerance posture to provide the minimum size, given sets of initial assumptions. Model outputs demonstrate how such questions can be answered and provide a means for interpreting the effect that input assumptions and uncertainty can have on final risk-based decisions. Model results can be used to prioritize investments to gain knowledge in critical areas or, conversely, to identify areas where additional data has little effect on the metrics of interest.

  20. Dynamical evolution of the Cybele asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Carruba, Valerio; Aljbaae, Safwan; Huaman, Mariela Espinoza

    2015-01-01

    The Cybele region, located between the 2J:-1A and 5J:-3A mean-motion resonances, is adjacent and exterior to the asteroid main belt. An increasing density of three-body resonances makes the region between the Cybele and Hilda populations dynamically unstable, so that the Cybele zone could be considered the last outpost of an extended main belt. The presence of binary asteroids with large primaries and small secondaries suggested that asteroid families should be found in this region, but only relatively recently the first dynamical groups were identified in this area. Among these, the Sylvia group has been proposed to be one of the oldest families in the extended main belt. In this work we identify families in the Cybele region in the context of the local dynamics and non-gravitational forces such as the Yarkovsky and stochastic YORP effects. We confirm the detection of the new Helga group at $\\simeq$3.65~AU, that could extend the outer boundary of the Cybele region up to the 5J:-3A mean-motion resonance. We o...

  1. How to find metal-rich asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Harris, Alan W

    2014-01-01

    The metal content of asteroids is of great interest, not only for theories of their origins and the evolution of the solar system but, in the case of near-Earth objects (NEOs), also for impact mitigation planning and endeavors in the field of planetary resources. However, since the reflection spectra of metallic asteroids are largely featureless, it is difficult to identify them and relatively few are known. We show how data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)/NEOWISE thermal-infrared survey and similar surveys, fitted with a simple thermal model, can reveal objects likely to be metal rich. We provide a list of candidate metal-rich NEOs. Our results imply that future infrared surveys with the appropriate instrumentation could discover many more metal-rich asteroids, providing valuable data for assessment of the impact hazard and the potential of NEOs as reservoirs of vital materials for future interplanetary space activities and, eventually perhaps, for use on Earth.

  2. Formation and Evolution of Binary Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Walsh, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Satellites of asteroids have been discovered in nearly every known small body population, and a remarkable aspect of the known satellites is the diversity of their properties. They tell a story of vast differences in formation and evolution mechanisms that act as a function of size, distance from the Sun, and the properties of their nebular environment at the beginning of Solar System history and their dynamical environment over the next 4.5 Gyr. The mere existence of these systems provides a laboratory to study numerous types of physical processes acting on asteroids and their dynamics provide a valuable probe of their physical properties otherwise possible only with spacecraft. Advances in understanding the formation and evolution of binary systems have been assisted by: 1) the growing catalog of known systems, increasing from 33 to nearly 250 between the Merline et al. (2002) Asteroids III chapter and now, 2) the detailed study and long-term monitoring of individual systems such as 1999 KW4 and 1996 FG3, 3...

  3. Naming asteroids for the popularisation of astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo, O. A.

    2008-06-01

    We give a detailed description of how the naming of asteroids was used as a prize in competitions run by educational institutions and museums. There were two events, one in Venezuela and one in Brazil, which used this as an attractive alternative method for the popularisation of astronomy. The first competition, named Bautizo Espacial (Space Baptism), consisted of scientific stories written by high school students. The second, called Grande Desafio (Big Challenge), was a competition where teams of students were challenged to design and build prototype equipment to fight forest fires. Nationally, both events received wide publicity through newspapers, radio, TV and web pages, reaching many people in both countries. As part of both the events, several activities promoting the public knowledge of astronomy were held. The asteroids that were named in these competitions are just some of the many discovered in a search programme developed by the Group of Theoretical Astrophysics of University of Los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela (Grupo de Astrofisica Teórica de la Universidad de Los Andes) as a mainstream research programme. Finally, Asteroids for the Popularisation of Astronomy has been formally proposed to the IAU as a worldwide programme during the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 (IYA2009).

  4. Progress in clinical research of asteroid hyalosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Xue Liu

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Asteroid Hyalosis(AHis a common clinical disease, which has been considered a benign disorder as it rarely impairs visual acuity. It was often discovered when the patient was treated for other eye diseases. The mechanism was unclear. Its characteristic B-ultrasound property makes the B-ultrasound a very helpful diagnostic technique. In the case of the patients with other fundus diseases associated with AH, optical coherence tomography(OCTand fluorescein angiography(FAmay be used to reduce the interference from asteroid bodies, therefore improve the fundus visibility. Recent studies have shown that AH can incorporate with many other eye diseases. For example, in patients with cataracts, asteroid hyalosis can cause surface calcification of silicone plate intraocular lenses, which in most cases may lead to the need for explantation of the calcified intraocular lenses. The efficacy of pars plana vitrectomy(PPV, the removal of some, or all, of the eye's vitreous humor for AH remains controversial. In this paper, we provide a review of the recent literature on AH disease: the etiology, diagnosis and treatment. We hope to thus improve the awareness and outcomes of AH disease.

  5. The Cratering History of Asteroid (2867) Steins

    CERN Document Server

    Marchi, S; Kueppers, M; Marzari, F; Davidsson, B; Keller, H U; Besse, S; Lamy, P; Mottola, S; Massironi, M; Cremonese, G

    2010-01-01

    The cratering history of main belt asteroid (2867) Steins has been investigated using OSIRIS imagery acquired during the Rosetta flyby that took place on the 5th of September 2008. For this purpose, we applied current models describing the formation and evolution of main belt asteroids, that provide the rate and velocity distributions of impactors. These models coupled with appropriate crater scaling laws, allow the cratering history to be estimated. Hence, we derive Steins' cratering retention age, namely the time lapsed since its formation or global surface reset. We also investigate the influence of various factors -like bulk structure and crater erasing- on the estimated age, which spans from a few hundred Myrs to more than 1Gyr, depending on the adopted scaling law and asteroid physical parameters. Moreover, a marked lack of craters smaller than about 0.6km has been found and interpreted as a result of a peculiar evolution of Steins cratering record, possibly related either to the formation of the 2.1km ...

  6. Photometry and models of selected main belt asteroids: IX. Introducing interactive service for asteroid models (ISAM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marciniak, A.; Bartczak, P.; Santana-Ros, T.

    2012-01-01

    from other observing/modelling techniques, we created an on-line service where we allow the inversion models to be orientated interactively. Results. Our sample of objects is quite representative, containing both relatively fast and slow rotators with highly and lowly inclined spin axes. With this work...... occultations, or space probe imaging. Aims. During our ongoing work to increase the set of asteroids with known spin and shape parameters, there appeared a need for displaying the model plane-of-sky orientations for specific epochs to compare models from different techniques. It would also be instructive...... to be able to track how the complex lightcurves are produced by various asteroid shapes. Methods. Basing our analysis on an extensive photometric observational dataset, we obtained eight asteroid models with the convex lightcurve inversion method. To enable comparison of the photometric models with those...

  7. Polarization of asteroid (387) Aquitania: the newest member of a class of large inversion angle asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Masiero, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    We present new imaging polarimetric observations of two Main Belt asteroids, (234) Barbara and (387) Aquitania, taken in the first half of 2008 using the Dual-Beam Imaging Polarimeter on the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope, located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Barbara had been previously shown to exhibit a very unusual polarization-phase curve by Cellino, et al. (2006). Our observations confirm this result and add Aquitania to the growing class of large inversion angle objects. Interestingly, these asteroids show spinel features in their IR spectra suggesting a mineralogical origin to the phase angle-dependent polarimetric features. As spinel is associated with calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions and carbonaceous chondrites, these large inversion angle asteroids may represent some of the oldest surfaces in the solar system. Circular as well as linear polarization measurements were obtained but circular polarization was not detected.

  8. A fast ellipsoid model for asteroids inverted from lightcurves

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Ping Lu; Hai-Bin Zhao; Zhong You

    2013-01-01

    Research about asteroids has recently attracted more and more attention,especially focusing on their physical structures,such as their spin axis,rotation period and shape.The long distance between observers on Earth and asteroids makes it impossible to directly calculate the shape and other parameters of asteroids,with the exception of Near Earth Asteroids and others that have passed by some spacecrafts.Photometric measurements are still generally the main way to obtain research data on asteroids,i.e.the lightcurves recording the brightness and positions of asteroids.Supposing that the shape of the asteroid is a triaxial ellipsoid with a stable spin,a new method is presented in this article to reconstruct the shape models of asteroids from the lightcurves,together with other physical parameters.By applying a special curvature function,the method calculates the brightness integration on a unit sphere and Lebedev quadrature is employed for the discretization.Finally,the method searches for the optimal solution by the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to minimize the residual of the brightness.By adopting this method,not only can related physical parameters of asteroids be obtained at a reasonable accuracy,but also a simple shape model of an ellipsoid can be generated for reconstructing a more sophisticated shape model.

  9. The Nature of C Asteroid Regolith from Meteorite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M.; Mikouchi, T.; Hagiya, K.; Ohsumi, K.; Komatsu, M.; Jenniskens, P.; Le, L.; Yin, Q.-Z; Kebukawa, Y.; Fries, M.

    2013-01-01

    Regolith from C (and related) asteroid bodies are a focus of the current missions Dawn at Ceres, Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. An asteroid as large as Ceres is expected to be covered by a mature regolith, and as Hayabusa demonstrated, flat and therefore engineeringly-safe ponded deposits will probably be the sampling sites for both Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. Here we examine what we have learned about the mineralogy of fine-grained asteroid regolith from recent meteorite studies and the examination of the samples harvested from asteroid Itokawa by Hayabusa.

  10. Thermal History of Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springmann, Alessondra; Lauretta, Dante S.

    2016-10-01

    The connection between orbital and temperature history of small Solar System bodies has only been studied through modeling. The upcoming OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission provides an opportunity to connect thermal modeling predictions with laboratory studies of meteorites to predict past heating and thus dynamical histories of bodies such as OSIRIS-REx mission target asteroid (101955) Bennu. Bennu is a desirable target for asteroid sample return due to its inferred primitive nature, likely 4.5 Gyr old, with chemistry and mineralogy established in the first 10 Myr of solar system history (Lauretta et al. 2015). Delbo & Michel (2011) studied connections between the temperature and orbital history of Bennu. Their results suggest that the surface of Bennu (assuming no regolith turnover) has a 50% probability of being heated to 500 K in the past. Further, the Delbo & Michel simulations show that the temperature within the asteroid below the top layer of regolith could remain at temperatures ~100 K below that of the surface. The Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism on OSIRIS-REx could access both the surface and near surface regolith, collecting primitive asteroid material for study in Earth-based laboratories in 2023. To quantify the effects of thermal metamorphism on the Bennu regolith, laboratory heating experiments on carbonaceous chondrite meteorites with compositions likely similar to that of Bennu were conducted from 300-1200 K. These experiments show mobilization and volatilization of a suite of labile elements (sulfur, mercury, arsenic, tellurium, selenium, antimony, and cadmium) at temperatures that could be reached by asteroids that cross Mercury's orbit. We are able to quantify element loss with temperature for several carbonaceous chondrites and use these results to constrain past orbital histories of Bennu. When OSIRIS-REx samples arrive for analysis we will be able to measure labile element loss in the material, determine maximum past

  11. Rotation Induced Disruption of Cohesive Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez Lana, Diego; Scheeres, D. J.

    2013-10-01

    We use a Soft-Sphere Discrete Element Method (SSDEM) code to study the evolution of self-gravitating cohesive granular aggregates that are spun to disruption as a proxy to "rubble-pile" asteroids. Calculations have shown that the fine regolith in asteroids and molecular Van der Waals forces together may act as a cohesive matrix that provides enough structural strength to hold small NEAs together even at the observed high spin rates. With this in mind we have implemented cohesive forces between the large 10 m) particles that form our aggregates; its strength being controlled by the mean particle size of the matrix. The addition of rolling friction also has allowed us to obtain cohesionless aggregates with friction angles of at least 35° as measured by the Drucker-Prager yield criterion. A series of experiments were run with the code, keeping the size, density and number of grains constant while increasing the cohesive strength of the matrix holding the grains in place. It can be shown, through a scaling analysis, that when the cohesive strength between rubble pile components is increased by a factor of f, that the effective size of the asteroid being modeled will decrease by a factor of 1/√f. To evaluate this we ran a series of 12 cases with increasing cohesive strength, effectively modeling rubble piles of size from 0.1 km up to 100 km with a constant cohesive strength of 25 Pa. Some of our main results are as follows: 1. results from simulations are compatible with a simple model of asteroid strength that predicts, in the cohesion dominated case, that the spin rate for fission is inversely proportional to the size of the asteroid; 2. aggregates may disrupt by shedding or fission, depending on the cohesive strength and the size of the aggregate (shape and heterogeneity factors have not yet been considered); 3. disruption by fission is more likely for small aggregates than for larger aggregates with the same cohesive strength. Further results with spherical and a

  12. Molybdenum evidence for expansive sulfidic water masses in ~ 750 Ma oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl, Tais W.; Canfield, Donald E.; Rosing, Minik T.; Frei, Robert E.; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Anbar, Ariel D.

    2011-11-01

    The Ediacaran appearance of large animals, including motile bilaterians, is commonly hypothesized to reflect a physiologically enabling increase in atmospheric and oceanic oxygen abundances (pO 2). To date, direct evidence for low oxygen in pre-Ediacaran oceans has focused on chemical signatures in the rock record that reflect conditions in local basins, but this approach is both biased to constrain only shallower basins and statistically limited when we seek to follow the evolution of mean ocean chemical state through time. Because the abundance and isotopic composition of molybdenum (Mo) in organic-rich euxinic sediments can vary in response to changes in global redox conditions, Mo geochemistry provides independent constraints on the global evolution of well-oxygenated environments. Here, we establish a theoretical framework to access global marine Mo cycle in the past from the abundance and isotope composition of ancient seawater. Further, we investigate the ~ 750 Ma Walcott Member of the Chuar Group, Grand Canyon, which accumulated in a rift basin with open connection to the ocean. Iron speciation data from upper Walcott shales indicate that local bottom waters were anoxic and sulfidic, consistent with their high organic content (up to 20 wt.%). Similar facies in Phanerozoic successions contain high concentrations of redox-sensitive metals, but in the Walcott Member, abundances of Mo and U, as well as Mo/TOC (~ 0.5 ppm/wt.%) are low. δ 98Mo values also fall well below modern equivalents (0.99 ± 0.13‰ versus ~ 2.35‰ today). These signatures are consistent with model predictions where sulfidic waters cover ~ 1-4% of the global seafloor, corresponding to a ~ 20-80 fold increase compared to the modern ocean. Therefore, our results suggest globally expansive sulfidic water masses in mid-Neoproterozoic oceans, bridging a nearly 700 million-year gap in previous Mo data. We propose that anoxic and sulfidic (euxinic) conditions governed Mo cycling in the oceans

  13. Effect modification of the association between trihalomethanes and pancreatic cancer by drinking water hardness: evidence from an ecological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Hui-Fen; Tsai, Shang-Shyue; Wu, Trong-Neng; Yang, Chun-Yuh

    2010-07-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between total trihalomethanes (TTHM) levels in public water supplies and risk of pancreatic cancer and to determine whether calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) levels in drinking water modify the effects of TTHM on risk to develop pancreatic cancer. A matched case-control study was used to investigate the relationship between the risk of death attributed to pancreatic cancer and exposure to TTHM in drinking water in 53 municipalities in Taiwan. All pancreatic cancer deaths in the 53 municipalities from 1998 through 2007 were obtained from the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Taiwan Provincial Department of Health. Controls were deaths from other causes and were pair matched to the cancer cases by gender, year of birth, and year of death. Each matched control was selected randomly from the set of possible controls for each cancer case. Data on TTHM levels in drinking water were collected from Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration. Information on the levels of Ca and Mg in drinking water was obtained from the Taiwan Water Supply Corporation. The municipality of residence for cancer cases and controls was presumed to be the source of the subject's TTHM, Ca, and Mg exposure via drinking water. Relative to individuals whose TTHM exposure level water with a TTHM exposure > 4.9ppb. There was no evidence of an interaction of drinking water TTHM levels with low Ca intake via drinking water. However, we observed evidence of an interaction between drinking water TTHM concentrations and Mg intake via drinking water. Our findings showed that the correlation between TTHM exposure and risk of pancreatic cancer is influenced by Mg in drinking water. Increased knowledge of the interaction between Mg and TTHM in reducing pancreatic cancer risk will aid in public policy making and standard setting. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Evidence for soil water control on carbon and water dynamics in European forests during the extremely dry year: 2003

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Granier, A.; Reichstein, M.; Breda, N.

    2007-01-01

    stand to estimate the water balance terms: trees and understorey transpiration, rainfall interception, throughfall, drainage in the different soil layers and soil water content. This model calculated the onset date, duration and intensity of the soil water shortage (called water stress) using measured...... European monitoring sites covering various forest ecosystem types and a large climatic range in order to characterise the consequences of this drought on ecosystems functioning. As soil water content in the root zone was only monitored in a few sites, a daily water balance model was implemented at each...... measured and modelled soil water content. Our analysis showed a wide spatial distribution of drought stress over Europe, with a maximum intensity within a large band extending from Portugal to NE Germany. Vapour fluxes in all the investigated sites were reduced by drought, due to stomatal closure, when...

  15. Water requirements of terrestrial and epiphytic orchid seeds and seedlings, and evidence for water uptake by means of mycotrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder; Zettler; Stewart

    2000-07-28

    The use of endomycorrhizal fungi as an energy source (=mycotrophy) initiates seedling development and supplements or replaces photosynthesis in all orchids in nature. Fungus-infected and non-infected seeds of the monkey face orchid, Platanthera integrilabia, a US Federally-threatened terrestrial species, had a different set of water relations than seeds of the green fly orchid, Epidendrum conopseum, a subtropical epiphyte. Seeds of the terrestrial species had lower water loss rates, smaller activation energies for water loss and absorbed water from lower relative humidities. Thus, the epiphyte lacks the enhanced water retention capacity associated with the terrestrial species, implying that epiphytic orchids are capable of germinating quickly given an adequately moist substrate. After germination, water content of fungus-infected seeds was higher. These results provide first time fundamental information related to habitat preference by analyzing seed. Germination is considerably enhanced with mycorrhizal fungi that facilitate the absorption of free water by their orchid seed hosts.

  16. Deflection by kinetic impact: Sensitivity to asteroid properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruck Syal, Megan; Michael Owen, J.; Miller, Paul L.

    2016-05-01

    Impacting an asteroid with a spacecraft traveling at high speed delivers an impulsive change in velocity to the body. In certain circumstances, this strategy could be used to deflect a hazardous asteroid, moving its orbital path off of an Earth-impacting course. However, the efficacy of momentum delivery to asteroids by hypervelocity impact is sensitive to both the impact conditions (particularly velocity) and specific characteristics of the target asteroid. Here we numerically model asteroid response to kinetic impactors under a wide range of initial conditions, using an Adaptive Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code. Impact velocities spanning 1-30 km/s were investigated, yielding, for a particular set of assumptions about the modeled target material, a power-law dependence consistent with a velocity-scaling exponent of μ = 0.44. Target characteristics including equation of state, strength model, porosity, rotational state, and shape were varied, and corresponding changes in asteroid response were documented. The kinetic-impact momentum-multiplication factor, β, decreases with increasing asteroid cohesion and increasing porosity. Although increased porosity lowers β, larger porosities result in greater deflection velocities, as a consequence of reduced target masses for asteroids of fixed size. Porosity also lowers disruption risk for kinetic impacts near the threshold of disruption. Including fast (P = 2.5 h) and very fast (P = 100 s) rotation did not significantly alter β but did affect the risk of disruption by the impact event. Asteroid shape is found to influence the efficiency of momentum delivery, as local slope conditions can change the orientation of the crater ejecta momentum vector. These results emphasize the need for asteroid characterization studies to bracket the range of target conditions expected at near-Earth asteroids while also highlighting some of the principal uncertainties associated with the kinetic-impact deflection strategy.

  17. BAOBAB (Big And Outrageously Bold Asteroid Belt) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcfadden, L. A.; Thomas, C. A; Englander, J. A.; Ruesch, O.; Hosseini, S.; Goossens, S. J.; Mazarico, E. M.; Schmerr, N.

    2017-01-01

    One of the intriguing results of NASA's Dawn mission is the composition and structure of the Main Asteroid Belt's only known dwarf planet, Ceres [1]. It has a top layer of dehydrated clays and salts [2] and an icy-rocky mantle [3,4]. It is widely known that the asteroid belt failed to accrete as a planet by resonances between the Sun and Jupiter. About 20-30 asteroids >100 km diameter are probably differentiated protoplanets [5]. 1) how many more and which ones are fragments of protoplanets? 2) How many and which ones are primordial rubble piles left over from condensation of the solar nebula? 3) How would we go about gaining better and more complete characterization of the mass, interior structure and composition of the Main Belt asteroid population? 4) What is the relationship between asteroids and ocean worlds? Bulk parameters such as the mass, density, and porosity, are important to characterize the structure of any celestial body, and for asteroids in particular, they can shed light on the conditions in the early solar system. Asteroid density estimates exist but currently they are often based on assumed properties of taxonomic classes, or through astronomical survey data where interactions with asteroids are weak at best resulting in large measurement uncertainty. We only have direct density estimates from spacecraft encounters for a few asteroids at this time. Knowledge of the asteroids is significant not only to understand their role in solar system workings, but also to assess their potential as space resources, as impact hazards on Earth, or even as harboring life forms. And for the distant future, we want to know if the idea put forth in a contest sponsored by Physics Today, to surface the asteroids into highly reflecting, polished surfaces and use them as a massively segmented mirror for astrophysical exploration [6], is feasible.

  18. Estimating household water demand using revealed and contingent behaviors: Evidence from Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheesman, Jeremy; Bennett, Jeff; Son, Tran Vo Hung

    2008-11-01

    This article estimates the water demand of households using (1) municipal water exclusively and (2) municipal water and household well water in the capital city of Dak Lak Province in Vietnam. Household water demands are estimated using a panel data set formed by pooling household records of metered municipal water consumption and their stated preferences for water consumption contingent on hypothetical water prices. Estimates show that households using municipal water exclusively have very price inelastic demand. Households using municipal and household well water have more price elastic, but still inelastic, simultaneous water demand and treat municipal water and household well water as substitutes. Household water consumption is influenced by household water storage and supply infrastructure, income, and socioeconomic attributes. The demand estimates are used to forecast municipal water consumption by households in Buon Ma Thuot following an increase to the municipal water tariff to forecast the municipal water supply company's revenue stream following a tariff increase and to estimate the consumer surplus loss resulting from municipal water supply shortages.

  19. The extent of aqueous alteration in C-class asteroids, and the survival of presolar isotopic signatures in chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo-Rodriguez, J. M.

    2011-05-01

    Several sample return missions are being planned by different space agencies for in situ sampling of undifferentiated bodies. Such missions wish to bring back to Earth pristine samples from C-class asteroids and comets to obtain clues on solar system formation conditions. A careful selection of targeted areas is required as many C-class asteroids and periodic comets have been subjected to collisional and space weathering processing since their formation. Their surfaces have been reworked by impacts as pointed out by the brecciated nature of many chondrites arrived to Earth, exhibiting different levels of thermal and aqueous alteration. It is not surprising that pristine chondrites can be considered quite rare in meteorite collections because they were naturally sampled in collisions, but several groups of carbonaceous chondrites contain a few members with promising unaltered properties. The CI and CM groups suffered extensive aqueous alteration [1], but for the most part escaped thermal metamorphism (only a few CMs evidence heating temperature over several hundred K). Both chondrite groups are water-rich, containing secondary minerals as consequence of the pervasive alteration of their primary mineral phases [2]. CO, CV, and CR chondrite groups suffered much less severe aqueous alteration, but some CRs are moderately aqueously altered. All five groups are good candidates to find unequilibrated materials between samples unaffected by aqueous alteration or metamorphism. The water was incorporated during accretion, and was released as consequence of shock after impact compaction, and/or by mild radiogenic heating. Primary minerals were transformed by water into secondary ones. Water soaking the bodies participated in chemical homogenization of the different components [1]. Hydrothermal alteration and collisional metamorphism changed the abundances of isotopically distinguishable presolar silicates [3]. Additional instruments in the landers to identify aqueous

  20. Near-Earth Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2015 June-September

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.

    2016-01-01

    Lightcurves for 46 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) were obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2015 June-September. Four of the asteroids showed indications of non-principal axis rotation (NPAR), or tumbling, (9400) 1994 TW1, (86666) 2000 FL10, (154807) 2004 PP97, and (206378) 2003 RB, but there were insufficient data for full analysis. On the other hand, 2015 JY1 is a confirmed tumbler with a dominate period of 6.442 h and a likely second period of 11.42 h. Evidence of the satellite for the known binary system (385186) 1994 AW1 was found. The estimated size ratio of Ds/Dp >= 0.25 is in good agreement with earlier results. A third period was also found but its origin is not confirmed.

  1. E-type asteroid (2867) Steins as imaged by OSIRIS on board Rosetta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, H U; Barbieri, C; Koschny, D; Lamy, P; Rickman, H; Rodrigo, R; Sierks, H; A'Hearn, M F; Angrilli, F; Barucci, M A; Bertaux, J-L; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B; De Cecco, M; Debei, S; Fornasier, S; Fulle, M; Groussin, O; Gutierrez, P J; Hviid, S F; Ip, W-H; Jorda, L; Knollenberg, J; Kramm, J R; Kührt, E; Küppers, M; Lara, L-M; Lazzarin, M; Lopez Moreno, J; Marzari, F; Michalik, H; Naletto, G; Sabau, L; Thomas, N; Wenzel, K-P; Bertini, I; Besse, S; Ferri, F; Kaasalainen, M; Lowry, S; Marchi, S; Mottola, S; Sabolo, W; Schröder, S E; Spjuth, S; Vernazza, P

    2010-01-08

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission encountered the main-belt asteroid (2867) Steins while on its way to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Images taken with the OSIRIS (optical, spectroscopic, and infrared remote( )imaging system) cameras on board Rosetta show that Steins is an oblate body with an effective spherical diameter of 5.3 kilometers. Its surface does not show color variations. The morphology of Steins is dominated by linear faults and a large 2.1-kilometer-diameter crater near its south pole. Crater counts reveal a distinct lack of small craters. Steins is not solid rock but a rubble pile and has a conical appearance that is probably the result of reshaping due to Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) spin-up. The OSIRIS images constitute direct evidence for the YORP effect on a main-belt asteroid.

  2. Metagenomic Evidence for the Presence of Comammox Nitrospira-Like Bacteria in a Drinking Water System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Ameet J; Marcus, Daniel N; Ijaz, Umer Zeeshan; Bautista-de Lose Santos, Quyen Melina; Dick, Gregory J; Raskin, Lutgarde

    2016-01-01

    We report metagenomic evidence for the presence of a Nitrospira-like organism with the metabolic potential to perform the complete oxidation of ammonia to nitrate (i.e., it is a complete ammonia oxidizer [comammox]) in a drinking water system. This metagenome bin was discovered through shotgun DNA sequencing of samples from biologically active filters at the drinking water treatment plant in Ann Arbor, MI. Ribosomal proteins, 16S rRNA, and nxrA gene analyses confirmed that this genome is related to Nitrospira-like nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The presence of the full suite of ammonia oxidation genes, including ammonia monooxygenase and hydroxylamine dehydrogenase, on a single ungapped scaffold within this metagenome bin suggests the presence of recently discovered comammox potential. Evaluations based on coverage and k-mer frequency distribution, use of two different genome-binning approaches, and nucleic acid and protein similarity analyses support the presence of this scaffold within the Nitrospira metagenome bin. The amoA gene found in this metagenome bin is divergent from those of canonical ammonia and methane oxidizers and clusters closely with the unusual amoA gene of comammox Nitrospira. This finding suggests that previously reported imbalances in abundances of nitrite- and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria/archaea may likely be explained by the capacity of Nitrospira-like organisms to completely oxidize ammonia. This finding might have significant implications for our understanding of microbially mediated nitrogen transformations in engineered and natural systems. IMPORTANCE Nitrification plays an important role in regulating the concentrations of inorganic nitrogen species in a range of environments, from drinking water and wastewater treatment plants to the oceans. Until recently, aerobic nitrification was considered to be a two-step process involving ammonia-oxidizing bacteria or archaea and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. This process requires close cooperation

  3. Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission Nominal Design and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condon, Gerald; williams, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    In 2010, the President announced that, in 2025, the U.S. intended to launch a human mission to an asteroid [1]. This announcement was followed by the idea of a Capability Driven Framework (CDF) [2], which is based on the idea of evolving capabilities from less demanding to more demanding missions to multiple possible destinations and with increased flexibility, cost effectiveness and sustainability. Focused missions, such as a NASA inter-Center study that examined the viability and implications of sending a crew to a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) [3], provided a way to better understand and evaluate the utility of these CDF capabilities when applied to an actual mission. The long duration of the NEA missions were contrasted with a concept described in a study prepared for the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS) [4] where a robotic spacecraft would redirect an asteroid to the Earth-Moon vicinity, where a relatively short duration crewed mission could be conducted to the captured asteroid. This mission concept was included in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) fiscal year 2014 budget request, as submitted by the NASA Administrator [5]. NASA studies continued to examine the idea of a crewed mission to a captured asteroid in the Earth-Moon vicinity. During this time was an announcement of NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge [6]. Key goals for the Asteroid Grand Challenge are to locate, redirect, and explore an asteroid, as well as find and plan for asteroid threats. An Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) study was being conducted, which supports this Grand Challenge by providing understanding in how to execute an asteroid rendezvous, capture it, and redirect it to Earth-Moon space, and, in particular, to a distant retrograde orbit (DRO). Subsequent to the returning of the asteroid to a DRO, would be the launch of a crewed mission to rendezvous with the redirected asteroid. This report examines that crewed mission by assessing the Asteroid Redirect Crewed

  4. Virtual water trade of agri-food products: Evidence from italian-chinese relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamastra, Lucrezia; Miglietta, Pier Paolo; Toma, Pierluigi; De Leo, Federica; Massari, Stefania

    2017-12-01

    At global scale, the majority of world water withdrawal is for the agricultural sector, with differences among countries depending on the relevance of agri-food sector in the economy. Virtual water and water footprint could be useful to express the impact on the water resources of each production process and good with the objective to lead to a sustainable use of water at a global level. International trade could be connected to the virtual water flows, in fact through commodities importation, water poor countries can save their own water resources. The present paper focuses on the bilateral virtual water flows connected to the top ten agri-food products traded between Italy and China. Comparing the virtual water flow related to the top 10 agri-food products, the virtual water flow from Italy to China is bigger than the water flow in the opposite direction. Moreover, the composition of virtual water flows is different; Italy imports significant amounts of grey water from China, depending on the different environmental strategies adopted by the two selected countries. This difference could be also related to the fact that traded commodities are very different; the 91% of virtual water imported by Italy is connected to crops products, while the 95% of virtual water imported by China is related to the animal products. Considering national water saving and global water saving, appears that Italy imports virtual water from China while China exerts pressure on its water resources to supply the exports to Italy. This result at global scale implies a global water loss of 129.29millionm3 because, in general, the agri-food products are traded from the area with lower water productivity to the area with the higher water productivity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Evidence for Water in the Atmosphere of HAT-P-26b Using LDSS-3C

    CERN Document Server

    Stevenson, Kevin B; Seifahrt, Andreas; Gilbert, Greg; Line, Michael R; Desert, Jean-Michel; Fortney, Jonathan J

    2015-01-01

    The characterization of a physically-diverse set of transiting exoplanets is an important and necessary step towards establishing the physical properties linked to the production of obscuring clouds or hazes. Only planets with identifiable spectroscopic features can effectively enhance our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and metallicity. Using data acquired by the newly-commissioned LDSS-3C instrument on Magellan and the Spitzer Space Telescope, we find evidence for water in the transmission spectrum of the Neptune-mass planet HAT-P-26b. Surprisingly, we detect no trace of potassium. Our measured spectrum is best explained by either a high-metallicity, cloud-free atmosphere or a solar-metallicity atmosphere with a cloud deck at ~10 mbar. The presence of strong spectral features in our data suggests that future observations at higher precision could break this degeneracy and reveal the planet's atmospheric composition. We also update HAT-P-26b's transit ephemeris, t_0 = 2455304.65218(25) BJD_TDB, and or...

  6. Albedo and Diameter Distributions of Asteroid Families Using the Spitzer Asteroid Catalog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enga, Marie-Therese; Trilling, D.; Mueller, M.; Wasserman, L.; Sykes, M.; Blaylock, M.; Stansberry, J.; Bhattacharya, B.; Spahr, T.

    2009-01-01

    The Spitzer Asteroid Catalog contains flux measurements of asteroidsserendipitously observed in publicly available Spitzer data. At present,this catalog contains some 10,000 measurements at 24 microns only, andwill ultimately contain 100,000 measurements or more. These measurements, along with with

  7. Albedo and Diameter Distributions of Asteroid Families Using the Spitzer Asteroid Catalog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enga, Marie-Therese; Trilling, D.; Mueller, M.; Wasserman, L.; Sykes, M.; Blaylock, M.; Stansberry, J.; Bhattacharya, B.; Spahr, T.

    2009-01-01

    The Spitzer Asteroid Catalog contains flux measurements of asteroidsserendipitously observed in publicly available Spitzer data. At present,this catalog contains some 10,000 measurements at 24 microns only, andwill ultimately contain 100,000 measurements or more. These measurements, along with with

  8. Photometry and models of selected main belt asteroids. IX. Introducing interactive service for asteroid models (ISAM)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marciniak, A.; Bartczak, P.; Santana-Ros, T.; Michalowski, T.; Antonini, P.; Behrend, R.; Bembrick, C.; Bernasconi, L.; Borczyk, W.; Colas, F.; Coloma, J.; Crippa, R.; Esseiva, N.; Fagas, M.; Fauvaud, M.; Fauvaud, S.; Ferreira, D. D. M.; Hein - Bertelsen, R.P.; Higgins, D.; Hirsch, R.; Kajava, J. J. E.; Kaminski, K.; Kryszczynska, A.; Kwiatkowski, T.; Manzini, F.; Michalowski, J.; Michalowski, M. J.; Paschke, A.; Polinska, M.; Poncy, R.; Roy, R.; Santacana, G.; Sobkowiak, K.; Stasik, M.; Starczewski, S.; Velichko, F.; Wucher, H.; Zafar, T.

    Context. The shapes and spin states of asteroids observed with photometric techniques can be reconstructed using the lightcurve inversion method. The resultant models can then be confirmed or exploited further by other techniques, such as adaptive optics, radar, thermal infrared, stellar

  9. Investigating the origin of the asteroids and early findings on Vesta historical studies in asteroid research

    CERN Document Server

    Cunningham, Clifford J

    2017-01-01

    This book assesses the origin of asteroids by analyzing the discovery of Vesta in 1807. Wilhelm Olbers, who discovered Vesta, suggested that the asteroids were the result of a primordial planet’s explosion. Cunningham studies that idea in detail through the writings of Sir David Brewster in Scotland, the era's most prolific writer about the asteroids. He also examines the link between meteorites and asteroids, revealing a synergy between Ernst Chladni, Romantic symbolism, and the music of the spheres. Vesta was a lightning rod for controversy throughout the nineteenth century with observers arguing over its size and color, and the astounding notion that it was self-luminous. It was also a major force for change, as new methods in the field of celestial mechanics were developed to study the orbital perturbations it is subject to. A large selection of private correspondence and scientific papers complete the first comprehensive historical study of Vesta ever published. With a synoptic look at the four astero...

  10. Absolute magnitudes of asteroids and a revision of asteroid albedo estimates from WISE thermal observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, Alan W.; Kušnirák, Peter; Galád, Adrián; Hornoch, Kamil

    2012-09-01

    We obtained estimates of the Johnson V absolute magnitudes (H) and slope parameters (G) for 583 main-belt and near-Earth asteroids observed at Ondřejov and Table Mountain Observatory from 1978 to 2011. Uncertainties of the absolute magnitudes in our sample are estimates reported by asteroid surveys. With our photometric H and G data, we revised the preliminary WISE albedo estimates made by Masiero et al. (Masired, J.R. et al. [2011]. Astrophys. J. 741, 68-89) and Mainzer et al. (Mainzer, A. et al. [2011b]. Astrophys. J. 743, 156-172) for asteroids in our sample. We found that the mean geometric albedo of Tholen/Bus/DeMeo C/G/B/F/P/D types with sizes of 25-300 km is pV = 0.057 with the standard deviation (dispersion) of the sample of 0.013 and the mean albedo of S/A/L types with sizes 0.6-200 km is 0.197 with the standard deviation of the sample of 0.051. The standard errors of the mean albedos are 0.002 and 0.006, respectively; systematic observational or modeling errors can predominate over the quoted formal errors. There is apparent only a small, marginally significant difference of 0.031 ± 0.011 between the mean albedos of sub-samples of large and small (divided at diameter 25 km) S/A/L asteroids, with the smaller ones having a higher albedo. The difference will have to be confirmed and explained; we speculate that it may be either a real size dependence of surface properties of S type asteroids or a small size-dependent bias in the data (e.g., a bias towards higher albedos in the optically-selected sample of asteroids). A trend of the mean of the preliminary WISE albedo estimates increasing with asteroid size decreasing from D ∼ 30 down to ∼5 km (for S types) showed in Mainzer et al. (Mainzer, A. et al. [2011a]. Astrophys. J. 741, 90-114) appears to be mainly due to the systematic bias in the MPCORB absolute magnitudes that progressively increases with H in the corresponding range H = 10-14.

  11. The technical and economic feasibility of mining the near-earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonter, M. J.

    The Near Earth Asteroids are primary targets for resources to support space industrialization. Robust technical and economic approaches to project planning feasibility evaluation are needed to evaluate such space mining ventures. This paper discusses the technical engineering and mission-planning choices and shows how the concept of probabilistic Net Present Value can be used to optimize asteroid mining project designs. The generic mission reviewed envisages a lightweight (3 or 4 tonnes) remote (teleoperated) regolith miner or drilling rig, recovering products such as water and other volatiles using solar thermal power, and subsequently returning approximately 1000 to 2000 tonnes to Low Earth Orbit, using solar thermal rocket propulsion. Initial estimates of NPV are highly favourable for some targets.

  12. A Targeted Search for Trojan Asteroids in Kepler Lightcurves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordenave, David; Ballard, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    'Trojan' asteroids, or asteroids trapped in stable gravitational positions preceding and trailing a planet in its orbit, accompany almost every planet of our Solar System. They were captured into their current locations in the early stages of our solar system's formation, and their presence hints at the dynamical history of bodies orbiting the Sun. However, we have no reason to assume that our own planets are alone in possessing Trojan asteroids. NASA's Kepler mission, launched in 2009, has been instrumental in the recent search for exoplanets. It has identified thousands of new worlds to date. However, exo-Trojan asteroids have as-yet eluded detection. If asteroids are captured at both Lagrangian points, their folded transit signature is not strictly periodic (since transits occur 1/6th of the planetary period before and after transit), and may be missed by traditional search algorithms. Our targeted search, at the predicted times of transit, is best suited for identifying candidate Trojans. Moreover, we have focused our investigation upon the set of Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) that we predict will be most fruitful for Trojan detection. However, if we are unable to detect these Trojan asteroids, we will be able to set limiting constraints on the presence of asteroids in exoplanetary systems. Observations of these Trojan asteroids, or the lack thereof, would give insight to the evolution and migration models of these systems.

  13. Compositional differences between meteorites and near-Earth asteroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernazza, P; Binzel, R P; Thomas, C A; DeMeo, F E; Bus, S J; Rivkin, A S; Tokunaga, A T

    2008-08-14

    Understanding the nature and origin of the asteroid population in Earth's vicinity (near-Earth asteroids, and its subset of potentially hazardous asteroids) is a matter of both scientific interest and practical importance. It is generally expected that the compositions of the asteroids that are most likely to hit Earth should reflect those of the most common meteorites. Here we report that most near-Earth asteroids (including the potentially hazardous subset) have spectral properties quantitatively similar to the class of meteorites known as LL chondrites. The prominent Flora family in the inner part of the asteroid belt shares the same spectral properties, suggesting that it is a dominant source of near-Earth asteroids. The observed similarity of near-Earth asteroids to LL chondrites is, however, surprising, as this meteorite class is relatively rare ( approximately 8 per cent of all meteorite falls). One possible explanation is the role of a size-dependent process, such as the Yarkovsky effect, in transporting material from the main belt.

  14. Density and Macroporosity Distribution of Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie L.; Mathias, Donovan

    2017-01-01

    The density of near earth asteroids is a fundamental property which can illuminate the structure of the asteroid, provide clues about it’s collisional history and is key in assessing the hazard of an impact of an NEA with Earth. A low density can be indicative of a rubble pile structure whereas a higher density can imply a monolith and/or a higher metal content. Unfortunately, measuring the density of asteroids is extremely difficult, has only been attempted for a tiny fraction of NEAs and usually results in measurements with large uncertainties. In the absence of density measurements for a specific object, understanding the range and distribution of likely densities can allow for probabilistic assessments of the population and facilitate estimates of the range of reasonable masses for a specific object. We have developed a candidate macroporosity distribution for near earth asteroids based on measurements of meteorite densities and asteroid densities. The macroporosity of an asteroid can be used to aid extrapolation from meteorite physical properties to asteroid physical properties. In addition, we discuss estimating an asteroid density distribution from the macroporosity distribution.

  15. Independent sets in asteroidal triple-free graphs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersma, Haitze J.; Kloks, Ton; Kloks, A.J.J.; Kratsch, Dieter; Müller, Haiko

    1997-01-01

    An asteroidal triple is a set of three vertices such that there is a path between any pair of them avoiding the closed neighborhood of the third. A graph is called AT-free if it does not have an asteroidal triple. We show that there is an O(n 2 · (¯m+1)) time algorithm to compute the maximum

  16. Taxonomic Classification of Asteroids via Broadband Near-Infrared Photometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petersen, Eric; Thomas, C.; Trilling, D.; Emery, J.; Delbo, M.; Mueller, M.; Dave, R.

    2010-01-01

    For faint asteroids, it is not practical to obtain near-infrared spectra. However, it may be possible to use broadband photometry to infer spectral classifications and study composition. As a test of this, we processed SpeX near-infrared asteroid spectral data to simulate colors that would be obtain

  17. Physical Properties of Near-Earth Asteroid 2011 MD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mommert, M.; Farnocchia, D.; Hora, J. L.; Chesley, S. R.; Trilling, D. E.; Chodas, P. W.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A. W.; Smith, H. A.; Fazio, G. G.

    2014-01-01

    We report on observations of near-Earth asteroid 2011 MD with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have spent 19.9 h of observing time with channel 2 (4.5 {\\mu}m) of the Infrared Array Camera and detected the target within the 2{\\sigma} positional uncertainty ellipse. Using an asteroid thermophysical mod

  18. Optimised low-thrust mission to the Atira asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Carlo, Marilena; Romero Martin, Juan Manuel; Ortiz Gomez, Natalia; Vasile, Massimiliano

    2017-04-01

    Atira asteroids are recently-discovered celestial bodies characterised by orbits lying completely inside the heliocentric orbit of the Earth. The study of these objects is difficult due to the limitations of ground-based observations: objects can only be detected when the Sun is not in the field of view of the telescope. However, many asteroids are expected to exist in the inner region of the Solar System, many of which could pose a significant threat to our planet. In this paper, a small, low-cost, mission to visit the known Atira asteroids and to discover new Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) is proposed. The mission is realised using electric propulsion. The trajectory is optimised to maximise the number of visited asteroids of the Atira group using the minimum propellant consumption. During the tour of the Atira asteroids an opportunistic NEA discovery campaign is proposed to increase our knowledge of the asteroid population. The mission ends with a transfer to an orbit with perihelion equal to Venus's orbit radius. This orbit represents a vantage point to monitor and detect asteroids in the inner part of the Solar System and provide early warning in the case of a potential impact.

  19. Earth-approaching asteroids: Populations, origin, and compositional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Helin, E. F.

    1978-01-01

    Origin, physical properties, and discovery history of smaller asteroids are reviewed. They appear to link the main belt objects, namely the comets and meteorites. Physical observations suggest that a wide variety of compositional types are represented among the near-earth asteroids; the apparent rarity of carbonaceous objects is stated.

  20. Physical Properties of Near-Earth Asteroid 2011 MD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mommert, M.; Farnocchia, D.; Hora, J. L.; Chesley, S. R.; Trilling, D. E.; Chodas, P. W.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A. W.; Smith, H. A.; Fazio, G. G.

    2014-01-01

    We report on observations of near-Earth asteroid 2011 MD with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have spent 19.9 h of observing time with channel 2 (4.5 {\\mu}m) of the Infrared Array Camera and detected the target within the 2{\\sigma} positional uncertainty ellipse. Using an asteroid thermophysical

  1. Near Earth Asteroids: A Classification System According to Their Shapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo, R. D.; Rocca, M.; Rabassa, J.; Ponce, J. F.; Stinco, S.

    2012-09-01

    A new way to classify Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) according to their shapes is proposed. This classification is based on the asteroid roundness and sphericity in the same way that it is used in geological sciences to describe clasts in mechanical sedimentary rocks.

  2. Lightcurve Analysis of the Near-Earth Asteroid 6063 Jason

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.; Aznar Macias, Amadeo; Benishek, Vladimir; Oey, Julian; Gross, Roger

    2017-10-01

    CCD photometric observations of the near-Earth asteroid 6063 Jason were made in 2017 June. A collaboration of five observers at widely-separated longitudes proved critical in finding a synodic period of 48.6 h, nearly commensurate with an Earth day, and confirming that the asteroid is most likely tumbling.

  3. Volcanic processes on early-forming asteroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, L.; Keil, K.

    2011-12-01

    A variety of meteorite groups represent samples of asteroids that formed while 26Al was still the dominant heat source in Solar System materials. These bodies differentiated to varying degrees beyond the temperature of FeNi-FeS melting, with sufficient silicate melting to allow metal core formation. The silicate melts segregated upward from the interiors to suffer various fates: intrusion at shallow levels, eruption onto the surface, or ejection into space in explosive eruptions in which the eruption speed exceeded the escape speed. These three styles of plutonic/volcanic activity were not mutually exclusive; their relative importance was a function of asteroid size and composition, with the major compositional factor being the total available volatile inventory. Much research has been concerned with whether silicate melts were extracted from the mantle during the period of mantle heating or while the mantle was cooling after reaching its peak temperature and degree of partial melting (a "magma ocean" stage). Traditionally, the relevant arguments have been based on the petrology and geochemistry of the meteorites sampling these bodies. Instead, we focus on the fluid dynamic aspects of eruption and intrusion processes and show how these impose additional limitations on various aspects of the igneous activity. For example, 40% melting of bodies the size of 4 Vesta (~250 km radius) and the Ureilite Parent Body (UPB, ~100 km radius) over the course of a 0.5 Ma heating period represent melt volume production rates of ~350 and 20 cubic meters per second, respectively, in each of what we demonstrate should have been ~4 volcanic provinces on each body. All differentiated asteroids must of necessity have had a surface layer ~10 km thick at sub-solidus temperatures controlled by conductive cooling. To erupt magma at the surface (or intrude magma at very shallow depth) through such a crust would have required the propagation of dikes within which the combination of dike width

  4. Space weathering of asteroids: Lessons from Itokawa for future observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Sho; HIroi, Takahiro

    2016-07-01

    Introduction Space weathering of surface silicate minerals is the main process that should control the change of brightness and color of airless silicate bodies such and the Moon, Mercury and asteroids. Spectra of S-type asteroids exhibit more overall depletion and reddening, and more weakening of absorption bands than spectra of ordinary chondrites. These spectral mismatches are explained by the space weathering, where the primary proven mechanism of such spectral change is production of nanophase metallic iron particles (npFe0) 1), which were confirmed in the amorphous rim of lunar soil grains 2,3). Vapor-deposition through at high-velocity dust particle impacts as well as implantation of intensive solar wind ions would be responsible for producing the space weathering rims bearing nano-iron particles (npFe0). Simulation experiments using nanosecond pulse laser successfully produced vapor-deposition type npFe0 to change optical properties 4,5,6). Laser experiments showed that pyroxene would be weathered less than olivine, for pyroxene, pulse laser irradiation produced melt (amorphous) droplets containing npFe0, rather than vapour deposited rim that should provide stronger optical effect trough multiple scattering of incidental light. Itokawa Observed by Remote Sensing In November 2005, Japanese Asteroid Sample Return Mission HAYABUSA spacecraft rendezvoused S-type asteroid (25143) Itokawa. Optically, the surface of Itokawa is divided into brighter (and bluer) areas and darker (and redder) areas 7,8). In rough zones, dark boulder-rich surfaces usually superpose on bright materials. The near-infrared spectrometer (NIRS) confirmed previous disk-integrated results that suggested Itokawa's spectrum closely matched a weakly weathered LL5/6 chondrite 9). Although the surface is covered with rocks and is apparently lack of fine regolith, Itokawa's surface show darkening and reddening by space weathering. Experimental results suggest rocky meteorite fragments can be

  5. The impact of piped water on household welfare: evidence from Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viet Cuong, N.; Vu, T.

    2013-01-01

    Clean water is essential for human survival. However, a large proportion of people do not have access to clean water in Vietnam. Approximately only 23% of the population had access to piped water in 2006. This study measures the effect of piped water on household welfare using

  6. The Influence of Water Access in Subjective Well-Being: Some Evidence in Yucatan, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guardiola, Jorge; Gonzalez-Gomez, Francisco; Grajales, Angel Lendechy

    2013-01-01

    The literature on happiness or subjective well-being has explored the determinants of happiness without taking into consideration the role that water plays. In this paper we attempt to draw attention to water in subjective well-being studies. Approximately one hundred million people do not have access to water. A lack of clean water causes…

  7. The impact of piped water on household welfare: evidence from Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viet Cuong, N.; Vu, T.

    2013-01-01

    Clean water is essential for human survival. However, a large proportion of people do not have access to clean water in Vietnam. Approximately only 23% of the population had access to piped water in 2006. This study measures the effect of piped water on household welfare using difference-in-differen

  8. The Influence of Water Access in Subjective Well-Being: Some Evidence in Yucatan, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guardiola, Jorge; Gonzalez-Gomez, Francisco; Grajales, Angel Lendechy

    2013-01-01

    The literature on happiness or subjective well-being has explored the determinants of happiness without taking into consideration the role that water plays. In this paper we attempt to draw attention to water in subjective well-being studies. Approximately one hundred million people do not have access to water. A lack of clean water causes…

  9. Aqueous processing of organic compounds in carbonaceous asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep Maria; Rimola, Albert; Martins, Zita

    2015-04-01

    There is growing evidence pointing towards a prebiotic synthesis of complex organic species in water-rich undifferentiated bodies. For instance, clays have been found to be associated with complex organic compounds (Pearson et al. 2002; Garvie & Buseck 2007; Arteaga et al. 2010), whereas theoretical calculations have studied the interaction between the organic species and surface minerals (Rimola et al., 2013) as well as surface-induced reactions (Rimola at al. 2007). Now, we are using more detailed analytical techniques to study the possible processing of organic molecules associated with the mild aqueous alteration in CR, CM and CI chondrites. To learn more about these processes we are studying carbonaceous chondrites at Ultra High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (UHR-TEM). We are particularly interested in the relationship between organics and clay minerals in carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) matrixes (Trigo-Rodríguez et al. 2014, 2015).We want to address two goals: i) identifying the chemical steps in which the organic molecules could have increased their complexity (i.e., surface interaction and catalysis); and ii) studying if the organic matter present in CCs experienced significant processing concomitant to the formation of clays and other minerals at the time in which these planetary bodies experienced aqueous alteration. Here, these two points are preliminarily explored combing experimental results with theoretical calculations based on accurate quantum mechanical methods. References Arteaga O, Canillas A, Crusats J, El-Hachemi Z, Jellison GE, Llorca J, Ribó JM (2010) Chiral biases in solids by effect of shear gradients: a speculation on the deterministic origin of biological homochirality. Orig Life Evol Biosph 40:27-40. Garvie LAJ, Buseck PR (2007) Prebiotic carbon in clays from Orgueil and Ivuna (CI) and Tagish lake (C2 ungrouped) meteorites. Meteorit Planet Sci 42:2111-2117. Pearson VK, Sephton MA, Kearsley AT, Bland AP, Franchi IA, Gilmour

  10. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  11. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  12. Period Determination of Six Main Belt Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrero, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Observations of six main-belt asteroids (MBA) produced lightcurve parameters of: 487 Venetia, P = 13.34 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.20 mag; 684 Hildburg, P = 15.89 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.22 mag; 772 Tanete, P = 8.629 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.18 mag.; 1181 Lilith, P = 15.04 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.11 mag.; 1246 Chaka, P = 25.44 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.25 mag.; and 2834 Christy Carol, P = 12.79 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.39 mag.

  13. NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; McNutt, Leslie; Castillo-Rogez, Julie

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing solar sail propulsion for a near-term Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) reconnaissance mission and laying the groundwork for their future use in deep space science and exploration missions. The NEA Scout mission, funded by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program and managed by NASA MSFC, will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image one or more NEA's of interest for possible future human exploration. NEA Scout uses a 6U cubesat (to be provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory), an 86 m2 solar sail and will weigh less than 14 kilograms. The solar sail for NEA Scout will be based on the technology developed and flown by the NASA NanoSail-D and The Planetary Society's Lightsail-A. Four 7 m stainless steel booms wrapped on two spools (two overlapping booms per spool) will be motor deployed and pull the sail from its stowed volume. The sail material is an aluminized polyimide approximately 3 microns thick. NEA Scout will launch on the Space Launch System (SLS) first mission in 2018 and deploy from the SLS after the Orion spacecraft is separated from the SLS upper stage. The NEA Scout spacecraft will stabilize its orientation after ejection using an onboard cold-gas thruster system. The same system provides the vehicle Delta-V sufficient for a lunar flyby. After its first encounter with the moon, the 86 m2 sail will deploy, and the sail characterization phase will begin. A mechanical Active Mass Translation (AMT) system, combined with the remaining ACS propellant, will be used for sail momentum management. Once the system is checked out, the spacecraft will perform a series of lunar flybys until it achieves optimum departure trajectory to the target asteroid. The spacecraft will then begin its two year-long cruise. About one month before the asteroid flyby, NEA Scout will pause to search for the target and start its approach phase using a combination of radio tracking and optical navigation. The solar sail will provide

  14. Impulsive orbit control for spacecraft around asteroid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔祜涛; 崔平远; 栾恩杰

    2003-01-01

    An impulse feedback control law to change the mean orbit elements of spacecraft around asteroid is presented. First, the mean orbit elements are transferred to the osculating orbit elements at the burning time.Then, the feedback control law based on Gauss' s perturbation equations of motion is given. And the impulse control for targeting from the higher circulation orbit to the specified periapsis is developed. Finally, the numerical simulation is performed and the simulation results show that the presented impulse control law is effective.

  15. Microspine Gripping Mechanism for Asteroid Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merriam, Ezekiel G.; Berg, Andrew B.; Willig, Andrew; Parness, Aaron; Frey, Tim; Howell, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    This paper details the development and early testing of a compliant suspension for a microspine gripper device for asteroid capture or micro-gravity percussive drilling. The microspine gripper architecture is reviewed, and a proposed microspine suspension design is presented and discussed. Prototyping methods are discussed, as well as testing methods and results. A path forward is identified from the results of the testing completed thus far. Key findings include: the microspine concept has been established as a valid architecture and the compliant suspension exhibits the desired stiffness characteristics for good gripping behavior. These developments will aid in developing the capability to grasp irregularly shaped boulders in micro-gravity.

  16. The Nearest of the Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kortenkamp, Stephen J.

    2014-11-01

    While the orbits of many known near-Earth objects (NEOs) may cross that of Earth, very few NEOs actually approach near to Earth itself. In fact, the majority of NEOs spend most of their orbital periods in the asteroid belt beyond Mars. However, there is a subset of NEOs on orbits which allow for repeated close-encounters with Earth. These objects are locked in a co-orbital resonance with Earth, orbiting the sun in exactly one year. This unusual one-to-one resonance causes the NEOs to appear to be orbiting Earth and gives them their name; quasi-satellites.Despite their close proximity to Earth, only recently have the first quasi-satellites of Earth been detected. These are the asteroids 2003 YN107, 2004 GU9, and 2006 FV35. We carried out N-body computer simulations of these asteroids as well as a larger theoretical population. We demonstrate that quasi-satellite asteroids always remain exceptionally close to Earth, typically just 20-60 times farther than the moon, and undergo two close-encounters with Earth each year. Furthermore, quasi-satellites that eventually escape the resonance can have extremely deep low-velocity close-encounters with Earth as they leave the resonance, some coming well inside the orbit of the moon.When weak drag forces are included in the simulations quasi-satellite objects evolve onto more Earth-like orbits and spiral closer and closer to Earth. This dramatically reduces the relative velocity and distance of closest approach between Earth and the quasi-satellite object. Under the influence of weak drag quasi-satellites objects can develop effective encounter velocities of just a few hundred meters per second, often much less. These low encounter velocities lead to a strong enhancement in Earth’s gravitationally enhanced impact cross-section compared to close-encounters of non-resonant objects with similar initial orbital elements.This research is supported by NASA grant NNX14AN23G.

  17. Space Weathering Trends Among Carbonaceous Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Kaluna, Heather M; Meech, Karen J

    2015-01-01

    We present visible spectroscopic and albedo data of the 2.3 Gyr old Themis family and the 15 km) and small (< 15 km) Themis members suggest these phyllosilicate feature and albedo trends result from regolith variations as a function of diameter. Observations of the Beagle asteroids show a small, but notable fraction of members with phyllosilicate features. The presence of phyllosilicates and the dynamical association of the main-belt comet 133P/Elst-Pizarro with the Beagle family imply the Beagle parent body was a heterogenous mixture of ice and aqueously altered minerals.

  18. Two new basaltic asteroids in the Outer Main Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Duffard, R

    2007-01-01

    The identification of other basaltic objects in the asteroid belt is mandatory to explain the diversity in the collection of basaltic meteorites. This diversity requires more than one differentiated parent body, a fact that is consistent with the diversity of differentiated parent bodies implied by the iron meteorites. Based on a list of previously identified candidate basaltic (V-type) asteroids, two asteroids in the outer main belt, (7472) Kumakiri and (10537) 1991 RY16, were spectroscopically observed during an observational run in Calar Alto Observatory, Spain. We confirm the V-type character of these two asteroids that, together with (1459) Magnya, become the only known traces of basaltic found in the outer main belt up to now. We also demonstrate that the searching for candidate V-type asteroids using a photometric survey, like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, produces reliable results.

  19. Asteroid fission, binaries and the small main belt population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, A.; Jacobson, S.; Marzari, F.; Scheeres, D.

    2011-10-01

    Using a Monte Carlo method we model the spin evolution of small Main Belt asteroids under the joint effects of YORP and collisions. Our simulations allow us to estimate the fraction of asteroids undergoing rotational fission in different size ranges. When an asteroid reaches its disruption spin limit we determine the outcome of its subsequent evolution based on accumulated statistics on their evolution based on numerical integrations (i.e., binary or ternary formation, binary disruption, etc..). Our aim is to predict the percentage of binary asteroids and their properties in the Belt, the number of objects like P/2010 A2 per year and the effects of YORP-induced fission on the overall asteroid size distribution at the small size end.

  20. Mining the CFHT Legacy Survey for known Near Earth Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Vaduvescu, O; Birlan, M; Toma, R; Badea, M; Dumitru, D; Opriseanu, C; Vidican, D; 10.1002/asna.201011550

    2011-01-01

    The Canada-France-Hawaii Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) comprising about 25 000 MegaCam images was data mined to search for serendipitous encounters of known Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). A total of 143 asteroids (109 NEAs and 34 PHAs) were found on 508 candidate images which were field corrected and measured carefully, and their astrometry was reported to Minor Planet Centre. Both recoveries and precoveries (apparitions before discovery) were reported, including data for 27 precovered asteroids (20 NEAs and 7 PHAs) and 116 recovered asteroids (89 NEAs and 27 PHAs). Our data prolonged arcs for 41 orbits at first or last opposition, refined 35 orbits by fitting data taken at one new opposition, recovered 6 NEAs at their second opposition and allowed us to ameliorate most orbits and their Minimal Orbital Intersection Distance (MOID), an important parameter to monitor for potential Earth impact hazard in the future.