WorldWideScience

Sample records for surfaces comets asteroids

  1. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    -sunward tail seen in most comets. Still, these observations indicate that the object resembles a typical comet much more than originally thought. This is also supported by the fact that its orbit, calculated on the basis of positional observations during the past month, has been found to be moderately elongated (eccentricity 0.36). The mean distance to the Sun is 6.67 AU (1000 million kilometres), but it comes as close as 4.25 AU (635 million kilometres) at its perihelion. The orbital period is about 17 years. More observations needed! It will be interesting to follow this new object in coming years. Will it remain `cometary' or will the unusual tail disappear after a while? Could it be that some `asteroids' in `cometary' orbits, if observed in more detail with a larger telescope, as was done in this case with the NTT, will also turn out to have a faint coma and even a tail? It is at this moment still unknown which implications the discovery of apparently `intermediate' objects may have on our understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar system. In particular, it is not at all clear whether they represent a completely new class of objects with an internal structure (and composition?) that is significantly different from a `dirty-snowball' cometary nucleus or a rocky asteroid. It may also be that some asteroids have substantial deposits of icy material on or near the surface that may be set free under certain circumstances and mimic cometary activity. This might in theory happen by collisions with other, smaller objects or due to an internal heat source. Only further observations of such objects will allow to tell. Where to find more information Here are some WWW-addresses where more useful information may be obtained about the comet/asteroid phenomenon: * http://www.dlr.de/Berlin/ - Small Bodies Group at the DLR (Berlin, Germany) * http://www.astro.uu.se/planet/asteroid - Asteroids' page of the Uppsala planetary system group (Sweden) * http://www.skypub.com/comets

  2. 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.

  3. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  4. Evolution of comets into asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; A'hearn, M.F.; Rickman, H.; Mcfadden, L.A.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents observational evidence, together with recent theoretical developments, supporting the hypothesis that at least some asteroids might be extinct or dormant cometary nuclei. The observations include the discovery of a number of apparent asteroids in chaotic Jupiter-crossing orbits; the IRAS discovery of 1983 TB, an asteroid in the same orbit as the Geminid meteor shower; the apparent low activity levels determined for several short-period comet nuclei including Comet Halley; and observations of possible cometary activity in some earth-crossing asteroids. Theoretical developments include explorations of dynamical mechanisms capable of delivering main-belt asteroids into earth-crossing orbits, and an understanding of possible processes which may affect comets during their long residence in the Oort cloud and lead to the formation of nonvolatile crusts before and after they enter the planetary system. 143 refs

  5. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, D.; Neugebauer, M.; Weissman, P.R.

    1989-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission is designed to answer the many questions raised by the Halley missions by exploring a cometary nucleus in detail, following it around its orbit and studying its changing activity as it moves closer to and then away from the Sun. In addition, on its way to rendezvous with the comet, CRAF will fly by a large, primitive class main belt asteroid and will return valuable data for comparison with the comet results. The selected asteroid is 449 Hamburga with a diameter of 88 km and a surface composition of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The expected flyby date is January, 1998. The CRAF spacecraft will continue to make measurements in orbit around the cometary nucleus as they both move closer to the Sun, until the dust and gas hazard becomes unsafe. At that point the spacecraft will move in and out between 50 and 2,500 kilometers to study the inner coma and the cometary ionosphere, and to collect dust and gas samples for onboard analysis. Following perihelion, the spacecraft will make a 50,000 km excursion down the comet's tail, further investigating the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere. The spacecraft will return to the vicinity of the nucleus about four months after perihelion to observe the changes that have taken place. If the spacecraft remains healthy and adequate fuel is still onboard, an extended mission to follow the comet nucleus out to aphelion is anticipated

  6. Asteroid-comet continuum objects in the solar system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Henry H

    2017-07-13

    In this review presented at the Royal Society meeting, 'Cometary science after Rosetta', I present an overview of studies of small solar system objects that exhibit properties of both asteroids and comets (with a focus on so-called active asteroids). Sometimes referred to as 'transition objects', these bodies are perhaps more appropriately described as 'continuum objects', to reflect the notion that rather than necessarily representing actual transitional evolutionary states between asteroids and comets, they simply belong to the general population of small solar system bodies that happen to exhibit a continuous range of observational, physical and dynamical properties. Continuum objects are intriguing because they possess many of the properties that make classical comets interesting to study (e.g. relatively primitive compositions, ejection of surface and subsurface material into space where it can be more easily studied, and orbital properties that allow us to sample material from distant parts of the solar system that would otherwise be inaccessible), while allowing us to study regions of the solar system that are not sampled by classical comets.This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Collisional Processing of Comet and Asteroid Surfaces: Velocity Effects on Absorption Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Jensen, E. A.; Wooden, D. H.; Lindsay, S. S.; Smith, D. C.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Keller, L. P.; Cintala, M. J.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2012-01-01

    A new paradigm has emerged where 3.9 Gyr ago, a violent reshuffling reshaped the placement of small bodies in the solar system (the Nice model). Surface properties of these objects may have been affected by collisions caused by this event, and by collisions with other small bodies since their emplacement. These impacts affect the spectrographic observations of these bodies today. Shock effects (e.g., planar dislocations) manifest in minerals allowing astronomers to better understand geophysical impact processing that has occurred on small bodies. At the Experimental Impact Laboratory at NASA Johnson Space Center, we have impacted forsterite and enstatite across a range of velocities. We find that the amount of spectral variation, absorption wavelength, and full width half maximum of the absorbance peaks vary non-linearly with the velocity of the impact. We also find that the spectral variation increases with decreasing crystal size (single solid rock versus granular). Future analyses include quantification of the spectral changes with different impactor densities, temperature, and additional impact velocities. Results on diopside, fayalite, and magnesite can be found in Lederer et al., this meeting.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    photoautotrophs and chemolithotrophs such as the motile filamentous cyanobacteria (e.g., Calothrix, Oscillatoria, Phormidium, and Spirulina) that grow in geothermal springs and geysers of Earth at temperatures ranging fiom 320K to 345K and are also found growing in cold polar desert soils. The mineralized remains of morphotypes of all of these cyanobacteria have also been found in the Orgueil CI1 and the Murchison CN2 carbonaceous meteorites that may derive from cometary parent bodies. Observational results that support the hypothesis that liquid water can in active regions just beneath the surface of comets and that comets, carbonaceous meteorites, and asteroids may have played a significant role in the origin and evolution of the Biosphere and in the distribution of microbial life throughout the Solar System.

  11. Physical Mechanism of Comet (and Asteroid) Outbursts: The Movie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    2015-07-01

    A film made during impact experiments at NASA Ames illustrates a mechanism in which regolith can become gas charged and then erupt to create outbursts as observed on comets (and "asteroids" such as 2060 Chiron).

  12. Delivery of organics to Mars through asteroid and comet impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, K.; Mueller, M.; van der Tak, F. F. S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Greenstreet, S.

    2017-01-01

    Preliminary results show that the asteroid-borne organic flux on Mars is comparable to the IPD rate; asteroids certainly cannot be neglected. Comets, on the other hand, contribute only 0.01% of the IDP-borne rate and can be neglected in the process of organic delivery to Mars.

  13. Interception of comets and asteroids on collision course with earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solem, J.C.

    1992-03-01

    I derive expressions for the weight and range of applicability of interceptors capable of deflecting a comet or asteroid on collision course with Earth. The expressions use a fairly general relationship between the energy deposited and the mass of material blown off the astral assailant. To assess the probability that the astral assailant will fracture, I also calculate the fraction of the astral assailant`s mass that will be blown off. The interaction is calculated for both kinetic-energy deflection and nuclear-explosive deflection. In the nuclear-explosive case, I calculate the interceptor mass and cratering effect for detonations above the surface and below the surface as well as directly on the surface of the astral assailant. Because the wide range of densities and material properties that the astral assailant may possess, the principal value of this work is to show the relationships among the salient parameters of the problem.

  14. Comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids - A new link and a possible mechanism for comet splittings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, W.K.; Tholen, D.J.

    1990-01-01

    Relatively elongated shapes, implied by recent evidence of a greater incidence of high amplitude lightcurves for comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids than for similarly scaled main belt asteroids, are suggested to have evolved among comet nuclei and Trojans due to volatile loss. It is further suggested that such an evolutionary course may account for observed comet splitting; rotational splitting may specifically occur as a result of evolution in the direction of an elongated shape through sublimation. Supporting these hypotheses, the few m/sec separation velocities projected for rotationally splitting elongated nuclei are precisely in the observed range. 40 refs

  15. Guide to the universe asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets-those small bodies that revolve the Sun-and provides readers with the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of scientific knowledge about them. Scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the smallest celestial bodies in the solar system.||The book will introduce students to all of the areas of research surrounding the subject, answering many intr

  16. Linking main-belt comets to asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic, B.; Hsieh, H. H.; Cellino, A.

    2012-09-01

    Here we present our results obtained by applying different methods in order to establish a firm link between the main-belt comets (MBCs) and colisionally-formed asteroid families (AFs), i.e, to possibly find additional line of evidence supporting the hypothesis that MBCs may be preferentially found among the members of young AFs.

  17. Weird comets and asteroids the strange little worlds of the sun's family

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    This book concentrates on some of the odd aspects of comets and asteroids. Strange behavior of comets, such as outbursts and schisms, and how asteroids can temporally act as comets are discussed, together with the possible threat of Centaurs-class objects like the Taurid complex. Recent years have seen the distinction between comets and asteroids become less prominent. Comets in "asteroid" orbits and vice versa have become almost commonplace and a clearer view of the role of small bodies in the formation of the Solar System and their effect on Earth has become apparent. Seargent covers this development in detail by including new data and information from space probes. .

  18. Asteroid Family Associations of Main-Belt Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Novakovic, Bojan; Kim, Yoonyoung; Brasser, Ramon

    2016-10-01

    We present a population-level analysis of the asteroid family associations of known main-belt comets or main-belt comet candidates (which, to date, have largely just been analyzed on individual bases as they have been discovered). In addition to family associations that have already been reported in the literature, we have identified dynamical relationships between 324P/La Sagra and the Alauda family, P/2015 X6 (PANSTARRS) and the Aeolia family, and P/2016 G1 (PANSTARRS) and the Adeona family. We will discuss the overall implications of these family associations, particularly as they pertain to the hypothesis that members of primitive asteroid family members may be more susceptible to producing observable sublimation-driven dust emission activity, and thus becoming main-belt comets. We will also discuss the significance of other dynamical and physical properties of a family or sub-family as they relate to the likelihood of that family containing one or more currently active main-belt comets.

  19. Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society An Interdisciplinary Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Bobrowsky, Peter T

    2007-01-01

    In 1908 an atmospheric explosion in northern Siberia released energy equivalent to 15 Mton of TNT. Can a comparable or larger NEO affect us again? When the next NEO strikes Earth will it be large enough to destroy a city? Will the climate change significantly? Can archaeology and anthropology provide insights into the expected cultural responses with NEO interactions? Does society have a true grasp of the actual risks involved? Is the Great Depression a good model for the economic collapse that could follow a NEO catastrophe? This volume provides a necessary link between various disciplines and comet/asteroid impacts.

  20. Internal gravity, self-energy, and disruption of comets and asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.; Korycansky, D. G.

    2018-03-01

    The internal gravity and self-gravitational energy of a comet, asteroid, or small moon have applications to their geophysics, including their formation, evolution, cratering, and disruption, the stresses and strains inside such objects, sample return, eventual asteroid mining, and planetary defense strategies for potentially hazardous objects. This paper describes the relation of an object's self-energy to its collisional disruption energy, and shows how to determine an object's self-energy from its internal gravitational potential. Any solid object can be approximated to any desired accuracy by a polyhedron of sufficient complexity. An analytic formula is known for the gravitational potential of any homogeneous polyhedron, but it is widely believed that this formula applies only on the surface or outside of the object. Here we show instead that this formula applies equally well inside the object. We have used these formulae to develop a numerical code which evaluates the self-energy of any homogeneous polyhedron, along with the gravitational potential and attraction both inside and outside of the object, as well as the slope of its surface. Then we use our code to find the internal, external, and surface gravitational fields of the Platonic solids, asteroid (216) Kleopatra, and comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as well as their surface slopes and their self-gravitational energies. We also present simple spherical, ellipsoidal, cuboidal, and duplex models of Kleopatra and comet 67P, and show how to generalize our methods to inhomogeneous objects and magnetic fields. At present, only the self-energies of spheres, ellipsoids, and cuboids (boxes) are known analytically (or semi-analytically). The Supplementary Material contours the central potential and self-energy of homogeneous ellipsoids and cuboids of all aspect ratios, and also analytically the self-gravitational energy of a "duplex" consisting of two coupled spheres. The duplex is a good model for "contact binary

  1. Extra Low-Gear: A Micro-Gravity Laboratory to Simulate Asteroid Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, D. J.; Sánchez, P.; Dissly, R. W.; Asphaug, E. I.; Housen, K. R.; Swift, M. R.; Yano, H.; Roark, S. E.; Soto, J. C.

    2009-03-01

    The conceptual design and application of a low-speed centrifuge for carrying out milli to micro-G gravity experiments to simulate the granular nature of the surface and interiors of asteroids and comets is described.

  2. Dawn of small worlds dwarf planets, asteroids, comets

    CERN Document Server

    Moltenbrey, Michael

    2016-01-01

    This book gives a detailed introduction to the thousands and thousands of smaller bodies in the solar system. Written for interested laymen, amateur astronomers and students it describes the nature and origin of asteroids, dwarf planets and comets, and gives detailed information about their role in the solar system. The author nicely reviews the history of small-world-exploration and describes past, current and future space craft missions studying small worlds, and presents their results. Readers will learn that small solar system worlds have a dramatically different nature and appearance than the planets. Even though research activity on small worlds has increased in the recent past many of their properties are still in the dark and need further research.

  3. Comet and Asteroid Hazard to the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We made computer simulations of orbital evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of N=2000 Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs) with initial orbits close to those of real comets with period P less than 10 yr, 500 objects with orbits close to that of Comet 10P, and the asteroids initially located at the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances with Jupiter at initial eccentricity e(sub 0)=0.15 and initial inclination i(sub 0)=10(sup 0). The gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto, was taken into account (without dissipative factors). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of bodies with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all bodies, obtaining, the total probability Psigma of collisions with a planet and the total time interval Tsigma during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet. The values of p(sub r) =10(exp 6)Psigma/N and T(sub r)=T/1000 yr (where T=Tsigma/N) are presented in a table together with the ratio r of the total time interval when orbits were of Apollo type (at a greater than 1 AU, q less than 1.017 AU, e less than 0.999) to that of Amor type (1.017 less than q less than 1.33 AU), r(sub 2) is the same as r but for Apollo objects with e less than 0.9. For asteroids we present only results obtained by direct integration, as a symplectic method can give large errors for these resonances.

  4. Comets, Asteroids and Rubble Piles: not just debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, J. B.; Dusenbery, P.

    2010-12-01

    The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (NCIL @ SSI) is developing a variety of asteroids related education activities as part of several E/PO projects, including Finding NEO (funded through NSF and NASA SMD); Great Balls of Fire! (funded through NSF); and a partnership with the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) mission. These activities range from a web site to traveling exhibits in three different sizes. The Killer Asteroids web site (www.killerasteroids.org) includes background information on comets and asteroids as well as a number of interactive activities and games. These include a game that compares the risk of death from an asteroid impact to other hazards; a game and video vignettes on the role of backyard astronomers in light curve research; a physics-based asteroid deflection game; and a Google Earth -based "drop a rock on your house" activity. In addition, the project is developing a small, portable exhibit suitable for use in libraries or visitors centers. Great Balls of Fire! includes two separate traveling exhibitions: a 3000 square foot exhibition for science centers, and a 500 square foot version for smaller venues. Both will begin national tours in the summer of 2011. The Great Balls of Fire! exhibit program includes a free Education Program for docents and educators, and an Outreach Program to amateur astronomers around the country through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s (ASP) Astronomy from the Ground Up program. The project will facilitate partnerships between host venues and local astronomy clubs that can interact with the public using a toolkit of activities developed by ASP. Great Balls of Fire! Represents a collaboration between scientists, educators, exhibit designers, graphic artists, evaluators, education researchers, and three teams of middle school students who acted as advisors. The project’s exhibit design firm is Jeff Kennedy Associates Inc. We will present a summary of the

  5. The impact imperative: Laser ablation for deflecting asteroids, meteoroids, and comets from impacting the earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, Jonathan W [Advanced Projects/FD02, National Space Science and Technology Center, NASA/MSFC, Huntsville, Alabama, 35812 (United States); Phipps, Claude [Photonics Associates 200A Ojo de la Vaca Road Santa Fe, NM 87505 (United States); Smalley, Larry [Department of Physics, University of Alabama, Huntsville (United States); Reilly, James [Northeast Science and Technology, East Sandwich, MA (United States); Boccio, Dona [Queensborough Community College of the City, University of New York, New York (United States)

    2003-05-14

    Impacting at hypervelocity, an asteroid struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula area. This triggered the extinction of almost 70% of the species of life on Earth including the dinosaurs. Other impacts prior to this one have caused even greater extinctions. Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids, meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We now believe that while there are about 2000 earth orbit crossing rocks greater than 1 kilometer in diameter, there may be as many as 200,000 or more objects in the 100 m size range. Can anything be done about this fundamental existence question facing our civilization? The answer is a resounding yes{exclamation_point} By using an intelligent combination of Earth and space based sensors coupled with an infra-structure of high-energy laser stations and other secondary mitigation options, we can deflect inbound asteroids, meteoroids, and comets and prevent them from striking the Earth. This can be accomplished by irradiating the surface of an inbound rock with sufficiently intense pulses so that ablation occurs. This ablation acts as a small rocket incrementally changing the shape of the rock's orbit around the Sun. One-kilometer size rocks can be moved sufficiently in about a month while smaller rocks may be moved in a shorter time span.

  6. The impact imperative: Laser ablation for deflecting asteroids, meteoroids, and comets from impacting the earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, Jonathan W.; Phipps, Claude; Smalley, Larry; Reilly, James; Boccio, Dona

    2003-01-01

    Impacting at hypervelocity, an asteroid struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula area. This triggered the extinction of almost 70% of the species of life on Earth including the dinosaurs. Other impacts prior to this one have caused even greater extinctions. Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids, meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We now believe that while there are about 2000 earth orbit crossing rocks greater than 1 kilometer in diameter, there may be as many as 200,000 or more objects in the 100 m size range. Can anything be done about this fundamental existence question facing our civilization? The answer is a resounding yes! By using an intelligent combination of Earth and space based sensors coupled with an infra-structure of high-energy laser stations and other secondary mitigation options, we can deflect inbound asteroids, meteoroids, and comets and prevent them from striking the Earth. This can be accomplished by irradiating the surface of an inbound rock with sufficiently intense pulses so that ablation occurs. This ablation acts as a small rocket incrementally changing the shape of the rock's orbit around the Sun. One-kilometer size rocks can be moved sufficiently in about a month while smaller rocks may be moved in a shorter time span

  7. Elements of planetary protection against asteroid and comet hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Dashkiev, G. N.; Zhilyaev, B. E.

    2018-05-01

    The principles of protection against asteroid-comet hazard should constitute the main priority of the modern Proto-cosmic civilization on the planet Earth. Any impact of a fairly large asteroid or cometary nucleus with a size of 1 to 20 or more kilometers will lead to a global catastrophe and, perhaps, to the death of Mankind. Forces in order to withstand such a blow of the cosmic body during large space invasions, we do not have and, most likely, will not be for a long time . We need as soon as possible to create technical facilities and systems for long-term comfortable living of large colonies of people on the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury, having arranged there some elements of the biosphere. In these colonies people should live in extraterrestrial space settlements, and should periodically and constantly "outplay" scenarios of reliable and guaranteed re-population of the planet Earth by people. Such periodic "exercises" on the actual modeling of the return to the "post-catastrophic" Earth should ensure the survival of humanity even in the worst versions of the consequences of possible dangerous space invasions. That is, we should always be ready for the repopulation on the Earth by people and for the reconstruction of the basic elements of the man's biosphere.

  8. Search for Activity in Comet-Asteroid Transition Object 107P/Wilson-Harrington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khayat, Alain; Meech, K.; Pittichova, J.; Schorghofer, N.; Yang, B.; Sonnett, S.; Riesen, T.; Kleyna, J.; Kaluna, H.; Keane, J.

    2010-10-01

    Comet-asteroid transition object 107P/Wilson-Harrington was observed near its October 22, 2009 perihelion passage to search for activity. No activity was detected. Consequently, we place limits on possible dust production of 0.013 kg/s at 1.23 AU. Furthermore, the data was not sufficient to constrain a rotation period; however, it is clear that the rotation period is > 4hr. Our data is consistent with the observations of others (6.1 hr). Phase function fitting yielded a value of the phase coefficient beta= 0.0406 ± .0001 mag/deg, similar to C-type asteroids that have a linear phase curve at large phase angles. Thermal models for 107P/Wilson-Harrington show that the average loss rate of exposed crystalline ice at zero latitude is in the order of 0.3 meters/year. The derived high loss rate suggests that 107P/Wilson-Harrington is deprived of surface ice. Our observations and analysis confirm earlier findings that 107P/Wilson-Harrington is an example of the very few such objects discovered so far. Such study we made is a critical next step in understanding the life of dormant comets, and a window into the evolutionary end states of the lives of comets that become extinct. This work has been supported in part by AST-0807521 from the National Science Foundation.

  9. Direct Characterization of Comets and Asteroids via Cosmic Dust Analysis from the Deep Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Fisher, K.

    2018-02-01

    The Deep Space Gateway can allow direct analysis of dust from over a dozen comets, using an instrument similar to the successful Cassini Dust Analyzer (CDA). Long-term measurements are preferred. Compositions of over a dozen asteroids and comets can be obtained.

  10. Remote comets and related bodies - VJHK colorimetry and surface materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Degewij, J.

    1982-01-01

    VJHK colors for a number of asteroids and eight comets at various solar distances and levels of activity were obtained, and the observations are interpreted in terms of a two-component mixing model in which outer solar system interplanetary bodies are viewed as mixtures of ice and dark carbonaceous-type (RD and C) dirt. It is inferred that the observed comets have comae, and perhaps surfaces, of dirty ice or ice dirt grains colored by an RD-dirt component. This inference is supported by systematics of an 'alpha index' based on VJHK colors and empirically correlated with albedo and ice/dirt ratio. Among comets the alpha index correlates with solar distance in a way that suggests comets emit dirty ice grains which are stable at large solar distance but from which the ice component sublimes and leaves dirt grains at small solar distance.

  11. Electrostatic forces on grains near asteroids and comets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hartzell Christine

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Dust on and near the surface of small planetary bodies (e.g. asteroids, the Moon, Mars’ moons is subject to gravity, cohesion and electrostatic forces. Due to the very low gravity on small bodies, the behavior of small dust grains is driven by non-gravitational forces. Recent work by Scheeres et al. has shown that cohesion, specifically van der Waals force, is significant for grains on asteroids. In addition to van der Waals cohesion, dust grains also experience electrostatic forces, arising from their interaction with each other (through tribocharging and the solar wind plasma (which produces both grain charging and an external electric field. Electrostatic forces influence both the interactions of grains on the surface of small bodies as well as the dynamics of grains in the plasma sheath above the surface. While tribocharging between identical dielectric grains remains poorly understood, we have recently expanded an existing charge transfer model to consider continuous size distributions of grains and are planning an experiment to test the charge predictions produced. Additionally, we will present predictions of the size of dust grains that are capable of detaching from the surface of small bodies.

  12. Reflectance spectroscopy and asteroid surface mineralogy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaffey, M.J.; Bell, J.F.; Cruikshank, D.P.

    1989-01-01

    Information available from reflectance spectroscopy on the surface mineralogy of asteroids is discussed. Current spectral interpretive procedures used in the investigations of asteroid mineralogy are described. Present understanding of the nature and history of asteroids is discussed together with some still unresolved issues such as the source of ordinary chondrites. 100 refs

  13. Thermal infrared and optical photometry of Asteroidal Comet C/2002 CE10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Miyasaka, Seidai; Dermawan, Budi; Mueller, Thomas; Takato, Naruhisa; Watanabe, Junichi; Boehnhardt, Hermann

    2018-04-01

    C/2002 CE10 is an object in a retrograde elliptical orbit with Tisserand parameter - 0.853 indicating a likely origin in the Oort Cloud. It appears to be a rather inactive comet since no coma and only a very weak tail was detected during the past perihelion passage. We present multi-color optical photometry, lightcurve and thermal mid-IR observations of the asteroidal comet. With the photometric analysis in BVRI, the surface color is found to be redder than asteroids, corresponding to cometary nuclei and TNOs/Centaurs. The time-resolved differential photometry supports a rotation period of 8.19 ± 0.05 h. The effective diameter and the geometric albedo are 17.9 ± 0.9 km and 0.03 ± 0.01, respectively, indicating a very dark reflectance of the surface. The dark and redder surface color of C/2002 CE10 may be attribute to devolatilized material by surface aging suffered from the irradiation by cosmic rays or from impact by dust particles in the Oort Cloud. Alternatively, C/2002 CE10 was formed of very dark refractory material originally like a rocky planetesimal. In both cases, this object lacks ices (on the surface at least). The dynamical and known physical characteristics of C/2002 CE10 are best compatible with those of the Damocloids population in the Solar System, that appear to be exhaust cometary nucleus in Halley-type orbits. The study of physical properties of rocky Oort cloud objects may give us a key for the formation of the Oort cloud and the solar system.

  14. Direct Characterization of Comets and Asteroids via Cosmic Dust Analysis from the Deep Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Fisher, K.

    2018-01-01

    The Deep Space Gateway (DSG) may provide a platform for direct sampling of a large number of comets and asteroids, through employment of an instrument for characterizing dust from these bodies. Every year, the Earth traverses through debris streams of dust and small particles from comets and asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits, generating short-lived outbursts of meteor activity commonly known as "meteor showers" (Figure 1). The material in each debris stream originates from a distinct parent body, many of which have been identified. By sampling this material, it is possible to quantitatively analyze the composition of a dozen or more comets and asteroids (See Figure 2, following page) without leaving cislunar space.

  15. Collisional Histories of Comets and Trojan Asteroids: Insights from Forsterite and Enstatite Impact Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer. S. M.; Jensen, E. A.; Wooden, D. H.; Lindsay, S. S.; Smith, D. C.; Cintala, M. J.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Keller, L. P.

    2012-01-01

    Impacts into forsterite and orthoenstatite at speeds typically encountered by comets demonstrate that shock imparted by collisions is detectable in the infrared signatures of their dust. The spectral signatures can be traced to physical alterations in their crystalline structures, as observed in TEM imaging and modeled using a dipole approximation. These results yield tantalizing insights into the collisional history of our solar system, as well as the history of individual comets and Trojan asteroids.

  16. Collisional Histories of Comets and Trojan Asteroids: Diopside, Magnesite, and Fayalite Impact Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Jensen, E. A.; Wooden, D. H.; Lindsay, S. S.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Smith, D. C.; Keller, L. P.; Cintala, M. J.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2012-01-01

    Comets and asteroids have weathered dynamic histories, as evidenced by their rough surfaces. The Nice model describes a violent reshuffling of small bodies during the Late Heavy Bombardment, with collisions acting to grind these planetesimals away. This creates an additional source of impact material that can re-work the surfaces of the larger bodies over the lifetime of the solar system. Here, we investigate the possibility that signatures due to impacts (e.g. from micrometeoroids or meteoroids) could be detected in their spectra, and how that can be explained by the physical manifestation of shock in the crystalline structure of minerals. All impact experiments were conducted in the Johnson Space Center Experimental Impact Laboratory using the vertical gun. Impact speeds ranged from approx.2.0 km/s to approx.2.8 km/s. All experiments were conducted at room temperature. Minerals found in comets and asteroids were chosen as targets, including diopside (MgCaSi2O6, monoclinic pyroxene), magnesite (MgCO3, carbonate), and fayalite (FeSiO4, olivine). Impacted samples were analyzed using a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) and a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Absorbance features in the 8-13 m spectral region demonstrate relative amplitude changes as well as wavelength shifts. Corresponding TEM images exhibit planar shock dislocations in the crystalline structure, attributed to deformation at high strain and low temperatures. Elongating or shortening the axes of the crystalline structure of forsterite (Mg2SiO4, olivine) using a discrete dipole approximation model (Lindsay et al., submitted) yields changes in spectral features similar to those observed in our impacted laboratory minerals.

  17. Infrared spectral reflectances of asteroid surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, H. P.; Veeder, G. J.

    1979-01-01

    This review compares the types of compositional information produced by three complementary techniques used in infrared observations of asteroid surfaces: broadband JHKL photometry, narrow band photometry, and multiplex spectroscopy. The high information content of these infrared observations permits definitive interpretations of asteroid surface compositions in terms of the major meteoritic minerals (olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase feldspar, hydrous silicates, and metallic Ni-Fe). These studies emphasize the individuality of asteroid surface compositions, the inadequacy of simple comparisons with spectra of meteorites, and the need to coordinate spectral measurements of all types to optimize diagnostic capabilities.

  18. Looking before we leap: an ongoing, quantative investigation of asteroid and comet impact hazard mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plesko, Catherine S [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Weaver, Robert P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bradley, Paul A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Huebner, Walter F [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2010-01-01

    There are many outstanding questions about the correct response to an asteroid or comet impact threat on Earth. Nuclear munitions are currently thought to be the most efficient method of delivering an impact-preventing impulse to a potentially hazardous object (PHO). However, there are major uncertainties about the response of PHOs to a nuclear burst, and the most appropriate ways to use nuclear munitions for hazard mitigation.

  19. Hartley and Itokawa: small comet and asteroid with similar morphologies and structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2011-10-01

    " Orbits ma ke s tructures " [1-3]. This three-word sentence means that as all cosmic bodies moves in non-circular keplerian orbits they all are subjected to an action of inertia -gravity warping waves. These waves arise in bodies as a result of periodically changing accelerations causing inertia-gravity forces. These forces are absorbed by bodies masses and make them to warp. This warping is smoothed by gravity making globular shapes of the larger bodies. But smaller bodies with rather weak gravity keep their warped shapes. The wave nature warping happens in four interfering direct ions (ortho - and diagonal) and in various wavelengths. The fundamental wave 1 long 2π R makes ubiquitous tectonic dichotomy: an oppos ition of the uplifted segment-hemisphere and the subsided one. For small bodies a result of this is in their convexo-concave shape [3] (Fig. 1-7). The uplifted bulging segment expands and is breaking by cracks, faults, rifts. The opposed subsided concave segment contracts. As a result in the middle of an oblong body is formed a narrow thoroughly squeezed and degassed portion - a neck or waist (wringed out wet linen). Subsequently here at a weakened place could happen a break - formation of binaries, polycomponental bodies, satellites. Figures 1 to 4 show development stages of small bodies leading to a full separation of two parts. Traces of warping waves of four directions are often seen on surfaces of many celestial bodies as cross -cutting lineations. A recent example of the small core of the Hartley 2 comet (2 km long) is very impressive. At received points of view are clearly seen at least three ortho- and diagonal lineations often marked by small outgassing craters (Fig. 1). Crossing lineations produce square forms (craters ) earlier s een on the Eros ' s urface. Wave comp res s ion lineations make the Hart ley 2 t o appear as a wafer ca ke. A " wa is t" (neck) is formed as a res ult of nearing a concave depression, from one side, and deep cracks

  20. FAST RADIO BURSTS: COLLISIONS BETWEEN NEUTRON STARS AND ASTEROIDS/COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geng, J. J.; Huang, Y. F., E-mail: hyf@nju.edu.cn [School of Astronomy and Space Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210046 (China)

    2015-08-10

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are newly discovered radio transient sources. Their high dispersion measures indicate an extragalactic origin. However, due to the lack of observational data in other wavelengths, their progenitors still remain unclear. Here we suggest that the collisions between neutron stars (NSs) and asteroids/comets are promising mechanisms for FRBs. During the impact process, a hot plasma fireball forms after the material of the small body penetrates into the NS surface. The ionized matter inside the fireball then expands along the magnetic field lines. Coherent radiation from the thin shell at the top of the fireball will account for the observed FRBs. Our scenario can reasonably explain the main features of FRBs, such as their durations, luminosities, and the event rate. We argue that for a single NS, FRBs are not likely to happen repeatedly in a forseeable timespan since such impacts are of low probability. We predict that faint remnant X-ray emissions should be associated with FRBs, but it may be too faint to be detected by detectors at work.

  1. FAST RADIO BURSTS: COLLISIONS BETWEEN NEUTRON STARS AND ASTEROIDS/COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geng, J. J.; Huang, Y. F.

    2015-01-01

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are newly discovered radio transient sources. Their high dispersion measures indicate an extragalactic origin. However, due to the lack of observational data in other wavelengths, their progenitors still remain unclear. Here we suggest that the collisions between neutron stars (NSs) and asteroids/comets are promising mechanisms for FRBs. During the impact process, a hot plasma fireball forms after the material of the small body penetrates into the NS surface. The ionized matter inside the fireball then expands along the magnetic field lines. Coherent radiation from the thin shell at the top of the fireball will account for the observed FRBs. Our scenario can reasonably explain the main features of FRBs, such as their durations, luminosities, and the event rate. We argue that for a single NS, FRBs are not likely to happen repeatedly in a forseeable timespan since such impacts are of low probability. We predict that faint remnant X-ray emissions should be associated with FRBs, but it may be too faint to be detected by detectors at work

  2. Touchless Despinning of Asteroids and Comets via Neutral Beam Emitting Spacecraft

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project seeks to design, build, and test a device that is capable of despinning an asteroid without the need for affixing the spacecraft to the surface. This...

  3. Implications of theories of asteroid and comet impact for policy options for management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trask, Newell J.

    1994-01-01

    Concern with the threat posed by terrestrial asteroid and comet impacts has heightened as the catastrophic consequences of such events have become better appreciated. Although the probabilities of such impacts are very small, a reasonable question for debate is whether such phenomena should be taken into account in deciding policy for the management of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The rate at which asteroid or comet impacts would affect areas of surface storage of radioactive waste is about the same as the estimated rate at which volcanic activity would affect the Yucca Mountain area. The Underground Retrievable Storage (URS) concept could satisfactorily reduce the risk from cosmic impact with its associated uncertainties in addition to providing other benefits described by previous authors.

  4. Implications of theories of asteroid and comet impact for policy options for management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trask, N.J.

    1994-01-01

    Concern with the threat posed by terrestrial asteroid and comet impacts has heightened as the catastrophic consequences of such events have become better appreciated. Although the probabilities of such impacts are very small, a reasonable question for debate is whether such phenomena should be taken into account in deciding policy for the management of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The rate at which asteroid or comet impacts would affect areas of surface storage of radioactive waste is about the same as the estimated rate at which volcanic activity would affect the Yucca Mountain area. The Underground Retrievable Storage (URS) concept could satisfactorily reduce the risk from cosmic impact with its associated uncertainties in addition to providing other benefits described by previous authors

  5. The Hawaii trails project: comet-hunting in the main asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, H. H.

    2009-10-01

    Context: The mysterious solar system object 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro is dynamically asteroidal, yet displays recurrent comet-like dust emission. Two scenarios were hypothesized to explain this unusual behavior: 1) 133P is a classical comet from the outer solar system that has evolved onto a main-belt orbit or 2) 133P is a dynamically ordinary main-belt asteroid on which subsurface ice has recently been exposed. If 1) is correct, the expected rarity of a dynamical transition onto an asteroidal orbit implies that 133P could be alone in the main belt. In contrast, if 2) is correct, other icy main-belt objects should exist and could also exhibit cometary activity. Aims: Believing 133P to be a dynamically ordinary, yet icy main-belt asteroid, I set out to test the primary prediction of the hypothesis: that 133P-like objects should be common and could be found by an appropriately designed observational survey. Methods: I conducted just such a survey - the Hawaii Trails Project - of selected main-belt asteroids in a search for objects displaying cometary activity. Optical observations were made of targets selected from among the Themis, Koronis, and Veritas asteroid families, the Karin asteroid cluster, and low-inclination, kilometer-scale outer-belt asteroids, using the Lulin 1.0 m, small and moderate aperture research telescope system (SMARTS) 1.0 m, University of Hawaii 2.2 m, southern astrophysical research (SOAR) 4.1 m, Gemini North 8.1 m, Subaru 8.2 m, and Keck I 10 m telescopes. Results: I made 657 observations of 599 asteroids, discovering one active object now known as 176P/LINEAR, leading to the identification of the new cometary class of main-belt comets (MBCs). These results suggest that there could be ~100 currently active MBCs among low-inclination, kilometer-scale outer-belt asteroids. Physically and statistically, MBC activity is consistent with initiation by meter-sized impactors. The estimated rate of impacts and sizes of resulting active sites, however

  6. THERMAL TOMOGRAPHY OF ASTEROID SURFACE STRUCTURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, Alan W.; Drube, Line, E-mail: alan.harris@dlr.de [German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany)

    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.

  7. DASTCOM5: A Portable and Current Database of Asteroid and Comet Orbit Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgini, Jon D.; Chamberlin, Alan B.

    2014-11-01

    A portable direct-access database containing all NASA/JPL asteroid and comet orbit solutions, with the software to access it, is available for download (ftp://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/pub/xfr/dastcom5.zip; unzip -ao dastcom5.zip). DASTCOM5 contains the latest heliocentric IAU76/J2000 ecliptic osculating orbital elements for all known asteroids and comets as determined by a least-squares best-fit to ground-based optical, spacecraft, and radar astrometric measurements. Other physical, dynamical, and covariance parameters are included when known. A total of 142 parameters per object are supported within DASTCOM5. This information is suitable for initializing high-precision numerical integrations, assessing orbit geometry, computing trajectory uncertainties, visual magnitude, and summarizing physical characteristics of the body. The DASTCOM5 distribution is updated as often as hourly to include newly discovered objects or orbit solution updates. It includes an ASCII index of objects that supports look-ups based on name, current or past designation, SPK ID, MPC packed-designations, or record number. DASTCOM5 is the database used by the NASA/JPL Horizons ephemeris system. It is a subset exported from a larger MySQL-based relational Small-Body Database ("SBDB") maintained at JPL. The DASTCOM5 distribution is intended for programmers comfortable with UNIX/LINUX/MacOSX command-line usage who need to develop stand-alone applications. The goal of the implementation is to provide small, fast, portable, and flexibly programmatic access to JPL comet and asteroid orbit solutions. The supplied software library, examples, and application programs have been verified under gfortran, Lahey, Intel, and Sun 32/64-bit Linux/UNIX FORTRAN compilers. A command-line tool ("dxlook") is provided to enable database access from shell or script environments.

  8. Orbit Refinement of Asteroids and Comets Using a Robotic Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz Caughey, Austin; Brown, Johnny; Puckett, Andrew W.; Hoette, Vivian L.; Johnson, Michael; McCarty, Cameron B.; Whitmore, Kevin; UNC-Chapel Hill SKYNET Team

    2016-01-01

    We report on a multi-semester project to refine the orbits of asteroids and comets in our Solar System. One of the newest fields of research for undergraduate Astrophysics students at Columbus State University is that of asteroid astrometry. By measuring the positions of an asteroid in a set of images, we can reduce the overall uncertainty in the accepted orbital parameters of that object. These measurements, using our WestRock Observatory (WRO) and several other telescopes around the world, are being published through the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and benefit the global community.Three different methods are used to obtain these observations. First, we use our own 24-inch telescope at WRO, located in at CSU's Coca-Cola Space Science Center in downtown Columbus, Georgia . Second, we have access to data from the 20-inch telescope at Stone Edge Observatory in El Verano, California. Finally, we may request images remotely using Skynet, an online worldwide network of robotic telescopes. Our primary and long-time collaborator on Skynet has been the "41-inch" reflecting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Thus far, we have used these various telescopes to refine the orbits of more than 15 asteroids and comets. We have also confirmed the resulting reduction in orbit-model uncertainties using Monte Carlo simulations and orbit visualizations, using Find_Orb and OrbitMaster software, respectively.Before any observatory site can be used for official orbit refinement projects, it must first become a trusted source of astrometry data for the MPC. We have therefore obtained Observatory Codes not only for our own WestRock Observatory (W22), but also for 3 Skynet telescopes that we may use in the future: Dark Sky Observatory in Boone, North Carolina (W38) Hume Observatory in Santa Rosa, California (U54) and Athabasca University Geophysical Observatory in Athabasca, Alberta, Canada (U96).

  9. Orbital motion in strongly perturbed environments applications to asteroid, comet and planetary satellite orbiters

    CERN Document Server

    Scheeres, Daniel J

    2012-01-01

    The proposed book will provide a detailed, technical introduction to the analysis of orbital motion in strongly perturbed environments, focusing on motion about small Solar System bodies, such as comets and asteroids. The author shows why such small bodies are of interest and why they can be used as a motivation for the general analysis of orbital mechanics. He shows how it is possible to model the small body environment, including specialised cases such as those of binary asteroids, comets and ‘rubble piles’, and how the fundamental equations of motion are derived. The properties of the various solutions to the equations of motion are described and the methods of analysis and their application are discussed. Both ballistic motion and powered motion on and about small bodies are considered and case studies for different small body missions are presented. The author concludes his comprehensive treatment with a discussion of the mechanics of multi-body small body systems and a review of advanced topics and ...

  10. Using Astrometrica to Teach an Introduction to Asteroid and Comet Astrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durig, Douglas T.

    2007-05-01

    We have organized a Consortium for Astronomy Research and Teaching (CART) with several small colleges and universities from the Appalachian Colleges Association (ACA). In 2006 we received a small grant from the ACA Teaching and Learning Conference to develop laboratory exercises using the on-line telescopes of the Cordell-Lorenz Observatory of The University of the South in Sewanee, TN. We have completed and tested the first two, Asteroid Astrometry and Comet Astronomy and Angular Size. We are continuing to develop several more on the HR Diagram, Cataclysmic Variables and Short Period Variable Stars. We had unknown new asteroids in the field of view the first four times we performed the Asteroid Astrometry exercise but, unfortunately, none of the students recognized the new objects. However, they were more motivated to perform the exercise because of the opportunity to discover the new objects and they performed better on the review questions than students doing a comparable virtual exercise. Both of the astrometry exercises use the Astrometrica program developed by Herbert Raab and provide an introduction to the use and applications of this very functional shareware program. The program is available for free to educators.

  11. Protection of the human race against natural hazards (asteroids, comets, volcanoes, earthquakes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph V.

    1985-10-01

    Although we justifiably worry about the danger of nuclear war to civilization, and perhaps even to survival of the human race, we tend to consider natural hazards (e.g., comets, asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes) as unavoidable acts of God. In any human lifetime, a truly catastrophic natural event is very unlikely, but ultimately one will occur. For the first time in human history we have sufficient technical skills to begin protection of Earth from some natural hazards. We could decide collectively throughout the world to reassign resources: in particular, reduction of nuclear and conventional weapons to a less dangerous level would allow concomitant increase of international programs for detection and prevention of natural hazards. Worldwide cooperation to mitigate natural hazards might help psychologically to lead us away from the divisive bickering that triggers wars. Future generations could hail us as pioneers of peace and safety rather than curse us as agents of death and destruction.

  12. On the cutting edge technology enabling the challenging missions to asteroids and comets, our primitive neighbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaguchi, J.

    2014-07-01

    The world's first sample-and-return mission from an object orbiting outside the sphere of influence of the Earth was successfully performed through Hayabusa in 2010, an engineering demonstration mission of JAXA. And it was followed by another technology demonstrator, Ikaros, the world's first solar-sail mission launched in 2010, the same year of the Hayabusa return. These two demonstrations represent the significance of the technology development that shall precede the real science missions that will follow. The space-exploration community focuses its attention on the use of asteroids and comets as one of the most immediate destinations. Humans will perform voyages to those objects sooner or later. And we will initiate a kind of research as scientific activity for those objects. The missions may include even sample-and-return missions to those bodies for assessing the chance of possible resource utilization in future. The first step for it is, needless to say, science. Combining the sample-and-return technology using the ultra-high-speed reentry for sample recovery with the new propulsion system using both electric and photon force will be the direct conclusion from Hayabusa and Ikaros. And key elements such as autonomy are also among the essential factors in making the sophisticated operation possible around asteroids and comets avoiding the communication difficulty. This presentation will comprehensively touch on what those technology skills are, and how they are applicable to the subsequent new missions, from the mission leader's point of view. They are probably real requisites for planning brand-new innovative challenges in the ACM community.

  13. Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS): A Space-Based System Concept for Revolutionizing Earth Protection and Utilization of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Antol, Jeffrey; Kay-Bunnell, Linda; Werner, Martin R.; Park, Sang-Young; Kumar, Renjith R.

    2002-01-01

    There exists an infrequent, but significant hazard to life and property due to impacting asteroids and comets. There is currently no specific search for long-period comets, smaller near-Earth asteroids, or smaller short-period comets. These objects represent a threat with potentially little or no warning time using conventional ground-based telescopes. These planetary bodies also represent a significant resource for commercial exploitation, long-term sustained space exploration, and scientific research. The Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS) would expand the current detection effort to include long-period comets, as well as small asteroids and short-period comets capable of regional destruction. A space-based detection system, despite being more costly and complex than Earth-based initiatives, is the most promising way of expanding the range of detectable objects, and surveying the entire celestial sky on a regular basis. CAPS is a future spacebased system concept that provides permanent, continuous asteroid and comet monitoring, and rapid, controlled modification of the orbital trajectories of selected bodies. CAPS would provide an orbit modification system capable of diverting kilometer class objects, and modifying the orbits of smaller asteroids for impact defense and resource utilization. This paper provides a summary of CAPS and discusses several key areas and technologies that are being investigated.

  14. Planning ahead for asteroid and comet hazard mitigation, phase 1: parameter space exploration and scenario modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plesko, Catherine S [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Clement, R Ryan [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Weaver, Robert P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bradley, Paul A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Huebner, Walter F [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    The mitigation of impact hazards resulting from Earth-approaching asteroids and comets has received much attention in the popular press. However, many questions remain about the near-term and long-term, feasibility and appropriate application of all proposed methods. Recent and ongoing ground- and space-based observations of small solar-system body composition and dynamics have revolutionized our understanding of these bodies (e.g., Ryan (2000), Fujiwara et al. (2006), and Jedicke et al. (2006)). Ongoing increases in computing power and algorithm sophistication make it possible to calculate the response of these inhomogeneous objects to proposed mitigation techniques. Here we present the first phase of a comprehensive hazard mitigation planning effort undertaken by Southwest Research Institute and Los Alamos National Laboratory. We begin by reviewing the parameter space of the object's physical and chemical composition and trajectory. We then use the radiation hydrocode RAGE (Gittings et al. 2008), Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) radiation transport (see Clement et al., this conference), and N-body dynamics codes to explore the effects these variations in object properties have on the coupling of energy into the object from a variety of mitigation techniques, including deflection and disruption by nuclear and conventional munitions, and a kinetic impactor.

  15. Postencounter view of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendis, D.A.

    1988-01-01

    Ground-based and space observations of Comet Halley during its 1986 perihelion passage are reviewed, with an emphasis on their implications for theoretical models. Consideration is given to the shape, surface morphology, and composition of the comet nucleus; the shape, dynamics, and composition of the dust tail; neutral and ionic gas species in the head and plasma tail; and the comet/solar-wind interaction. Extensive diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided, and the potential value of the new kinds of data to be obtained with the NASA Comet-Rendezvous/Asteroid-Flyby spacecraft is discussed. 139 references

  16. Guided asteroid deflection by kinetic impact: Mapping keyholes to an asteroid's surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, S.; Farnocchia, D.

    2014-07-01

    The kinetic impactor deflection approach is likely to be the optimal deflection strategy in most real-world cases, given the likelihood of decades of warning time provided by asteroid search programs and the probable small size of the next confirmed asteroid impact that would require deflection. However, despite its straightforward implementation, the kinetic impactor approach can have its effectiveness limited by the astrodynamics that govern the impactor spacecraft trajectory. First, the deflection from an impact is maximized when the asteroid is at perihelion, while an impact near perihelion can in some cases be energetically difficult to implement. Additionally, the asteroid change in velocity Δ V should aligned with the target's heliocentric velocity vector in order to maximize the deflection at a potential impact some years in the future. Thus the relative velocity should be aligned with or against the heliocentric velocity, which implies that the impactor and asteroid orbits should be tangent at the point of impact. However, for natural bodies such as meteorites colliding with the Earth, the relative velocity vectors tend to cluster near the sunward or anti- sunward directions, far from the desired direction. This is because there is generally a significant crossing angle between the orbits of the impactor and target and an impact at tangency is unusual. The point is that hitting the asteroid is not enough, but rather we desire to hit the asteroid at a point when the asteroid and spacecraft orbits are nearly tangent and when the asteroid is near perihelion. However, complicating the analysis is the fact that the impact of a spacecraft on an asteroid would create an ejecta plume that is roughly normal to the surface at the point of impact. This escaping ejecta provides additional momentum transfer that generally adds to the effectiveness of a kinetic deflection. The ratio β between the ejecta momentum and the total momentum (ejecta plus spacecraft) can

  17. Small Bodies, Big Concepts: Engaging Teachers and Their Students in Visual Analysis of Comets and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, W. H.; Buxner, S.; Lebofsky, L. A.; Ristvey, J.; Weeks, S.; Zolensky, M.

    2011-12-01

    Small Bodies, Big Concepts is a multi-disciplinary, professional development project that engages 5th - 8th grade teachers in high end planetary science using a research-based pedagogical framework, Designing Effective Science Instruction (DESI). In addition to developing sound background knowledge with a focus on visual analysis, teachers' awareness of the process of learning new content is heightened, and they use that experience to deepen their science teaching practice. Culling from NASA E/PO educational materials, activities are sequenced to enhance conceptual understanding of big ideas in space science: what do we know, how do we know it, why do we care? Helping teachers develop a picture of the history and evolution of our understanding of the solar system, and honing in on the place of comets and asteroids in helping us answer old questions and discover new ones, teachers see the power and excitement underlying planetary science as human endeavor. Research indicates that science inquiry is powerful in the classroom and mission scientists are real-life models of science inquiry in action. Using guest scientist facilitators from the Planetary Science Institute, NASA Johnson Space Center, Lockheed Martin, and NASA E/PO professionals from McREL and NASA AESP, teachers practice framing scientific questions, using current visual data, and adapting NASA E/PO activities related to current exploration of asteroids and comets in our Solar System. Cross-curricular elements included examining research-based strategies for enhancing English language learners' ability to engage in higher order questions and a professional astronomy artist's insight into how visual analysis requires not just our eyes engaged, but our brains: comparing, synthesizing, questioning, evaluating, and wondering. This summer we pilot tested the SBBC curriculum with thirteen 5th- 10th grade teachers modeling a variety of instructional approaches over eight days. Each teacher developed lesson plans

  18. Comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.W.

    1982-01-01

    Comets are objects of considerable fascination and this paper reviews the present knowledge of the physical structure of the cometary nucleus, coma and tail, the orbits of comets in the Solar System, the proposed mechanisms of cometary origin, the decay processes suffered by comets, and the ways in which they can be observed from Earth and by spacecraft. (author)

  19. Observation of freakish-asteroid-discovered-resembles support my idea that many dark comets were arrested and lurked in the solar system after every impaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2014-03-01

    New observations show that some asteroids are looked like comets. http://www.astrowatch.net/2013/11/freakish-asteroid-discovered-resembles.html, http://www.astrowatch.net/2013/11/astronomers-puzzle-over-newfound.html. It supports my idea that ``many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in the solar system'' - ``Sun's companion-dark hole seasonal took its dark comets belt and much dark matter to impact near our earth. And some of them probability hit on our earth. So this model kept and triggered periodic mass extinctions on our earth every 25 to 27 million years. After every impaction, many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in the solar system. Because some of them picked up many solar matter, so it looked like the asteroids. When the dark hole-Tyche goes near the solar system again, they will impact near planets.'' The idea maybe explains why do the asteroid looks like the comet? Where are the asteroids come from? What relationship do they have with the impactions and extinctions? http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2011.CAL.C1.7, http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/CAL12/Event/181168, http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2013.MAR.H1.267. During 2009 to 2010, I had presented there are many dark comets like dark Asteroids near the orbit of Jupiter in ASP Meetings. In 2010, NASA's WISE found them. http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2011.APR.K1.17, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/news/wise20100122.html Avoid Earth Extinction Associ.

  20. Deposition of steeply infalling debris - pebbles, boulders, snowballs, asteroids, comets - around stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, J. C.; Veras, D.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-09-01

    When Comet Lovejoy plunged into the Sun, and survived, questions arose about the physics of infall of small bodies. [1,2] has already described this infall in detail. However, a more general analysis for any type of star has been missing. [3] generalized previous studies, with specific applications to white dwarfs. High-metallicity pollution is common in white dwarf stars hosting remnant planetary systems. However, they rarely have detectable debris accretion discs, possibly because much of the influx is fast steeply infalling debris in star-grazing orbits, producing a more tenuous signature than a slowly accreting disc. Processes governing such deposition between the Roche radius and photosphere have so far received little attention and we model them here analytically by extending recent work on sun-grazing comets to white dwarf systems. We find that the evolution of cm-to-km size infallers most strongly depends on two combinations of parameters, which effectively measure sublimation rate and binding strength. We then provide an algorithm to determine the fate of infallers for any white dwarf, and apply the algorithm to four limiting combinations of hot versus cool (young/old) white dwarfs with snowy (weak, volatile) versus rocky (strong, refractory) infallers. We find: (i) Total sublimation above the photosphere befalls all small infallers across the entire white dwarf temperature range, the threshold size rising with it and 100× larger for rock than snow. (ii) All very large objects fragment tidally regardless of temperature: for rock, a0 ≽ 105 cm; for snow, a0 ≽ 103 - 3 × 104 cm across all white dwarf cooling ages. (iii) A considerable range of infaller sizes avoids fragmentation and total sublimation, yielding impacts or grazes with cold white dwarfs. This range rapidly narrows with increasing temperature, especially for snowy bodies. Finally, we briefly discuss how the various forms of deposited debris may finally reach the photosphere surface itself.

  1. The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission: Discovery, Tracking, and Characterization of Asteroids, Comets, and Artificial Satellites with a Microsatellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, A. R.; Carroll, K. A.; Balam, D. D.; Cardinal, R. D.; Matthews, J. M.; Kuschnig, R.; Walker, G. A. H.; Brown, P. G.; Tedesco, E. F.; Worden, S. P.

    2001-01-01

    The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission, a microsatellite dedicated to observing near-Earth (NEO) and interior-to-the-Earth (IEO)asteroids and comets plus artificial satellites, is currently being studied under contract to the Canadian Space Agency. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. OBSERVED ASTEROID SURFACE AREA IN THE THERMAL INFRARED

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, C. R. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Sonnett, S. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Wright, E. L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2017-02-01

    The rapid accumulation of thermal infrared observations and shape models of asteroids has led to increased interest in thermophysical modeling. Most of these infrared observations are unresolved. We consider what fraction of an asteroid’s surface area contributes the bulk of the emitted thermal flux for two model asteroids of different shapes over a range of thermal parameters. The resulting observed surface in the infrared is generally more fragmented than the area observed in visible wavelengths, indicating high sensitivity to shape. For objects with low values of the thermal parameter, small fractions of the surface contribute the majority of thermally emitted flux. Calculating observed areas could enable the production of spatially resolved thermal inertia maps from non-resolved observations of asteroids.

  3. Samples of Asteroid Surface Ponded Deposits in Chondritic Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M. E.; Lee, R.; Le, L.

    2004-01-01

    One of the many unexpected observations of asteroid 433 Eros by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission was the many ponds of fine-grained materials [1-3]. The ponds have smooth surfaces, and define equipotential surfaces up to 10's of meters in diameter [4]. The ponds have a uniformly sub-cm grain size and appear to be cohesive or indurated to some degree, as revealed by slumping. The ponds appear to be concentrated within 30 degrees of the equator of Eros, where gravity is lowest. There is some insight into the mineralogy and composition of the ponds surfaces from NEAR spectroscopy [2,4,5,6]. Compared to the bulk asteroid, ponds: (1) are distinctly bluer (high 550/760 nm ratio), (2) have a deeper 1um mafic band, (3) have reflectance elevated by 5%.

  4. 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

  5. Hayabusa2 Sampler: Collection of Asteroidal Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Hirotaka; Okazaki, Ryuji; Tachibana, Shogo; Sakamoto, Kanako; Takano, Yoshinori; Okamoto, Chisato; Yano, Hajime; Miura, Yayoi; Abe, Masanao; Hasegawa, Sunao; Noguchi, Takaaki

    2017-07-01

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the asteroid exploration probe "Hayabusa2" in December 3rd, 2014, following the 1st Hayabusa mission. With technological and scientific improvements from the Hayabusa probe, we plan to visit the C-type asteroid 162137 Ryugu (1999 JU3), and to sample surface materials of the C-type asteroid that is likely to be different from the S-type asteroid Itokawa and contain more pristine materials, including organic matter and/or hydrated minerals, than S-type asteroids. We developed the Hayabusa2 sampler to collect a minimum of 100 mg of surface samples including several mm-sized particles at three surface locations without any severe terrestrial contamination. The basic configuration of the sampler design is mainly as same as the 1st Hayabusa (Yano et al. in Science, 312(5778):1350-1353, 2006), with several minor but important modifications based on lessons learned from the Hayabusa to fulfill the scientific requirements and to raise the scientific value of the returned samples.

  6. Near-surface bulk densities of asteroids derived from dual-polarization radar observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkki, A.; Taylor, P. A.; Zambrano-Marin, L. F.; Howell, E. S.; Nolan, M. C.; Lejoly, C.; Rivera-Valentin, E. G.; Aponte, B. A.

    2017-09-01

    We present a new method to constrain the near-surface bulk density and surface roughness of regolith on asteroid surfaces using planetary radar measurements. The number of radar observations has increased rapidly during the last five years, allowing us to compare and contrast the radar scattering properties of different small-body populations and compositional types. This provides us with new opportunities to investigate their near-surface physical properties such as the chemical composition, bulk density, porosity, or the structural roughness in the scale of centimeters to meters. Because the radar signal can penetrate into a planetary surface up to a few decimeters, radar can reveal information that is hidden from other ground-based methods, such as optical and infrared measurements. The near-surface structure of asteroids and comets in centimeter-to-meter scale is essential information for robotic and human space missions, impact threat mitigation, and understanding the history of these bodies as well as the formation of the whole Solar System.

  7. Amino Acids in Asteroids and Comets: Implications for the Origin of Life on Earth and Possibly Elsewhere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Meteorites provide a record of the chemical processes that occurred in the early solar system before life began on Earth. The delivery of organic matter by asteroids, comets, and their fragments to the Earth and other planetary bodies in our solar system could have been an important source of the prebiotic organic inventory needed for the emergence of life. Amino acids are essential components of proteins and enzymes in life on Earth and these prebiotic organic compounds have been detected in a wide variety of carbon-rich meteorites, the majority of which have been determined to be extraterrestrial in origin. In addition, many amino acids are structurally chiral (they possess handedness) and with a few very rare exceptions, only left handed (L) amino acids are found in biology, while all known abiotic syntheses of amino acids result in equal mixtures of left and right handed (LD) amino acids. The discovery of a significant left handed amino acid imbalance of up to 20% in several different carbonaceous meteorites, could point toward a possible prebiotic contribution to the origin of biological homochirality by the exogenous delivery of extraterrestrial organic material to the early Earth. In this talk, I will focus on recent state-of-the-art measurements of the distribution, chirality, and isotopic composition of amino acids in meteorites and cometary samples carried out at the Goddard Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory. Results from the analyses of a variety of Antarctic meteorites, samples from comet Wild 2 returned by the STARDUST mission, and meteorite fragments of asteroid 2008 TC3 called Almahata Sitta recovered from northern Sudan will be discussed

  8. Silicate Phases on the Surfaces of Trojan Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Audrey; Emery, Joshua P.; Lindsay, Sean S.

    2017-10-01

    Determining the origin of asteroids provides an effective means of constraining the solar system’s dynamic past. Jupiter Trojan asteroids (hereafter Trojans) may help in determining the amount of radial mixing that occurred during giant planet migration. Previous studies aimed at characterizing surface composition show that Trojans have low albedo surfaces and are spectrally featureless in the near infrared. The thermal infrared (TIR) wavelength range has advantages for detecting silicates on low albedo asteroids such as Trojans. The 10 μm region exhibits strong features due to the Si-O fundamental molecular vibrations. Silicates that formed in the inner solar system likely underwent thermal annealing, and thus are crystalline, whereas silicates that accreted in the outer solar system experienced less thermal processing, and therefore are more likely to have remained in an amorphous phase. We hypothesize that the Trojans formed in the outer solar system (i.e., the Kuiper Belt), and therefore will have a more dominant amorphous spectral silicate component. With TIR spectra from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we identify mineralogical features from the surface of 11 Trojan asteroids. Fine-grain mixtures of crystalline pyroxene and olivine exhibit a 10 μm feature with sharp cutoffs between about 9 μm and 12 μm, which create a broad flat plateau. Amorphous phases, when present, smooth the sharp emission features, resulting in a dome-like shape. Preliminary results indicate that the surfaces of analyzed Trojans contain primarily amorphous silicates. Emissivity spectra of asteroids 1986 WD and 4709 Ennomos include small peaks in the 10 μm region, diagnostic of small amounts of crystalline olivine. One explanation is that Trojans formed in the same region as Kuiper Belt objects, and when giant planet migration ensued, they were swept into Jupiter’s stable Lagrange points where they are found today. As such, it is possible that an ancestral group of Kuiper Belt

  9. Routing the asteroid surface vehicle with detailed mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yang; Baoyin, He-Xi

    2014-06-01

    The motion of a surface vehicle on/above an irregular object is investigated for a potential interest in the insitu explorations to asteroids of the solar system. A global valid numeric method, including detailed gravity and geomorphology, is developed to mimic the behaviors of the test particles governed by the orbital equations and surface coupling effects. A general discussion on the surface mechanical environment of a specified asteroid, 1620 Geographos, is presented to make a global evaluation of the surface vehicle's working conditions. We show the connections between the natural trajectories near the ground and differential features of the asteroid surface, which describes both the good and bad of typical terrains from the viewpoint of vehicles' dynamic performances. Monte Carlo simulations are performed to take a further look at the trajectories of particles initializing near the surface. The simulations reveal consistent conclusions with the analysis, i.e., the open-field flat ground and slightly concave basins/valleys are the best choices for the vehicles' dynamical security. The dependence of decending trajectories on the releasing height is studied as an application; the results show that the pole direction (where the centrifugal force is zero) is the most stable direction in which the shift of a natural trajectory will be well limited after landing. We present this work as an example for pre-analysis that provides guidance to engineering design of the exploration site and routing the surface vehicles.

  10. Distant asteroids and Chiron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    French, L.M.; Vilas, F.; Hartmann, W.K.; Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    Knowledge of the physical properties of distant asteroids (a>3.3 AU) has grown dramatically over the past five years, due to systematic compositional and lightcurve studies. Most of these objects have red, dark surfaces, and their spectra show a reddening in spectral slope with heliocentric distance implying a change in surface composition. Trojans for which near-opposition phase curve information is available appear to show little or no opposition effect, unlike any dark solar system objects. The lightcurve amplitudes of Trojan and Hilda asteroids imply significantly more elongated shapes for these groups than for main-belt asteroids of comparable size. These recent observations are reviewed in the context of their implications for the formation and subsequent evolution of the distant asteroids, and their interrelations with the main belt, Chiron and comets

  11. Asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, J.F.; Gaffey, M.J.

    1989-01-01

    During the past 15 yr much progress has been made in the study of the asteroids with optical, infrared, and radar telescopes. Simultaneously a vast body of petrologic, chemical and isotopic data has been acquired for meteorites, which are actual samples of asteroids. This work has demonstrated that asteroids vary widely in composition and thermal history in a systematic but complex way with orbital position and size. The authors report that it appears that these variations can be explained to first order by a simple model invoking three principal mechanisms: condensation of various known and unknown classes of chondritic material at radial locations in the nebula controlled by the temperature and composition; intense metamorphic heating after accretion which declined rapidly with both increasing solar distance and smaller planetesimal size, producing complete differentiation in some inner belt objects, incomplete differentiation in many more, and extensive metamorphism and aqueous alteration in middle-belt objects; and complex collisional fragmentation often controlled by internal strength gradients due to irregular distribution of metal

  12. DIRBE Comet Trails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2015-01-01

    Re-examination of the COBE DIRBE data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails.The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported.The known trails of 2P/Encke, and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 microns surface brightnesses of trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals one additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  13. Analysis of the Touch-And-Go Surface Sampling Concept for Comet Sample Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandic, Milan; Acikmese, Behcet; Bayard, David S.; Blackmore, Lars

    2012-01-01

    This paper studies the Touch-and-Go (TAG) concept for enabling a spacecraft to take a sample from the surface of a small primitive body, such as an asteroid or comet. The idea behind the TAG concept is to let the spacecraft descend to the surface, make contact with the surface for several seconds, and then ascend to a safe location. Sampling would be accomplished by an end-effector that is active during the few seconds of surface contact. The TAG event is one of the most critical events in a primitive body sample-return mission. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the dynamic behavior of a representative spacecraft during the TAG event, i.e., immediately prior, during, and after surface contact of the sampler. The study evaluates the sample-collection performance of the proposed sampling end-effector, in this case a brushwheel sampler, while acquiring material from the surface during the contact. A main result of the study is a guidance and control (G&C) validation of the overall TAG concept, in addition to specific contributions to demonstrating the effectiveness of using nonlinear clutch mechanisms in the sampling arm joints, and increasing the length of the sampling arms to improve robustness.

  14. Asteroids IV

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    . Asteroids, like planets, are driven by a great variety of both dynamical and physical mechanisms. In fact, images sent back by space missions show a collection of small worlds whose characteristics seem designed to overthrow our preconceived notions. Given their wide range of sizes and surface compositions, it is clear that many formed in very different places and at different times within the solar nebula. These characteristics make them an exciting challenge for researchers who crave complex problems. The return of samples from these bodies may ultimately be needed to provide us with solutions. In the book Asteroids IV, the editors and authors have taken major strides in the long journey toward a much deeper understanding of our fascinating planetary ancestors. This book reviews major advances in 43 chapters that have been written and reviewed by a team of more than 200 international authorities in asteroids. It is aimed to be as comprehensive as possible while also remaining accessible to students and researchers who are interested in learning about these small but nonetheless important worlds. We hope this volume will serve as a leading reference on the topic of asteroids for the decade to come. We are deeply indebted to the many authors and referees for their tremendous efforts in helping us create Asteroids IV. We also thank the members of the Asteroids IV scientific organizing committee for helping us shape the structure and content of the book. The conference associated with the book, "Asteroids Comets Meteors 2014" held June 30-July 4, 2014, in Helsinki, Finland, did an outstanding job of demonstrating how much progress we have made in the field over the last decade. We are extremely grateful to our host Karri Muinonnen and his team. The editors are also grateful to the Asteroids IV production staff, namely Renée Dotson and her colleagues at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, for their efforts, their invaluable assistance, and their enthusiasm; they made life as

  15. The cool surfaces of binary near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbo, Marco; Walsh, Kevin; Mueller, Michael; Harris, Alan W.; Howell, Ellen S.

    2011-03-01

    Here we show results from thermal-infrared observations of km-sized binary near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). We combine previously published thermal properties for NEAs with newly derived values for three binary NEAs. The η value derived from the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) for each object is then used to estimate an average thermal inertia for the population of binary NEAs and compared against similar estimates for the population of non-binaries. We find that these objects have, in general, surface temperatures cooler than the average values for non-binary NEAs as suggested by elevated η values. We discuss how this may be evidence of higher-than-average surface thermal inertia. This latter physical parameter is a sensitive indicator of the presence or absence of regolith: bodies covered with fine regolith, such as the Earth’s moon, have low thermal inertia, whereas a surface with little or no regolith displays high thermal inertia. Our results are suggestive of a binary formation mechanism capable of altering surface properties, possibly removing regolith: an obvious candidate is the YORP effect. We present also newly determined sizes and geometric visible albedos derived from thermal-infrared observations of three binary NEAs: (5381) Sekhmet, (153591) 2001 SN263, and (164121) 2003 YT1. The diameters of these asteroids are 1.41 ± 0.21 km, 1.56 ± 0.31 km, and 2.63 ± 0.40 km, respectively. Their albedos are 0.23 ± 0.13, 0.24 ± 0.16, and 0.048 ± 0.015, respectively.

  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. Surface Composition of Trojan Asteroids from Thermal-Infrared Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, A.; Emery, J. P.; Lindsay, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Asteroid origins provide an effective means of constraining the events that dynamically shaped the solar system. Jupiter Trojan asteroids (hereafter Trojans) may help in determining the extent of radial mixing that occurred during giant planet migration. Previous studies aimed at characterizing surface composition show that Trojans have low albedo surfaces and fall into two distinct spectral groups the near infrared (NIR). Though, featureless in this spectral region, NIR spectra of Trojans either exhibit a red or less-red slope. Typically, red-sloped spectra are associated with organics, but it has been shown that Trojans are not host to much, if any, organic material. Instead, the red slope is likely due to anhydrous silicates. The thermal infrared (TIR) wavelength range has advantages for detecting silicates on low albedo asteroids such as Trojans. The 10 µm region exhibits strong features due to the Si-O fundamental molecular vibrations. We hypothesize that the two Trojan spectral groups have different compositions (silicate mineralogy). With TIR spectra from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we identify mineralogical features from the surface of 11 Trojan asteroids, five red and six less-red. Preliminary results from analysis of the 10 µm region indicate red-sloped Trojans have a higher spectral contrast compared to less-red-sloped Trojans. Fine-grain mixtures of crystalline pyroxene and olivine exhibit a 10 µm feature with sharp cutoffs between about 9 µm and 12 µm, which create a broad flat plateau. Amorphous phases, when present, smooth the sharp emission features, resulting in a dome-like shape. Further spectral analysis in the 10 µm, 18 µm, and 30 µm band region will be performed for a more robust analysis. If all Trojans come from the same region, it is expected that they share spectral and compositional characteristics. Therefore, if spectral analysis in the TIR reinforce the NIR spectral slope dichotomy, it is likely that Trojans were sourced from

  18. Low-Gravity Centrifuge Facilities for Asteroid Lander and Material Processing and Manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; Thangavelautham, J.; Schwartz, S.

    2018-02-01

    We are developing space centrifuge research facilities for attaining low-gravity to micro-gravity geological environmental conditions representative of the environment on the surfaces of asteroids and comets.

  19. Introduction to the Asteroids II data base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, E.F.

    1989-01-01

    The Asteroids II data base presented is a compilation of asteroid data. Included are asteroid names and discovery circumstances, proper elements and family identifications, asteroid lightcurve parameters, asteroid pole determinations, taxonomic classes, absolute magnitudes and slope parameters, UBV color indices, and albedos and diameters from the IRAS Asteroid and Comet Survey

  20. Investigating the Effects of Temperature on the Signatures of Shocks Propagated Through Impacts into Minerals Found in Comets and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, Susan M.; Jensen, E. A.; Fane, M.; Smith, D. C.; Holmes, J.; Keller, L. P.; Lindsay, S. S.; Wooden, D. H.; Cintala, M. J.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2015-01-01

    Comets and asteroids are subjected to extremely cold conditions throughout their lifetimes. During their sojourns in the solar system, they are subjected to collisions at speeds that are easily capable of generating shock waves in their constituent materials. In addition to ices, more common silicate minerals such as olivines and pyroxenes are important components of these objects. The collision-induced shocks could affect the spectral signatures of those mineral components, which could in turn be detected telescopically. We have embarked on a project to determine how impact-generated shock might affect the reflectance spectra and structures of select silicates as both impact speed and target temperature are varied systematically. While the effects of impact speed (in the form of shock stress) on numerous materials have been and continue to be studied, the role of target temperature has received comparatively little attention, presumably because of the operational difficulties it can introduce to experimentation. Our experiments were performed with the vertical gun in the Experimental Impact Laboratory of the Johnson Space Center. A liquid-nitrogen system was plumbed to permit cooling of the target container and its contents under vacuum to temperatures as low as -100 C (173 K). Temperatures were monitored by thermocouples mounted on the outside of the target container. Because those sensors were not in contact with the target material at impact, the measured temperatures are treated as lower limits for the actual values. Peridot (Mg-rich olivine) and enstatite (Mg-rich orthopyroxene) were used as targets, which involved the impact of alumina (Al2O3) spheres at speeds of 2.0 - 2.7 km s(exp -1) and temperatures covering 25 C to -100 C (298 K to 173 K). We have begun collecting and analyzing data in the near to mid-IR with a Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer, and preliminary analyses show that notable differences in absorption-band strength and position occur

  1. Photometry of faint asteroids and satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degewij, J.

    1978-01-01

    The smaller asteroids, having diameters of about 1 km, appear to rotate faster than do the larger asteroids (approximately 200 km diameter). Most of the bodies may be nearly spherical, probably due to a collisional erosion process in the Main Belt of asteroids. The distributions of diameter versus number were studied for low albedo (C, for carbonaceous) and high albedo (S, for silicaceous) type asteroids in the main belt, down to diameters of 25 km. Among the smaller bodies the S type asteroids are relatively more abundant, probably due to greater crushing strength for S type asteroids. This indicates that both optical types have also different properties in the interior of the body. Areas with slightly different reflectivity over the surface of an asteroid were detected; the rotational light variation of asteroid 4 (Vesta) was found to be caused by spots on its surface. Colorimetry and infrared radiometry of some Hilda asteroids, Trojans and the fainter satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, all having diameters between 100 and 200 km, show that a mixture of types exist. If some asteroids are nearly expended nuclei of comets that lost most of their volatile gaseous material, then their cometary activity is expected to be extinct or at least weak. (Auth.)

  2. Asteroids II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.; Gehrels, T.; Matthews, M.S.

    1989-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to asteroids. A description of exploration techniques, details on their physical properties, discussions of their origin and evolution, an examination of their interrelations with meteorites and comets followed by an attempt at a big picture framework are given

  3. Controlled Ascent From the Surface of an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Haijun; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Cornelius, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently investigating a conceptual robotic mission to collect a small boulder up to 4 m in diameter resting on the surface of a large Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). Because most NEAs are not well characterized, a great range of uncertainties in boulder mass properties and NEA surface characteristics must be considered in the design of this mission. These uncertainties are especially significant when the spacecraft ascends with the boulder in tow. The most important requirement during ascent is to keep the spacecraft in an upright posture to maintain healthy ground clearances for the two large solar arrays. This paper focuses on the initial stage (the first 50 m) of ascent from the surface. Specifically, it presents a sensitivity study of the solar array ground clearance, control authority, and accelerations at the array tips in the presence of a variety of uncertainties including various boulder sizes, densities, shapes and orientations, locations of the true center of mass, and push-off force distributions. Results are presented, and appropriate operations are recommended in the event some of the off-nominal cases occur.

  4. Poincaré surfaces of section around a 3D irregular body: the case of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borderes-Motta, G.; Winter, O. C.

    2018-02-01

    In general, small bodies of the Solar system, e.g. asteroids and comets, have a very irregular shape. This feature affects significantly the gravitational potential around these irregular bodies, which hinders dynamical studies. The Poincaré surface of section technique is often used to look for stable and chaotic regions in two-dimensional dynamic cases. In this work, we show that this tool can be useful for exploring the surroundings of irregular bodies such as the asteroid 4179 Toutatis. Considering a rotating system with a particle, under the effect of the gravitational field computed three dimensionally, we define a plane in the phase space to build the Poincaré surface of section. Despite the extra dimension, the sections created allow us to find trajectories and classify their stabilities. Thus, we have also been able to map stable and chaotic regions, as well as to find correlations between those regions and the contribution of the third dimension of the system to the trajectory dynamics as well. As examples, we show details of periodic (resonant or not) and quasi-periodic trajectories.

  5. Astrometric observations of comets and asteroids and subsequent orbital investigations. Semiannual progress report No. 30, 1 May-31 October 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mccroskey, R.E.; Marsden, B.G.

    1988-11-01

    The 155-cm reflector was used for observations of comets and minor planets on 28 nights during April-October. Twenty-two of the observations refer to comets, 62 to numbered minor planets (numbered, that is, by the end of the semester: only nine of them refer to minor planets already numbered at the time of the last report), and the remainer to unnumbered minor planets. Observations were made of four new comets discovered during the semester and a fifth discovered in January. Observations of Wilson (19861), P/Tempel 2 and two other returning short-period comets are also continuing. Among the odd numbered minor planets observed were the earth-approaching objects (1685) Toro and (1980) Tezcatlipoca. The Earth approacher 1980 PA was numbered (3908)

  6. Physical characterization of asteroid surfaces from photometric analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.

    1989-01-01

    Rigorous photometric models, like Hapke's equation, can be applied to the analysis of disk-integrated phase curves in order to estimate a variety of regolith physical properties (average particle single-scattering albedo, particle transparency, soil compaction and large-scale roughness). Unfortunately, unambiguous interpretation is difficult due to uncertainties introduced by the irregular shapes of many asteroids and because Earth-based observations are often restricted to small phase angles (<30 degrees). In this chapter, the authors explore in detail how incomplete phase-angle coverage and nonsphericity of asteroids limits the reliable determination of Hapke's photometric parameters from asteroid phase curves. From obtainable Earth-based observations, it is possible to derive useful relative comparisons of single-scattering albedos, opposition-surge amplitudes, and regolith compaction states for different asteroids

  7. Radar observations of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ostro, S.J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes echoes from 33 main-belt asteroids (MBAs) and 19 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have provided a wealth of new information about these objects such as sizes, shapes, spin vectors, and such surface characteristics as decimeter-scale morphology, topographic relief, regolith porosity and metal concentrations. On average, small NEAs are much rougher at decimeter scales than MBAs, comets or terrestrial planets. Some of the largest MBAs (e.g., 1 Ceres and 2 Pallas ) are smoother than the moon at decimeter scales but much rougher than the Moon at some much larger scale. There is at least a five-fold variation in the radar albedos of MBAs, implying substantial variations in the surface porosities or metal concentrations of these objects. The highest MBA albedo estimate, for 16 Psyche, is consistent with a metal concentration near unity and lunar porosities

  8. Spectral and physical properties of metal in meteorite assemblages - implications of asteroid surface materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaffey, M.J.

    1986-01-01

    One of the objectives of the present paper is related to a definition of the spectral contribution of the nickel-iron metal component in meteoritic assemblages. Another objective is the elucidation of the chemical, physical, and petrographic properties of the metal grains which affect the spectral signature in asteroid surface materials. It is pointed out that an improved understanding of the spectral and physical properties of metal in asteroid regoliths should permit an improved characterization of these objects, and, in particular, a better evaluation of the differentiated or undifferentiated nature of the S-type and M-type asteroids. Attention is given to the spectra of iron and nickel-iron metals, the spectral effects of metal in chondritic assemblages, the spectral reflectance of metal grains in ordinary chondrites, the nature of the surfaces of chondritic metal grains, the origin of coats on chondritic metal grains, and the fragmentation of metal on asteroid surfaces. 57 references

  9. Colour, albedo and nucleus size of Halley's comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Tholen, D. J.; Hartmann, W. K.

    1985-01-01

    Photometry of Halley's comet in the B, J, V, and K broadband filters during a time when the coma was very weak and presumed to contribute negligibly to the broadband photometry is reported. The V-J and J-K colors suggest that the color of the nucleus of Halley's comet is similar to that of the D-type asteroids, which in turn suggests that the surface of the nucleus has an albedo less than 0.1.

  10. MASCOT—The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout Onboard the Hayabusa2 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Tra-Mi; Baturkin, Volodymyr; Grimm, Christian; Grundmann, Jan Thimo; Hobbie, Catherin; Ksenik, Eugen; Lange, Caroline; Sasaki, Kaname; Schlotterer, Markus; Talapina, Maria; Termtanasombat, Nawarat; Wejmo, Elisabet; Witte, Lars; Wrasmann, Michael; Wübbels, Guido; Rößler, Johannes; Ziach, Christian; Findlay, Ross; Biele, Jens; Krause, Christian; Ulamec, Stephan; Lange, Michael; Mierheim, Olaf; Lichtenheldt, Roy; Maier, Maximilian; Reill, Josef; Sedlmayr, Hans-Jürgen; Bousquet, Pierre; Bellion, Anthony; Bompis, Olivier; Cenac-Morthe, Celine; Deleuze, Muriel; Fredon, Stephane; Jurado, Eric; Canalias, Elisabet; Jaumann, Ralf; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Glassmeier, Karl Heinz; Hercik, David; Grott, Matthias; Celotti, Luca; Cordero, Federico; Hendrikse, Jeffrey; Okada, Tatsuaki

    2017-07-01

    On December 3rd, 2014, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) launched successfully the Hayabusa2 (HY2) spacecraft to its journey to Near Earth asteroid (162173) Ryugu. Aboard this spacecraft is a compact landing package, MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid surface SCOuT), which was developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in collaboration with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Similar to the famous predecessor mission Hayabusa, Hayabusa2, will also study an asteroid and return samples to Earth. This time, however, the target is a C-type asteroid which is considered to be more primitive than (25143) Itokawa and provide insight into an even earlier stage of our Solar System.

  11. DRBE comet trails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-01-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr −1 , respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  12. DRBE comet trails

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arendt, Richard G., E-mail: Richard.G.Arendt@nasa.gov [CREST/UMBC, Code 665, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr{sup −1}, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  13. Asteroid results from the IRAS survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veeder, G.J.; Tedesco, E.F.; Matson, D.L.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports that the IRAS Asteroid and Comet Survey yield a data base of infrared flux densities for 1811 individual asteroids. Albedos and diameters for these have been derived via a standard thermal model. IRAS sampled a large number of small asteroids and detected many dark asteroids in the outer belt. High-albedo asteroids remain rare. Observations of the brighter asteroids at multiple wavelengths shows the expected range of color temperatures through the main belt

  14. Inverting Comet Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment (CASSE) touchdown signals to measure the elastic modulus of comet material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, W.; Faber, C.; Knapmeyer, M.; Witte, L.; Schröder, S.; Tune, J.; Möhlmann, D.; Roll, R.; Chares, B.; Fischer, H.; Seidensticker, K.

    2014-07-01

    The landing of Philae on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is scheduled for November 11, 2014. Each of the three landing feet of Philae house a triaxial acceleration sensor of CASSE, which will thus be the first sensors to be in mechanical contact with the cometary surface. CASSE will be in listening mode to record the deceleration of the lander, when it impacts with the comet at a velocity of approx. 0.5 m/s. The analysis of this data yields information on the reduced elastic modulus and the yield stress of the comet's surface material. We describe a series of controlled landings of a lander model. The tests were conducted in the Landing & Mobility Test Facility (LAMA) of the DLR Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, Germany, where an industrial robot can be programmed to move landers or rovers along predefined paths, allowing to adapt landing procedures with predefined velocities. The qualification model of the Philae landing gear was used in the tests. It consists of three legs manufactured of carbon fiber and metal joints. A dead mass of the size and mass of the lander housing is attached via a damper above the landing gear to represent the lander structure as a whole. Attached to each leg is a foot with two soles and a mechanically driven fixation screw (''ice screw'') to secure the lander on the comet. The right soles, if viewed from the outside towards the lander body, house a Brüel & Kjaer DeltaTron 4506 triaxial piezoelectric accelerometer as used on the spacecraft. Orientation of the three axes was such that one of the axes, here the X-axis of the accelerometer, points downwards, while the Y- and Z-axes are horizontal. Data were recorded at a sampling rate of 8.2 kHz within a time gate of 2 s. In parallel, a video sequence was taken, in order to monitor the touchdown on the sand and the movement of the ice screws. Touchdown measurements were conducted on three types of ground with landing velocities between 0.1 to 1.1 m/s. Landings with low velocities were

  15. Chemodynamical deuterium fractionation in the early solar nebula: The origin of water on earth and in asteroids and comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albertsson, T.; Semenov, D.; 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 TMC-1-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 two-dimensional (2D) turbulent mixing. We find that the radial outward increase of the H 2 O D/H ratio is shallower in the chemodynamical nebular model than in the laminar model. This is related to more efficient defractionation of HDO via rapid gas-phase processes because the 2D mixing model allows the water ice to be transported either inward and thermally evaporated or upward and photodesorbed. The laminar model shows the Earth water D/H ratio at r ≲ 2.5 AU, whereas for the 2D chemodynamical model this zone is larger, r ≲ 9 AU. Similarly, the water D/H ratios representative of the Oort-family comets, ∼2.5-10 × 10 –4 , are achieved within ∼2-6 AU and ∼2-20 AU in the laminar and the 2D model, respectively. We find that with regards to the water isotopic composition and the origin of the comets, the mixing model seems to be favored over the laminar model.

  16. Chemodynamical deuterium fractionation in the early solar nebula: The origin of water on earth and in asteroids and comets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albertsson, T.; Semenov, D.; Henning, Th., E-mail: albertsson@mpia.de [Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-03-20

    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 TMC-1-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 two-dimensional (2D) turbulent mixing. We find that the radial outward increase of the H{sub 2}O D/H ratio is shallower in the chemodynamical nebular model than in the laminar model. This is related to more efficient defractionation of HDO via rapid gas-phase processes because the 2D mixing model allows the water ice to be transported either inward and thermally evaporated or upward and photodesorbed. The laminar model shows the Earth water D/H ratio at r ≲ 2.5 AU, whereas for the 2D chemodynamical model this zone is larger, r ≲ 9 AU. Similarly, the water D/H ratios representative of the Oort-family comets, ∼2.5-10 × 10{sup –4}, are achieved within ∼2-6 AU and ∼2-20 AU in the laminar and the 2D model, respectively. We find that with regards to the water isotopic composition and the origin of the comets, the mixing model seems to be favored over the laminar model.

  17. VNIR Reflectance and MIR Emissivity Spectra of Ordinary Chondrite Meteorites Under Simulated Asteroid Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemma, M.; Shirley, K.; Glotch, T. D.; Ebel, D. S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Recent missions have revealed much about the nature of many Near-Earth asteroids, including the NEAR-Shoemaker target 433 Eros and Hayabusa target 25142 Itokawa. Both asteroids appear to have mineralogy consistent with ordinary chondrite meteorites. Laboratory spectral analysis of well-constrained meteorite samples can be employed as a reference tool to characterize and constrain data from current and future asteroid studies. A sample set of ordinary chondrite meteorites was chosen from the collection at the American Museum of Natural History. Six meteorites, spanning groups H, L, and LL, were prepared at four different size fractions (25-63 μm, 63-90 μm, 90-125 μm, 125-250 μm) in an attempt to mimic regolith known to exist on asteroids such as 433 Eros and 25142 Itokawa. At the Center for Planetary Exploration at Stony Brook University, spectra of the ordinary chondrite material were measured under simulated asteroid surface conditions ( 10-6 mbar, 150 K chamber temperature, low intensity illumination). The samples were used in two experiments: one measuring visible and near-infrared (VNIR) reflectance spectra at a series of temperatures, and the other measuring mid-infrared (MIR) emissivity spectra. The emissivity measurements require accurate simulation of the thermal environment within asteroid regolith, achieved by inducing a thermal gradient within the sample that results in a surface brightness temperature around 323 K (similar to the surface of 25142 Itokawa). Mid-IR emissivity spectra were collected for each sample at a surface temperature of 323 K, and reflectance spectra were collected in increments of 10 K, over the range 283 K to 373 K. Preliminary VNIR spectra show spreads similar to those seen in Hinrichs and Lucey (2002). Preliminary MIR emissivity spectra suggest that under asteroid surface conditions, the position of the Christiansen feature shifts to shorter wavelengths and emissivity is lower in the Reststrahlen bands when compared to

  18. INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF ASTEROIDS HAVING SURFACE SHEDDING DUE TO ROTATIONAL INSTABILITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirabayashi, Masatoshi [Research Associate, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder (United States); Sánchez, Diego Paul [Senior Research Associate, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder (United States); Scheeres, Daniel J., E-mail: masatoshi.hirabayashi@colorado.edu [Richard Seebass Chair, Professor, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder (United States)

    2015-07-20

    Surface shedding of an asteroid is a failure mode where surface materials fly off due to strong centrifugal forces beyond the critical spin period, while the internal structure does not deform significantly. This paper proposes a possible structure of an asteroid interior that leads to surface shedding due to rapid rotation rates. A rubble pile asteroid is modeled as a spheroid composed of a surface shell and a concentric internal core, the entire assembly called the test body. The test body is assumed to be uniformly rotating around a constant rotation axis. We also assume that while the bulk density and the friction angle are constant, the cohesion of the surface shell is different from that of the internal core. First, developing an analytical model based on limit analysis, we provide the upper and lower bounds for the actual surface shedding condition. Second, we use a Soft-sphere Discrete Element Method (SSDEM) to study dynamical deformation of the test body due to a quasi-static spin-up. In this paper we show the consistency of both approaches. Additionally, the SSDEM simulations show that the initial failure always occurs locally and not globally. In addition, as the core becomes larger, the size of lofted components becomes smaller. These results imply that if there is a strong core in a progenitor body, surface shedding is the most likely failure mode.

  19. INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF ASTEROIDS HAVING SURFACE SHEDDING DUE TO ROTATIONAL INSTABILITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Sánchez, Diego Paul; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Surface shedding of an asteroid is a failure mode where surface materials fly off due to strong centrifugal forces beyond the critical spin period, while the internal structure does not deform significantly. This paper proposes a possible structure of an asteroid interior that leads to surface shedding due to rapid rotation rates. A rubble pile asteroid is modeled as a spheroid composed of a surface shell and a concentric internal core, the entire assembly called the test body. The test body is assumed to be uniformly rotating around a constant rotation axis. We also assume that while the bulk density and the friction angle are constant, the cohesion of the surface shell is different from that of the internal core. First, developing an analytical model based on limit analysis, we provide the upper and lower bounds for the actual surface shedding condition. Second, we use a Soft-sphere Discrete Element Method (SSDEM) to study dynamical deformation of the test body due to a quasi-static spin-up. In this paper we show the consistency of both approaches. Additionally, the SSDEM simulations show that the initial failure always occurs locally and not globally. In addition, as the core becomes larger, the size of lofted components becomes smaller. These results imply that if there is a strong core in a progenitor body, surface shedding is the most likely failure mode

  20. Surface of the comet 67P from PHILAE/CIVA images as clues to the formation of the comet nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulet, Francois; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Carter, John; Eng, Pascal; Gondet, Brigitte; Jorda, Laurent; Langevin, Yves; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Pilorget, Cédric

    2015-04-01

    The CIVA cameras onboard PHILAE provided the first ever in situ images of the surface of a comet (Bibring et al., this conf). The panorama acquired by CIVA at the landing site reveals a rough terrain dominated by agglomerates of consolidated materials similar to cm-sized pebbles. While the composition of these materials is unknown, their nature will be discussed in relation to both endogenic and exogenic processes that may sculpted the landscape of the landing site. These processes includes erosion (spatially non-uniform) by sublimation, redeposition of particles after ejection, fluidization and transport of cometary material on the surface, sintering effect, thermal fatigue, thermal stress, size segregation due to shaking, eolian erosion due to local outflow of cometary vapor and impact cratering at various scales. Recent advancements in planet formation theory suggest that the initial planetesimals (or cometestimals) may grow directly from the gravitational collapse of aerodynamically concentrated small particles, often referred to as "pebbles" (Johansen et al. 2007, Nature 448, 1022; Cuzzi et al. 2008, AJ 687, 1432). We will then discuss the possibility that the observed pebble pile structures are indicative of the formation process from which the initial nucleus formed, and how we can use this idea to learn about protoplanetary disks and the early processes involved in the Solar System formation.

  1. Asteroid taxonomy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectivity of asteroid surfaces over the wavelength range of 0.3 to 1.1 μm can be used to classify these objects onto several broad groups with similar spectral characteristics. The three most recently developed taxonomies group the asteroids into 9, 11 or 14 different classes, 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

  2. Network of Nano-Landers for In-Situ Characterization of Asteroid Impact Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Kalita, Himangshu; Asphaug, Erik; Schwartz, Stephen; Thangavelautham, Jekanthan

    2017-01-01

    Exploration of asteroids and comets can give insight into the origins of the solar system and can be instrumental in planetary defence and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Asteroids, due to their low gravity are a challenging target for surface exploration. Current missions envision performing touch-and-go operations over an asteroid surface. In this work, we analyse the feasibility of sending scores of nano-landers, each 1 kg in mass and volume of 1U, or 1000 cm3. These landers would hop...

  3. Comet 169P/NEAT(=2002EX12): More Dead Than Alive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasuga, T.; Balam, D. D.; Wiegert, P. A.

    2011-10-01

    The Jupiter family comet 169P/NEAT (previously known as asteroid 2002 EX12) has a dynamical association with the ?-Capriconid meteoroid stream. In this paper, we present photometric observations of comet 169P/NEAT to further investigate the physical characters of its disintegration state related to the stream. The comet shows a point-like surface brightness profile limiting contamination due to coma emission at ˜ 4% at most, indicating no evidence of outgassing. An upper limit on the fraction of the surface that could be sublimating water ice of disintegration of the parent at every return.

  4. Spiral arms, comets and terrestrial catastrophism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clube, S.V.M.; Napier, W.M.

    1982-01-01

    A review is presented of an hypothesis of terrestrial catastrophism in which comets grow in molecular clouds and are captured by the Sun as it passes through the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Assuming that comets are a major supplier of the Earth-crossing (Appollo) asteroid population, the latter fluctuates correspondingly and leads to episodes of terrestrial bombardment. Changes in the rotational momentum of core and mantle, generated by impacts, lead to episodes of magnetic field reversal and tectonic activity, while surface phenomena lead to ice-ages and mass extinctions. An episodic geophysical history with an interstellar connection is thus implied. If comets in spiral arms are necessary intermediaries in the process of star formation, the theory also has implications relating to early solar system history and galactic chemistry. These aspects are briefly discussed with special reference to the nature of spiral arms. (author)

  5. An overview of the asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    An introduction and overview of the field of asteroid science is presented, highlighting the accomplishments of the 1980s. The development and application of many observational techniques and data from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite have greatly increased our knowledge of asteroid physical properties. New scenarios for understanding the chemical diversity and dynamical structure of asteroids have emerged. New insights have been gained toward understanding their origin and interrelations with meteorites and comets. Suggestions and speculations are offered on future research directions

  6. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-03-01

    The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory ISO inspected Comet Hall-Bopp during the spring and autumn of 1996. The need to keep ISO's telescope extremely cold restricts the spacecraft's pointing in relation to the Sun and the Earth and it ruled out observations at other times. The analyses of the 1996 observations are not yet complete, but already they give new insight into the nature of comets. Comet Hale-Bopp is believed to be a large comet with a nucleus up to 40 kilometres wide. It was discovered in July 1995 by two American astronomers working independently, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp. At that time, the comet was a billion kilometres away from the Sun, but 200 times brighter than Halley's Comet was, when at a comparable distance. Comet Hale-Bopp will make its closest approach to the Earth on 22 March, and its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) on 1 April 1997. Some scientific results from ISO The discovery of Comet Hale-Bopp occurred before ISO's launch in November 1995. When first observed by ISO in March and April 1996, the comet was still 700 million kilometres from the Sun, and almost as far from the Earth and ISO. With its privileged view of infrared wavebands inaccessible from the Earth's surface, ISO's photometer ISOPHOT discovered that carbon dioxide was an important constituent of the comet's emissions of vapour.ISOPHOT measured the temperature of the dust cloud around Comet Hale-Bopp. In March 1996, when the comet was still more than 700 million kilometres from the Sun, the dust cloud was at minus 120 degrees C. When ISOPHOT made similar observations in October 1996, the comet was 420 million kilometres from the Sun, and the dust cloud had warmed to about minus 50 degrees C. Intensive observations of Comet Hale-Bopp were also made by ISO's Short-Wave Spectrometer SWS, the Long-Wave Spectrometer LWS, and the ISOPHOT spectrometer PHOT-S. Results are due for publication at the end of March. They will give details about the composition

  7. Surface Activity Distributions of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Derived from VIRTIS Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fougere, Nicolas; Combi, Michael R.; Tenishev, Valeriy; Migliorini, Alessandra; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Fink, Uwe; Filacchione, Gianrico; Rinaldi, Giovanna; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Toth, Gabor; Gombosi, T. I.; Hansen, Kenneth C.; Huang, Zhenguang; Shou, Yinsi; VIRTIS Team

    2017-10-01

    The outgassing mechanism of comets still remains a critical question to better understand these objects. The Rosetta mission gave some insight regarding the potential activity distribution from the surface of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Fougere et al. (2016, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 588, id.A134, 11 pp and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 462, Issue Suppl_1, p.S156-S169) used a spherical harmonics inversion scheme with in-situ measurements from the ROSINA instrument to derive mapping of the broad distribution of potential activity at the surface of the nucleus. Marschall et al. (2016, Astronomy & Astrophysics, doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/201730849) based on the appearance of dust active areas suggested that the so-called “neck” region and regions with fractured cliffs and locally steep slopes show more activity than the rest of comet 67P’s nucleus. Using in situ ROSINA measurements from a distance makes it difficult to distinguish between these two scenarios because the fast expansion of the gas and large molecular mean free paths prevents distinguishing small outgassing features even when the spacecraft was in bound orbits within 10 km from the nucleus. In this paper, we present a similar numerical inversion approach using VIRTIS images, which should better probe the very inner coma of comet 67P and give more detailed information about the outgassing activity. Support from contracts JPL #1266314 and #1266313 from the US Rosetta Project and grant NNX14AG84G from the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program are gratefully acknowledged.

  8. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S

    2010-01-01

    This revised edition places a unique emphasis on all the new results from ground-based, satellites and space missions - detection of molecule H2 and prompt emission lines of OH for the first time; discovery of X-rays in comets; observed diversity in chemical composition among comets; the puzzle of the constancy of spin temperature; the well-established mineralogy of cometary dust; extensive theoretical modeling carried out for understanding the observed effects; and, the similarity in the mineralogy of dust in circumstellar shell of stars, comets, meteorites, asteroids and IDPs, thus indicatin

  9. The Asteroid Threat and the Safety of Surface Nuclear Installations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shestopalov, V.M.; Shibetskij, Yu.A.; Makarenko, A.N.

    2015-01-01

    Surface nuclear installations are much more vulnerable to impact events than it has traditionally been considered. They can be destroyed by events with energies greater than 100 Mt. According to the most unfavorable (conservative) estimates, the probability of destruction can reach 10 -7 ...10 -6 year -1 for certain areas of the Earth. In fact, any cosmic body that can reach the surface of the Earth, or an atmospheric explosion can cause a serious accident to or even completely destroy a nuclear facility. The burden of the radiological consequences of such an accident will be determined by the total activity of radioactive substances located on site and by meteorological factors. The most dangerous (probable) are low-energy events (10 0 ...10 2 Mt). They can occur during the collision of the Earth with a cosmic body with a diameter of 30...200 m. The risk of death resulting from the direct effects of the impact of the given energy is approximately two orders of magnitude lower than the risk of death due to additional radiological impacts of the destroyed facility. Within the energy range of 10 2 ...10 5 Mt, the radiological consequences of impact events (opposite to non-radiological) will be global. In our opinion, this is a strong argument for the inclusion of impact events into the list of possible external events when assessing the suitability of sites for placement of NPPs and storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel. The safety analysis of the indicated facilities should consider the complexity of the damaging factors (high temperatures, shock, seismic shock, tsunamis) and also the fact that the loads associated with the phenomena induced by the impact will depend on its energy and can greatly exceed the values of loads typical for the region of the facility location

  10. 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

  11. Porosity Gradient at the Surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, C.; Dadzie, S. K.; Thomas, N.; Hartogh, P.; Jorda, L.; Kuhrt, E.; Wright, I.; Zarnecki, J.

    2017-12-01

    The Rosetta mission has provided invaluable and unexpected information about our knowledge and understanding of comets until now. The on-board instruments, ROSINA and VIRTIS showed the non-uniformly outgassing of H2O over the surface of the nucleus. After Philae landing in a small lobe and the attempt to intrude MUPUS into the surface led to estimate the minimum compressive strength of material > 4MPa. This high strength of material (at least locally) along with different porosity ranges that have been presented for the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) challenge our understanding of the surface and outgassing processes. Here we used the micro computed tomography (micro-CT) technology to represent 3D Earth rock samples with different porosity to investigate outgassing in the near surface boundary layer. The Direct Simulation of Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is used to simulate the rarefied cometary atmosphere. We presented results with H2O outgassing at a maximum production rate near perihelion. We show that an existence of a possible porosity gradient at the surface of the comet may explain some of the structures observed on 67P.

  12. Preliminary Examination of Particles Recovered from the Surface of the Asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiyama, A.; Ebihara, M.; Kimura, M.; Kitajima, F.; Kotsugi, M.; Ito, S.; Nagao, K.; Nakamura, T.; Naraoka, H.; Noguchi, T.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Hayabusa spacecraft arrived at S-type Asteroid 25143 Itokawa in November 2006, and reveal astounding features of the small asteroid (535 x 294 x 209 m). Near-infrared spectral shape indicates that the surface of this body has an olivinerich mineral assemblage potentially similar to that of LL5 or LL6 chondrites with different degrees of space weathering. Based on the surface morphological features observed in high-resolution images of Itokawa s surface, two major types of boulders were distinguished: rounded and angular boulders. Rounded boulders seem to be breccias, while angular boulders seem to have severe impact origin. Although the sample collection did not be made by normal operations, it was considered that some amount of samples, probably small particles of regolith, was collected from MUSES-C regio on the Itokawa s surface. The sample capsule was successfully recovered on the earth on June 13, 2010, and was opened at curation facility of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Sagamihara, Japan. A large number of small particles were found in the sample container. Preliminary analysis with SEM/EDX at the curation facility showed that at least more than 1500 grains were identified as rocky particles, and most of them were judged to be of extraterrestrial origin, and definitely from Asteroid Itokawa. Minerals (olivine, low-Ca pyroxene, high-Ca pyroxene, plagioclase, Fe sulfide, Fe-Ni metal, chromite, Ca phosphate), roughly estimated mode the minerals and rough measurement of the chemical compositions of the silicates show that these particles are roughly similar to LL chondrites. Although their size are mostly less than 10 m, some larger particles of about 100 m or larger were also identified. A part of the sample (probably several tens particles) will be selected by Hayabusa sample curation team and examined preliminary in Japan within one year after the sample recovery in prior to detailed analysis phase. Hayabusa Asteroidal Sample Preliminary

  13. Comet 169P/NEAT(=2002 EX12): The Parent Body of the α-Capricornid Meteoroid Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Balam, David D.; Wiegert, Paul A.

    2010-12-01

    The Jupiter-family comet 169P/NEAT (previously known as asteroid 2002 EX12) has a dynamical association with the α-Capricornid meteoroid stream. In this paper, we present photometric observations of comet 169P/NEAT to further investigate the physical characters of its disintegration state related to the stream. The comet shows a point-like surface brightness profile limiting contamination due to coma emission to ~4% at most, indicating no evidence of outgassing. An upper limit on the fraction of the surface that could be sublimating water ice of disintegration of the parent at every return.

  14. Adaptation of G-TAG Software for Validating Touch-and-Go Comet Surface Sampling Design Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandic, Milan; Acikmese, Behcet; Blackmore, Lars

    2011-01-01

    The G-TAG software tool was developed under the R&TD on Integrated Autonomous Guidance, Navigation, and Control for Comet Sample Return, and represents a novel, multi-body dynamics simulation software tool for studying TAG sampling. The G-TAG multi-body simulation tool provides a simulation environment in which a Touch-and-Go (TAG) sampling event can be extensively tested. TAG sampling requires the spacecraft to descend to the surface, contact the surface with a sampling collection device, and then to ascend to a safe altitude. The TAG event lasts only a few seconds but is mission-critical with potentially high risk. Consequently, there is a need for the TAG event to be well characterized and studied by simulation and analysis in order for the proposal teams to converge on a reliable spacecraft design. This adaptation of the G-TAG tool was developed to support the Comet Odyssey proposal effort, and is specifically focused to address comet sample return missions. In this application, the spacecraft descends to and samples from the surface of a comet. Performance of the spacecraft during TAG is assessed based on survivability and sample collection performance. For the adaptation of the G-TAG simulation tool to comet scenarios, models are developed that accurately describe the properties of the spacecraft, approach trajectories, and descent velocities, as well as the models of the external forces and torques acting on the spacecraft. The adapted models of the spacecraft, descent profiles, and external sampling forces/torques were more sophisticated and customized for comets than those available in the basic G-TAG simulation tool. Scenarios implemented include the study of variations in requirements, spacecraft design (size, locations, etc. of the spacecraft components), and the environment (surface properties, slope, disturbances, etc.). The simulations, along with their visual representations using G-View, contributed to the Comet Odyssey New Frontiers proposal

  15. Surface Properties of Asteroids from Mid-Infrared Observations and Thermophysical Modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael

    The subject of this work is the physical characterization of asteroids, focusing on the thermal inertia of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Thermal inertia governs the Yarkovsky effect, a non-gravitational force which significantly alters the orbits of asteroids up to \\sim 20 km in diameter. Yet, very

  16. Prediction of Spiral Patterns on the Surface of Asteroid 101955 Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreslavsky, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    Asteroid 101955 Bennu, the target of OSIRIS-REx space mission, is known to have a "walnut" shape: close to an axially symmetric oblate shape with a sharp equatorial ridge (Nolan M. C., et al., 2013, Icarus 226, 629-640, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.05.028). Such a shape is usual among quickly spinning small asteroids; it is thought to be formed due to surficial transport of asteroid material toward equator under a combination of the gravitational and centrifugal forces, in other words, downhill with respect to the geopotential (e.g., Scheeres, D. J., et al., 2006, Science 314, 1280-1283, doi:10.1126/science.1133599). This is likely to occur, when a rubble-pile asteroid is spun up by the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect. The Rossby number Ro associated with the frictionless downslope movement is scaled as (T/2π)(g sinθ/L)1/2, where T the spin period, g is a characteristic value of the effective gravity (the geopotential gradient), θ is the characteristic surface slope with respect to the geopotential, and L is the characteristic scale length of the slope. Typical values for Bennu, g 6×10-5 m s-2, θ 30° (Scheeres, D.J., et al., 2016, Icarus 276, 116-140, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.04.013), and L 100 m, a part of Bennu radius, yields Ro 1.3, which means that the Coriolis force play a significant role in the downslope movement dynamics. On this basis, it is reasonable to predict that the traces left by material sliding toward equator on Bennu would form spiral patterns. Hopefully, OSIRIS-REx mission will check the prediction soon. I modeled trajectories of rolling boulders, bouncing boulders, and sliding masses assuming different friction models. For these calculations I used an idealized axially symmetric Bennu shape and semianalytical calculation of gravitational potential. I also repeated the calculation for a set of higher spin rates that may be relevant to the geologically recent past. Although the trajectory form itself is insufficient to

  17. Comets and their composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spinrad, H.

    1987-01-01

    Recent theoretical and observational studies of comets are reviewed, with an emphasis on in situ data from spacecraft encounters with P/Giacobini-Zinner (September 1985) and P/Halley (March 1986). Topics addressed include clues on the origin and permanence of the Oort cometary cloud, observations of cometary nuclei far from the sun, the Halley nucleus, compositional and physical data from comae studies, and the parent molecules in comet ices. Also discussed are quantitative analyses of coma production; special features in the tail of P/Giacobini-Zinner; and proposals for (1) observations to detect distant giant comets, (2) high-resolution spectroscopic studies of comae, and (3) additional spacecraft missions such as the NASA Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby. 121 references

  18. On the metal-rich surfaces of (16) Psyche and other M-type asteroids from interferometric observations in the thermal infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbo, Marco; Matter, A.; Gundlach, B.; Blum, J.

    2013-10-01

    Asteroids belonging to the spectroscopic M-type exhibit a quasi featureless and moderately red reflectance spectrum and a geometric visible albedo between 0.1 and 0.3. These asteroids were initially thought to be metallic cores of differentiated asteroids that were exposed to space by a catastrophic disruption by impacts. Later, this view has been challenged by the detection of silicates and hydration spectroscopic bands on these bodies. Unveiling the physical properties of the surfaces of these asteroids, and identifying their meteorite analogs is a challenge from remote-sensing observations. Nevertheless, these are crucial problems, important for estimating the number of asteroids that underwent differentiation in the early phases of the formation of our solar system. The thermal inertia is a sensitive indicator for the presence of metal in the regolith on the surfaces of asteroids. We developed a new thermophysical model that allow us to derive the value of the thermal inertia from interferometric observations in the thermal infrared. We report on our investigation of the thermal inertia of M-type asteroids, including the asteroids (16) Psyche, for which we obtained a thermal inertia value anomalously high compared to the thermal inertia values of other asteroids in the same size range. From the thermal inertia and model of heat conductivity that accounts for different values of the packing fraction (a measure of the degree of compaction of the regolith particles) the regolith grain size is derived.

  19. Using Paraffin PCM, Cryogel and TEC to Maintain Comet Surface Sample Cold from Earth Approach Through Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Michael K.

    2017-01-01

    An innovative thermal design concept to maintain comet surface samples cold (for example, 263 degrees Kelvin, 243 degrees Kelvin or 223 degrees Kelvin) from Earth approach through retrieval is presented. It uses paraffin phase change material (PCM), Cryogel insulation and thermoelectric cooler (TEC), which are commercially available.

  20. Characterization of the Surface Properties of MUSES-C/Hayabusa Spacecraft Target Asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Domingue, D. L.; Vilas, F.; Abe, M.; Farnham, T. L.; Jarvis, K. S.; Lowry, S. C.; Ohba, Y.; Weissman, P. R.; French, L. M.

    2004-01-01

    Several spacecraft missions have recently targeted asteroids to study their morphologies and physical properties (e.g. Galileo, NEAR Shoemaker), and more are planned. MUSES-C is a Japanese mission designed to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid (NEA). The MUSES-C spacecraft, Hayabusa, was launched successfully in May 2003. It will rendezvous with its target asteroid in 2005, and return samples to the Earth in 2007. Its target, 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36), made a close approach to the Earth in 2001. We collected an extensive ground-based database of broadband photometry obtained during this time, which maximized the phase angle coverage, to characterize this target in preparation for the mission. Our project was designed to capitalize on the broadband UBVRI photometric observations taken with a series of telescopes, instrumentation, and observers. Photometry and spectrophotometry of Itokawa were acquired at Lowell, McDonald, Steward, Palomar, Table Mountain and Kiso Observatories. The photometric data sets were combined to calculate Hapke model parameters of the surface material of Itokawa, and examine the solar-corrected broadband color characteristics of the asteroid. Broadband photometry of an object can be used to: (1) determine its colors and thereby contribute to the understanding of its surface composition and taxonomic class, and (2) infer global physical surface properties of the target body. We present both colors from UBVRI observations of the MUSES-C target Itokawa, and physical properties derived by applying a Hapke model to the broadband BVRI photometry.

  1. What's Causing the Activity on Comet 67P?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    self-heating between parts of the surface in contact.Plot of the modeled temperature of two typical surfaces on the comet: one from the neck region (solid line) and one from the head region (dashed line). Unlike the head, the neck displays drastic drops in temperature as a result of shadowing. [Al-Lagoa et al. 2015]Using this model, the authors find that the temperatures behaved as they predicted: the shadows falling on the comets neck causes this region to experience very rapid temperature changes relative to the rest of the body. The authors also found a definite correlation between the regions of most rapid temperature variations and the regions of the comet that show signs of activity in Rosetta images. This provides strong evidence that thermal cracking is indeed taking place in the shadowed regions of the neck, gradually eroding away the surface.Should this model prove correct, its a step toward understanding the evolution of comets like 67P. In addition, the results from this study imply that thermal cracking might happen faster than previously estimated in shadowed regions of other atmosphereless bodies, both near Earth and in the asteroid belt.CitationV. Al-Lagoa et al 2015 ApJ 810 L22. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/810/2/L22

  2. Thermal evolution of Comet P/Tempel 1 - Representing the group of targets for the CRAF and CNSR missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bar-nun, A.; Heifet, E.; Prialnik, D.

    1989-01-01

    A numerical definition of the thermal evolution of spherically symmetric models of the nucleus in the orbit of Comet P/Tempel-1 is presently used to ascertain the properties of the outer layers of comets under consideration for the future Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby and the Comet Nucleus Sample Return missions. Evolutionary sequences are computed for different values of density, dust/ice mass ratio, and the dust fraction not lost with ice sublimation. It is found that inner and outer surface temperatures of the dust mantle are comparatively insensitive to parameter changes, and that the total thickness of the crystalline ice layer between the dust mantle and the amorphous ice core will make it difficult for the comet-mission probes to sample pristine ice. 23 refs

  3. Color Variation on the Surfaces of Jupiter’s Greek and Trojan Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatelain, Joseph; Trilling, David E.; Emery, Joshua P.

    2017-10-01

    The L4 and L5 Lagrange points of Jupiter are populated with thousands of known, and possibly hundreds of thousands of unknown, Greek and Trojan Asteroids. Understanding the environmental and weathering conditions experienced by these objects over their lifetimes could constrain formation models for the Solar System. In an effort to shine some light on this issue, we have collected partial, simultaneous, lightcurves in both Johnson-Cousins V and I filters for a dozen large Jupiter Trojans. We found significant signs of color variation over the surfaces of four of these objects, and more subtle signs on an additional four. The most convincing examples of variation occur on (4709) Ennomos and (4833) Meges. Such a variation in color with rotation likely implies a large surface feature such as a recent crater. That such a high fraction of observed Trojans display these signatures could imply a more active collisional history for Jupiter Trojans than previously thought. It is therefore likely that one or more of the targets for the Lucy mission will have experienced a large, relatively recent, cratering event. This may help us obtain a much more in-depth understanding of the evolutionary processes ongoing for the Jupiter Trojan populations.

  4. Metal-silicate fractionation in the surface dust layers of accreting planetesimals: Implications for the formation of ordinary chondrites and the nature of asteroid surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shaoxiong; Akridge, Glen; Sears, Derek W. G.

    Some of the most primitive solar system materials available for study in the laboratory are the ordinary chondrites, the largest meteorite class. The size and distribution of the chondrules (silicate beads) and metal, which leads to the definition of the H, L, and LL classes, suggest sorting before or during aggregation. We suggest that meteorite parent bodies (probably asteroids) had thick dusty surfaces during their early evolution that were easily mobilized by gases evolving from their interiors. Density and size sorting would have occurred in the surface layers as the upward drag forces of the gases (mainly water) acted against the downward force of gravity. The process is analogous to the industrially important process of fluidization and sorting in pyroclastic volcanics. We calculate that gas flow velocities and gas fluxes for the regolith of an asteroid-sized object heated by the impact of accreting objects or by 26Al would have been sufficient for fluidization. It can also explain, quantitatively in some cases, the observed metal-silicate sorting of ordinary chondrites, which has long been ascribed to processes occurring in the primordial solar nebula. Formation of the chondrites in the thick dynamic regolith is consistent with the major properties of chondritic meteorites (i.e., redox state, petrologic type, cooling rate, matrix abundance). These ideas have implications for the nature of asteroid surfaces and the virtual lack of asteroids with ordinary chondrite-like surfaces.

  5. 3D Imaging Cubesat Lidar for Asteroid and Planetary Sciences, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is actively pursuing guidance and control light detection and ranging (lidar) systems for upcoming exploration missions including asteroid, comet, planet, and...

  6. Measurements of Regolith Simulant Thermal Conductivity Under Asteroid and Mars Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, A. J.; Christensen, P. R.

    2017-12-01

    Laboratory measurements have been necessary to interpret thermal data of planetary surfaces for decades. We present a novel radiometric laboratory method to determine temperature-dependent thermal conductivity of complex regolith simulants under rough to high vacuum and across a wide range of temperatures. This method relies on radiometric temperature measurements instead of contact measurements, eliminating the need to disturb the sample with thermal probes. We intend to determine the conductivity of grains that are up to 2 cm in diameter and to parameterize the effects of angularity, sorting, layering, composition, and eventually cementation. We present the experimental data and model results for a suite of samples that were selected to isolate and address regolith physical parameters that affect bulk conductivity. Spherical glass beads of various sizes were used to measure the effect of size frequency distribution. Spherical beads of polypropylene and well-rounded quartz sand have respectively lower and higher solid phase thermal conductivities than the glass beads and thus provide the opportunity to test the sensitivity of bulk conductivity to differences in solid phase conductivity. Gas pressure in our asteroid experimental chambers is held at 10^-6 torr, which is sufficient to negate gas thermal conduction in even our coarsest of samples. On Mars, the atmospheric pressure is such that the mean free path of the gas molecules is comparable to the pore size for many regolith particulates. Thus, subtle variations in pore size and/or atmospheric pressure can produce large changes in bulk regolith conductivity. For each sample measured in our martian environmental chamber, we repeat thermal measurement runs at multiple pressures to observe this behavior. Finally, we present conductivity measurements of angular basaltic simulant that is physically analogous to sand and gravel that may be present on Bennu. This simulant was used for OSIRIS-REx TAGSAM Sample Return

  7. Evidence of a metal-rich surface for the Asteroid (16) Psyche from interferometric observations in the thermal infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matter, Alexis; Delbo, Marco; Carry, Benoit; Ligori, Sebastiano

    2013-09-01

    We describe the first determination of thermal properties and size of the M-type Asteroid (16) Psyche from interferometric observations obtained with the Mid-Infrared Interferometric Instrument (MIDI) of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. We used a thermophysical model to interpret our interferometric data. Our analysis shows that Psyche has a low macroscopic surface roughness. Using a convex 3-D shape model obtained by Kaasalainen et al. (Kaasalainen, M., Torppa, J., Piironen, J. [2002]. Icarus 159, 369-395), we derived a volume-equivalent diameter for (16) Psyche of 247 ± 25 km or 238 ± 24 km, depending on the possible values of surface roughness. Our corresponding thermal inertia estimates are 133 or 114 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1, with a total uncertainty estimated at 40 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1. They are among the highest thermal inertia values ever measured for an asteroid of this size. We consider this as a new evidence of a metal-rich surface for the Asteroid (16) Psyche.

  8. The stability of some asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicente, R.O.

    1983-01-01

    The utilization of two different stability criteria, namely, Hill's modified stability criterium and the method of surface of section, has been employed for asteroid orbits. The idea is to compute different criteria of stability for the same asteroids in order to compare the results and see the practical interest of the computations for researches about evolutionary trends of individual asteroids, groups and families of asteroids. (Auth.)

  9. 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...

  10. Asteroid Composite Tape

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-07-01

    This is a composite tape showing 10 short segments primarily about asteroids. The segments have short introductory slides, which include brief descriptions about the shots. The segments are: (1) Radar movie of asteroid 1620 Geographos; (2) Animation of the trajectories of Toutatis and Earth (3) Animation of a landing on Toutatis; (4) Simulated encounter of an asteroid with Earth, includes a simulated impact trajectory; (5) An animated overview of the Manrover vehicle; (6) The Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project, includes a photograph of USAF Station in Hawaii, and animation of Earth approaching 4179 Toutatis and the asteroid Gaspara; (7) live video of the anchor tests of the Champoleon anchoring apparatus; (8) a second live video of the Champoleon anchor tests showing anchoring spikes, and collision rings; (9) An animated segment with narration about the Stardust mission with sound, which describes the mission to fly close to a comet, and capture cometary material for return to Earth; (10) live video of the drop test of a Stardust replica from a hot air balloon; this includes sound but is not narrated.

  11. Comet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, J.

    2014-07-01

    There has been vast progress in our understanding of planetesimal formation over the past decades, owing to a number of laboratory experiments as well as to refined models of dust and ice agglomeration in protoplanetary disks. Coagulation rapidly forms cm-sized ''pebbles'' by direct sticking in collisions at low velocities (Güttler et al. 2010; Zsom et al. 2010). For the further growth, two model approaches are currently being discussed: (1) Local concentration of pebbles in nebular instabilities until gravitational instability occurs (Johansen et al. 2007). (2) A competition between fragmentation and mass transfer in collisions among the dusty bodies, in which a few ''lucky winners'' make it to planetesimal sizes (Windmark et al. 2012a,b; Garaud et al. 2013). Predictions of the physical properties of the resulting bodies in both models allow a distinction of the two formation scenarios of planetesimals. In particular, the tensile strength (i.e, the inner cohesion) of the planetesimals differ widely between the two models (Skorov & Blum 2012; Blum et al. 2014). While model (1) predicts tensile strengths on the order of ˜ 1 Pa, model (2) results in rather compactified dusty bodies with tensile strengths in the kPa regime. If comets are km-sized survivors of the planetesimal-formation era, they should in principle hold the secret of their formation process. Water ice is the prime volatile responsible for the activity of comets. Thermophysical models of the heat and mass transport close to the comet-nucleus surface predict water-ice sublimation temperatures that relate to maximum sublimation pressures well below the kPa regime predicted for formation scenario (2). Model (1), however, is in agreement with the observed dust and gas activity of comets. Thus, a formation scenario for cometesimals involving gravitational instability is favored (Blum et al. 2014).

  12. Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT) I: An On-orbit Centrifuge Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightholder, Jack; Thoesen, Andrew; Adamson, Eric; Jakubowski, Jeremy; Nallapu, Ravi; Smallwood, Sarah; Raura, Laksh; Klesh, Andrew; Asphaug, Erik; Thangavelautham, Jekan

    2017-04-01

    Exploration of asteroids, comets and small moons (small bodies) can answer fundamental questions relating to the formation of the solar system, the availability of resources, and the nature of impact hazards. Near-earth asteroids and the small moons of Mars are potential targets of human exploration. But as illustrated by recent missions, small body surface exploration remains challenging, expensive, and fraught with risk. Despite their small size, they are among the most extreme planetary environments, with low and irregular gravity, loosely bound regolith, extreme temperature variation, and the presence of electrically charged dust. Here we describe the Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT-I), an on-orbit, 3U CubeSat centrifuge using a sandwich-sized bed of crushed meteorite fragments to replicate asteroid surface conditions. Demonstration of this CubeSat will provide a low-cost pathway to physical asteroid model validation, shed light on the origin and geophysics of asteroids, and constrain the design of future landers, rovers, resource extractors, and human missions. AOSAT-I will conduct scientific experiments within its payload chamber while operating in two distinct modes: (1) as a nonrotating microgravity laboratory to investigate primary accretion, and (2) as a rotating centrifuge producing artificial milligravity to simulate surface conditions on asteroids, comets and small moons. AOSAT-I takes advantage of low-cost, off-the-shelf components, modular design, and the rapid assembly and instrumentation of the CubeSat standard, to answer fundamental questions in planetary science and reduce cost and risk of future exploration.

  13. SEM and TEM Observation of the Surfaces of the Fine-Grained Particles Retrieved from the Muses-C Regio on the Asteroid 25413 Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, T.; Nakamura, T.; Zolensky, Michael E.; Tanaka, M.; Hashimoto, T.; Konno, M.; Nakato, A.; Ogami, T.; Fujimura, A.; Abe, M.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Surface materials on airless solar system bodies exposed to interplanetary space are gradually changed their visible to near-infrared reflectance spectra by the process called "space weathering", which makes the spectra darker and redder. Hapke et al. proposed a model of space weathering: vapor deposition of nanophase reduced iron (npFe(sup 0)) on the surfaces of the grains within the very surface of lunar regolith. This model has been proved by detailed observation of the surfaces of the lunar soil grains by transmission electron microscope (TEM). They demonstrated that npFe(sup 0) was formed by a combination of vapor deposition and irradiation effects. In other words, both micrometeorite impacts and irradiation by solar wind and galactic cosmic ray play roles on the space weathering on the Moon. Because there is a continuum of reflectance spectra from those of Q-type asteroids (almost the same as those of ordinary chondrites) to those of S-type asteroids, it is strongly suggested that reflectance spectra of asteroids composed of ordinary chondrite-like materials were modified over time to those of S-type asteroids due to space weathering. It is predicted that a small amount of npFe(sup 0) on the surface of grains in the asteroidal regolith composed of ordinary chondrite-like materials is the main agent of asteroidal space weathering.

  14. Observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    James, Nick

    2003-01-01

    Since comet Shoemaker-Levy collided with the planet Jupiter with stupendous force in 1994 there has been an upsurge of amateur interest in comets Most comets are first discovered by amateur astronomers because there are so many amateurs looking for them, and techniques and instruments have improved dramatically in the past few years After a short but detailed introduction to the comets themselves Nick James and Gerald North describe comet hunting, photographing and imaging comets, and digital image processing The use of computers for orbital calculations and even helping to discover new comets is given a full chapter, as are advanced techniques including comet photometry and spectroscopy This comprehensive book has an accompanying CD-ROM and is at once a "primer" for comet hunters and a reference text for more advanced amateur astronomers

  15. Asteroid team

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matson, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this task is to support asteroid research and the operation of an Asteroid Team within the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Asteroid Team carries out original research on asteroids in order to discover, better characterize and define asteroid properties. This information is needed for the planning and design of NASA asteroid flyby and rendezvous missions. The asteroid Team also provides scientific and technical advice to NASA and JPL on asteroid related programs. Work on asteroid classification continued and the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids was published. In the asteroid photometry program researchers obtained N or Q photometry for more than 50 asteroids, including the two M-earth-crossers. Compositional analysis of infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 micrometer) of asteroids is continuing. Over the next year the work on asteroid classification and composition will continue with the analysis of the 60 reduced infrared spectra which we now have at hand. The radiometry program will continue with the reduction of the N and Q bandpass data for the 57 asteroids in order to obtain albedos and diameters. This year the emphasis will shift to IRAS follow-up observations; which includes objects not observed by IRAS and objects with poor or peculiar IRAS data. As in previous year, we plan to give top priority to any opportunities for observing near-Earth asteroids and the support (through radiometric lightcurve observations from the IRTF) of any stellar occultations by asteroids for which occultation observation expeditions are fielded. Support of preparing of IRAS data for publication and of D. Matson for his participation in the NASA Planetary Astronomy Management and Operations Working Group will continue

  16. Asteroid team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, D. L.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this task is to support asteroid research and the operation of an Asteroid Team within the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Asteroid Team carries out original research on asteroids in order to discover, better characterize and define asteroid properties. This information is needed for the planning and design of NASA asteroid flyby and rendezvous missions. The asteroid Team also provides scientific and technical advice to NASA and JPL on asteroid related programs. Work on asteroid classification continued and the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids was published. In the asteroid photometry program researchers obtained N or Q photometry for more than 50 asteroids, including the two M-earth-crossers. Compositional analysis of infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 micrometer) of asteroids is continuing. Over the next year the work on asteroid classification and composition will continue with the analysis of the 60 reduced infrared spectra which we now have at hand. The radiometry program will continue with the reduction of the N and Q bandpass data for the 57 asteroids in order to obtain albedos and diameters. This year the emphasis will shift to IRAS follow-up observations; which includes objects not observed by IRAS and objects with poor or peculiar IRAS data. As in previous year, we plan to give top priority to any opportunities for observing near-Earth asteroids and the support (through radiometric lightcurve observations from the IRTF) of any stellar occultations by asteroids for which occultation observation expeditions are fielded. Support of preparing of IRAS data for publication and of D. Matson for his participation in the NASA Planetary Astronomy Management and Operations Working Group will continue.

  17. Rosetta/VIRTIS-M spectral data: Comet 67P/CG compared to other primitive small bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sanctis, M. C.; Capaccioni, F.; Filacchione, G.; Erard, S.; Tosi, F.; Ciarniello, M.; Raponi, A.; Piccioni, G.; Leyrat, C.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Drossart, P.; Fornasier, S.

    2014-12-01

    VIRTIS-M, the Visible InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer, onboard the Rosetta Mission orbiter (Coradini et al., 2007) acquired data of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the 0.25-5.1 µm spectral range. The initial data, obtained during the first mission phases to the comet, allow us to derive albedo and global spectral properties of the comet nucleus as well as spectra of different areas on the nucleus. The characterization of cometary nuclei surfaces and their comparison with those of related populations such as extinct comet candidates, Centaurs, near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), and primitive asteroids is critical to understanding the origin and evolution of small solar system bodies. The acquired VIRTIS data are used to compare the global spectral properties of comet 67P/CG to published spectra of other cometary nuclei observed from ground or visited by space mission. Moreover, the spectra of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are also compared to those of primitive asteroids and centaurs. The comparison can give us clues on the possible common formation and evolutionary environment for primitive asteroids, centaurs and Jupiter-family comets. Authors acknowledge the funding from Italian and French Space Agencies. References: Coradini, A., Capaccioni, F., Drossart, P., Arnold, G., Ammannito, E., Angrilli, F., Barucci, A., Bellucci, G., Benkhoff, J., Bianchini, G., Bibring, J. P., Blecka, M., Bockelee-Morvan, D., Capria, M. T., Carlson, R., Carsenty, U., Cerroni, P., Colangeli, L., Combes, M., Combi, M., Crovisier, J., De Sanctis, M. C., Encrenaz, E. T., Erard, S., Federico, C., Filacchione, G., Fink, U., Fonti, S., Formisano, V., Ip, W. H., Jaumann, R., Kuehrt, E., Langevin, Y., Magni, G., McCord, T., Mennella, V., Mottola, S., Neukum, G., Palumbo, P., Piccioni, G., Rauer, H., Saggin, B., Schmitt, B., Tiphene, D., Tozzi, G., Space Science Reviews, Volume 128, Issue 1-4, 529-559, 2007.

  18. Cratering statistics on asteroids: Methods and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C.

    2014-07-01

    certain assumptions about issues that should be left as open questions (e.g., the shapes of impactor SFDs are assumed to be identical throughout the solar system and throughout all epochs, the decay rate of the impactor flux in the asteroid belt is assumed to be the same as in the Earth-Moon system, and all kinks in SFDs are interpreted as ''resurfacings'' rather than due to layering of targets or due to other kinds of crater creation and degradation processes). In fact, we know that there are different mixes of comets and asteroids in different parts of the solar system, that size distributions differ in different parts of the asteroid belt, that SFDs of asteroid families evolve, that kinks in SFDs can be produced by layering (e.g., on the Moon), and that small-scale crater populations on asteroids like Itokawa and Eros are dramatically affected by processes of lesser importance to large-scale cratering (e.g., because of bouldery substrates, seismic shaking, etc.). Identification of homogeneous geological units for crater counting is particularly critical. Crater ejecta blankets, which are useful units on planetary-scale bodies, become problematic on smaller bodies where ejecta travel farther and are even ejected at greater than escape velocity resulting in thin, patchy ejecta blankets inappropriate for displaying a useful post-deposition crater population. As we anticipate studying still more cratered small-body surfaces from future spacecraft and even radar imaging of asteroids, comet nuclei, and small satellites, non-specialists and crater-counters alike should be suspicious of crater SFDs obtained through production-line application of black-box routines like Craterstats. Crater SFDs can still be a very useful tool, so long as there is rigorous, statistically robust, open-minded interpretation that takes account of the real unknowns concerning geological and interplanetary contexts.

  19. Craters on comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, J.; Oklay, N.; Marchi, S.; Höfner, S.; Sierks, H.

    2014-07-01

    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. ''Pits'' have been observed on almost all cometary nuclei but their origin is not fully understood [1,2,3,4]. It is currently assumed that they are created mainly by the cometary activity with a pocket of volatiles erupting under a dust crust, leaving a hole behind. There are, however, other features which cannot be explained in this way and are interpreted alternatively as remnants of impact craters. This work focusses on the second type of pit features: impact craters. We present an in-depth review of what has been observed previously and conclude that two main types of crater morphologies can be observed: ''pit-halo'' and ''sharp pit''. We extend this review by a series of analysis of impact craters on cometary nuclei through different approaches [5]: (1) Probability of impact: We discuss the chances that a Jupiter Family Comet like 9P/Tempel 1 or the target of Rosetta 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can experience an impact, taking into account the most recent work on the size distribution of small objects in the asteroid Main Belt [6]. (2) Crater morphology from scaling laws: We present the status of scaling laws for impact craters on cometary nuclei [7] and discuss their strengths and limitations when modeling what happens when a rocky projectile hits a very porous material. (3) Numerical experiments: We extend the work on scaling laws by a series of hydrocode impact simulations, using the iSALE shock physics code [8,9,10] for varying surface porosity and impactor velocity (see Figure). (4) Surface processes and evolution: We discuss finally the fate of the projectile and the effects of the impact-induced surface compaction on the activity of the nucleus. To summarize, we find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous

  20. 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.

  1. The Impact and Oxidation Survival of Selected Meteoritic Compounds: Signatures of Asteroid Organic Material on Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George; Horz, Fred; Oleary, Alanna; Chang, Sherwood

    2013-01-01

    Polar, non-volatile organic compounds may be present on the surfaces (or near surfaces) of multiple Solar System bodies. If found, by current or future missions, it would be desirable to determine the origin(s) of such compounds, e.g., asteroidal or in situ. To test the possible survival of meteoritic compounds both during impacts with planetary surfaces and under subsequent (possibly) harsh ambient conditions, we subjected known meteoritic compounds to relatively high impact-shock pressures and/or to varying oxidizing/corrosive conditions. Tested compounds include sulfonic and phosphonic acids (S&P), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) amino acids, keto acids, dicarboxylic acids, deoxy sugar acids, and hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (Table 1). Meteoritic sulfonic acids were found to be relatively abundant in the Murchison meteorite and to possess unusual S-33 isotope anomalies (non mass-dependent isotope fractionations). Combined with distinctive C-S and C-P bonds, the S&P are potential signatures of asteroidal organic material.

  2. 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.

  3. Spectral properties of near-Earth asteroids on cometary orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, M.; Vaduvescu, O.; de Leon, J.; Boaca, I. L.; Gherase, R. M.; Nedelcu, D. A.; INT students, I. N. G.

    2017-09-01

    We studied the spectral distributions of near-Earth asteroids on cometary orbits (NEACOs) in order to identify potential dormant or extinct comets among these objects. We present the spectral observations for 19 NEACOs obtained with Isaac Newton Telescope and Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Although initially classified as asteroid, one of our targets - 2007 VA85 was confirmed to be active comet 333P/LINEAR on its 2016 appearance. We found that the NEACOs population is a mixing of different compositional classes.

  4. Mercury's Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroid Space Weathering Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominque, Deborah L.; Chapman, Clark R.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.; Orlando, Thomas M.; Schriver, David; hide

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the composition of Mercury's crust is key to comprehending the formation of the planet. The regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered via a set of space weathering processes. These processes are the same set of mechanisms that work to form Mercury's exosphere, and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of an intrinsic planetary magnetic field. The alterations need to be understood in order to determine the initial crustal compositions. The complex interrelationships between Mercury's exospheric processes, the space environment, and surface composition are examined and reviewed. The processes are examined in the context of our understanding of these same processes on the lunar and asteroid regoliths. Keywords: Mercury (planet) Space weathering Surface processes Exosphere Surface composition Space environment 3

  5. Spectral investigation of two asteroidal fireballs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Borovička, Jiří

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 97, 3-4 (2006), s. 279-293 ISSN 0167-9295. [Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2005. Búzios, 07.08.2005-12.08.2005] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0543; GA ČR GA205/03/1404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * meteors * spectroscopy Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.252, year: 2006

  6. TRIGGERING SUBLIMATION-DRIVEN ACTIVITY OF MAIN BELT COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haghighipour, N. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96825 (United States); Maindl, T. I.; Dvorak, R. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Schäfer, C. [Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany); Speith, R., E-mail: nader@ifa.hawaii.edu [Physikalisches Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany)

    2016-10-10

    It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of main belt comets (MBCs) is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water–ice that has been exposed as a result of their surfaces being impacted by meter-sized bodies. We have examined the viability of this scenario by simulating impacts between meter-sized and kilometer-sized objects using a smooth particle hydrodynamics approach. Simulations have been carried out for different values of the impact velocity and impact angle, as well as different target material and water-mass fractions. Results indicate that for the range of impact velocities corresponding to those in the asteroid belt, the depth of an impact crater is slightly larger than 10 m, suggesting that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water–ice, this ice has to exist no deeper than a few meters from the surface. Results also show that ice exposure occurs in the bottom and on the interior surface of impact craters, as well as on the surface of the target where some of the ejected icy inclusions are re-accreted. While our results demonstrate that the impact scenario is indeed a viable mechanism to expose ice and trigger the activity of MBCs, they also indicate that the activity of the current MBCs is likely due to ice sublimation from multiple impact sites and/or the water contents of these objects (and other asteroids in the outer asteroid belt) is larger than the 5% that is traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation, providing more ice for sublimation. We present the details of our simulations and discuss their results and implications.

  7. Thermal alteration in carbonaceous chondrites and implications for sublimation in rock comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springmann, Alessondra; Lauretta, Dante S.; Steckloff, Jordan K.

    2015-11-01

    Rock comets are small solar system bodies in Sun-skirting orbits (perihelion q CO2, etc.). B-class asteroid (3200) Phaethon, considered to be the parent body of the Geminid meteor shower, is the only rock comet currently known to periodically eject dust and form a coma. Thermal fracturing or thermal decomposition of surface materials may be driving Phaethon’s cometary activity (Li & Jewitt, 2013). Phaethon-like asteroids have dynamically unstable orbits, and their perihelia can change rapidly over their ~10 Myr lifetimes (de León et al., 2010), raising the possibility that other asteroids may have been rock comets in the past. Here, we propose using spectroscopic observations of mercury (Hg) as a tracer of an asteroid’s thermal metamorphic history, and therefore as a constraint on its minimum achieved perihelion distance.B-class asteroids such as Phaethon have an initial composition similar to aqueously altered primitive meteorites such as CI- or CM-type meteorites (Clark et al., 2010). Laboratory heating experiments of ~mm sized samples of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites from 300K to 1200K at a rate of 15K/minute show mobilization and volatilization of various labile elements at temperatures that could be reached by Mercury-crossing asteroids. Samples became rapidly depleted in labile elements and, in particular, lost ~75% of their Hg content when heated from ~500-700 K, which corresponds to heliocentric distances of ~0.15-0.3 au, consistent with our thermal models. Mercury has strong emission lines in the UV (~ 185 nm) and thus its presence (or absence) relative to carbonaceous chondrite abundances would indicate if these bodies had perihelia in their dynamical histories inside of 0.15 AU, and therefore may have previously been Phaethon-like rock comets. Future space telescopes or balloon-borne observing platforms equipped with a UV spectrometer could potentially detect the presence or absence of strong ultraviolet mercury lines on rock comets or rock

  8. 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.

  9. Update on an Interstellar Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-01-01

    Whats the news coming from the research world on the interstellar asteroid visitor, asteroid 1I/Oumuamua? Read on for an update from a few of the latest studies.What is Oumuamua?In lateOctober2017, the discovery of minor planet 1I/Oumuamua was announced. This body which researchers first labeled asa comet and later revised to an asteroid had just zipped around the Sun and was already in the process of speeding away whenwe trained our telescopes on it. Its trajectory, however, marked it as being a visitor from outside our solar system: the first knownvisitorof its kind.Since Oumuamuasdiscovery, scientists have been gathering as many observations of this bodyas possible before it vanishes into the distance. Simultaneously, theorists have leapt at the opportunity to explain its presence and the implications its passage has on our understanding of our surroundings. Here we present just a few of the latest studies that have been published on this first detected interstellar asteroid including several timelystudies published in our new journal, Research Notes of the AAS.The galactic velocity of Oumuamua does not coincide with any of the nearest stars to us. [Mamajek 2018]Where Did Oumuamua Come From?Are we sure Oumuamua didnt originate in our solar system andget scattered into a weird orbit? Jason Wright (The Pennsylvania State University) demonstrates via a series of calculations that no known solar system body could have scattered Oumuamua onto its current orbit nor could any stillunknown object bound to our solar system.Eric Mamajek (Caltech and University of Rochester) showsthat thekinematics of Oumuamua areconsistent with what we might expect of interstellar field objects, though he argues that its kinematics suggest its unlikely to have originated from many of the neareststellar systems.What AreOumuamuas Properties?Oumuamuas light curve. [Bannister et al. 2017]A team of University of Maryland scientists led by Matthew Knight captured a light curve of Oumuamua using

  10. Manufactured Porous Ambient Surface Simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Elizabeth M.; Peters, Gregory H.; Chu, Lauren; Zhou, Yu Meng; Cohen, Brooklin; Panossian, Lara; Green, Jacklyn R.; Moreland, Scott; Backes, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The planetary science decadal survey for 2013-2022 (Vision and Voyages, NRC 2011) has promoted mission concepts for sample acquisition from small solar system bodies. Numerous comet-sampling tools are in development to meet this standard. Manufactured Porous Ambient Surface Simulants (MPASS) materials provide an opportunity to simulate variable features at ambient temperatures and pressures to appropriately test potential sample acquisition systems for comets, asteroids, and planetary surfaces. The original "flavor" of MPASS materials is known as Manufactured Porous Ambient Comet Simulants (MPACS), which was developed in parallel with the development of the Biblade Comet Sampling System (Backes et al., in review). The current suite of MPACS materials was developed through research of the physical and mechanical properties of comets from past comet missions results and modeling efforts, coordination with the science community at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and testing of a wide range of materials and formulations. These simulants were required to represent the physical and mechanical properties of cometary nuclei, based on the current understanding of the science community. Working with cryogenic simulants can be tedious and costly; thus MPACS is a suite of ambient simulants that yields a brittle failure mode similar to that of cryogenic icy materials. Here we describe our suite of comet simulants known as MPACS that will be used to test and validate the Biblade Comet Sampling System (Backes et al., in review).

  11. Asteroid rotation rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.; Farinella, P.

    1989-01-01

    Within the last decade the data base of asteroid rotation parameters (rotation rates and lightcurve amplitudes) has become sufficiently large to identify some definite rends and properties which can help us to interpret asteroid collisional evolution. Many significant correlations are found between rotation parameters and diameter, with distinct changes occurring near 125 km. The size range, which is also the diameter above which self-gravity may become important, perhaps represents a division between surviving primordial asteroids and collisional fragments. A Maxwellian is able to fit the observed rotation rate distributions of asteroids with D>125 km, implying that their rotation rates may be determined by collisional evolution. Asteroids with D<125 km show an excess of slow rotators and their non-Maxwellian distributions suggests that their rotation rates are more strongly influenced by other processes, such as the distribution resulting from their formation in catastrophic disruption events. Other correlations observed in the data set include different mean rotation rates for C, S and M type asteroids implying that their surface spectra are indicative of bulk properties

  12. Mercury's Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroidal Space Weathering Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingue, Deborah L.; Chapman, Clark. R.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.; Schriver, David; Travnicek, Pavel M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Mercury's regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered by a set of space weathering processes. Before we can interpret crustal composition, it is necessary to understand the nature of these surface alterations. The processes that space weather the surface are the same as those that form Mercury's exosphere (micrometeoroid flux and solar wind interactions) and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of a global magnetic field. To comprehend how space weathering acts on Mercury's regolith, an understanding is needed of how contributing processes act as an interactive system. As no direct information (e.g., from returned samples) is available about how the system of space weathering affects Mercury's regolith, we use as a basis for comparison the current understanding of these same processes on lunar and asteroidal regoliths as well as laboratory simulations. These comparisons suggest that Mercury's regolith is overturned more frequently (though the characteristic surface time for a grain is unknown even relative to the lunar case), more than an order of magnitude more melt and vapor per unit time and unit area is produced by impact processes than on the Moon (creating a higher glass content via grain coatings and agglutinates), the degree of surface irradiation is comparable to or greater than that on the Moon, and photon irradiation is up to an order of magnitude greater (creating amorphous grain rims, chemically reducing the upper layers of grains to produce nanometer scale particles of metallic iron, and depleting surface grains in volatile elements and alkali metals). The processes that chemically reduce the surface and produce nanometer-scale particles on Mercury are suggested to be more effective than similar processes on the Moon. Estimated abundances of nanometer-scale particles can account for Mercury's dark surface relative to that of the Moon without requiring macroscopic grains of opaque minerals. The presence of

  13. The search for main-belt comets: The Pan-STARRS1 perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, H.; Denneau, L.; Wainscoat, R.; Jedicke, R.; Schorghofer, N.; Micheli, M.; Veres, P.; Kleyna, J.; Bolin, B.

    2014-07-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of objects have been discovered in the main asteroid belt that exhibit comet-like activity. Some instances of activity are believed to result from sublimation of volatile sub-surface ice, and the objects exhibiting this type of activity have come to be known as main-belt comets (MBCs; Hsieh & Jewitt 2006). For most MBCs, the presence of gas is only inferred from visible dust emission, although water vapor outgassing has recently been directly detected from (1) Ceres (Kuppers et al. 2014), indicating that water sublimation on MBCs could also be possible. In other instances, comet-like dust emission has been found to result from impacts onto otherwise inert objects, rotational disruption, or a combination of effects (cf., Jewitt 2012). In these cases, the objects can be referred to as disrupted asteroids. Collectively, MBCs and disrupted asteroids are known as active asteroids. MBCs have attracted interest in astrobiology due to theoretical studies indicating that material from the asteroid belt region could have been a significant primordial source of the water and other volatiles on the Earth. Icy asteroids also contain some of the least altered material from the inner protosolar disk still in existence today, presenting us with opportunities to learn about the earliest stages of our solar system's formation. The added bonus of the MBCs' relatively close proximity in the asteroid belt means that in situ spacecraft studies are entirely feasible using present-day technology. Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) is a wide-field synoptic survey telescope located on Halekala in Hawaii. It employs a 3.2×3.2 deg 1.4 gigapixel camera and uses an SDSS-like filter system. As of 2014 March 31, the Pan-STARRS1 survey has discovered three MBCs --- P/2006 VW139, P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), and P/2013 R3 (Catalina-PANSTARRS) --- as well as one disrupted asteroid (P/2013 P5 (PANSTARRS)), two active Centaurs, 33 Jupiter-family comets, and 17 long-period comets. For

  14. Dust evolution, a global view: III. Core/mantle grains, organic nano-globules, comets and surface chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of The Heterogeneous dust Evolution Model for Interstellar Solids (THEMIS), this work explores the surface processes and chemistry relating to core/mantle interstellar and cometary grain structures and their influence on the nature of these fascinating particles. It appears that a realistic consideration of the nature and chemical reactivity of interstellar grain surfaces could self-consistently and within a coherent framework explain: the anomalous oxygen depletion, the nature of the CO dark gas, the formation of ‘polar ice’ mantles, the red wing on the 3 μm water ice band, the basis for the O-rich chemistry observed in hot cores, the origin of organic nano-globules and the 3.2 μm ‘carbonyl’ absorption band observed in comet reflectance spectra. It is proposed that the reaction of gas phase species with carbonaceous a-C(:H) grain surfaces in the interstellar medium, in particular the incorporation of atomic oxygen into grain surfaces in epoxide functional groups, is the key to explaining these observations. Thus, the chemistry of cosmic dust is much more intimately related with that of the interstellar gas than has previously been considered. The current models for interstellar gas and dust chemistry will therefore most likely need to be fundamentally modified to include these new grain surface processes. PMID:28083090

  15. Comments on comet shapes and aggregation processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, W.K.

    1989-01-01

    An important question for a comet mission is whether comet nuclei preserve information clarifying aggregation processes of planetary matter. New observational evidence shows that Trojan asteroids, as a group, display a higher fraction of highly-elongated objects than the belt. More recently evidence has accumulated that comet nuclei, as a group, also display highly-elongated shapes at macro-scale. This evidence comes from the several comets whose nuclear lightcurves or shapes have been well studied. Trojans and comet nuclei share other properties. Both groups have extremely low albedos and reddish-to neutral-black colors typical of asteroids of spectral class D, P, and C. Both groups may have had relatively low collision frequencies. An important problem to resolve with spacecraft imaging is whether these elongated shapes are primordial, or due to evolution of the objects. Two hypotheses that might be tested by a combination of global-scale and close-up imaging from various directions are: (1) The irregular shapes are primordial and related to the fact that these bodies have had lower collision frequencies than belt asteroids; or (2) The irregular shapes may be due to volatile loss

  16. Asteroid electrostatic instrumentation and modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aplin, K L; Bowles, N E; Urbak, E [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Keane, D; Sawyer, E C, E-mail: k.aplin1@physics.ox.ac.uk [RAL Space, R25, Harwell Oxford, Didcot OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-23

    Asteroid surface material is expected to become photoelectrically charged, and is likely to be transported through electrostatic levitation. Understanding any movement of the surface material is relevant to proposed space missions to return samples to Earth for detailed isotopic analysis. Motivated by preparations for the Marco Polo sample return mission, we present electrostatic modelling for a real asteroid, Itokawa, for which detailed shape information is available, and verify that charging effects are likely to be significant at the terminator and at the edges of shadow regions for the Marco Polo baseline asteroid, 1999JU3. We also describe the Asteroid Charge Experiment electric field instrumentation intended for Marco Polo. Finally, we find that the differing asteroid and spacecraft potentials on landing could perturb sample collection for the short landing time of 20min that is currently planned.

  17. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-07-01

    October 2007 before heading away from the Sun towards Comet Wirtanen. As it bounces around the Solar System, Rosetta will also make two excursions into the main asteroid belt, where it will obtain the first close-up images and information on two contrasting objects, 4979 Otawara and 140 Siwa. Scientists believe Otawara is less than 20 km across, whereas Siwa is probably 110 km in diameter, much larger than any asteroid which has so far been visited by spacecraft. Rosetta will fly to within 1,000 km of Otawara in July 2006, followed by a similar rendezvous with Siwa two years later. However, the most difficult phase of the mission will be the final rendezvous with the fast-moving comet (the foreseen date for the rendezvous manoeuvre is 27 November 2011, close approach is set for 20 May 2012 and orbit insertion around the nucleus is set for 28 May 2012). Thus, after a 5.3 billion km space odyssey, Rosetta will make first contact with Wirtanen about 675 million km from the Sun. At this distance, sunlight is 20 times weaker than on Earth, and the comet's nucleus will still be frozen and inactive. Once the navigation team are able to determine the comet's exact location from images returned by the spacecraft camera, a series of braking manoeuvres will allow Rosetta to match speed and direction with its target. After about seven months of edging closer, Rosetta will eventually close to within 2 km of Wirtanen's frozen nucleus. From its close orbit above the tiny nucleus, Rosetta will be able to send back the most detailed images and information ever obtained of a comet. When a suitable landing site has been chosen, about a month after global mapping starts, the orbiter will release a 100 kg lander onto the comet's solid surface. Touchdown must be quite slow - less than one metre per second - to allow for the almost negligible gravitational pull of the tiny nucleus. In order to ensure that the lander does not bounce and disappear into space, an anchoring harpoon will be fired

  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. Asteroid families, dynamics and astrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. Origin Of The Near-earth Asteroid Phaethon And The Geminids Meteor Shower

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leon, Julia; Campins, H.; Tsiganis, K.; Morbidelli, A.; Licandro, J.

    2010-10-01

    Asteroid (3200) Phaethon is a remarkable Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). It was the first asteroid associated with a meteor shower, namely the Geminid stream1. Phaethon's unusual orbit has a high inclination and a very low perihelion distance (0.14 AU). Its reflectance spectrum suggests a connection with primitive meteorites, best fitting with CI/CM carbonaceous chondrites2, aqueously altered and rich in hydrated silicates. However, its origin is not well determined. Recent studies suggest a connection with the population of main-belt comets3, classifying Phaethon as an activated asteroid. Here we show that the most likely source of Phaethon and the Geminids is the asteroid (2) Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the main belt, which is surrounded by a collisional family, containing several Phaethon-sized objects. Pallas’ highly inclined orbit and surface composition, also primitive and with evidence of hydration4, support this connection. Our analysis reveals a striking similarity between Phaethon's visual spectrum and those of Pallas family members. Moreover, our numerical simulations show the existence of a robust dynamical pathway, connecting the orbital neighborhood of Pallas with that of Phaethon. In this respect, the Pallas family may constitute a source of primitive NEAs. (The author gratefully acknowledges support from the Spanish "Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación" projects AYA2005-07808-C03-02 and AYA2008-06202-C03-02.) References 1. Whipple, F. L. 1983, IAU Circular, 3881 2. Licandro, J., Campins, H., Mothe-Diniz, T., Pinilla-Alonso, N. & de Leon, J. 2007, Astron. Astrophys. 461, 751-757 3. Hsieh, H. H., & Jewitt, D. 2006, Science, 312, 561-563 4. Rivkin, A. S., Howell, E. S., Vilas, F. & Lebofsky, L. A. in Asteroids III (eds Bottke, W. F., Cellino, A., Paolicchi, P. & Binzel, R. P.) 235-253 (Univ. Arizona Press, 2002).

  1. Cometary science. The organic-rich surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by VIRTIS/Rosetta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capaccioni, F; Coradini, A; Filacchione, G; Erard, S; Arnold, G; Drossart, P; De Sanctis, M C; Bockelee-Morvan, D; Capria, M T; Tosi, F; Leyrat, C; Schmitt, B; Quirico, E; Cerroni, P; Mennella, V; Raponi, A; Ciarniello, M; McCord, T; Moroz, L; Palomba, E; Ammannito, E; Barucci, M A; Bellucci, G; Benkhoff, J; Bibring, J P; Blanco, A; Blecka, M; Carlson, R; Carsenty, U; Colangeli, L; Combes, M; Combi, M; Crovisier, J; Encrenaz, T; Federico, C; Fink, U; Fonti, S; Ip, W H; Irwin, P; Jaumann, R; Kuehrt, E; Langevin, Y; Magni, G; Mottola, S; Orofino, V; Palumbo, P; Piccioni, G; Schade, U; Taylor, F; Tiphene, D; Tozzi, G P; Beck, P; Biver, N; Bonal, L; Combe, J-Ph; Despan, D; Flamini, E; Fornasier, S; Frigeri, A; Grassi, D; Gudipati, M; Longobardo, A; Markus, K; Merlin, F; Orosei, R; Rinaldi, G; Stephan, K; Cartacci, M; Cicchetti, A; Giuppi, S; Hello, Y; Henry, F; Jacquinod, S; Noschese, R; Peter, G; Politi, R; Reess, J M; Semery, A

    2015-01-23

    The VIRTIS (Visible, Infrared and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) instrument on board the Rosetta spacecraft has provided evidence of carbon-bearing compounds on the nucleus of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The very low reflectance of the nucleus (normal albedo of 0.060 ± 0.003 at 0.55 micrometers), the spectral slopes in visible and infrared ranges (5 to 25 and 1.5 to 5% kÅ(-1)), and the broad absorption feature in the 2.9-to-3.6-micrometer range present across the entire illuminated surface are compatible with opaque minerals associated with nonvolatile organic macromolecular materials: a complex mixture of various types of carbon-hydrogen and/or oxygen-hydrogen chemical groups, with little contribution of nitrogen-hydrogen groups. In active areas, the changes in spectral slope and absorption feature width may suggest small amounts of water-ice. However, no ice-rich patches are observed, indicating a generally dehydrated nature for the surface currently illuminated by the Sun. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  2. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    be kept in hibernation during most of its 8-year trek towards Wirtanen. What makes Rosetta's cruise so long? To reach Comet Wirtanen, the spacecraft needs to go out in deep space as far from the Sun as Jupiter is. No launcher could possibly get Rosetta there directly. ESA's spacecraft will gather speed from gravitational ‘kicks’ provided by three planetary fly-bys: one of Mars in 2005 and two of Earth in 2005 and 2007. During the trip, Rosetta will also visit two asteroids, Otawara (in 2006) and Siwa (in 2008). During these encounters, scientists will switch on Rosetta's instruments for calibration and scientific studies. Long trips in deep space include many hazards, such as extreme changes in temperature. Rosetta will leave the benign environment of near-Earth space to the dark, frigid regions beyond the asteroid belt. To manage these thermal loads, experts have done very tough pre-launch tests to study Rosetta's endurance. For example, they have heated its external surfaces to more than 150°C, then quickly cooled it to -180°C in the next test. The spacecraft will be fully reactivated prior to the comet rendezvous manoeuvre in 2011. Then, Rosetta will orbit the comet - an object only 1.2 km wide - while it cruises through the inner Solar System at 135 000 kilometres per hour. At that time of the rendezvous - around 675 million km from the Sun - Wirtanen will hardly show any surface activity. It means that the carachteristic coma (the comet’s ‘atmosphere’) and the tail will not be formed yet, because of the large distance from the Sun. The comet's tail is in fact made of dust grains and frozen gases from the comet's surface that vapourise because of the Sun's heat. During 6-month, Rosetta will extensively map the comet surface, prior to selecting a landing site. In July 2012, the lander will self-eject from the spacecraft from a height of just one kilometre. Touchdown will take place at walking speed - less than 1 metre per second. Immediately after

  3. Origin of the asteroid belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetherill, G.W.

    1989-01-01

    Earlier work and concepts relevant to the origin of the asteroid belt are reviewed and considered in the context of the more general question of solar system origin. Several aspects of asteroidal origin by accumulation of smaller bodies have been addressed by new dynamic studies. Numerical and analytical solutions of the dynamical theory of planetesimal accumulation are characterized by a bifurcation into runaway and nonrunaway solutions. The differences in time scales resulting from runaway and nonrunaway growth can be more important than conventional time scale differences determined by heliocentric distances. This introduces new possibilities, e.g., planetary accumulation may be more rapid at the distance of Jupiter than in the asteroid belt, thus permitting Jupiter to control asteroidal growth. Although alternatives must be seriously considered, the most promising approach to asteroidal origin is one in which the initial surface density of the solar nebula varied smoothly between the terrestrial and giant-planet region. In the absence of external perturbations, it is found that runaway growth of excessively large asteroids would then occur on <1 Myr, but fairly modest external perturbations by Jupiter, Saturn or other perturbers, resulting in eccentricities ∼0.01 may quench runaways, truncate asteroidal growth at their present size, and then initiate the necessary loss of asteroidal material by mutual fragmentation

  4. Astrobiology of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2004-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  5. Asteroid Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merline, W. J.

    2001-11-01

    Discovery and study of small satellites of asteroids or double asteroids can yield valuable information about the intrinsic properties of asteroids themselves and about their history and evolution. Determination of the orbits of these moons can provide precise masses of the primaries, and hence reliable estimates of the fundamental property of bulk density. This reveals much about the composition and structure of the primary and will allow us to make comparisons between, for example, asteroid taxonomic type and our inventory of meteorites. The nature and prevalence of these systems will also give clues as to the collisional environment in which they formed, and have further implications for the role of collisions in shaping our solar system. A decade ago, binary asteroids were more of a theoretical curiosity. In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft allowed the first undeniable detection of an asteroid moon, with the discovery of Dactyl, a small moon of Ida. Since that time, and particularly in the last year, the number of known binaries has risen dramatically. Previously odd-shaped and lobate near-Earth asteroids, observed by radar, have given way to signatures indicating, almost certainly, that at least four NEAs are binary systems. The tell-tale lightcurves of several other NEAs reveal a high likelihood of being double. Indications are that among the NEAs, there may be a binary frequency of several tens of percent. Among the main-belt asteroids, we now know of 6 confirmed binary systems, although their overall frequency is likely to be low, perhaps a few percent. The detections have largely come about because of significant advances in adaptive optics systems on large telescopes, which can now reduce the blurring of the Earth's atmosphere to compete with the spatial resolution of space-based imaging (which itself, via HST, is now contributing valuable observations). Most of these binary systems have similarities, but there are important exceptions. Searches among other

  6. Tumbling asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Kotková, Lenka; Hergenrother, C.; Mottola, S.; Hicks, M. D.; Masi, G.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Kaasalainen, M.; Galád, Adrián; Brown, P.; DeGraff, D. R.; Lambert, J.V.; Cooney, W.R.; Foglia, S.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 173 (2005), s. 108-131 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Keywords : near-Earth objects * fast-rotating asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.244, year: 2005

  7. I. T. - R. O. C. K. S. Comet Nuclei Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalcher, N.

    2009-04-01

    Ices, organics and minerals recording the chemical evolution of the outer regions of the early solar nebula are the main constituents of comets. Because comets maintain the nearly pristine nature of the cloud where they formed, the analyses of their composition, structure, thermodynamics and isotope ratios will increase our understanding of the processes that occurred in the early phases of the solar system as well as the Interstellar Medium (ISM) Cloud that predated the formation of the solar nebula [1]. While the deep impact mission aimed at determining the internal structure of comet Temple1's nuclei [e.g. 3], the stardust mission sample return has dramatically increased our understanding of comets. Its first implications indicated that some of the comet material originated in the inner solar system and was later transported outward beyond the freezing line [4]. A wide range of organic compounds identified within different grains of the aerogel collectors has demonstrated the heterogeneity in their assemblages [5]. This suggests either many histories associated with these material or possibly analytical constraints imposed by capture heating of Wild2 material in silica aerogel. The current mission ROSETTA, will further expand our knowledge about comets considerably through rigorous in situ analyses of a Jupiter Family Comet (JFC). As the next generation of comet research post ROSETTA, we present the comet nuclei sample return mission IT - ROCKS (International Team - Return Of Comet's Key Samples) to return several minimally altered samples from various locations of comet 88P/Howell, a typical JFC. The mission scenario includes remote sensing of the comet's nucleus with onboard instruments similar to the ROSETTA instruments [6, 7, 8] (VIS, IR, Thermal IR, X-Ray, Radar) and gas/dust composition measurements including a plasma science package. Additionally two microprobes [9] will further investigate the physical properties of the comet's surface. Retrieving of the

  8. 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

  9. Dust bands in the asteroid belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sykes, M.V.; Greenberg, R.; Dermott, S.F.; Nicholson, P.D.; Burns, J.A.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes the original IRAS observations leading to the discovery of the three dust bands in the asteroid belt and the analysis of data. Special attention is given to an analytical model of the dust band torus and to theories concerning the origin of the dust bands, with special attention given to the collisional equilibrium (asteroid family), the nonequilibrium (random collision), and the comet hypotheses of dust-band origin. It is noted that neither the equilibrium nor nonequilibrium models, as currently formulated, present a complete picture of the IRAS dust-band observations. 32 refs

  10. COMET concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.

    1995-01-01

    Studies of the COMET core catcher concept developed for a future PWR have been continued. The concept is based on the spreading of a core melt on a sacrificial layer and its erosion, until a subsequent addition of water from below causes a fragmentation of the melt. A porous solidification of the melt would then admit a complete flooding within a short period. (orig.)

  11. Deep Interior: The first comprehensive geophysical investigation of an asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; Belton, M.; Klaasen, K.; McFadden, L.; Ostro, S.; Safaeinili, A.; Scheeres, D.; Sunshine, J.; Yeomans, D.

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) come closer to Earth than any other celestial body, and their compositions are represented on Earth by thousands of well-studied meteorites. Yet we understand neither their origin, evolution, nor their geophysical behavior. These secrets are locked up in their unexplored interiors. Goal 1 of the NASA Strategic Plan emphasizes the requirement to catalogue and understand NEOs down to 1 km diameter. Goal 4 urges us to understand natural processes at work in the low gravity environment. Goal 5 expresses the need to explore the solar system and to learn how planets originated and evolved. In response to the NASA Strategic Plan we are proposing a NASA Discovery mission whose primary science objective is to greatly advance the realization of these Goals by conducting the first investigation of the global geophysics of an asteroid. Radio reflection data from 5 km orbit about a 1 km NEO will provide a tomographic 3D image of electromagnetic properties. Mechanical properties will be examined in the simplest possible way, using explosions to initiate seismic cratering events and to expose diverse interior units for spectroscopic analysis. Deep Interior is the lowest-risk, lowest cost path towards attaining the required characterization of NEOs. It breaks new ground for future missions to asteroids and comets and facilitates the design of reliable NEO technologies. Our science goals are as follows, and the techniques (radio science, imaging, IR spectroscopy, active surface science) will be described at this meeting: Asteroid Interiors. Radio, gravity, and seismology experiments give a complete first picture of an asteroid's deep interior, resolving inclusions, voids and unit boundaries at ˜ 30 m scales, and determining global and regional mechanical properties. Surface Geophysics. Blast experiments explore the structure and mechanics of the upper meters, demonstrate microgravity cratering, trigger natural geomorphic events, and expose subsurface

  12. COMET concept; COMET-Konzept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.

    1995-08-01

    Studies of the COMET core catcher concept developed for a future PWR have been continued. The concept is based on the spreading of a core melt on a sacrificial layer and its erosion, until a subsequent addition of water from below causes a fragmentation of the melt. A porous solidification of the melt would then admit a complete flooding within a short period. (orig.)

  13. Comet radar explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  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. Orbits of the Asteroids Discovered at the Molėtai Observatory in 2000–2004

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Černis K.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents statistics of the asteroids observed and discovered at the Molėtai Observatory, Lithuania in 2000–2004 within the project for astrometric observations of the near-Earth objects (NEOs, the main belt asteroids and comets. CCD observations of asteroids were obtained with the 35/51 cm Maksutov-type meniscus telescope and the 1.65 m Ritchey-Chretien reflector. In the Minor Planet Circulars and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (2000–2004 we published 6629 astrometric positions of 1114 asteroids. Among them 78 were newly discovered asteroids at Molėtai, a few NEOs were found by our team independently. For the 67 asteroids discovered at Molėtai the precise orbits were calculated. Because of small number of observations, a few asteroids have low-precision orbits and some asteroids have been lost. For seven objects we present their ephemerides for 2015.

  16. Implications of the Small Spin Changes Measured for Large Jupiter-Family Comet Nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokotanekova, R.; Snodgrass, C.; Lacerda, P.; Green, S. F.; Nikolov, P.; Bonev, T.

    2018-06-01

    Rotational spin-up due to outgassing of comet nuclei has been identified as a possible mechanism for considerable mass-loss and splitting. We report a search for spin changes for three large Jupiter-family comets (JFCs): 14P/Wolf, 143P/Kowal-Mrkos, and 162P/Siding Spring. None of the three comets has detectable period changes, and we set conservative upper limits of 4.2 (14P), 6.6 (143P) and 25 (162P) minutes per orbit. Comparing these results with all eight other JFCs with measured rotational changes, we deduce that none of the observed large JFCs experiences significant spin changes. This suggests that large comet nuclei are less likely to undergo rotationally-driven splitting, and therefore more likely to survive more perihelion passages than smaller nuclei. We find supporting evidence for this hypothesis in the cumulative size distributions of JFCs and dormant comets, as well as in recent numerical studies of cometary orbital dynamics. We added 143P to the sample of 13 other JFCs with known albedos and phase-function slopes. This sample shows a possible correlation of increasing phase-function slopes for larger geometric albedos. Partly based on findings from recent space missions to JFCs, we hypothesise that this correlation corresponds to an evolutionary trend for JFCs. We propose that newly activated JFCs have larger albedos and steeper phase functions, which gradually decrease due to sublimation-driven erosion. If confirmed, this could be used to analyse surface erosion from ground and to distinguish between dormant comets and asteroids.

  17. Three-Dimensional Simulations of Oblique Asteroid Impacts into Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisler, G. R.; Ferguson, J. M.; Heberling, T.; Plesko, C. S.; Weaver, R.

    2016-12-01

    Waves generated by impacts into oceans may represent the most significant danger from near-earth asteroids and comets. For impacts near populated shores, the crown splash and subsequent waves, accompanied by sediment lofting and high winds, could be more damaging than storm surges from the strongest hurricanes. For asteroids less than 500 m in diameter that impact into deep water far from shores, the waves produced will be detectable over large distances, but probably not significantly dangerous. We present new three-dimensional simulations of oblique impacts into deep water, with trajectory angles ranging from 20 degrees to 60 degrees (where 90 degrees is vertical). These simulations are performed with the Los Alamos Rage hydrocode, and include atmospheric effects including ablation and airbursts. These oblique impact simulations are specifically performed in order to help determine whether there are additional dangers from the obliquity of impact not covered by previous two-dimensional studies. Water surface elevation profiles, surface pressures, and depth-averaged mass fluxes within the water are prepared for use in propagation studies.

  18. Strategy for Ranking the Science Value of the Surface of Asteroid 101955 Bennu for Sample Site Selection for Osiris-REx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Connolly, H. C., Jr.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2014-01-01

    OSRIS-REx is NASA's New Frontiers 3 sample return mission that will return at least 60 g of pristine surface material from near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu in September 2023. The scientific value of the sample increases enormously with the amount of knowledge captured about the geological context from which the sample is collected. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is highly maneuverable and capable of investigating the surface of Bennu at scales down to the sub-cm. The OSIRIS-REx instruments will characterize the overall surface geology including spectral properties, microtexture, and geochemistry of the regolith at the sampling site in exquisite detail for up to 505 days after encountering Bennu in August 2018. The mission requires at the very minimum one acceptable location on the asteroid where a touch-and-go (TAG) sample collection maneuver can be successfully per-formed. Sample site selection requires that the follow-ing maps be produced: Safety, Deliverability, Sampleability, and finally Science Value. If areas on the surface are designated as safe, navigation can fly to them, and they have ingestible regolith, then the scientific value of one site over another will guide site selection.

  19. The COMET-L3 experiment on long-term melt. Concrete interaction and cooling by surface flooding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Cron, T.; Fluhrer, B.; Messemer, G.; Miassoedov, A.; Schmidt-Stiefel, S.; Wenz, T.

    2007-02-01

    The COMET-L3 experiment considers the long-term situation of corium/concrete interaction in an anticipated core melt accident of a light-water-reactor, after the metal melt is layered beneath the oxide melt. The experimental focus is on cavity formation in the basemat and the risk of long term basemat penetration. The experiment investigates the two-dimensional concrete erosion in a cylindrical crucible fabricated from siliceous concrete in the first phase of the test, and the influence of surface flooding in the second phase. Decay heating in the two-component metal and oxide melt is simulated by sustained induction heating of the metal phase that is overlaid by the oxide melt. The inner diameter of the concrete crucible was 60 cm, the initial mass of the melt was 425 kg steel and 211 kg oxide at 1665 C, resulting in a melt height of 450 mm. The net power to the metal melt was about 220 kW from 0 s to 1880 s, when the maximum erosion limit of the crucible was reached and heating was terminated. In the initial phase of the test (less than 100 s), the overheated, highly agitated metal melt causes intense interaction with the concrete, which leads to fast decrease of the initial melt overheat and reduction of the initially high concrete erosion rate. Thereafter, under quasistationary conditions until about 800 s, the erosion by the metal melt slows down to some 0.07 mm/s into the axial direction. Lateral erosion is a factor 3 smaller. Video observation of the melt surface shows an agitated melt with ongoing gas release from the decomposing concrete. Several periods of more intense gas release, gas driven splashing, and release of crusts from the concrete interface indicate the existence and iterative break-up of crusts that probably form at the steel/concrete interface. Surface flooding of the melt is initiated at 800 s by a shower from the crucible head with 0.375 litre water/s. Flooding does not lead to strong melt/water interactions, and no entrapment reactions or

  20. 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.

  1. Encounter of a different kind: Rosetta observes asteroid at close quarters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-09-01

    ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, last night flew by a small body in the main asteroid belt, asteroid Steins, collecting a wealth of information about this rare type of minor Solar System body. At 20:58 CEST (18:58 UT) last night, ESA's Rosetta probe approached asteroid 2867 Steins, coming to within a distance of only 800 km from it. Steins is Rosetta's first nominal scientific target in its 11½ year mission to ultimately explore the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The success of this 'close' encounter was confirmed at 22:14 CEST, when ESA's ground control team at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, received initial telemetry from the spacecraft. During the flyby operations, Rosetta was out of reach as regards communication links because its antenna had to be turned away from Earth. At a distance of about 2.41 AU (360 million kilometres) from our planet, the radio signal from the probe took 20 minutes to reach the ground. Steins is a small asteroid of irregular shape with a diameter of only 4.6 km. It belongs to the rare class of E-type asteroids, which had not been directly observed by an interplanetary spacecraft before. Such asteroids are quite small in size and orbit and are mostly found in the inner part of the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. They probably originate from the mantle of larger asteroids destroyed in the early history of the Solar System, and are thought to be composed mainly of silicate minerals with little or no iron content. The data collected by Rosetta last night and which will be analysed over the coming days and weeks will finally unveil the true nature of Steins. Through the study of minor bodies such as asteroids, Rosetta is opening up a new window onto the early history of our Solar System. It will give us a better understanding of the origins and evolution of the planets, and also a key to better interpreting asteroid data collected from the ground. Under Rosetta's scope This

  2. 100 and counting : SOHO's score as the world's top comet finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-02-01

    Like nearly all of SOHO's discoveries, the 100th comet showed up in images from the LASCO instrument. This is a set of coronagraphs that view the space around the Sun out to 20 million kilometres, while blotting out the bright solar disk with masks. Developed for SOHO by a multinational team led by the US Naval Research Laboratory, LASCO watches for mass ejections from the Sun that threaten to disturb the Earth's space environment. The comet discoveries are a big bonus. SOHO's experts spot many of the comets as soon as the images come in. But still pictures and movies from LASCO are freely available on the Internet to astronomers around the world, who can discover less obvious comets without leaving their desks. This was the case when Kazimieras Cernis of the Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy in Vilnius, Lithuania, found SOHO-100. "On 4 February I saw the comet as a small speck of light in the previous day's LASCO images," Cernis explained. "It had no visible tail, but it was too fuzzy to be an asteroid. By the time I had seen the object moving steadily across the sky in six successive images, I was convinced it was a comet and I sent the details to the SOHO scientists for verification." The competition to find SOHO's 100th comet was keen. An amateur astronomer, Maik Meyer of Frauenstein, Germany, discovered SOHO-98 and 99. On 5 February, less than 24 hours after Cernis reported the candidate SOHO-100, Meyer found the candidate SOHO-101. On the same day and in the same LASCO images Douglas Biesecker, a member of the SOHO science team, spotted the candidate SOHO-102 travelling ahead of 101. Computations have now validated the orbits for all three candidates, and shown them to be bona fide comet discoveries. Other amateur astronomers have used the LASCO images to find comets. In the summer of 1999 Terry Lovejoy in Australia found five, and since September 1999 an amateur in England, Jonathan Shanklin, has spotted three more. "SOHO is a special chance for

  3. SAFARI: Searching Asteroids For Activity Revealing Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Anthony; Chandler, Colin Orion; Mommert, Michael; Sheppard, Scott; Trujillo, Chadwick A.

    2018-06-01

    We present results on one of the deepest and widest systematic searches for active asteroids, objects in the main-belt which behave dynamically like asteroids but display comet-like comae. This activity comes from a variety of sources, such as the sublimation of ices or rotational breakup, the former of which offers an opportunity to study a family of protoplanetary ices different than those seen in comets and Kuiper Belt objects. Indications of activity may be detected through visual or spectroscopic evidence of gas or dust emissions. However, these objects are still poorly understood, with only about 25 identified to date. We looked for activity indicators with a pipeline that examined ~35,000 deep images taken with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the 4-meter Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Our pipeline was configured to perform astrometry on DECam images and produce thumbnail images of known asteroids in the field to be examined by eye for signs of activity. We detected three previously identified active asteroids, one of which has shown repeated signs of activity in these data. Our proof of concept demonstrates 1) our novel informatics approach can locate active asteroids 2) DECam data are well suited to search for active asteroids. We will discuss the design structure of our pipeline, adjustments that had to be made for the specific dataset to improve performance, and the the significance of detecting activity in the main-belt. The authors acknowledge funding for this project through NSF grant number AST-1461200.

  4. 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...

  5. Hummingbird Comet Nucleus Analysis Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel; Carle, Glenn C.; Lasher, Larry E.

    2000-01-01

    Hummingbird is a highly focused scientific mission, proposed to NASA s Discovery Program, designed to address the highest priority questions in cometary science-that of the chemical composition of the cometary nucleus. After rendezvous with the comet, Hummingbird would first methodically image and map the comet, then collect and analyze dust, ice and gases from the cometary atmosphere to enrich characterization of the comet and support landing site selection. Then, like its namesake, Hummingbird would carefully descend to a pre-selected surface site obtaining a high-resolution image, gather a surface material sample, acquire surface temperature and then immediately return to orbit for detailed chemical and elemental analyses followed by a high resolution post-sampling image of the site. Hummingbird s analytical laboratory contains instrumentation for a comprehensive molecular and elemental analysis of the cometary nucleus as well as an innovative surface sample acquisition device.

  6. Asteroids: up close and personal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapman, Clark R. [Southwest Research Institute (United States)

    2001-06-01

    Think of our solar system. The Sun, the Moon and the nine planets come to mind first, followed by the moons of other planets and other small bodies like asteroids. In 1991, almost 30 years after planetary exploration began, an asteroid was visited by a passing spacecraft for the first time. Nearly another decade elapsed before the first dedicated asteroid mission went into orbit around Eros, a city-sized object some 34 km long. And earlier this year, the NEAR, Shoemaker spacecraft daringly descended to the surface of Eros and landed safely. Asteroids have been pushed to the tail-end of the itinerary of solar-system exploration because of their diminutive sizes. Indeed, the wealth of low-gravity phenomena associated with asteroids has captured the imagination of both researchers and the public alike. In the June issue of Physics World Clark R Chapman of the Southwest Research Institute, US, explains how the landing of a spacecraft on the asteroid Eros earlier this year has given space scientists the best view yet of small planetary bodies and has opened a new window on the solar system. (U.K.)

  7. Investigating the Geological History of Asteroid 101955 Bennu Through Remote Sensing and Returned Sample Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, S.; Connolly, H. C., Jr.; Lauretta, D. S.; Bottke, W. F.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA New Frontiers Mission OSRIS-REx will return surface regolith samples from near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu in September 2023. This target is classified as a B-type asteroid and is spectrally similar to CI and CM chondrite meteorites [1]. The returned samples are thus expected to contain primitive ancient Solar System materials that formed in planetary, nebular, interstellar, and circumstellar environments. Laboratory studies of primitive astromaterials have yielded detailed constraints on the origins, properties, and evolutionary histories of a wide range of Solar System bodies. Yet, the parent bodies of meteorites and cosmic dust are generally unknown, genetic and evolutionary relationships among asteroids and comets are unsettled, and links between laboratory and remote observations remain tenuous. The OSIRIS-REx mission will offer the opportunity to coordinate detailed laboratory analyses of asteroidal materials with known and well characterized geological context from which the samples originated. A primary goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission will be to provide detailed constraints on the origin and geological and dynamical history of Bennu through coordinated analytical studies of the returned samples. These microanalytical studies will be placed in geological context through an extensive orbital remote sensing campaign that will characterize the global geological features and chemical diversity of Bennu. The first views of the asteroid surface and of the returned samples will undoubtedly bring remarkable surprises. However, a wealth of laboratory studies of meteorites and spacecraft encounters with primitive bodies provides a useful framework to formulate priority scientific questions and effective analytical approaches well before the samples are returned. Here we summarize our approach to unraveling the geological history of Bennu through returned sample analyses.

  8. Split Active Asteroid P/2016 J1 (PANSTARRS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Man-To; Jewitt, David; Du, Xinnan

    2017-10-01

    We present a photometric and astrometric study of the split active asteroid P/2016 J1 (PANSTARRS). Separation occurred either in 2012 May to June, or 2010 April, with a separation speed Vsep = 0.70 ± 0.02 m s-1 for the former scenario and 0.83 ± 0.06 m s-1 for the latter. The two fragments (hereafter J1-A and J1-B) have similar, Sun-like colors that are comparable to the colors of primitive C- and G-type asteroids. With a nominal comet-like albedo, pR = 0.04, the effective, dust-contaminated cross sections are estimated to be 2.4 km2 (J1-A) and 0.5 km2 (J1-B). We estimate that the nucleus radii lie in the range 140 times of 2016 J1 are both short compared to the age of the solar system, raising the question of why this object still exists. We suggest that formerly buried ice became exposed at the surface, perhaps via a minor impact, and that sublimation torques then rapidly drove the body to breakup. Further disintegration events are anticipated owing to the rotational instability. Reference: Hui, M.-T., Jewitt, D. and Du, X., 2017. AJ, 153(4), p.141.

  9. Speckle interferometry of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drummond, J.

    1988-01-01

    By studying the image two-dimensional power spectra or autocorrelations projected by an asteroid as it rotates, it is possible to locate its rotational pole and derive its three axes dimensions through speckle interferometry under certain assumptions of uniform, geometric scattering, and triaxial ellipsoid shape. However, in cases where images can be reconstructed, the need for making the assumptions is obviated. Furthermore, the ultimate goal for speckle interferometry of image reconstruction will lead to mapping albedo features (if they exist) as impact areas or geological units. The first glimpses of the surface of an asteroid were obtained from images of 4 Vesta reconstructed from speckle interferometric observations. These images reveal that Vesta is quite Moon-like in having large hemispheric-scale albedo features. All of its lightcurves can be produced from a simple model developed from the images. Although undoubtedly more intricate than the model, Vesta's lightcurves can be matched by a model with three dark and four bright spots. The dark areas so dominate one hemisphere that a lightcurve minimum occurs when the maximum cross-section area is visible. The triaxial ellipsoid shape derived for Vesta is not consistent with the notion that the asteroid has an equilibrium shape in spite of its having apparently been differentiated

  10. Spectroscopic Evidence for the Asteroidal Nature of the July 2009 Jovian Impactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Carey; Orton, Glenn; Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma; Fletcher, Leigh; Depater, Imke; Hammel, Heidi

    2010-05-01

    blowback and Jovian surface deposition, while asteroidal dust is heated enough to be transformed from silicates to silicas. Ancillary evidence for the asteroidal nature of the impactor arises from the singular nature of the impact site, the existence of asteroidal orbits consistent with the observed geometry (Chodas 2009, Orton et al. 2010), and the differences between the observed 2009 opacity spectra of the debris and the observed debris opacity created in July 1994 by the SL9 fragments. Nicholson et al. (1995) noted the presence of a non-gaseous component of their spectrum of the SL9 R fragment impact, which they fit with the 'astronomical silicate' of Draine (1985). Griffith et al. (1997) also required an opacity source besides NH3 gas in order to explain the spectral continuum associated with debris from the L fragment, inferring that it was most likely the result of a silicate feature similar to those in comets (Hanner et al. 1994). Both of these are consistent with increased opacity in the 10-12 μm region due to a mix of stratospheric debris consisting of olivines and pyroxenes, typically found in comets, without any additional opacity at ~9 um due to silica.

  11. Migration of Interplanetary Dust and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.

    Our studies of migration of interplanetary dust and comets were based on the results of integration of the orbital evolution of 15,000 dust particles and 30,000 Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) [1-3]. For asteroidal and cometary particles, the values of the ratio β between the radiation pressure force and the gravitational force varied from 1000 and 1 microns. The probability of a collision of a dust particle started from an asteroid or JFC with the Earth during a lifetime of the particle was maximum at diameter d ˜100 microns. For particles started from asteroids and comet 10P, this maximum probability was ˜0.01. Different studies of migration of dust particles and small bodies testify that the fraction of cometary dust particles of the overall dust population inside Saturn's orbit is considerable and can be dominant: (1) Cometary dust particles produced both inside and outside Jupiter's orbit are needed to explain the observed constant number density of dust particles at 3-18 AU. The number density of migrating trans-Neptunian particles near Jupiter's orbit is smaller by a factor of several than that beyond Saturn's orbit. Only a small fraction of asteroidal particles can get outside Jupiter's orbit. (2) Some (less than 0.1%) JFCs can reach typical near-Earth object orbits and remain there for millions of years. Dynamical lifetimes of most of the former JFCs that have typical near-Earth object orbits are about 106 -109 yr, so during most of these times they were extinct comets. Such former comets could disintegrate and produce a lot of mini-comets and dust. (3) Comparison of the velocities of zodiacal dust particles (velocities of MgI line) based on the distributions of particles over their orbital elements obtained in our runs [3-4] with the velocities obtained at the WHAM observations shows that only asteroidal dust particles cannot explain these observations, and particles produced by comets, including high-eccentricity comets, are needed for such explanation

  12. Calculation methods for estimating the prospects of a space experiment by means of impact by asteroid Apophis on the Moon surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrik, A. V.; Kazantsev, A. M.

    2018-01-01

    The problem of principal change of asteroid 99952 (Apophis) orbit is formulated. Aim of this change is the termination of asteroid motion in Solar system. Instead of the passive rescue tactics from asteroid threat, an option is proposed for using the asteroid for setting up a large-scale space experiment on the impact interaction of the asteroid with the Moon. The scientific and methodical apparatus for calculating the possibility of realization, searching and justification the scientific uses of this space experiment is considered.

  13. Assessing the physical nature of near-Earth asteroids through their dynamical histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Sosa, Andrea; Gallardo, Tabaré; Gutiérrez, Jorge N.

    2014-08-01

    We analyze a sample of 139 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), defined as those that reach perihelion distances q4.8 au), having Tisserand parameters 2family comets (JFCs) in near-Earth orbits, i.e. with q4.8 au of cometary origin, but it could be even lower if the NEAs in unstable orbits listed before turn out to be bona fide asteroids from the main belt. This study strengthens the idea that NEAs and comets essentially are two distinct populations, and that periods of dormancy in comets must be rare. Most likely, active comets in near-Earth orbits go through a continuous erosion process in successive perihelion passages until disintegration into meteoritic dust and fragments of different sizes. In this scenario, 289P/Blanpain might be a near-devolatized fragment from a by now disintegrated parent comet.

  14. A Spitzer Search for Activity in Dormant Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David; Hora, Joseph; Smith, Howard

    2018-05-01

    Dormant comets are inactive cometary nuclei hiding in the asteroid populations. Due to their cometary origin, it is possible that volatiles are still retained in their interiors. This hypothesis is supported by the case of near-Earth asteroid Don Quixote, which had been known as an asteroid for 30 yr before activity was discovered in this team's prior Spitzer observations. Interestingly, Don Quixote showed outgassing of CO or CO2, but no dust activity. This significant observation was repeated in 2017 with the same result, suggesting that Don Quixote is continuously outgassing - and still an active comet. Don Quixote's case suggests that other dormant comets might be outgassing with low dust production rates, concealing their activity to optical surveys. The implication of this scenario is that the volatile inventory of the asteroid populations might be significantly larger than currently assumed. We propose 48.8 hr of deep IRAC observations of eight dormant comets in search of faint activity in them. For each target, we will (1) measure (or provide upper limits on) gas and dust production rates from our IRAC CH1 and CH2 observations, (2) derive the diameters and albedos of five of our targets using asteroid thermal modeling, (3) measure the near-infrared spectral slope between CH1 and CH2 for three of our targets, and (4) obtain lightcurve observations of the nuclei of all of our targets. Our observations, which are combined with ground-based observations as part of a NASA-funded program, will provide important constraints on the volatile content of the asteroid population, as well as the origin, evolution, and physical properties of cometary nuclei.

  15. Geotechnical Tests on Asteroid Simulant Orgueil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Alexander D'marco

    2017-01-01

    through the surface of an asteroid. Most of the known asteroids are believed to be left over material during the formation of the solar system that never accreted to form planets. Asteroids can be found in several groups such as Trojan Asteroids, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the main asteroid belt. The Trojan Asteroids orbit the 4th and 5th Lagrange points of major planets in the Solar System while the NEA's have orbits that are close to and sometimes intersect with Earths orbit and the Main Asteroid Belt which is found between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. Gravitational perturbations can alter the orbit of asteroids in the Main Asteroid Belt causing them to move closer to earth causing them to become in the NEA class.

  16. Disintegration phenomena in Comet West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1976-01-01

    Two peculiarities of Comet West, the multiple splitting of the nucleus as seen in telescope observations and the complex structure of the dust tail, are discussed. A method of analysis based on the premise that the observed rate of separation of a fragment from the principal nucleus is determined by the difference in effective solar attraction acting on the bodies is applied to investigate the motion of the four fragments that separated from the nucleus of Comet West. The predicted motion of the fragments is in good agreement with available observations. It is suggested that the 'synchronic' bands of the dust tail consist of tiny fragments from relatively large particles that burst after release from the comet. The unusual orientation of these bands and their high surface brightness relative to the diffuse tail are explained by a sudden increase in the particle acceleration and in the total scattering surface as the result of the disintegration of the larger particles.

  17. Asteroid impacts, microbes, and the cooling of the atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oberbeck, V.R. (NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (United States)); Mancinelli, R.L. (SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA (United States))

    1994-03-01

    Earth's surface temperature constrained microbial evolution, according to Schwartzman et al. (1993). Their hypothesis states that the maximal temperature that extant organisms of a given type tolerate is the surface temperature occurring when that type of organism arose. Schwartzman and his colleagues concluded that the temperature changed from 100[degrees]C to 50[degrees]C between 3.75 billion years ago (BYA) and 1 BYA. These temperatures are consistent with those derived from oxygen isotope ratios derived from oxygen isotope ratios in ancient sediments (Karhu and Epstein 1986, Knauth and Lowe 1978). The 100[degrees]C surface temperature they derive for 3.75 BYA is also the same as Earth's surface temperature 4.4 BYA (Kosting and Ackerman 1986). In this article, we address the cause of the delay in surface cooling until 3.75 BYA, and we explore the implications for microbial evolution of a high temperature on early Earth. We propose that three effects of the early heavy bombardment of Earth by asteroids, and comets, until 3.8 BYA, could have delayed onset of surface cooling.

  18. Classification of IRAS asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, E.F.; Matson, D.L.; Veeder, G.J.

    1989-01-01

    Albedos and spectral reflectances are essential for classifying asteroids. For example, classes E, M and P are indistinguishable without albedo data. Colorometric data are available for about 1000 asteroids but, prior to IRAS, albedo data was available for only about 200. IRAS broke this bottleneck by providing albedo data on nearly 2000 asteroids. Hence, excepting absolute magnitudes, the albedo and size are now the most common asteroid physical parameters known. In this chapter the authors present the results of analyses of IRAS-derived asteroid albedos, discuss their application to asteroid classification, and mention several studies which might be done to exploit further this data set

  19. DISINTEGRATING ASTEROID P/2013 R3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David; 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); Weaver, Harold [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, 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 Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States)

    2014-03-20

    Splitting of the nuclei of comets into multiple components has been frequently observed but, to date, no main-belt asteroid has been observed to break up. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we find that main-belt asteroid P/2013 R3 consists of 10 or more distinct components, the largest up to 200 m in radius (assumed geometric albedo of 0.05) each of which produces a coma and comet-like dust tail. A diffuse debris cloud with total mass ∼2 × 10{sup 8} kg further envelopes the entire system. The velocity dispersion among the components, ΔV ∼ 0.2-0.5 m s{sup –1}, is comparable to the gravitational escape speeds of the largest members, while their extrapolated plane-of-sky motions suggest a break up between 2013 February and September. The broadband optical colors are those of a C-type asteroid. We find no spectral evidence for gaseous emission, placing model-dependent upper limits to the water production rate ≤1 kg s{sup –1}. Breakup may be due to a rotationally induced structural failure of the precursor body.

  20. On the existence of a comet belt beyond Neptune

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.

    1980-01-01

    The possible existence of a comet belt in connection with the origin of the short-period comets is analysed. It is noted that the current theory - that these comets originate as near-parabolic comets captured by Jupiter and the other giant planets - implies an excessive wastage of comets lost in hyperbolic orbits, which is avoided in the present model. The following picture is predicted. Solid conglomerates up to approximately 10 18 g were formed by gravitational instabilities in the belt region (about 35 to 50 AU). A further fragmentation-accretion process led to a power-law mass distribution similar to that observed in the asteroids. Since then, close encounters between members of the belt have provoked the diffusion of some of them with the effect that they have become subject to the strong perturbations of Neptune. Of these a small number pass from one planet to the next inside and end as short-period comets. By means of a Monte Carlo method, the influence of close encounters between belt comets is then studied in relation to the diffusion of their orbits. It is concluded that if such a belt contains members with masses equal to or greater than that of Ceres, the orbital diffusion could proceed fast enough to maintain the number of observed short-period comets in a steady state. (author)

  1. Rosetta comet-chaser takes a close look at planet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    Its final destination is comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it will reach only in 2014, after travelling some 6000 million kilometres in 10 years (its epic voyage began on 2 March 2004 with a launch by an Ariane 5 rocket). Rosetta will next be heading for the Sun, and its journey will require two more swing-bys around the Earth, in November this year and November 2009. Once at its destination, Rosetta will first deposit, from a height of about one kilometre, a small but very complex lander on the comet’s nucleus. This lander, a sort of miniature chemical laboratory packed with sophisticated instruments, will analyse the surface and provide information on the nucleus. The Rosetta probe will then chase the comet for one year and observe its nucleus as it continues on its trip towards the inner solar system at a speed of 135,000 km per hour. There is still a long way to go, but so far everything seems to be going exactly according to plan. ESA's Director of Science, David Southwood, witnessing the Mars swing-by at ESOC with scientists involved in the mission and the operations teams, said: "Interplanetary expeditions rely on very complex communication links. ESA’s mission operations centre here in Darmstadt is doing a great job. I and all the scientists involved in the mission are grateful to the experts who are taking such good care of 'our baby'. And this is only the beginning. The true excitement of targeting and releasing the lander on the comet’s nucleus is yet to come. Today we have reached another milestone on the way to finding an answer to questions such as whether life on Earth began with the help of comets." “The successful Mars swingby of the ESA Rosetta spacecraft has been the most critical event in the mission since launch. Now we are heading back to Earth in order to gain, in November this year, further momentum for the subsequent visits of the asteroids and the comet. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this achievement

  2. Volcanism on differentiated asteroids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Dawn spacecraft's investigation of 4 Vesta, best-preserved of the early-forming differentiated asteroids, prompts a reappraisal of factors controlling igneous activity on such bodies. Analogy with melt transfer in zones of partial melting on Earth implies that silicate melts moved efficiently within asteroid mantles in complex networks of veins and dikes, so that only a few percent of the mantle consisted of melt at any one time. Thus even in cases where large amounts of mantle melting occurred, the melts did not remain in the mantle to form "magma oceans", but instead migrated to shallow depths. The link between magma flow rate and the stresses needed to keep fractures open and allow flow fast enough to avoid excessive cooling implies that only within asteroids with radii more than ~190-250 km would continuous magma flow from mantle to surface be possible. In all smaller asteroids (including Vesta) magma must have accumulated in sills at the base of the lithosphere (the conductively controlled ~10 km thick thermal boundary layer) or in crustal magma reservoirs near its base. Magma would then have erupted intermittently to the surface from these steadily replenished reservoirs. The average rates of eruption to the surface (or shallow intrusion) should balance the magma production rate, but since magma could accumulate and erupt intermittently from these reservoirs, the instantaneous eruption rates could be hundreds to thousands of cubic m/s, comparable to historic basaltic eruption rates on Earth and very much greater than the average mantle melting rate. The absence of asteroid atmospheres makes explosive eruptions likely even if magmas are volatile-poor. On asteroids with radii less than ~100 km, gases and sub-mm pyroclastic melt droplets would have had speeds exceeding the escape speed assuming a few hundred ppm volatiles, and only cm sized or larger clasts would have been retained. On larger bodies almost all pyroclasts will have returned to the surface

  3. Castalia: A European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snodgrass, Colin; Castalia mission science Team

    2013-10-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified population, with stable asteroid-like orbits in the outer main belt and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Water ice is the only volatile expected to survive, and only when buried under an insulating surface. Excavation by impact could bring the water ice (closer) to the surface and trigger the start of MBC activity. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly detect water in the asteroid belt 4. Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth’s water 5. Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for some months, arriving before the active period begins for mapping before directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ‘hovering’ autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The straw-man instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package In addition to this, the option of a surface science package is being considered. At the moment MBC 133P/Elst-Pizarro is the best-known target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission has been carried out in partnership between the science team, DLR and OHB Systems. This study looked at

  4. ULTRAVIOLET DISCOVERIES AT ASTEROID (21) LUTETIA BY THE ROSETTA ALICE ULTRAVIOLET SPECTROGRAPH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, S. A.; Parker, J. Wm.; Steffl, A.; Birath, E.; Graps, A.; Feldman, P. D.; Weaver, H. A.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Feaga, L.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Slater, D. C.; Versteeg, M.; Scherrer, J. R.; Cunningham, N.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Alice ultraviolet (UV) imaging spectrograph on board the ESA Rosetta comet orbiter successfully conducted a series of flyby observations of the large asteroid (21) Lutetia in the days surrounding Rosetta's closest approach on 2010 July 10. Observations included a search for emission lines from gas, and spectral observations of the Lutetia's surface reflectance. No emissions from gas around Lutetia were observed. Regarding the surface reflectance, we found that Lutetia has a distinctly different albedo and slope than both the asteroid (2867) Steins and Earth's moon, the two most analogous objects studied in the far ultraviolet (FUV). Further, Lutetia's ∼10% geometric albedo near 1800 A is significantly lower than its 16%-19% albedo near 5500 A. Moreover, the FUV albedo shows a precipitous drop (to ∼4%) between 1800 A and 1600 A, representing the strongest spectral absorption feature observed in Lutetia's spectrum at any observed wavelength. Our surface reflectance fits are not unique but are consistent with a surface dominated by an EH5 chondrite, combined with multiple other possible surface constituents, including anorthite, water frost, and SO 2 frost or a similar mid-UV absorber. The water frost identification is consistent with some data sets but inconsistent with others. The anorthite (feldspar) identification suggests that Lutetia is a differentiated body.

  5. Planetary Defense From Space: Part 2 (Simple) Asteroid Deflection Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2006-06-01

    A system of two space bases housing missiles for an efficient Planetary Defense of the Earth from asteroids and comets was firstly proposed by this author in 2002. It was then shown that the five Lagrangian points of the Earth Moon system lead naturally to only two unmistakable locations of these two space bases within the sphere of influence of the Earth. These locations are the two Lagrangian points L1 (in between the Earth and the Moon) and L3 (in the direction opposite to the Moon from the Earth). In fact, placing missiles based at L1 and L3 would enable the missiles to deflect the trajectory of incoming asteroids by hitting them orthogonally to their impact trajectory toward the Earth, thus maximizing the deflection at best. It was also shown that confocal conics are the only class of missile trajectories fulfilling this “best orthogonal deflection” requirement. The mathematical theory developed by the author in the years 2002 2004 was just the beginning of a more expanded research program about the Planetary Defense. In fact, while those papers developed the formal Keplerian theory of the Optimal Planetary Defense achievable from the Earth Moon Lagrangian points L1 and L3, this paper is devoted to the proof of a simple “(small) asteroid deflection law” relating directly the following variables to each other:the speed of the arriving asteroid with respect to the Earth (known from the astrometric observations);the asteroid's size and density (also supposed to be known from astronomical observations of various types);the “security radius” of the Earth, that is, the minimal sphere around the Earth outside which we must force the asteroid to fly if we want to be safe on Earth. Typically, we assume the security radius to equal about 10,000 km from the Earth center, but this number might be changed by more refined analyses, especially in the case of “rubble pile” asteroids;the distance from the Earth of the two Lagrangian points L1 and L3 where the

  6. Asteroid/meteorite streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, J.

    The independent discovery of the same three streams (named alpha, beta, and gamma) among 139 Earth approaching asteroids and among 89 meteorite producing fireballs presents the possibility of matching specific meteorites to specific asteroids, or at least to asteroids in the same stream and, therefore, presumably of the same composition. Although perhaps of limited practical value, the three meteorites with known orbits are all ordinary chondrites. To identify, in general, the taxonomic type of the parent asteroid, however, would be of great scientific interest since these most abundant meteorite types cannot be unambiguously spectrally matched to an asteroid type. The H5 Pribram meteorite and asteroid 4486 (unclassified) are not part of a stream, but travel in fairly similar orbits. The LL5 Innisfree meteorite is orbitally similar to asteroid 1989DA (unclassified), and both are members of a fourth stream (delta) defined by five meteorite-dropping fireballs and this one asteroid. The H5 Lost City meteorite is orbitally similar to 1980AA (S type), which is a member of stream gamma defined by four asteroids and four fireballs. Another asteroid in this stream is classified as an S type, another is QU, and the fourth is unclassified. This stream suggests that ordinary chondrites should be associated with S (and/or Q) asteroids. Two of the known four V type asteroids belong to another stream, beta, defined by five asteroids and four meteorite-dropping (but unrecovered) fireballs, making it the most probable source of the eucrites. The final stream, alpha, defined by five asteroids and three fireballs is of unknown composition since no meteorites have been recovered and only one asteroid has an ambiguous classification of QRS. If this stream, or any other as yet undiscovered ones, were found to be composed of a more practical material (e.g., water or metalrich), then recovery of the associated meteorites would provide an opportunity for in-hand analysis of a potential

  7. Castalia - European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilchenbach, M.

    2013-12-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a recently identified new solar system population with stable asteroid-like orbits and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact might expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly detect water in the asteroid belt 4. Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water 5. Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for a time interval of some months, arriving before the active period for mapping and then directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ';hovering' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The straw-man instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package In addition to this, the option of a surface science package is being considered. At the moment MBC 133P/Elst-Pizarro is the best-known target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission has been carried out in partnership between the science team, DLR and OHB Systems. This study looked at possible missions to 133P with launch

  8. Trojan Asteroid Lightcurves: Probing Internal Structure and the Origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E. L.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of the small bodies of the solar system reveal important clues about the condensation and formation of planetesimal bodies, and ultimately planets in planetary systems. Dynamics of small bodies have been utilized to model giant planet migration within our solar system, colors have been used to explore compositional gradients within the protoplanetary disk, & studies of the size-frequency distribution of main belt asteroids may reveal compositional dependences on planetesimal strength limiting models of planetary growth from collisional aggregration. Studies of the optical lightcurves of asteroids also yield important information on shape and potential binarity of asteroidal bodies. The K2 mission has allowed for the unprecedented collection of Trojan asteroid lightcurves on a 30 minute cadence for baselines of 10 days, in both the L4 and L5 Trojan clouds. Preliminary results from the K2 mission suggest that Trojan asteroids have bulk densities of 1 g/cc and a binary fraction ≤ 33 percent (Ryan et al., 2017, Astronomical Journal, 153, 116), however Trojan lightcurve data is actively being collected via the continued K2 mission. We will present updated results of bulk density and binary fraction of the Trojan asteroids and compare these results to other small body populations, including Hilda asteroids, transNeptunian objects and comet nuclei to test dynamical models of the origins of these populations.

  9. COMET 169P/NEAT(=2002 EX12): THE PARENT BODY OF THE α-CAPRICORNID METEOROID STREAM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Wiegert, Paul A.; Balam, David D.

    2010-01-01

    The Jupiter-family comet 169P/NEAT (previously known as asteroid 2002 EX 12 ) has a dynamical association with the α-Capricornid meteoroid stream. In this paper, we present photometric observations of comet 169P/NEAT to further investigate the physical characters of its disintegration state related to the stream. The comet shows a point-like surface brightness profile limiting contamination due to coma emission to ∼4% at most, indicating no evidence of outgassing. An upper limit on the fraction of the surface that could be sublimating water ice of -4 is obtained with an upper limit to the mass loss of ∼10 -2 kg s -1 . The effective radius of nucleus is found to be 2.3 ± 0.4 km. Red filter photometry yields a rotational period of 8.4096 ± 0.0012 hr, and the range of the amplitude 0.29 ± 0.02 mag is indicative of a moderately spherical shape having a projected axis ratio ∼1.3. The comet shows redder colors than the Sun, being compatible with other dead comet candidates. The calculated lost mass per revolution is ∼10 9 kg. If it has sustained this mass loss over the estimated 5000 yr age of the α-Capricornid meteoroid stream, the total mass loss from 169P/NEAT (∼10 13 kg) is consistent with the reported stream mass (∼10 13 -10 15 kg), suggesting that the stream is the product of steady disintegration of the parent at every return.

  10. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.

    2012-02-01

    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies.

  11. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S

    1997-01-01

    The study of Comet Halley in 1986 was a tremendous success for cometary science. In March of that year, six spacecrafts passed through Comet Halley as close as 600 km from the nucleus and made the in situ measurements of various kinds. These space missions to Comet Halley and that of the ICE spacecraft to Comet Giacobini-Zinner combined with studies, both ground-based and above the atmosphere, have increased our knowledge of cometary science in a dramatic way.This new edition of Physics of Comets incorporates these new and exciting findings. The emphasis of the book is on the physical processe

  12. 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.

  13. Photochemistry of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huebner, W.F.

    1985-01-01

    The classification of comets, chemically rich mixtures of volatile materials and refractory grains, is described. The developments of coma and tails, and the composition and structure of coma, plasma tails, dust, and nucleus are examined. The differences between comets and planetary atmospheres are investigated. Three hypotheses on the origin of comets are proposed; one states that comets formed in the region of the giant planets, the second theory has the development of comets occuring in the outer parts of the solar nebula, and the third states that comets formed in a companion fragment of the nebula. The use of radar, photometric, spectral, and laboratory measurements for modeling comets is discussed. The physics and main photolytic and chemical reaction processes of a collision-dominated coma are analyzed; the influence of the solar wind on the coma is studied. A comparison of the model with observed data is presented; good correlation of data is observed. The features of Halley's Comet and other comets with distinctive characteristics are examined. Future comet exploration missions and the need to improve comet models are discussed. 31 references

  14. Visually observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    In these days of computers and CCD cameras, visual comet observers can still contribute scientifically useful data with the help of this handy reference for use in the field. Comets are one of the principal areas for productive pro-amateur collaboration in astronomy, but finding comets requires a different approach than the observing of more predictable targets. Principally directed toward amateur astronomers who prefer visual observing or who are interested in discovering a new comet or visually monitoring the behavior of known comets, it includes all the advice needed to thrive as a comet observer. After presenting a brief overview of the nature of comets and how we came to the modern understanding of comets, this book details the various types of observations that can usefully be carried out at the eyepiece of a telescope. Subjects range from how to search for new comets to visually estimating the brightness of comets and the length and orientation of tails, in addition to what to look for in comet heads a...

  15. Mission to the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.

    1980-01-01

    The plans of space agencies in the United States and Europe for an exploratory comet mission including a one year rendezvous with comet Temple-2 and a fast fly-by of comet Halley are discussed. The mission provides an opportunity to make comparative measurements on the two different types of comets and also satisfies the three major scientific objectives of cometary missions namely: (1) To determine the chemical nature and the physical structure of cometary nuclei, and the changes that occur with time and orbital position. (2) To study the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes that occur in them, and their development with time and orbital position. (3) To determine the nature of the tails of comets and the processes by which they are formed, and to characterise the interaction of comets with solar wind. (UK)

  16. COLOR SYSTEMATICS OF COMETS AND RELATED BODIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)

    2015-12-15

    Most comets are volatile-rich bodies that have recently entered the inner solar system following long-term storage in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud reservoirs. These reservoirs feed several distinct, short-lived “small body” populations. Here, we present new measurements of the optical colors of cometary and comet-related bodies including long-period (Oort cloud) comets, Damocloids (probable inactive nuclei of long-period comets) and Centaurs (recent escapees from the Kuiper belt and precursors to the Jupiter family comets). We combine the new measurements with published data on short-period comets, Jovian Trojans and Kuiper belt objects to examine the color systematics of the comet-related populations. We find that the mean optical colors of the dust in short-period and long-period comets are identical within the uncertainties of measurement, as are the colors of the dust and of the underlying nuclei. These populations show no evidence for scattering by optically small particles or for compositional gradients, even at the largest distances from the Sun, and no evidence for ultrared matter. Consistent with earlier work, ultrared surfaces are common in the Kuiper belt and on the Centaurs, but not in other small body populations, suggesting that this material is hidden or destroyed upon entry to the inner solar system. The onset of activity in the Centaurs and the disappearance of the ultrared matter in this population begin at about the same perihelion distance (∼10 AU), suggesting that the two are related. Blanketing of primordial surface materials by the fallback of sub-orbital ejecta, for which we calculate a very short timescale, is the likely mechanism. The same process should operate on any mass-losing body, explaining the absence of ultrared surface material in the entire comet population.

  17. PROPERTIES OF NEAR-SUN ASTEROIDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)

    2013-05-15

    Asteroids near the Sun can attain equilibrium temperatures sufficient to induce surface modification from thermal fracture, desiccation, and decomposition of hydrated silicates. We present optical observations of nine asteroids with perihelia <0.25 AU (sub-solar temperatures {>=}800 K) taken to search for evidence of thermal modification. We find that the broadband colors of these objects are diverse but statistically indistinguishable from those of planet-crossing asteroids having perihelia near 1 AU. Furthermore, images of these bodies taken away from perihelion show no evidence for on-going mass-loss (model-dependent limits {approx}<1 kg s{sup -1}) that might result from thermal disintegration of the surface. We conclude that, while thermal modification may be an important process in the decay of near-Sun asteroids and in the production of debris, our new data provide no evidence for it.

  18. Discovery and characteristics of the rapidly rotating active asteroid (62412) 2000 SY178 in the main belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chadwick

    2015-01-01

    We report a new active asteroid in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Object (62412) 2000 SY178 exhibited a tail in images collected during our survey for objects beyond the Kuiper Belt using the Dark Energy Camera on the CTIO 4 m telescope. We obtained broadband colors of 62412 at the Magellan Telescope, which, along with 62412's low albedo, suggests it is a C-type asteroid. 62412's orbital dynamics and color strongly correlate with the Hygiea family in the outer main belt, making it the first active asteroid known in this heavily populated family. We also find 62412 to have a very short rotation period of 3.33 ± 0.01 hours from a double-peaked light curve with a maximum peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.45 ± 0.01 mag. We identify 62412 as the fastest known rotator of the Hygiea family and the nearby Themis family of similar composition, which contains several known main belt comets. The activity on 62412 was seen over one year after perihelion passage in its 5.6 year orbit. 62412 has the highest perihelion and one of the most circular orbits known for any active asteroid. The observed activity is probably linked to 62412's rapid rotation, which is near the critical period for break-up. The fast spin rate may also change the shape and shift material around 62412's surface, possibly exposing buried ice. Assuming 62412 is a strengthless rubble pile, we find the density of 62412 to be around 1500 kg m −3 .

  19. Optimized Bucket Wheel Design for Asteroid Excavation

    OpenAIRE

    Nallapu, Ravi Teja; Thoesen, Andrew; Garvie, Laurence; Asphaug, Erik; Thangavelautham, Jekanthan

    2017-01-01

    Current spacecraft need to launch with all of their required fuel for travel. This limits the system performance, payload capacity, and mission flexibility. One compelling alternative is to perform In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) by extracting fuel from small bodies in local space such as asteroids or small satellites. Compared to the Moon or Mars, the microgravity on an asteroid demands a fraction of the energy for digging and accessing hydrated regolith just below the surface. Previous ...

  20. Association between meteor showers and asteroids using multivariate criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumitru, B. A.; Birlan, M.; Popescu, M.; Nedelcu, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    Context. Meteoroid streams are fragments of matter produced by comets or asteroids which intersects the orbit of Earth. Meteor showers are produced when Earth intersects these streams of matter. The discoveries of active asteroids and extinct comets open a new view of the relation between these objects as possible parent bodies at the origin of meteor showers. Aims: The aim of this work is to identify the asteroids that can produce or re-populate meteoroid streams by determining the similarity of their orbits and orbital evolution over 10 000 yr. Methods: The identification was carried out by evaluating several well known D-criteria metrics, the orbits being taken from the IAU Meteor Data Center database and from IAU Minor Planet Center. Finally, we analyzed the physical properties and the orbital stability (in the Lyapunov time sense) of the candidates as well as their possible relationship with meteorites. Results: 206 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) were associated as possible parent bodies with 28 meteor showers, according to at least two of the criterion used. 50 of them satisfied all the criteria. Notable finds are: binary asteroid 2000UG11 associated with Andromedids (AND), while the tumbling asteroid (4179)Toutatis could be associated with October Capricornids (OCC). Other possible good candidates are 2004TG10, 2008EY5, 2010CF55, 2010TU149 and 2014OY1. These objects have low albedo, therefore can be primitive objects. Asteroid 2007LW19 which is a fast rotator and most probably has monolithic structure and so its physical characteristic does not support the association found based on the dynamical criteria.

  1. Comet Halley: nucleus and jets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagdeev, R.Z.; Avanesov, G.A.; Barinov, I.V.

    1986-06-01

    The VEGA-1 and VEGA-2 spacecrafts made their closest approach to Comet Halley on 6 and 9 March, respectively. In this paper results of the onboard imaging experiment are discussed. The nucleus of the comet was clearly identifyable as an irregularly shaped object with overall dimensions of (16+-1)x(8+-1)x(8+-1) km. The nucleus rotates around its axis which is nearly perpendicular to the orbital plane, with a period of 53+-2 hours. Its albedo is only 0.04+-002. Most of the jet features observed during the second fly-by were spatially reconstructed. These sources form a quasi-linear structure on the surface. The dust above the surface is shown to be optically thin except certain specific dust jets. Brightness features on the surface are clearly seen. Correlating the data with other measurements it is concluded that the dirty snow-ball model probably has to be revised. (author)

  2. Shaded Spacecraft Radiators to Be Used on the Daytime Surface of the Mercury Planet, the Moon, and Asteroids of the Solar System Inner Part

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Igrickii

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available During the daytime a surface of the Moon, Mercury planet, and asteroids of the Solar system inner part, significantly heats up, and infrared radiation of the local soil becomes essential. At the same time direct solar radiation and reflected from the surface solar radiation reach the maximum too. These radiation fluxes can significantly decrease the efficiency of spacecraft radiators in the daytime. This effect is especially strong on the Mercury surface where direct solar radiation is 10 times stronger than solar radiation near the Earth. As a result, on the daytime surface of the Mercury the conventional low-temperature radiators become completely disabled.The article describes the development of the special shaded spacecraft radiators to be used in daytime on the Mercury and other atmosphereless bodies of the Solar system inner part. To solve this task are used mirror shades. The shape of these shades is developed to improve operation conditions of the spacecraft radiator through the appropriate scheme of radiation reflection. The task is discussed in 2D and 3D cases. A new design of shaded spacecraft radiators is proposed, and reasonable proportions of radiators are determined. The performance capability of proposed radiators for environments of the Mercury and the Moon is estimated using the zonal method in view of partial mirror reflection. The calculations showed that the developed shaded spacecraft radiators are capable to work on the Mercury surface as the low-temperature radiators even during the daytime. New radiators provide minimum accepted operating temperature of 241К (-32°С, meanwhile radiators of common design have minimum operating temperature of 479К (206°С. Using such radiators on the Moon enables us to increase effectiveness of spacecraft radiators and to decrease their minimum operating temperature from 270К (-3°С to 137К (-136°С.

  3. Comet Giacobini-Zinner - a normal comet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cochran, A.L.; Barker, E.S.

    1987-01-01

    Observations of Comet Giacobini-Zinner were obtained during its 1985 apparition using an IDS spectrograph at McDonald Observatory. Column densities and production rates were computed. The production rates were compared to observations of other normal comets. Giacobini-Zinner is shown to be depleted in C2 and C3 relative to CN. These production rates are down by a factor of 5. 12 references

  4. Do asteroids have satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weidenschilling, S.J.; Paolicchi, P.; Zappala, V.

    1989-01-01

    A substantial body of indirect evidence suggests that some asteroids have satelities, although none has been detected unambiguously. Collisions between asteroids provide physically plausible mechanisms for the production of binaries, but these operate with low probability; only a small minority of asteroids are likely to have satellites. The abundance of binary asteroids can constrain the collisional history of the entire belt population. The allowed angular momentum of binaries and their rate of tidal evolution limit separations to no more than a few tens of the primary's radii. Their expected properties are consistent with failure to detect them by current imaging techniques

  5. A photometric search for activity among asteroids and Centaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa Oyarzabal, A.; Mammana, L.; Fernández, J. A.

    2014-07-01

    We present the first results of a long-term observational campaign focused on the detection of activity in selected asteroids and centaurs. Our observational targets are near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (cf. [2]), the so called ''main-belt comets'' or ''active asteroids'' (well-known objects as well as potential candidates), and bright centaurs with good orbits, all close to their perihelion passages. In those objects with a former detection of activity, our aim is to contribute to a better physical knowledge of them, and determine, for instance, if the observed activity is transient or permanent. To achieve our goals, we analyzed CCD-filtered images of each observable target acquired with the 2.15-m telescope ''Jorge Sahade'' at CASLEO (San Juan, Argentina), during two runs of three consecutive nights each (during August 2013 and January 2014, respectively). Our study will be completed by future runs with the same instrumentation already assigned to our campaign. As preliminary results, we observed activity in the main-belt comets P/2013 P5 (PANSTARRS) and 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro. We also observed the main-belt comet (596) Scheila, which showed an unequivocally stellar appearance. We observed the main-belt comet candidate (3646) Aduatiques (cf. [1]), and noticed in this object a curious feature whose connection to some kind of activity is not well determined yet. We also observed the near-Earth asteroid in cometary orbit 2006 XL_5 (cf. [3]), and the centaurs (281371) 2008 FC_{76}, (332685) 2009 HH_{36}), (382004) 2010 RM_{64}, 2010 XZ_{78}, and 2011 UR_{402}. We have not detected activity in these objects, but an improved analysis is still in progress. %Corresponding author: Andrea Sosa (asosa@fisica.edu.uy)

  6. Temporal Evolution of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Surface Properties as Observed by VIRTIS-M from Pre-Perihelion to Post-Perihelion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarniello, M.; Filacchione, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Raponi, A.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Tosi, F.; Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Cerroni, P.; Capria, M. T.; Erard, S.; Bockelee-Morvan, D.; Leyrat, C.; Arnold, G.; Barucci, M. A.; Schmitt, B.; Quirico, E.; Fornasier, S.; Kappel, D.; Longobardo, A.; Rousseau, B.; Mottola, S.

    2017-04-01

    Introduction: The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer [1] on board the Rosetta spacecraft acquired disk-resolved images of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for more than two years from August 2014 to September 2016. The observation campaigns have been carried out using both the visible (VIS) and infrared (IR) channels of the instrument covering the 0.25-5.1 μm spectral range up to May 2015 and by means of the sole VIS channel (0.25-1 μm) for the remaining part of the mission. This allowed monitoring the spectral properties of the comet surface as a function of the heliocentric distance for the inbound part of the orbit from 3.6 AU to perihelion (1.3 AU) and the outbound part up to 3.3 AU. Throughout this period the surface evolution was further complicated by the combination of the relatively large orbital eccentricity, of the irregular shape of 67P/CG's nucleus and of the inclination of its rotational axis (52° [2]) which amplify the seasonal effects. Method: The long-term variability of 67P's nucleus is described by means of spectral indicators as defined in [3] which are represented by the spectral slopes in the VIS (0.55-0.8 μm) and IR (1.2-2.0 μm) spectral ranges, the single scattering albedo at 0.55 μm [4] and the band area and band center of the 3.2 μm absorption feature [5]. These quantities are computed from photometrically corrected spectra [4], in order to remove observation geometry effects [5]. The spectral indicators are projected onto latitude-longitude maps of the nucleus at different times, in order to monitor both spatial and temporal variations. In parallel, the evolution of selected areas on 67P/CG's surface as selected by [3] is followed to monitor local variability. Preliminary results: The analysis of the VIS slope from observations taken from August 2014 to June 2016, corresponding to the Rosetta mission Medium Term Planning (MTP) observation phases from MTP006 to MTP030, indicates a progressive reduction

  7. Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT): Science in a CubeSat Centrifuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, V.; Cotto-Figueroa, D.; Noviello, J.; Asphaug, E.; Morris, M.

    2015-01-01

    Both the study of primary accretion and the surface properties of asteroids are important for the field of planetary science. The Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT) will help study these subjects by creating a long duration microgravity laboratory.

  8. Mystery of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, F.L.

    1985-01-01

    An account is given of the growth of human understanding of comets with emphasis initially placed on theories developed before the twentieth century and subsequently on information regarding the nature of comets, their origin and possible relation to life on earth. Special consideration is given to a description of how the author arrived at his own model of the origin and nature of comets, the dirty snowball theory. The significance of comets (i.e. the hazards they may represent) is assessed and space missions to Halley's comet together with the first landing on a comet (tentatively planned for 1995) are described. It is noted that this growth of cometary understanding is presented as an integral part of the growth of science and technology. 14 references

  9. Ammonia abundances in comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.; Engel, L.

    The emission band strengths of the NH2 bands of Comets Halley, Hartley-Good, Thiele, and Borrelly were measured to determine the NH2 column densities for the comets. Production rates obtained using the Haser and vectorial models are in agreement within the observational errors, suggesting that a simple two-step decay model may be used to approximate the NH2 distribution in a comet's coma. Ammonia-to-water abundance ratios from 0.01 to 0.4 percent were found for the four comets. The ratio in Comet Halley is found to be Q(NH3)/Q(H2O) = 0.002 + or - 0.001. No significant difference in the ammonia abundance was found before or after perihelion in Comet Halley.

  10. 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

  11. The thermal evolution of large water-rich asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, B. E.; Castillo, J. C.

    2009-12-01

    Water and heat played a significant role in the formation and evolution of large main belt asteroids, including 1 Ceres, 2 Pallas, and 24 Themis, for which there is now evidence of surficial water ice (Rivkin & Emery, ACM 2008). Shape measurements indicate some differentiation of Ceres’ interior, which, in combination with geophysical modeling, may indicate compositional layering in a core made up of anhydrous and hydrated silicate and a water ice mantle (Castillo-Rogez & McCord, in press, Icarus). We extend these interior models now to other large, possibly water-rich main belt asteroids, namely Pallas, at mean radius 272 km, and the Themis family parent body, at mean radius 150 km. The purpose of this study is to compare geophysical models against available constraints on the physical properties of these objects and to offer constraints on the origin of these objects. Pallas is the largest B-type asteroid. Its surface of hydrated minerals and recent constraint on its density, 2.4-2.8 g/cm3, seems to imply that water strongly affected its evolution (Schmidt et al., in press, Science). 24 Themis is the largest member of the Themis family that now counts about 580 members, including some of the main belt comets. The large member 90 Antiope has a density of about 1.2 g/cm3, while 24 Themis has a density of about 2.7 +/-1.3 g/cm3. The apparent contrast in the densities and spectral properties of the Themis family members may reflect a compositional layering in the original parent body. In the absence of tidal heating and with little accretional heat, the evolution of these small water-rich objects is a function of their initial composition and temperature. The latter depends on the location of formation (in the inner or outer solar system) and most importantly on the time and duration of accretion, which determines the amount of short-lived radioisotopes available for early internal activity. New accretional models suggest that planetesimals grew rapidly throughout

  12. Orbitrap-based mass analyser for in-situ characterization of asteroids: ILMA, Ion Laser Mass Analyser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briois, C.; Cotti, H.; Thirkell, L.; Space Orbitrap Consortium[K. Aradj, French; Bouabdellah, A.; Boukrara, A.; Carrasco, N.; Chalumeau, G.; Chapelon, O.; Colin, F.; Coll, P.; Engrand, C.; Grand, N.; Kukui, A.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Pennanech, C.; Szopa, C.; Thissen, R.; Vuitton, V.; Zapf], P.; Makarov, A.

    2014-07-01

    Since about a decade the boundaries between comets and carbonaceous asteroids are fading [1,2]. No doubt that the Rosetta mission should bring a new wealth of data on the composition of comets. But as promising as it may look, the mass resolving power of the mass spectrometers onboard (so far the best on a space mission) will only be able to partially account for the diversity of chemical structures present. ILMA (Ion-Laser Mass Analyser) is a new generation high mass resolution LDI-MS (Laser Desorption-Ionization Mass Spectrometer) instrument concept using the Orbitrap technique, which has been developed in the frame of the two Marco Polo & Marco Polo-R proposals to the ESA Cosmic Vision program. Flagged by ESA as an instrument concept of interest for the mission in 2012, it has been under study for a few years in the frame of a Research and Technology (R&T) development programme between 5 French laboratories (LPC2E, IPAG, LATMOS, LISA, CSNSM) [3,4], partly funded by the French Space Agency (CNES). The work is undertaken in close collaboration with the Thermo Fisher Scientific Company, which commercialises Orbitrap-based laboratory instruments. The R&T activities are currently concentrating on the core elements of the Orbitrap analyser that are required to reach a sufficient maturity level for allowing design studies of future space instruments. A prototype is under development at LPC2E and a mass resolution (m/Δm FWHM) of 100,000 as been obtained at m/z = 150 for a background pressure of 10^{-8} mbar. ILMA would be a key instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of objects such as carbonaceous asteroids, comets, or other bodies devoid of atmosphere such as the surface of an icy satellite, the Moon, or Mercury.

  13. Sensitivity of Asteroid Impact Risk to Uncertainty in Asteroid Properties and Entry Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Lorien; Mathias, Donovan; Dotson, Jessie L.; NASA Asteroid Threat Assessment Project

    2017-10-01

    A central challenge in assessing the threat posed by asteroids striking Earth is the large amount of uncertainty inherent throughout all aspects of the problem. Many asteroid properties are not well characterized and can range widely from strong, dense, monolithic irons to loosely bound, highly porous rubble piles. Even for an object of known properties, the specific entry velocity, angle, and impact location can swing the potential consequence from no damage to causing millions of casualties. Due to the extreme rarity of large asteroid strikes, there are also large uncertainties in how different types of asteroids will interact with the atmosphere during entry, how readily they may break up or ablate, and how much surface damage will be caused by the resulting airbursts or impacts.In this work, we use our Probabilistic Asteroid Impact Risk (PAIR) model to investigate the sensitivity of asteroid impact damage to uncertainties in key asteroid properties, entry parameters, or modeling assumptions. The PAIR model combines physics-based analytic models of asteroid entry and damage in a probabilistic Monte Carlo framework to assess the risk posed by a wide range of potential impacts. The model samples from uncertainty distributions of asteroid properties and entry parameters to generate millions of specific impact cases, and models the atmospheric entry and damage for each case, including blast overpressure, thermal radiation, tsunami inundation, and global effects. To assess the risk sensitivity, we alternately fix and vary the different input parameters and compare the effect on the resulting range of damage produced. The goal of these studies is to help guide future efforts in asteroid characterization and model refinement by determining which properties most significantly affect the potential risk.

  14. Asteroids mass determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffmann, M.

    1989-01-01

    Basic methods for asteroid mass determinations and their errors are discussed. New results and some current developments in the astrometric method are reviewed. New methods and techniques, such as electronic imaging, radar ranging and space probes are becoming important for asteroid mass determinations. Mass and density estimations on rotational properties and possible satelites are also discussed

  15. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Surface Composition as a Playground for Radiative Transfer Modeling and Laboratory Measurements: an international ISSI team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephan, K.; Ciarniello, M.; Beck, P.; Filacchione, G.; Moroz, L.; Pilorget, C.; Pommerol, A.; Quirico, E.; Raponi, A.; Schröder, S.; Kappel, D.; Vinogradoff, V.; Istiqomah, I.; Rousseau, B.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing observations at visible-infrared (VIS-IR) wavelengths of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko performed by VIRTIS (Coradini et al., 2007) aboard the Rosetta mission have revealed a surface ubiquitously covered by low-albedo material (Capaccioni et al., 2015; Ciarniello et al., 2015), characterized by the presence of refractory and semi-volatile organics and dark opaque phases (Capaccioni et al., 2015; Quirico et al., 2016). However, a quantitative determination of the physical properties (grain size, porosity) and chemical composition of the surface regolith, from spectrophotometric analysis, is still missing. This subject will be investigated within an international team hosted by ISSI (International Space Science Institute), taking advantage of available and dedicated laboratory reflectance measurements on cometary analogue samples and radiative transfer models (Hapke, 2012; Shkuratov et al., 1999; Monte Carlo ray-tracing), applied to Rosetta spectrophotometric observations of the nucleus. The convergence between models and measurements will allow us to provide a thorough characterization of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko surface. At the same time, the comparison of theoretical predictions with results from laboratory reflectance spectroscopy on powders of analog materials give us the possibility to constrain the capability of the models to characterize their composition (endmember abundances and mixing modalities) and physical properties. We report about the state of the art of laboratory reflectance spectroscopy and spectral modeling applied to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko VIS-IR spectrum as well as preliminary results of the team activity and planned future work. Acknowledgements: the team thanks ISSI-Switzerland for the logistic and financial support.

  16. The persistent coma of Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jewitt, D.

    1990-01-01

    Time-series photometry of Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 in both 1987 and 1988 shows that this comet is continually active despite its large heliocentric distance. The observed activity, upon which the famous outbursts of this comet are superposed, may be driven by the sublimation of crystalline water ice at the nucleus surface. A simple model which accounts for both the continuous activity and the sporadic outbursts is suggested. 34 refs

  17. Optical observation of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanabe, Hiroyoshi

    1974-01-01

    The observation of comets is proposed to study the state of interplanetary space. The behavior of the tails of comets shows the state of solar wind. On July 4, 1964, large bending was seen in the tail of the Tomita-Gerber-Handa comet. Then, on July 7, 1964, geomagnetic disturbance was observed. Disturbance in the tail of Kohoutek comet was seen on Jan. 19, 1974, and Ksub(p)--5 on the ground on Jan. 25. The effort for the quantitative measurement of the parameters of solar wind has been continued in various countries. Recently, the large scale observation of the Kohoutek comet was carried out in the world. Preliminary report is presented in this paper. Waving in the type 1 tail of the comet was seen, and this phenomenon may show some instability due to the interaction between the tail and the solar wind. Periodic variation of the direction of the tail has been reported. The present result also confirmed this report. In case of small comets, flare-up occurs and original luminous intensity is regained after several days. Measurement of the spectrum at the time of flare-up may show information concerning temporary variation of the state of interplanetary space. For the tracking of time variation of comets, cooperation of a number of stations at different positions is required. (Kato, T.)

  18. Where and how should be placed humanity to protect against asteroidal and cometary hazards?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Dashkiev, G. N.; Zhilyaev, B. E.

    2018-05-01

    For the planetary protection of the planet Earth, we propose to create, deploy and constantly upgrade the "Single Churyumov Network" as a multi-level system of continuous monitoring of near and distant volumes around the Earth. This is necessary to identify and explore potentially dangerous objects that intruding in our atmosphere. To solve the problem of global planetary protection, it is necessary to involve enormous forces and means. According to the definition, terraformation is a change in the cosmic body that will bring the atmosphere, temperature and environmental conditions into a state that is necessary for the life of terrestrial animals, plants and people. Therefore, before sending people, for example, to Mars for a permanent settlement, it is necessary first of all there to create a huge complex of preparatory work with the aim, if not completely transform this planet, at least, to organize there the simplest housing for future settlers. At Venus, you can create settlements in "flying" cities with flotilla peculiar "airships" in the upper atmosphere. Terraformation of Mercury can be carried out at latitudes from 70 deg. to the poles, making it suitable localities for human habitation. They should be located below the surface of the planet at a depth of 3-30 m in a zone of comfortable and constant temperatures of about +20° С. And start terraforming - preferably from the Moon. Such residential complexes should be designed taking into account the need to deploy systems of early detection and counteract the global danger to the Earth by asteroid and comet invasions. That is, the areas of Venus, Mars, Mercury and the Earth - should be equipped with special orbital stations. At these stations, nuclear missile systems for early warning and combating global threats from invasion of asteroids and comets - should be deployed.

  19. Comet thermal modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; Kieffer, H.H.

    1987-01-01

    The past year was one of tremendous activity because of the appearance of Halley's Comet. Observations of the comet were collected from a number of sources and compared with the detailed predictions of the comet thermal modeling program. Spacecraft observations of key physical parameters for cometary nucleus were incorporated into the thermal model and new cases run. These results have led to a much better understanding of physical processes on the nucleus and have pointed the way for further improvements to the modeling program. A model for the large-scale structure of cometary nuclei was proposed in which comets were envisioned as loosely bound agglomerations of smaller icy planetesimals, essentially a rubble pile of primordial dirty snowballs. In addition, a study of the physical history of comets was begun, concentrating on processes during formation and in the Oort cloud which would alter the volatile and nonvolatile materials in cometary nuclei from their pristine state before formation

  20. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V

    2012-01-01

    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies. (physics of our days)

  1. Radar observations of Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, D.B.; Harmon, J.K.; Shapiro, I.I.

    1989-01-01

    Five nights of Arecibo radar observations of Comet Halley are reported which reveal a feature in the overall average spectrum which, though weak, seems consistent with being an echo from the comet. The large radar cross section and large bandwidth of the feature suggest that the echo is predominantly from large grains which have been ejected from the nucleus. Extrapolation of the dust particle size distribution to large grain sizes gives a sufficient number of grains to account for the echo. The lack of a detectable echo from the nucleus, combined with estimates of its size and rotation rate from spacecraft encounters and other data, indicate that the nucleus has a surface of relatively high porosity. 33 references

  2. Capturing asteroids into bound orbits around the earth: Massive early return on an asteroid terminal defense system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.

    1992-01-01

    Nuclear explosives may be used to capture small asteroids (e.g., 20--50 meters in diameter) into bound orbits around the earth. The captured objects could be used for construction material for manned and unmanned activity in Earth orbit. Asteroids with small approach velocities, which are the ones most likely to have close approaches to the Earth, require the least energy for capture. They are particularly easy to capture if they pass within one Earth radius of the surface of the Earth. They could be intercepted with intercontinental missiles if the latter were retrofit with a more flexible guiding and homing capability. This asteroid capture-defense system could be implemented in a few years at low cost by using decommissioned ICMs. The economic value of even one captured asteroid is many times the initial investment. The asteroid capture system would be an essential part of the learning curve for dealing with larger asteroids that can hit the earth

  3. Split Active Asteroid P/2016 J1 (PANSTARRS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hui, Man-To; Jewitt, David [Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Du, Xinnan, E-mail: pachacoti@ucla.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, 430 Portola Plaza, Box 951547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States)

    2017-04-01

    We present a photometric and astrometric study of the split active asteroid P/2016 J1 (PANSTARRS). The two components (hereafter J1-A and J1-B) separated either ∼1500 days (2012 May to June) or 2300 days (2010 April) prior to the current epoch, with a separation speed V {sub sep} = 0.70 ± 0.02 m s{sup −1} for the former scenario and 0.83 ± 0.06 m s{sup −1} for the latter. Keck photometry reveals that the two fragments have similar, Sun-like colors that are comparable to the colors of primitive C- and G-type asteroids. With a nominal comet-like albedo, p{sub R} = 0.04, the effective, dust-contaminated cross sections are estimated to be 2.4 km{sup 2} for J1-A and 0.5 km{sup 2} for J1-B. We estimate that the nucleus radii lie in the range 140 ≲  R {sub N} ≲ 900 m for J1-A and 40 ≲  R {sub N} ≲ 400 m for J1-B. A syndyne–synchrone simulation shows that both components have been active for 3–6 months, by ejecting dust grains at speeds ∼0.5 m s{sup −1} with rates ∼1 kg s{sup −1} for J1-A and 0.1 kg s{sup −1} for J1-B. In its present orbit, the rotational spin-up and devolatilization times of 2016 J1 are very small compared to the age of the solar system, raising the question of why this object still exists. We suggest that ice that was formerly buried within this asteroid became exposed at the surface, perhaps via a small impact, and that sublimation torques then rapidly drove it to breakup. Further disintegration events are anticipated owing to the rotational instability.

  4. Main Belt Comet P/2006 VW139: A Fragment from a Recent Collision?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic, B.; Hsieh, H. H.; Cellino, A.

    2012-05-01

    We applied different methods to examine a possibility that main belt comet P/2006VW139, recently discovered by the Pan-STARRS 1, belongs to a small group of 24 asteroids. Results show strong evidence that P/2006VW139 really belongs to this group.

  5. Solar wind interaction with type-1 comet tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ershkovich, A.I.

    1977-01-01

    A comet tail is considered as a plasma cylinder separated by a tangential discontinuity surface from the solar wind. Under typical conditions a comet tail boundary is shown to undergo the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. With infinite amplitude the stabilizing effect of the magnetic field increases, and waves become stable. The proposed model supplies the detailed quantitative description of helical waves observed in type-1 comet tails. This theory enables the evaluation of the comet tail magnetic field by means of the observations of helical waves. The magnetic field in the comet tail turns out to be of the order of the interplanetary field. This conclusion seems to be in accordance with Alfven's idea that the magnetic field in type-1 comet tails is a captured interplanetary field. (Auth.)

  6. Galileo Photometry of Asteroid 951 Gaspra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.; Thomas, P.C.; Simonelli, D.P.; Lee, P.; Klaasen, K.; Johnson, T.V.; Breneman, H.; Head, J.W.; Murchie, S.; Fanale, F.; Robinson, M.; Clark, B.; Granahan, J.; Garbeil, H.; McEwen, A.S.; Kirk, R.L.; Davies, M.; Neukum, G.; Mottola, S.; Wagner, R.; Belton, M.; Chapman, C.; Pilcher, C.

    1994-01-01

    Galileo images of Gaspra make it possible for the first time to determine a main-belt asteroid's photometric properties accurately by providing surface-resolved coverage over a wide range of incidence and emission angles and by extending the phase angle coverage to phases not observable from Earth. We combine Earth-based telescopic photometry over phase angles 2?? ??? ?? ??? 25?? with Galileo whole-disk and disk-resolved data at 33?? ??? ?? ??? 51?? to derive average global photometric properties in terms of Hapke's photometric model. The microscopic texture and particle phase-function behavior of Gaspra's surface are remarkably like those of other airless rocky bodies such as the Moon. The macroscopic surface roughness parameter, ??̄ = 29??, is slightly larger than that reported for typical lunar materials. The particle single scattering albedo, ??́0 = 0.36 ?? 0.07, is significantly larger than for lunar materials, and the opposition surge amplitude, B0 = 1.63 ?? 0.07, is correspondingly smaller. We determine a visual geometric albedo pv = 0.22 ?? 0.06 for Gaspra, in close agreement with pv = 0.22 ?? 0.03 estimated from Earth-based observations. Gaspra's phase integral is 0.47, and the bolometric Bond albedo is estimated to be 0.12 ?? 0.03. An albedo map derived by correcting Galileo images with our average global photometric function reveals subdued albedo contrasts of ??10% or less over Gaspra's northern hemisphere. Several independent classification algorithms confirm the subtle spectral heterogeneity reported earlier (S. Mottola, M. DiMartino, M. Gonano-Beurer, H. Hoffman, and G. Neukum, 1993, Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, pp. 421-424; M. J. S. Belton et al., 1992, Science 257, 1647-1652). Whole-disk colors (0.41 ??? ?? ??? 0.99 ??m) vary systematically with longitude by about ??5%, but color differences as large as 30% occur locally. Colors vary continuously between end-member materials whose areal distribution correlates with regional topography. Infrared

  7. Meteorites, Bolides and Comets: A Tale of Inconsistency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakes, P.; Padevet, V.

    1992-07-01

    Inhomogeneity of cometary nuclei has been established through the observed disruptions of comets [1] and through the determination of dust particle composition during the encounter of the Vega and Giotto satellites with comet Halley [2,3,4]. The raisin bread model of cometary nuclei [5,6] assumes the presence of solid (rock) and dust particle material set in the volatile rich, ice- cemented material. Rock material may contribute to the formation of dust particles. Gombosi and Houpis [5] argued that only the composition of dust particles derived from the icy, volatile component of the comet were analyzed and implied thus that the third cometary component present (raisins/rocks) has not been examined. The compositions of the cometary (Halley) dust and the interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) are "chondritic" (Blanford et al., 1988). It is difficult, therefore to estimate the proportion of cometary to asteroid-derived dust in near Earth space, e.g., among the IDPs [7] unless other criteria are available. Bolide multistation photographic tracking allows the determination of the orbital preencounter parameters of solid bodies (0.01-100,000 kg in mass) with the Earth, and allows us to classify them according to their ablation coefficient (tau), penetration depth into the atmosphere (PE), theoretical densities (sigma), and terminal velocities (V(sub)E). Four groups are recognized (Table 1). Three of the type I bolides were recovered as ordinary chondrites (Pribram, Lost City, and Innisfree). Ceplecha [8] has shown that 38% of bolides (fireballs) come from cometary orbits (11% from highly eccentric orbits typical of new comets), but most of the bolides (62%) originate at asteroidal orbits. Seven of the 14 known meteoric showers could be attributed to known comets: N,S Taurids to 1970 P/Encke, Lyrids to 1861 I Thatcher-Beaker, Perseids to 1862 III Swift-Tuttle- Simons, Orionids to 1835 III P/Halley, Draconids to 1946 V P/Giacobini-Zinner, Leonids to 1966 I Tempel

  8. Spacecraft exploration of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veverka, J.; Langevin, Y.; Farquhar, R.; Fulchignoni, M.

    1989-01-01

    After two decades of spacecraft exploration, we still await the first direct investigation of an asteroid. This paper describes how a growing international interest in the solar system's more primitive bodies should remedy this. Plans are under way in Europe for a dedicated asteroid mission (Vesta) which will include multiple flybys with in situ penetrator studies. Possible targets include 4 Vesta, 8 Flora and 46 Hestia; launch its scheduled for 1994 or 1996. In the United States, NASA plans include flybys of asteroids en route to outer solar system targets

  9. Asteroid clusters similar to asteroid pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, P.; Fatka, P.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Scheeres, D. J.; Kušnirák, P.; Hornoch, K.; Galád, A.; Vraštil, J.; Pray, D. P.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Inasaridze, R. Ya.; Ayvazian, V. R.; Kvaratskhelia, O. I.; Zhuzhunadze, V. T.; Husárik, M.; Cooney, W. R.; Gross, J.; Terrell, D.; Világi, J.; Kornoš, L.; Gajdoš, Š.; Burkhonov, O.; Ehgamberdiev, Sh. A.; Donchev, Z.; Borisov, G.; Bonev, T.; Rumyantsev, V. V.; Molotov, I. E.

    2018-04-01

    We studied the membership, size ratio and rotational properties of 13 asteroid clusters consisting of between 3 and 19 known members that are on similar heliocentric orbits. By backward integrations of their orbits, we confirmed their cluster membership and estimated times elapsed since separation of the secondaries (the smaller cluster members) from the primary (i.e., cluster age) that are between 105 and a few 106 years. We ran photometric observations for all the cluster primaries and a sample of secondaries and we derived their accurate absolute magnitudes and rotation periods. We found that 11 of the 13 clusters follow the same trend of primary rotation period vs mass ratio as asteroid pairs that was revealed by Pravec et al. (2010). We generalized the model of the post-fission system for asteroid pairs by Pravec et al. (2010) to a system of N components formed by rotational fission and we found excellent agreement between the data for the 11 asteroid clusters and the prediction from the theory of their formation by rotational fission. The two exceptions are the high-mass ratio (q > 0.7) clusters of (18777) Hobson and (22280) Mandragora for which a different formation mechanism is needed. Two candidate mechanisms for formation of more than one secondary by rotational fission were published: the secondary fission process proposed by Jacobson and Scheeres (2011) and a cratering collision event onto a nearly critically rotating primary proposed by Vokrouhlický et al. (2017). It will have to be revealed from future studies which of the clusters were formed by one or the other process. To that point, we found certain further interesting properties and features of the asteroid clusters that place constraints on the theories of their formation, among them the most intriguing being the possibility of a cascade disruption for some of the clusters.

  10. Thermal Inertia of near-Earth Asteroids and Strength of the Yarkovsky Effect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delbo, Marco; Dell'Oro, A.; Harris, A. W.; Mottola, S.; Mueller, M.

    2006-01-01

    Thermal inertia is the physical parameter that controls the temperature distribution over the surface of an asteroid. It affects the strength of the Yarkovsky effect, which causes orbital drift of km-sized asteroids and is invoked to explain the delivery of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) from the main

  11. 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

  12. Composition of faint comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, L.W.

    1986-01-01

    The study uses an emission line, differential imaging camera built by the Science Operations Branch. This instrument allows photometric data to be obtained over a large area of a comet in a large number of resolution elements. The detector is a 100x100 Reticon array which with interchangeable optics can give resolutions from 2'' to 30'' over a field of 1' to 15'. The camera through its controlling computer can simultaneously take images in on-line and continuum filters and through computer subtraction and calibration present a photometric image of the comet produced by only the emission of the molecule under study. Initial work has shown two significant problems. First the auxiliary equipment of the telescope has not allowed the unambiguous location of faint comets so that systematic observations could be made, and secondly initial data has not shown much molecular emission from the faint comets which were located. Work last year on a software and hardware display system and this year on additional guide motors on the 36-inch telescope has allowed the differential camera to act as its own finder and guide scope. Comet IRAS was observed in C2 and CO+, as well as an occultation by the comet of SAO029103. The perodic comet Giacobini-Zinner was also observed in C2

  13. Realm of the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.

    1987-01-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars

  14. Origin and development of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kresak, L.

    1989-01-01

    The comets are the most primitive and probably also the oldest members of the solar system. Comet cores are brittle bodies of an irregular shape and of a size of 1 to 10 km whose main component is ice. Around 130 comets move along short-period paths whose aphelia are concentrated in the area of Jupiter. They are in the last stage of development. About 20 comets have periods of 20 to 200 years and feature higher motion stability. Roughly 180 comets have elliptical orbits of a period exceeding 200 years, 200 comets have parabolic and 120 comets have hyperbolic orbits. The most distant comets form the Oort cloud around the solar system consisting of about one billion comets. Comets originated roughly 4.6 thousand million years ago together with planets, probably inside the Oort cloud. (M.D.). 11 figs

  15. Comets in UV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shustov, B.; Sachkov, M.; Gómez de Castro, A. I.; Vallejo, J. C.; Kanev, E.; Dorofeeva, V.

    2018-04-01

    Comets are important "eyewitnesses" of Solar System formation and evolution. Important tests to determine the chemical composition and to study the physical processes in cometary nuclei and coma need data in the UV range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Comprehensive and complete studies require additional ground-based observations and in situ experiments. We briefly review observations of comets in the ultraviolet (UV) and discuss the prospects of UV observations of comets and exocomets with space-borne instruments. A special reference is made to the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) project.

  16. Mission to a comet that could save earth

    CERN Multimedia

    Utton, T

    2003-01-01

    Scientists are going to attempt to land a probe on the comet Wirtanen. The GBP640million unmanned craft will travel four billion miles before catching up with the comet Wirtanen and launching a robotic lander called Rosetta, on to its surface (1/2 page).

  17. Asteroid taxonomic classifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports on three taxonomic classification schemes developed and applied to the body of available color and albedo data. Asteroid taxonomic classifications according to two of these schemes are reproduced

  18. Asteroid rotation. IV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, A.W.; Young, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    The results from the year 1979 of an ongoing program of asteroid photometry at Table Mountain Observatory are presented. The results for 53 asteroids are summarized in a table, showing the number, name, opposition date, taxonomic class, diameter, absolute magnitude, mean absolute magnitude at zero phase angle and values of the absolute magnitude and linear phase coefficient derived from it, the rotation period in hours, peak-to-peak amplitude of variation, difference between mean and maximum brightness, and reliability index. Another table presents data on aspect and comparison stars, including brightness and distance data. Reliable rotation periods are reported for 22 asteroids for which no previous values are known. For seven asteroids, periods are reported which are revisions of previously reported values

  19. 24-COLOR ASTEROID SURVEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This dataset is comprised of asteroid flux data measured in 26 filters using the McCord dual beam photometer, and covering the range 0.32 - 1.08 microns for 285...

  20. Near Earth Asteroid Scout

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout, is a 6U CubeSat developed jointly between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA...

  1. 52-COLOR ASTEROID SURVEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains 52-color IR data of asteroids, taken using a double circularly variable filter. The short wavelength portion of the CVF covered the octave...

  2. A retrograde co-orbital asteroid of Jupiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegert, Paul; Connors, Martin; Veillet, Christian

    2017-03-29

    Recent theoretical work in celestial mechanics has revealed that an asteroid may orbit stably in the same region as a planet, despite revolving around the Sun in the sense opposite to that of the planet itself. Asteroid 2015 BZ 509 was discovered in 2015, but with too much uncertainty in its measured orbit to establish whether it was such a retrograde co-orbital body. Here we report observations and analysis that demonstrates that asteroid 2015 BZ 509 is indeed a retrograde co-orbital asteroid of the planet Jupiter. We find that 2015 BZ 509 has long-term stability, having been in its current, resonant state for around a million years. This is long enough to preclude precise calculation of the time or mechanism of its injection to its present state, but it may be a Halley-family comet that entered the resonance through an interaction with Saturn. Retrograde co-orbital asteroids of Jupiter and other planets may be more common than previously expected.

  3. PRODUCTION OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS ON RETROGRADE ORBITS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenstreet, S.; Gladman, B.; Ngo, H.; Granvik, M.; Larson, S.

    2012-01-01

    While computing an improved near-Earth object (NEO) steady-state orbital distribution model, we discovered in the numerical integrations the unexpected production of retrograde orbits for asteroids that had originally exited from the accepted main-belt source regions. Our model indicates that ∼0.1% (a factor of two uncertainty) of the steady-state NEO population (perihelion q < 1.3 AU) is on retrograde orbits. These rare outcomes typically happen when asteroid orbits flip to a retrograde configuration while in the 3:1 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter and then live for ∼0.001 to 100 Myr. The model predicts, given the estimated near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population, that a few retrograde 0.1-1 km NEAs should exist. Currently, there are two known MPC NEOs with asteroidal designations on retrograde orbits which we therefore claim could be escaped asteroids instead of devolatilized comets. This retrograde NEA population may also answer a long-standing question in the meteoritical literature regarding the origin of high-strength, high-velocity meteoroids on retrograde orbits.

  4. Asteroids@Home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, Josef; Hanus, J.; Vanco, R.

    2012-10-01

    We present a new project called Asteroids@home (http://asteroidsathome.net/boinc). It is a volunteer-computing project that uses an open-source BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) software to distribute tasks to volunteers, who provide their computing resources. The project was created at the Astronomical Institute, Charles University in Prague, in cooperation with the Czech National Team. The scientific aim of the project is to solve a time-consuming inverse problem of shape reconstruction of asteroids from sparse-in-time photometry. The time-demanding nature of the problem comes from the fact that with sparse-in-time photometry the rotation period of an asteroid is not apriori known and a huge parameter space must be densely scanned for the best solution. The nature of the problem makes it an ideal task to be solved by distributed computing - the period parameter space can be divided into small bins that can be scanned separately and then joined together to give the globally best solution. In the framework of the the project, we process asteroid photometric data from surveys together with asteroid lightcurves and we derive asteroid shapes and spin states. The algorithm is based on the lightcurve inversion method developed by Kaasalainen et al. (Icarus 153, 37, 2001). The enormous potential of distributed computing will enable us to effectively process also the data from future surveys (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Gaia mission, etc.). We also plan to process data of a synthetic asteroid population to reveal biases of the method. In our presentation, we will describe the project, show the first results (new models of asteroids), and discuss the possibilities of its further development. This work has been supported by the grant GACR P209/10/0537 of the Czech Science Foundation and by the Research Program MSM0021620860 of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. A Survey of Rotation Lightcurves of Small Jovian Trojan Asteroids in the L4 Cloud

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Linda M.; Stephens, Robert; Warner, Brian; James, David; Rohl, Derrick; Connour, Kyle

    2017-10-01

    Jovian Trojan asteroids are of interest both as objects in their own right and as possible relics of Solar System formation. Several lines of evidence support a common origin for, and possible hereditary link between, Jovian Trojan asteroids and cometary nuclei. Asteroid lightcurves give information about processes that have affected a group of asteroids including their density. Due to their distance and low albedos, few comet-sized Trojans have been studied. We have been carrying out a survey of Trojan lightcurve properties comparing small Trojan asteroids with comets (French et al 2015). We present new lightcurve information for 39 Trojans less than about 35 km in diameter. We report our latest results and compare them with results from the sparsely-sampled lightcurves from the Palomar Transient Factory (Waszazak et al., Chang et al. 2015). The minimum densities for objects with complete lightcurves are estimated and are found to becomparable to those measured for cometary nuclei. A significant fraction (~40%) of thisobserved small Trojan population rotates slowly (P > 24 hours), with measured periods as over 500 hours (Waszczak et al 2015). The excess of slow rotators may be due to the YORP effect. Results of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test suggest that the distribution of Trojan rotation rates is dissimilar to those of Main Belt Asteroids of the same size.

  8. Comet prospects for 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanklin, J. D.

    2003-12-01

    2004 sees the return of 18 periodic comets. None are particularly bright and the best are likely to be 78P/Gehrels and 88P/Howell. Three new long period comets are likely to put on a good show: 2001 Q4 (NEAT) reaches perihelion in May, when it could make at least 3rd magnitude. Northern hemisphere observers will first pick it up just after perihelion as it rapidly moves north. 2002 T7 (LINEAR) could also reach 3rd magnitude at closest approach in May, however northern hemisphere observers will have lost it as a binocular object in mid-March. Observers at far southern latitudes may be able to see these two naked eye comets at the same time. 2003 K4 (LINEAR) could reach 6th magnitude as it brightens on its way to perihelion. Several other long period comets discovered in previous years are also still visible.

  9. Mars Geochemical Instrument (MarGI): An instrument for the analysis of the Martian surface and the search for evidence of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Martin, Joe; Holland, Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Geochemical Instrument, MarGI, was developed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the rocks and surface material on Mars. The instrument combines Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) with miniature Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry (GC-IMS) to identify minerals, the presence and state of water, and organic compounds. Miniature pyrolysis ovens are used to both, conduct DTA analysis of soil or crushed rocks samples, and pyrolyze the samples at temperatures up to 1000 degrees C for GC-IMS analysis of the released gases. This combination of analytical processes and techniques, which can characterize the mineralogy of the rocks and soil, and identify and quantify volatiles released during pyrolysis, has applications across a wide range of target sites including comets, planets, asteroids, and moons such as Titan and Europa. The MarGI analytical approach evolved from the Cometary Ice and Dust Experiment (CIDEX) selected to fly on the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Mission (CRAF).

  10. Reservoirs for Comets: Compositional Differences Based on Infrared Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disanti, Michael A.; Mumma, Michael J.

    Tracing measured compositions of comets to their origins continues to be of keen interest to cometary scientists and to dynamical modelers of Solar System formation and evolution. This requires building a taxonomy of comets from both present-day dynamical reservoirs: the Kuiper Belt (hereafter KB), sampled through observation of ecliptic comets (primarily Jupiter Family comets, or JFCs), and the Oort cloud (OC), represented observationally by the long-period comets and by Halley Family comets (HFCs). Because of their short orbital periods, JFCs are subjected to more frequent exposure to solar radiation compared with OC comets. The recent apparitions of the JFCs 9P/Tempel 1 and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 permitted detailed observations of material issuing from below their surfaces—these comets added significantly to the compositional database on this dynamical class, which is under-represented in studies of cometary parent volatiles. This chapter reviews the latest techniques developed for analysis of high-resolution spectral observations from ˜2-5 μm, and compares measured abundances of native ices among comets. While no clear compositional delineation can be drawn along dynamical lines, interesting comparisons can be made. The sub-surface composition of comet 9P, as revealed by the Deep Impact ejecta, was similar to the majority of OC comets studied. Meanwhile, 73P was depleted in all native ices except HCN, similar to the disintegrated OC comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR). These results suggest that 73P may have formed in the inner giant planets' region while 9P formed farther out or, alternatively, that both JFCs formed farther from the Sun but with 73P forming later in time.

  11. Physical processes in comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.

    1988-01-01

    When this program began in 1975 only limited photometry had been carried out on comets at any wavelength. Program goals were to observe many comets, including faint periodic comets, at a range of heliocentric distances in order to begin to understand the range of behavior among comets and in a given comet during its approach and departure from the sun. Then a study of the continuum of scattered light from dust was added. More recently the value of joint team observations in visible and infrared light has been recognized and utilized as often as possible. All 1978 to 1982 data was reanalyzed and 1983 to 1986 data analyzed in the framwork of the post-Halley paradigm, covering 25 comets in all. Four observing runs (June, July, Sept., and Jan.) with Hanner produced excellent results on Wilson, Bradfield, P/Klemola, and P/Borrelly and lesser data on other objects, including the last reported IR photometry of P/Halley. The Wilson and Halley data have been reduced

  12. Getting together in deep space - The Rosetta space probe's long trek to Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-01

    2005, 2007 and 2008) to pick up speed. Asteroids for company A change is as good as a rest, and a meeting with at least one asteroid should help break the monotony for Rosetta. The spacecraft will come close to an asteroid at the end of 2008. Asteroids are, it will be remembered, rocky bodies, some as large as mountains, some even larger, that orbit the Sun in much the same way as planets. “These ‘brief encounters’ are a scientific opportunity and also a chance to test Rosetta’s instrument payload,” says Gerhard Schwehm. But asteroid exploration also serves an entirely practical purpose: “The more we find out about them, the better the prospect of being able one day to avert a possible collision.” Following a period of low-activity cruising, the probe’s course will be adjusted one last time in May 2011. From July 2011, a further two-and-a-half years' radio silence will be observed, and Rosetta, left entirely to its own resources, will fly close to the Jupiter orbit. Link-up in 2014 Finally, in January 2014, the probe will be reactivated and will, by October 2014, be only a few kilometres distant from Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is where the dream of so many scientists becomes reality. Having deposited its precious lander cargo on the comet’s surface, Rosetta will continue to orbit Churyumov-Gerasimenko and together they will spend the next seventeen months flying towards the Sun. Rosetta was built by an international consortium led by Astrium. The lander probe was developed in Cologne under the aegis of the DLR, Germany’s space agency, with contributions from ESA and research centres in Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Great Britain. The comet explorer carries ten scientific instruments. Their job is to draw out the secrets of the comet’s chemical and physical composition and reveal its magnetic and electrical properties. Using a specially designed camera, the lander will take pictures in the macro and micro ranges and send

  13. Small Jovian Trojan Asteroids: An Excess of Slow Rotators

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Linda M.

    2016-01-01

    Several lines of evidence support a common origin for, and possible hereditary link between, cometary nuclei and jovian Trojan asteroids. Due to their distance and low albedos, few comet-sized Trojans have been studied. We discuss the rotation properties of Jovian Trojan asteroids less than 30 km in diameter. Approximately half of the objects discussed here were studied using densely sampled lightcurves (French et al. 2015a, b); Stephens et al. 2015), and the other half were sparse lightcurves obtained by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF; Waszcazk et al. 2015). A significant fraction (~40%) of the objects in the ground-based sample rotate slowly (P > 24h), with measured periods as long as 375 h (Warner and Stephens 2011). The PTF data show a similar excess of slow rotators. Only 5 objects in the combined data set have rotation periods of less than six hours. Three of these fast rotators were contained in the data set of French et al. these three had a geometric mean rotation period of 5.29 hours. A prolate spheroid held together by gravity rotating with this period would have a critical density of 0.43 gm/cm3, a density similar to that of comets (Lamy et al. 2004). Harris et al. (2012) and Warner et al. (2011) have explored the possible effects on asteroid rotational statistics with the results from wide-field surveys. We will examine Trojan rotation statistics with and without the results from the PTF.

  14. Comet Tempel 1 Went Back to Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-01

    Astronomers Having Used ESO Telescopes Start Analysing Unique Dataset on the Comet Following the Deep Impact Mission Ten days after part of the Deep Impact spacecraft plunged onto Comet Tempel 1 with the aim to create a crater and expose pristine material from beneath the surface, astronomers are back in the ESO Offices in Santiago, after more than a week of observing at the ESO La Silla Paranal Observatory. In this unprecedented observing campaign - among the most ambitious ever conducted by a single observatory - the astronomers have collected a large amount of invaluable data on this comet. The astronomers have now started the lengthy process of data reduction and analysis. Being all together in a single place, and in close contacts with the space mission' scientific team, they will try to assemble a clear picture of the comet and of the impact. The ESO observations were part of a worldwide campaign to observe this unique experiment. During the campaign, ESO was connected by phone, email, and videoconference with colleagues in all major observatories worldwide, and data were freely exchanged between the different groups. This unique collaborative spirit provides astronomers with data taken almost around the clock during several days and this, with the largest variety of instruments, making the Deep Impact observing campaign one of the most successful of its kind, and thereby, ensuring the greatest scientific outcome. From the current analysis, it appears most likely that the impactor did not create a large new zone of activity and may have failed to liberate a large quantity of pristine material from beneath the surface. ESO PR Photo 22/05 ESO PR Photo 22/05 Evolution of Comet Tempel 1 (FORS2/VLT) [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 701 pix - 128k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1401 pix - 357k] ESO PR Photo 22/05 Animated Gif Caption: ESO PR Photo 22/05 shows the evolution of Comet Tempel 1 as observed with the FORS2 instrument on Antu (VLT). The images obtained at the VLT show that

  15. Comet LINEAR C/1999 S4 - an absolutely well-behaved comet before breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peschke, S. B.; Lisse, C. M.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Ressler, M.; Stickel, M.; Kaminski, C.; Golish, B.

    2000-10-01

    We present results from infrared imaging of comet LINEAR C/1999 S4 on June 17 - 19, 2000 (pre-breakup), using the near-IR camera NSFCAM and the mid-IR camera MIRLIN at the 3m NASA/IRTF. Images and multi-wavelength spectroscopy were obtained in the zJHK'L'MNQ bands, and were used to create a 1.0 - 25 μ m SED of the comet's dust and nucleus. The coma's contribution at each wavelength was modeled using spatial fitting (Fernandez 1999, PhD thesis; Lisse et al. 1999, Icarus 140, 189). The resulting comatic and nuclear SEDs were then modeled using modified Mie theory (Lisse et al. 1998, ApJ 496, 971) and the standard nuclear thermal models (Lebofsky and Spencer 1989, Asteroids II, 128), respectively. We report the resulting dust PSD, mass loss rate, and albedo, as well as the nuclear radius, and we compare these results to those obtained by others from optical data both before and after the comet's breakup in late July 2000.

  16. Exogenous origin of hydration on asteroid (16) Psyche: the role of hydrated asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avdellidou, C.; Delbo', M.; Fienga, A.

    2018-04-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche, which for a long time was the largest M-type with no detection of hydration features in its spectrum, was recently discovered to have a weak 3-μm band and thus it was eventually added to the group of hydrated asteroids. Its relatively high density, in combination with the high radar albedo, led researchers to classify the asteroid as a metallic object. It is believed that it is possibly a core of a differentiated body, a remnant of `hit-and-run' collisions. The detection of hydration is, in principle, inconsistent with a pure metallic origin for this body. Here, we consider the scenario in which the hydration on its surface is exogenous and was delivered by hydrated impactors. We show that impacting asteroids that belong to families whose members have the 3-μm band can deliver hydrated material to Psyche. We developed a collisional model with which we test all dark carbonaceous asteroid families, which contain hydrated members. We find that the major source of hydrated impactors is the family of Themis, with a total implanted mass on Psyche of the order of ˜1014 kg. However, the hydrated fraction could be only a few per cent of the implanted mass, as the water content in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, the best analogue for the Themis asteroid family, is typically a few per cent of their mass.

  17. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  18. 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...

  19. Asteroids astronomical and geological bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Burbine, Thomas H

    2016-01-01

    Asteroid science is a fundamental topic in planetary science and is key to furthering our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of the Solar System. Ground-based observations and missions have provided a wealth of new data in recent years, and forthcoming missions promise further exciting results. This accessible book presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth. Based on an upper-level course on asteroids and meteorites taught by the author, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professional scientists ...

  20. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-02

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  1. Study of Comets Composition and Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalaf, S. Z.; Selman, A. A.; Ali, H. S.

    2008-12-01

    The present paper focuses on the nature of the different interactions between cometary nucleus and tail with solar wind. The dynamics of the comet will impose many features that provide unique behavior of the comet when entering the solar system. These features are reviewed in this paper and few investigations are made. The calculations made in this work represent the analysis and interpretation of the different features of the comet, such as perihelion and eccentricity dependence on the gas production rate, and the dependence of the latter on the composition of the comet nucleus. The dependences of the heliocentric, bow shock, contact surface, and stand-off distances with gas production rate for many types of comets that cover linear and non-linear types are studied in this work. Important results are obtained which indicated the different physical interactions between cometary ions and solar wind. Furthermore, the important relation between mean molecular weight and gas production rate are analyzed and studied in this work and a conclusion is made that, as the gas production rate increases, the mean molecular weight will decrease exponentially. A detailed discussion for this unique relation is given.

  2. Comet Dust After Deep Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Harker, David E.; Woodward, Charles E.

    2006-01-01

    When the Deep Impact Mission hit Jupiter Family comet 9P/Tempel 1, an ejecta crater was formed and an pocket of volatile gases and ices from 10-30 m below the surface was exposed (A Hearn et aI. 2005). This resulted in a gas geyser that persisted for a few hours (Sugita et al, 2005). The gas geyser pushed dust grains into the coma (Sugita et a1. 2005), as well as ice grains (Schulz et al. 2006). The smaller of the dust grains were submicron in radii (0-25.3 micron), and were primarily composed of highly refractory minerals including amorphous (non-graphitic) carbon, and silicate minerals including amorphous (disordered) olivine (Fe,Mg)2SiO4 and pyroxene (Fe,Mg)SiO3 and crystalline Mg-rich olivine. The smaller grains moved faster, as expected from the size-dependent velocity law produced by gas-drag on grains. The mineralogy evolved with time: progressively larger grains persisted in the near nuclear region, having been imparted with slower velocities, and the mineralogies of these larger grains appeared simpler and without crystals. The smaller 0.2-0.3 micron grains reached the coma in about 1.5 hours (1 arc sec = 740 km), were more diverse in mineralogy than the larger grains and contained crystals, and appeared to travel through the coma together. No smaller grains appeared at larger coma distances later (with slower velocities), implying that if grain fragmentation occurred, it happened within the gas acceleration zone. These results of the high spatial resolution spectroscopy (GEMINI+Michelle: Harker et 4. 2005, 2006; Subaru+COMICS: Sugita et al. 2005) revealed that the grains released from the interior were different from the nominally active areas of this comet by their: (a) crystalline content, (b) smaller size, (c) more diverse mineralogy. The temporal changes in the spectra, recorded by GEMIM+Michelle every 7 minutes, indicated that the dust mineralogy is inhomogeneous and, unexpectedly, the portion of the size distribution dominated by smaller grains has

  3. 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.

  4. Jupiter Laser Facility - COMET Laser

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — COMET has 4 beam configurations with uncompressed pulse lengths from 500 ps to 6 ns, compressed pulses to 0.5 ps, and beam energies up to 20 J. COMET can fire every...

  5. The Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Encrenaz, T.; Festou, M.

    1985-01-01

    The conspicuous part of a comet, made of tenuous gas and dusts, represents only a tiny part of its mass. The main information is hidden in the central part: a solid nucleus, ice and rock blocks with a radius less than 10 km, completely invisible from the Earth. The knowledge of the nucleus structure and its composition could give the key of the planet creation mechanisms. That is a reason why it has been decided to send an automatic device to penetrate the Halley comet atmosphere and that two Soviet probes, Vega 1 and 2, one European probe Giotto, and two Japanese, Planet-A and MS-TS, will explore in-situ in March 1986, for the first time, a comet at atmosphere [fr

  6. Comet: Multifunction VOEvent broker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinbank, John

    2014-04-01

    Comet is a Python implementation of the VOEvent Transport Protocol (VTP). VOEvent is the IVOA system for describing transient celestial events. Details of transients detected by many projects, including Fermi, Swift, and the Catalina Sky Survey, are currently made available as VOEvents, which is also the standard alert format by future facilities such as LSST and SKA. The core of Comet is a multifunction VOEvent broker, capable of receiving events either by subscribing to one or more remote brokers or by direct connection from authors; it can then both process those events locally and forward them to its own subscribers. In addition, Comet provides a tool for publishing VOEvents to the global VOEvent backbone.

  7. Nature and origin of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Jockers, K.

    1983-01-01

    The review examines basic history and morphology, motion, dynamic evolution, physical properties of neutral gaseous matter, vaporization of gases and outflow from the nucleus, chemistry of the coma gases, the comet nucleus, dust particles, solar wind-comet interactions and tail formation and the origin of comets. (U.K.)

  8. Ensemble Properties of Comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solontoi, Michael; /Adler Planetarium, Chicago; Ivezic, Zeljko; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Juric, Mario; /Harvard Coll. Observ.; Becker, Andrew C.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Jones, Lynne; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; West, Andrew A.; /Boston U.; Kent, Steve; /Fermilab; Lupton, Robert H.; /Princeton U. Observ.; Claire, Mark; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Knapp, Gillian R.; /Princeton U. Observ.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2012-02-01

    We present the ensemble properties of 31 comets (27 resolved and 4 unresolved) observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This sample of comets represents about 1 comet per 10 million SDSS photometric objects. Five-band (u, g, r, i, z) photometry is used to determine the comets colors, sizes, surface brightness profiles, and rates of dust production in terms of the Afp formalism. We find that the cumulative luminosity function for the Jupiter Family Comets in our sample is well fit by a power law of the form N(comets. The resolved comets show an extremely narrow distribution of colors (0.57 {+-} 0.05 in g - r for example), which are statistically indistinguishable from that of the Jupiter Trojans. Further, there is no evidence of correlation between color and physical, dynamical, or observational parameters for the observed comets.

  9. Comets - cosmic 'snowballs'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luest, R.

    1979-01-01

    Non-periodic comets come from regions at the limit of our solar system and have conserved their original structure and composition since they have originated from a pre-solar nebuly together with the sun and the planets about 4.5 x 10 9 years ago. They are icy bodies of kilometer size whose structure and chemical composition is of great interest also with respect to the origin of the solar system. It is hoped to send a space craft to comet Halley in 1986 to get more detailed informations. (orig.) [de

  10. The trajectory, structure and origin of the Chelyabinsk asteroidal impactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borovička, Jiří; Spurný, Pavel; Brown, Peter; Wiegert, Paul; Kalenda, Pavel; Clark, David; Shrbený, Lukáš

    2013-11-01

    Earth is continuously colliding with fragments of asteroids and comets of various sizes. The largest encounter in historical times occurred over the Tunguska river in Siberia in 1908, producing an airburst of energy equivalent to 5-15 megatons of trinitrotoluene (1 kiloton of trinitrotoluene represents an energy of 4.185 × 1012 joules). Until recently, the next most energetic airburst events occurred over Indonesia in 2009 and near the Marshall Islands in 1994, both with energies of several tens of kilotons. Here we report an analysis of selected video records of the Chelyabinsk superbolide of 15 February 2013, with energy equivalent to 500 kilotons of trinitrotoluene, and details of its atmospheric passage. We found that its orbit was similar to the orbit of the two-kilometre-diameter asteroid 86039 (1999 NC43), to a degree of statistical significance sufficient to suggest that the two were once part of the same object. The bulk strength--the ability to resist breakage--of the Chelyabinsk asteroid, of about one megapascal, was similar to that of smaller meteoroids and corresponds to a heavily fractured single stone. The asteroid broke into small pieces between the altitudes of 45 and 30 kilometres, preventing more-serious damage on the ground. The total mass of surviving fragments larger than 100 grams was lower than expected.

  11. LISA and asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinet, Jean-Yves

    2006-01-01

    LISA is a joint ESA-NASA mission aiming for cosmic gravitational wave detection and analysis. We address here the question of a special kind of signal caused by asteroid encounters. We present a short theory of the detection of such signals

  12. The Nucleus of Active Asteroid 311P/(2013 P5) PANSTARRS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewitt, David; Weaver, Harold; Mutchler, Max; Li, Jing; Agarwal, Jessica; Larson, Stephen

    2018-06-01

    The unique inner-belt asteroid 311P/PANSTARRS (formerly P/2013 P5) is notable for its sporadic, comet-like ejection of dust in nine distinct epochs spread over ∼250 days in 2013. This curious behavior has been interpreted as the product of localized, equatorward landsliding from the surface of an asteroid rotating at the brink of instability. We obtained new Hubble Space Telescope observations to directly measure the nucleus and to search for evidence of its rapid rotation. We find a nucleus with mid-light absolute magnitude H V = 19.14 ± 0.02, corresponding to an equal-area circle with radius 190 ± 30 m (assuming geometric albedo p V = 0.29). However, instead of providing photometric evidence for rapid nucleus rotation, our data set a lower limit to the light-curve period, P ≥ 5.4 hr. The dominant feature of the light curve is a V-shaped minimum, ∼0.3 mag deep, which is suggestive of an eclipsing binary. Under this interpretation, the time-series data are consistent with a secondary/primary mass ratio, m s /m p ∼ 1:6, a ratio of separation/primary radius, r/r p ∼ 4 and an orbit period ∼0.8 days. These properties lie within the range of other asteroid binaries that are thought to be formed by rotational breakup. While the light-curve period is long, centripetal dust ejection is still possible if one or both components rotate rapidly (≲2 hr) and have small light-curve variation because of azimuthal symmetry. Indeed, radar observations of asteroids in critical rotation reveal “muffin-shaped” morphologies, which are closely azimuthally symmetric and which show minimal light curves. Our data are consistent with 311P being a close binary in which one or both components rotates near the centripetal limit. The mass loss in 2013 suggests that breakup occurred recently and could even be on-going. A search for fragments that might have been recently ejected beyond the Hill sphere reveals none larger than effective radius r e ∼ 10 m.

  13. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Gupta, P.

    2016-01-01

    The Indo-Aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times in order to conduct sacrificial rites ordained by the Vedas. Naturally, they would have sighted comets and referred to them in the Vedic texts. In Rigveda (circa 1700-1500 BC) and Atharvaveda (circa 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Rigveda speaks of a fig tree whose aerial roots spread out in the sky (Parpola 2010). Had this imagery been inspired by the resemblance of a comet's tail with long and linear roots of a banyan tree (ficus benghalensis)? Varahamihira (AD 550) and Ballal Sena (circa AD 1100-1200) described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers, such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, and Garga, to name a few. In this article, we propose that an episode in Mahabharata in which a radiant king, Nahusha, who rules the heavens and later turns into a serpent after he kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  14. Comet 2001 Q2

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Bouma, R. J.; Raymundo, P. M.

    č. 7687 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  15. Death of a comet

    CERN Multimedia

    Hawkes, N

    2000-01-01

    The comet Linear dissolved as it made its closest approach to the sun on July 25th. The first stages of its breakup had been witnessed by the Hubble telescope when it threw off a piece of its crust (3 paragraphs).

  16. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitag, Ruth S., Comp.

    Included in this bibliography are over 3,200 references to publications on Halley's Comet, its history, orbital motion, and physical characteristics, meteor streams associated with it, preparations for space missions to study it in 1986, and popular reaction to its appearances. Also cited are a few papers that, although they devote little…

  17. UV Reflectance of Jupiter's Moon Europa and Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, T. M.; Retherford, K. D.; Roth, L.; Hendrix, A.; McGrath, M. A.; Cunningham, N.; Feaga, L. M.; Saur, J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Walhund, J. E.; Molyneux, P.

    2017-12-01

    Surface reflectance observations of solar system objects in the UV are not only complimentary to longer wavelength observations for identifying surface composition, but can also reveal new and meaningful information about the surfaces of those bodies. On Europa, far-UV (FUV) spectral observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) show that the surface lacks a strong water ice absorption edge near 165 nm, which is intriguing because such a band has been detected on most icy satellites. This may suggest that radiolytic processing by Jupiter's magnetosphere has altered the surface, causing absorption at wavelengths longward of the H2O edge, masking this feature. Additionally, the FUV spectra are blue (increasing albedo with shorter wavelengths), and regions that are observed to be dark in the visible appear bright in the FUV. This spectral inversion, also observed on the Moon and some asteroids, may provide insight into the properties of the surface material and how they are processed.We also explore the UV reflectance spectra of the main belt asteroid (16) Psyche. This asteroid is believed to be the metallic remnant core of a differentiated asteroid, stripped of its mantle through collisions. However, there is speculation that the asteroid could have formed as-is from highly reduced metal-rich material near the Sun early in the formation of the solar system. Further, spectral observations in the infrared have revealed pyroxene and hydroxyl on the asteroid's surface, complicating the interpretation that (16) Psyche is a pure metallic object. Laboratory studies indicate that there are diagnostic spectral features in the UV that could be useful for determining the surface composition. We obtained HST observations of Psyche from 160 - 300 nm. Preliminary results show a featureless, red-sloped spectrum, inconsistent with significant amounts of pyroxene on the surface. We will present the spectra of Europa and the asteroid (16) Psyche and discuss the unique details

  18. Disappearance and disintegration of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1984-01-01

    The present investigation has the objective to provide a summary of the existing evidence on the disappearance of comets and to draw conclusions regarding the physical processes involved in the disappearance. Information concerning the classification of evidence and the causes of apparent disappearance of comets is presented in a table. Attention is given to the dissipating comets, the headless sungrazing comet 1887 I, and the physical behavior of the dissipating comets and the related phenomena. It is found that all comets confined to the planetary region of the solar system decay on astronomically short time scales. However, only some of them appear to perish catastrophically. Some of the observed phenomena could be successfully interpreted. But little insight has been obtained into the character of the processes which the dissipating comets experience.

  19. Ammonia abundances in four comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wickoff, S.; Tegler, S.C.; Engel, L.

    1991-01-01

    NH2 emission band strengths were measured in four comets and the NH2 column densities were determined in order to measure the ammonia content of the comets. The mean ammonia/water abundance ratio derived for the four comets is found to be 0.13 + or - 0.06 percent, with no significant variation among the comets. The uniformity of this abundance attests to a remarkable degree of chemical homogeneity over large scales in the comet-forming region of the primordial solar nebula, and contrasts with the CO abundance variations found previously in comets. The N2 and NH3 abundances indicate a condensation temperature in the range 20-160 K, consistent with virtually all comet formation hypotheses. 64 refs

  20. Cometography a catalog of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Kronk, Gary W; Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    Cometography is a multi-volume catalog of every comet observed from ancient times up to the 1990s, when the internet took off as a medium of scientific record. It uses the most reliable orbits known to determine the distances from the Earth and Sun at the time of discovery and last observation, as well as the largest and smallest angular distance to the Sun, most northerly and southerly declination, closest distance to the Earth, and other details, to enable the reader to understand each comet's physical appearance. Volume 6, the final volume in the catalog, covers the observations and pertinent calculations for every comet seen between 1983 and 1993. The comets are listed in chronological order, with complete references to publications relating to each comet and physical descriptions of each comet's development throughout its apparition. Cometography is the definitive reference on comets through the ages, for astronomers and historians of science.

  1. Triggering the Activation of Main-belt Comets: The Effect of Porosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C. M.; Wandel, O. J.

    2018-03-01

    It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of Main-belt comets (MBCs) is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water-ice that is exposed when these objects are impacted by meter-sized bodies. We recently examined this scenario and showed that such impacts can, in fact, excavate ice and present a plausible mechanism for triggering the activation of MBCs. However, because the purpose of that study was to prove the concept and identify the most viable ice-longevity model, the porosity of the object and the loss of ice due to the heat of impact were ignored. In this paper, we extend our impact simulations to porous materials and account for the loss of ice due to an impact. We show that for a porous MBC, impact craters are deeper, reaching to ∼15 m, implying that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface ice, this ice has to be within the top 15 m of the object. Results also indicate that the loss of ice due to the heat of impact is negligible, and the re-accretion of ejected ice is small. The latter suggests that the activities of current MBCs are most probably from multiple impact sites. Our study also indicates that for sublimation from multiple sites to account for the observed activity of the currently known MBCs, the water content of MBCs (and their parent asteroids) needs to be larger than the values traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation.

  2. ASTROMETRIC MASSES OF 26 ASTEROIDS AND OBSERVATIONS ON ASTEROID POROSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.; Matson, Robert D.

    2011-01-01

    As an application of our recent observational error model, we present the astrometric masses of 26 main-belt asteroids. We also present an integrated ephemeris of 300 large asteroids, which was used in the mass determination algorithm to model significant perturbations from the rest of the main belt. After combining our mass estimates with those of other authors, we study the bulk porosities of over 50 main-belt asteroids and observe that asteroids as large as 300 km in diameter may be loose aggregates. This finding may place specific constraints on models of main-belt collisional evolution. Additionally, we observe that C-group asteroids tend to have significantly higher macroporosity than S-group asteroids.

  3. 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.

  4. A radar survey of M- and X-class asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shepard, M.K.; Clark, B. E.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Magri, C.; Giorgini, J. D.; Benner, L. A. M.; Ostro, S. J.; Harris, A. W.; Warner, B. D.; Pray, D. P.; Pravec, Petr; Fauerbach, M.; Bennett, T.; Klotz, A.; Behrend, R.; Correia, H.; Coloma, J.M.; Casulli, S.; Rivkin, A. S.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 195, č. 1 (2008), s. 184-205 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Grant - others:NSF(US) AST-0605903; NSF(US) AST-0606704; NSF(US) AST-0607505; NASA (US) NNG06GI32G Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * asteroids composition * surfaces Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.268, year: 2008

  5. Preliminary results of the Vega-1 and Vega-2 space probes rendezvous with the Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1986-01-01

    Preliminary results of the Halley comet investigation using the Vega-1 and Vega-2 space probes which passed on the 6th and 9th of March, 1986 the comet nucleus at a distance of 9000 and 8200 respectively, are presented. The comet nucleus appeared to be one of the darkest bodies of the Solar system: its albedo is just about 4%. The IR spectrum analysis has shown, that water and carbon dioxide appear to be the main components of the comet material. Mass analysis points out to the presence in the comet dust of iron, oxygen and silicon. It is ascertained, that about 30 t of water vapors and about 5-10 t of dust are evaporated from the comet nucleus surface in one second. Solar wind interaction with the comet streched atmosphere was investigated

  6. Earth's Trojan asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Martin; Wiegert, Paul; Veillet, Christian

    2011-07-27

    It was realized in 1772 that small bodies can stably share the same orbit as a planet if they remain near 'triangular points' 60° ahead of or behind it in the orbit. Such 'Trojan asteroids' have been found co-orbiting with Jupiter, Mars and Neptune. They have not hitherto been found associated with Earth, where the viewing geometry poses difficulties for their detection, although other kinds of co-orbital asteroid (horseshoe orbiters and quasi-satellites) have been observed. Here we report an archival search of infrared data for possible Earth Trojans, producing the candidate 2010 TK(7). We subsequently made optical observations which established that 2010 TK(7) is a Trojan companion of Earth, librating around the leading Lagrange triangular point, L(4). Its orbit is stable over at least ten thousand years.

  7. Comparison of the Oxidation State of Fe in Comet 81P/Wild 2 and Chondritic-Porous Interplanetary Dust Particles

    OpenAIRE

    Ogliore, R. C.; Butterworth, A. L.; Fakra, S. C.; Gainsforth, Z.; Marcus, M. A.; Westphal, A. J.

    2010-01-01

    The fragile structure of chondritic-porous interplanetary dust particles (CP- IDPs) and their minimal parent-body alteration have led researchers to believe these particles originate in comets rather than asteroids where aqueous and thermal alteration have occurred. The solar elemental abundances and atmospheric entry speed of CP-IDPs also suggest a cometary origin. With the return of the Stardust samples from Jupiter-family comet 81P/Wild 2, this hypothesis can be tested. We have measured th...

  8. 67P, Singing Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina

    2017-04-01

    I would like to propose to present a short science-art-music collaboration film called "67P, Singing Comet" (5:27 min). If time of the session will allow, prior to the film I would like to make a slide show introduction to this project, highlighting the inspiration - the mission Rosetta by the European Space Agency (ESA) - and the artistic collaboration that took place in creating this piece. Inspired by the ESA Rosetta mission to the comet 67P, Ekaterina Smirnova (artist and project director, New York), Lee Mottram (clarinetist, Wales), Takuto Fukuda (composer, Japan) and Brian Hekker (video editor, New York) collaborated to create a unique atmospheric piece. Water and the origins of life throughout the Universe (specifically the Earth) is an element of the mission and the focus of Ekaterina's artistic vision. Ekaterina literally and figuratively paints a sensory assemblage using a combination of synthetic and natural elements to shape this artistic creation. To paint her watercolor works she is using a replica of the water found on the comet and implementing her own heartbeat into the music to create a recognizable inward sound of life. The Electro-Acoustic composition by Takuto Fukuda features an electronically manipulated performance by clarinetist Lee Mottram. The piece ceremoniously begins with reverberant bursts of low-register atonal bells transporting the listener to their ethereal inner origins of body and mind. The imagination takes the experience to an unknown destination as it gains speed gliding through the visual and audible textures of space and time. The comet's water similarly reacts with an ebb and flow thawing ice to potentially give life a chance as it is thrust along an orbit around the Sun. Near then far from the heat the comet forms frozen particles from vapors as it reaches it's furthest stretches creating an aerodynamic tail of icicles that slowly dissipate in a cycle that repeats itself until the comet's ultimate collision with an

  9. Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brownlee, D; Tsou, P; Aleon, J; Alexander, C; Araki, T; Bajt, S; Baratta, G A; Bastien, R; Bland, P; Bleuet, P; Borg, J; Bradley, J P; Brearley, A; Brenker, F; Brennan, S; Bridges, J C; Browning, N; Brucato, J R; Bullock, E; Burchell, M J; Busemann, H; Butterworth, A; Chaussidon, M; Cheuvront, A; Chi, M; Cintala, M J; Clark, B C; Clemett, S J; Cody, G; Colangeli, L; Cooper, G; Cordier, P; Daghlian, C; Dai, Z R; D' Hendecourt, L; Djouadi, Z; Dominguez, G; Duxbury, T; Dworkin, J P; Ebel, D; Economou, T E; Fairey, S J; Fallon, S; Ferrini, G; Ferroir, T; Fleckenstein, H; Floss, C; Flynn, G; Franchi, I A; Fries, M; Gainsforth, Z; Gallien, J; Genge, M; Gilles, M K; Gillet, P; Gilmour, J; Glavin, D P; Gounelle, M; Grady, M M; Graham, G A; Grant, P G; Green, S F; Grossemy, F; Grossman, L; Grossman, J; Guan, Y; Hagiya, K; Harvey, R; Heck, P; Herzog, G F; Hoppe, P; Horz, F; Huth, J; Hutcheon, I D; Ishii, H; Ito, M; Jacob, D; Jacobsen, C; Jacobsen, S; Joswiak, D; Kearsley, A T; Keller, L; Khodja, H; Kilcoyne, A D; Kissel, J; Krot, A; Langenhorst, F; Lanzirotti, A; Le, L; Leshin, L; Leitner, J; Lemelle, L; Leroux, H; Liu, M; Luening, K; Lyon, I; MacPherson, G; Marcus, M A; Marhas, K; Matrajt, G; Meibom, A; Mennella, V; Messenger, K; Mikouchi, T; Mostefaoui, S; Nakamura, T; Nakano, T; Newville, M; Nittler, L R; Ohnishi, I; Ohsumi, K; Okudaira, K; Papanastassiou, D A; Palma, R; Palumbo, M E; Pepin, R O; Perkins, D; Perronnet, M; Pianetta, P; Rao, W; Rietmeijer, F; Robert, F; Rost, D; Rotundi, A; Ryan, R; Sandford, S A; Schwandt, C S; See, T H; Schlutter, D; Sheffield-Parker, J; Simionovici, A; Simon, S; Sitnitsky, I; Snead, C J; Spencer, M K; Stadermann, F J; Steele, A; Stephan, T; Stroud, R; Susini, J; Sutton, S R; Taheri, M; Taylor, S; Teslich, N; Tomeoka, K; Tomioka, N; Toppani, A; Trigo-Rodriguez, J M; Troadec, D; Tsuchiyama, A; Tuzolino, A J; Tyliszczak, T; Uesugi, K; Velbel, M; Vellenga, J; Vicenzi, E; Vincze, L; Warren, J; Weber, I; Weisberg, M; Westphal, A J; Wirick, S; Wooden, D; Wopenka, B; Wozniakiewicz, P; Wright, I; Yabuta, K; Yano, H; Young, E D; Zare, R N; Zega, T

    2006-10-12

    The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales. Stardust was the first mission to return solid samples from a specific astronomical body other than the Moon. The mission, part of the NASA Discovery program, retrieved samples from a comet that is believed to have formed at the outer fringe of the solar nebula, just beyond the most distant planet. The samples, isolated from the planetary region of the solar system for billions of years, provide new insight into the formation of the solar system. The samples provide unprecedented opportunities both to corroborate astronomical (remote sensing) and sample analysis information (ground truth) on a known primitive solar system body and to compare preserved building blocks from the edge of the planetary system with sample-derived and astronomical data for asteroids, small bodies that formed more than an order of magnitude closer to the Sun. The asteroids, parents of most meteorites, formed by accretion of solids in warmer, denser, more collisionally evolved inner regions of the solar nebula where violent nebular events were capable of flash-melting millimeter-sized rocks, whereas comets formed in the coldest, least dense region. The samples collected by Stardust are the first primitive materials from a known body, and as such they provide contextual insight for all primitive meteoritic samples. About 200 investigators

  10. 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.

  11. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    Like evidence left at a crime scene, the mineral olivine may be the clue that helps scientists piece together Marss possibly violent history. Could a long-ago giant impact have flung pieces of Mars throughout our inner solar system? Two researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are on the case.A Telltale MineralOlivine, a mineral that is common in Earths subsurface but weathers quickly on the surface. Olivine is a major component of Marss upper mantle. [Wilson44691]Olivine is a major component of the Martian upper mantle, making up 60% of this region by weight. Intriguingly, olivine turns up in other places in our solar system too for instance, in seven out of the nine known Mars Trojans (a group of asteroids of unknown origin that share Marss orbit), and in the rare A-type asteroids orbiting in the main asteroid belt.How did these asteroids form, and why are they so olivine-rich? An interesting explanation has been postulated: perhaps this olivine all came from the same place Mars as the result of a mega impact billions of years ago.Evidence for ImpactMars bears plenty of signs pointing to a giant impact in its past. The northern and sourthern hemispheres of Mars look very different, a phenomenon referred to as the Mars hemisphere dichotomy. The impact of a Pluto-sized body could explain the smooth Borealis Basin that covers the northern 40% of Marss surface.This high-resolution topographic map of Mars reveals the dichotomy between its northern and sourthern hemispheres. The smooth region in the northern hemisphere, the Borealis basin, may have been formed when a giant object impacted Mars billions of years ago. [NASA/JPL/USGS]Other evidence piles up: Marss orbit location, its rotation speed, the presence of its two moons all could be neatly explained by a large impact around 4 billion years ago. Could such an impact have also strewn debris from Marss mantle across the solar system?To test this theory, we need to determine if a mega impact is

  12. Positions of minor planets and Comet Panther (1980 u) obtained at the Chorzow Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wlodarczyk, I.

    Photographic observations of 17 asteroids and Comet Panther were made between 1977 and 1982 with a 200/1000 mm photographic camera coupled to a 300/4500 mm refractor. The Turner method with the complete second-order polynomial was used to reduce the 16 x 16 cm ORWO ZU-2 plates that were obtained. The tabulated information for each asteroid and the comet include the number of the observation, the time of the observation in Universal Time, the topocentric position of the object referred to the mean epoch 1950.0, the dispersion in right ascension and declination, the duration of the exposure in minutes, and the symbol of the observer. Ten observers participated in the program.

  13. COMETARY VOLATILES AND THE ORIGIN OF COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A' Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Keller, H. Uwe [Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, D-38106 Braunschweig (Germany); Kawakita, Hideyo [Department of Physics, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kamigamo JP Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8555 (Japan); Hampton, Donald L. [Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States); Kissel, Jochen [Max-Planck-Institut for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Strasse 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Klaasen, Kenneth P.; Yeomans, Donald K. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); McFadden, Lucy A. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Schultz, Peter H. [Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 (United States); Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Groussin, Olivier [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, Universite d' Aix-Marseille and CNRS, UMR7326, 38 rue F. Joliot-Curie, F-13388 Marseille Cedex 13 (France); Lisse, Carey M., E-mail: ma@astro.umd.edu [Space Department, JHU-APL, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); and others

    2012-10-10

    We describe recent results on the CO/CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O composition of comets together with a survey of older literature (primarily for CO/H{sub 2}O) and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. Even with the currently small sample, there is a wide dispersion in abundance ratios and little if any systematic difference between Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) and long-period and Halley-type comets (LPCs and HTCs). We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO{sub 2} and also require formation of all types of comets in largely, but not entirely, overlapping regions, probably between the CO and CO{sub 2} snow lines. Any difference in the regions of formation is in the opposite direction from the classical picture with the JFCs having formed closer to the Sun than the LPCs. In the classical picture, the LPCs formed in the region of the giant planets and the JFCs formed in the Kuiper Belt. However, these data suggest, consistent with suggestions on dynamical grounds, that the JFCs and LPCs formed in largely overlapping regions where the giant planets are today and with JFCs on average forming slightly closer to the Sun than did the LPCs. Presumably at least the JFCs passed through the scattered disk on their way to their present dynamical family.

  14. COMETARY VOLATILES AND THE ORIGIN OF COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S.; Keller, H. Uwe; Kawakita, Hideyo; Hampton, Donald L.; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; Yeomans, Donald K.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Meech, Karen J.; Schultz, Peter H.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Groussin, Olivier; Lisse, Carey M.

    2012-01-01

    We describe recent results on the CO/CO 2 /H 2 O composition of comets together with a survey of older literature (primarily for CO/H 2 O) and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. Even with the currently small sample, there is a wide dispersion in abundance ratios and little if any systematic difference between Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) and long-period and Halley-type comets (LPCs and HTCs). We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO 2 and also require formation of all types of comets in largely, but not entirely, overlapping regions, probably between the CO and CO 2 snow lines. Any difference in the regions of formation is in the opposite direction from the classical picture with the JFCs having formed closer to the Sun than the LPCs. In the classical picture, the LPCs formed in the region of the giant planets and the JFCs formed in the Kuiper Belt. However, these data suggest, consistent with suggestions on dynamical grounds, that the JFCs and LPCs formed in largely overlapping regions where the giant planets are today and with JFCs on average forming slightly closer to the Sun than did the LPCs. Presumably at least the JFCs passed through the scattered disk on their way to their present dynamical family.

  15. Application of photometric models to asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowell, E.; Dominque, D.; Hapke, B.

    1989-01-01

    The way an asteroid or other atmosphereless solar system body varies in brightness in response to changing illumination and viewing geometry depends in a very complicated way on the physical and optical properties of its surface and on its overall shape. The authors summarize the formulation and application of recent photometric models by Hapke and by Lumme and Bowell. In both models, the brightness of a rough and porous surface is parametrized in terms of the optical properties of individual particles, by shadowing between particles, and by the way in which light scattered among collections of particles. Both models succeed in their goal of fitting the observed photometric behavior of a wide variety of bodies, but neither has led to a very complete understanding of the properties of asteroid regoliths, primarily because in most cases the parameters in the present models cannot be adequately constrained by observations of integral brightness alone over a restricted range of phase angles

  16. Physical Mechanism of Comet Outbursts: The Movie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, William K.

    2014-11-01

    During experiments conducted in 1976 at the NASA Ames Research Center’s Vertical Gun Facility (VGF), the author studied low velocity impacts into simulated regolith powders and gravels, in order to examine physics of low-velocity collisions during early solar system planetesimal formation. In one “accidental” experiment, the bucket of powder remained gas-charged during evacuation of the VGF vacuum chamber. The impactor, moving at 5.5 m/s, disturbed the surface, initiating eruptions of dust-charged gas, shooting in jets from multiple vents at speeds up to about 3 m/s, with sporadic venting until 17 seconds after the impact. This experiment was described in [1], which concluded that it simulated comet eruption phenomena. In this hypothesis, a comet nucleus develops a lag deposit of regolith in at least some regions. At a certain distance from the sun, the thermal wave penetrates to an ice-rich depth, causing sublimation. Gas rises into the regolith, collects in pore spaces, and creates a gas-charged powder, as in our experiment. Any surface disturbance, such as a meteoroid, may initiate a temporary eruption, or eventually the gas pressure becomes sufficient to blow off the overburden. Our observed ejection speed would be sufficient to launch dust off of a kilometer-scale comet nucleus.Film (100 frames/s) of the event was obtained, but was partially torn up in a projector. It has recently been reconstituted (Centric Photo Labs, Tucson) and dramatically illustrates various cometary phenomena. Parabolic curtains of erupted material resemble curtains of material photographed from earth in real comet comas, “falling back” under solar wind forces. In retrospect, the mechanism photographed here helps explain:*sporadic eruptions in Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (near-circular orbit at ~6 A.U., where repeated recharge may occur).*sporadic eruptions on “asteroid” 2060 Chiron (which stays beyond 8.5 A.U.). *the thicker dust curtain (and longer eruption?) than

  17. Numerical simulations of comets - predictions for Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fedder, J.A.; Lyon, J.G.; Giuliani, J.L. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    Simulations of Comet Giacobini-Zinner's interaction with solar wind are described and results are presented. The simulations are carried out via the numerical solution of the ideal MHD equations as an initial value problem in a uniform solar wind. The calculations are performed on a Cartesian mesh centered at the comet. Results reveal that the first significant modifications of the solar wind along the ISEE/ICE trajectory will occur 100,000 km from the solar wind comet axis. 6 references

  18. CINE: Comet INfrared Excitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Val-Borro, Miguel; Cordiner, Martin A.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2017-08-01

    CINE calculates infrared pumping efficiencies that can be applied to the most common molecules found in cometary comae such as water, hydrogen cyanide or methanol. One of the main mechanisms for molecular excitation in comets is the fluorescence by the solar radiation followed by radiative decay to the ground vibrational state. This command-line tool calculates the effective pumping rates for rotational levels in the ground vibrational state scaled by the heliocentric distance of the comet. Fluorescence coefficients are useful for modeling rotational emission lines observed in cometary spectra at sub-millimeter wavelengths. Combined with computational methods to solve the radiative transfer equations based, e.g., on the Monte Carlo algorithm, this model can retrieve production rates and rotational temperatures from the observed emission spectrum.

  19. The first retrograde Trojan asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegert, Paul; Connors, Martin; Veillet, Christian

    2018-04-01

    There are about six thousand asteroids which share Jupiter's orbit around the Sun. Called the 'Trojan asteroids', they co-exist easily with this giant planet because they travel in the same direction as it ('direct' or 'prograde' motion), and remain roughly 60 degrees ahead of or behind it in its orbit. Newly discovered asteroid 2015 BZ509 is on a retrograde orbit, but is nonetheless in a state dynamically analogous to that of the prograde Trojans. The discovery circumstances and the nature of the motion of this curious asteroid -the first of its kind- will be outlined.

  20. THE PLASMA ENVIRONMENT IN COMETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES: APPLICATION TO COMET C/2006 P1 (MCNAUGHT)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shou, Y.; Combi, M.; Gombosi, T.; Toth, G. [Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Jia, Y.-D. [IGPP, and EPSS, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Rubin, M. [Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse. 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland)

    2015-08-20

    On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses.

  1. THE PLASMA ENVIRONMENT IN COMETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES: APPLICATION TO COMET C/2006 P1 (MCNAUGHT)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shou, Y.; Combi, M.; Gombosi, T.; Toth, G.; Jia, Y.-D.; Rubin, M.

    2015-01-01

    On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses

  2. Comets and their origin the tools to decipher a comet

    CERN Document Server

    Meierhenrich, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Divided into two parts, the first four chapters of Comets and their Origin refer to comets and their formation in general, describing cometary missions, comet remote observations, astrochemistry, artificial comets, and the chirality phenomenon.The second part covers the cometary Rosetta mission, its launch, journey, scientific objectives, and instrumentations, as well as the landing scenario on a cometary nucleus. Along the way, the author presents general questions concerning the origin of terrestrial water and the molecular beginnings of lifeon Earth, as well as how the instruments used on

  3. A quantitative comet infection assay for influenza virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Stephen M.; Timm, Andrea; Yin, John

    2011-01-01

    Summary The virus comet assay is a cell-based virulence assay used to evaluate an antiviral drug or antibody against a target virus. The comet assay differs from the plaque assay in allowing spontaneous flows in 6-well plates to spread virus. When implemented quantitatively the comet assay has been shown to have an order-of-magnitude greater sensitivity to antivirals than the plaque assay. In this study, a quantitative comet assay for influenza virus is demonstrated, and is shown to have a 13-fold increase in sensitivity to ribavirin. AX4 cells (MDCK cells with increased surface concentration of α2–6 sialic acid, the influenza virus receptor) have reduced the comet size variability relative to MDCK cells, making them a better host cell for use in this assay. Because of enhanced antiviral sensitivity in flow-based assays, less drug is required, which could lead to lower reagent costs, reduced cytotoxicity, and fewer false-negative drug screen results. The comet assay also serves as a readout of flow conditions in the well. Observations from comets formed at varying humidity levels indicate a role for evaporation in the mechanism of spontaneous fluid flow in wells. PMID:22155578

  4. CLATHRATE HYDRATES FORMATION IN SHORT-PERIOD COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marboeuf, Ulysse; Mousis, Olivier; Petit, Jean-Marc; Schmitt, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    The initial composition of current models of cometary nuclei is only based on two forms of ice: crystalline ice for long-period comets and amorphous ice for short-period comets. A third form of ice, i.e., clathrate hydrate, could exist within the short-period cometary nuclei, but the area of formation of this crystalline structure in these objects has never been studied. Here, we show that the thermodynamic conditions in the interior of short-period comets allow the existence of clathrate hydrates in Halley-type comets. We show that their existence is viable in the Jupiter family comets only when the equilibrium pressure of CO clathrate hydrate is at least 1 order of magnitude lower than the usually assumed theoretical value. We calculate that the amount of volatiles that could be trapped in the clathrate hydrate layer may be orders of magnitude greater than the daily amount of gas released at the surface of the nucleus at perihelion. The formation and the destruction of the clathrate hydrate cages could then explain the diversity of composition of volatiles observed in comets, as well as some pre-perihelion outbursts. We finally show that the potential clathrate hydrate layer in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko would, unfortunately, be deep inside the nucleus, out of reach of the Rosetta lander. However, such a clathrate hydrate layer would show up by the gas composition of the coma.

  5. Autonomous Onboard Science Data Analysis for Comet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.; Tran, Daniel Q.; McLaren, David; Chien, Steve A.; Bergman, Larry; Castano, Rebecca; Doyle, Richard; Estlin, Tara; Lenda, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Coming years will bring several comet rendezvous missions. The Rosetta spacecraft arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Subsequent rendezvous might include a mission such as the proposed Comet Hopper with multiple surface landings, as well as Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR) and Coma Rendezvous and Sample Return (CRSR). These encounters will begin to shed light on a population that, despite several previous flybys, remains mysterious and poorly understood. Scientists still have little direct knowledge of interactions between the nucleus and coma, their variation across different comets or their evolution over time. Activity may change on short timescales so it is challenging to characterize with scripted data acquisition. Here we investigate automatic onboard image analysis that could act faster than round-trip light time to capture unexpected outbursts and plume activity. We describe one edge-based method for detect comet nuclei and plumes, and test the approach on an existing catalog of comet images. Finally, we quantify benefits to specific measurement objectives by simulating a basic plume monitoring campaign.

  6. Vaporization of comet nuclei: Light curves and life times

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowan, J J [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (USA). Center for Astrophysics; A' Hearn, M F [Maryland Univ., College Park (USA)

    1979-10-01

    The authors have examined the effects of vaporization from the nucleus of a comet and show that a latitude dependence of vaporization can, in some cases, explain asymmetries in commetary light curves. They also find that a non-uniform distribution of solar radiation over a comet can considerably shorten the vaporization lifetime compared to the results normally obtained by assuming that the nuclear surface is isothermal. Independent of any latitude effects, comets with CO/sub 2/-dominated nuclei and with periherlion distances less than 0.5 AU have vaporization lifetimes less than or comparable to their dynamical ejection times. This may explain the observed deficit of comets with small perihelion distances. Similarly comets with CO/sub 2/-dominated nuclei and perihelia near Jupiter's orbit have vaporization lifetimes that are shorter than the time for capture into short-period orbits. They suggest, therefore, that at least some new comets are composed in large part of CO/sub 2/, while only H/sub 2/O-dominated comets, with lower vaporization rates, can survive to be captured into short-period orbits.

  7. Encounter with comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagdeev, R.Z.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports on an international armada of six spacecraft which encountered the comet Halley and performed in-situ measurements. These encounters led to the discovery of a number of cometary plasma physics phenomena. Another important result was that a value for the average density of the cometary nucleus could be estimated, which is found to be compatible with snow ball models for the nucleus

  8. Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-12-01

    . Introducing instead the terrestrial ratio for nitrogen-15 (1/272) significantly degrades the fit and thus that ratio can clearly be ruled out in Comet LINEAR. At the time of the VLT observations, the comet was of 9th magnitude, i.e. about 15 times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye. The distance from the Sun was about 180 million km; the distance from the Earth was 186 million km. The observations included calibration spectra of sunlight reflected from the lunar surface; they were used to "subtract" the solar signatures in the comet's spectrum, caused by reflection of sunlight from the dust particles around the comet. As expected, in addition to emission from "normal" CN-molecules ( 12 C 14 N), the UVES data also show emission lines of the 13 C 14 N-molecule that contains the rare isotope carbon-13. The derived 12 C/ 13 C isotopic ratio is 115 ± 20, quite similar to the "standard" solar system value of 89. However, there is also a series of weak features that are positioned exactly at the theoretical wavelengths of emission lines from 12 C 15 N-molecules, cf. PR Photo 28c/03 . The excellent fit that is evident in this diagram proves beyond any doubt the presence of nitrogen-15 in Comet LINEAR and allows a quite accurate determination of the isotopic ratio. The "anomalous" nitrogen isotope ratio in comets In 1997, the same group of astronomers obtained spectra of the (at that time) much brighter Comet Hale-Bopp with the 2.6-m NOT telescope (Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain) in order to investigate the isotopic ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13. Claude Arpigny remembers: " Interestingly, our spectra of Hale-Bopp showed a number of weak and unidentified emission lines. We later realised that they were positioned close to the theoretical wavelengths of some lines from the 12 C 15 N-molecule. This was a pleasant surprise, as lines from that molecular species were previously believed to be so faint that they would not be

  9. A direct observation the asteroid's structure from deep interior to regolith: why and how do it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herique, A.; Kofman, W. W.

    2013-12-01

    The internal structure of asteroids is still poorly known and has never been measured directly. Our knowledge is relying entirely on inferences from remote sensing observations of the surface, and theoretical modeling. Is the body a monolithic piece of rock or a rubble-pile, an aggregate of boulders held together by gravity and how much porosity it contains, both in the form of micro-scale or macro-scale porosity? What is the typical size of the constituent blocs? Are these blocs homogeneous or heterogeneous? Is the body a defunct or dormant comet and such MBC can become active? The body is covered by a regolith from whose properties remains largely unknown in term of depth, size distribution and spatial variation. Is resulting from fine particles re-accretion or from thermal fracturing? What are its coherent forces? How to model is thermal conductivity while this parameter is so important to estimate Yarkowsky and Yorp effects? Knowing asteroid deep interior and regolith structure is a key point for a better understanding of the asteroid accretion and dynamical evolution. There is no way to determine this from ground-based observation. Radar operating from a spacecraft is the only technique capable of achieving this science objective of characterizing the internal structure and heterogeneity from submetric to global scale for the science benefit as well as for the planetary defence and human exploration. The deep interior structure tomography requires low-frequency radar to penetrate throughout the complete body. The radar wave propagation delay and the received power are related to the complex dielectric permittivity (i.e to the composition and microporosity) and the small scale heterogeneities (scattering losses) while the spatial variation of the signal and the multiple paths provide information on the presence of heterogeneities (variations in composition or porosity), layers, ice lens. A partial coverage will provide "cuts" of the body when a dense coverage

  10. Singing comet changes its song

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volwerk, M.; Goetz, C.; Delva, M.; Richter, I.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Eriksson, A.; Odelstad, E.; Meier, P.; Nilsson, H.; Glassmeier, K.-H.

    2017-09-01

    The singing comet was discovered at the beginning of the Rosetta mission around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Large amplitude compressional waves with frequencies between 10 and 100 mHz were observed. When the comet became more active this signal was no longer measured. During the so-called tail excursion, late in the mission after perihelion, with again a less active comet, the singing was observed again and interestingly, going from 26 March to 27 March 2016 the character of the singing changed.

  11. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Chesley, Steve; Delbo, Marco; Farnham, Tony; Gim, Yonggyu; Grimm, Robert; Herique, Alain; Kofman, Wlodek; Oberst, Juergen; Orosei, Roberto; Piqueux, Sylvain; Plaut, Jeff; Robinson, Mark; Sava, Paul; Heggy, Essam; Kurth, William; Scheeres, Dan; Denevi, Brett; Turtle, Elizabeth; Weissman, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Missions to cometary nuclei have revealed major geological surprises: (1) Global scale layers - do these persist through to the interior? Are they a record of primary accretion? (2) Smooth regions - are they landslides originating on the surface? Are they cryovolcanic? (3) Pits - are they impact craters or sublimation pits, or rooted in the interior? Unambiguous answers to these and other questions can be obtained by high definition 3D radar reflection imaging (RRI) of internal structure. RRI can answer many of the great unknowns in planetary science: How do primitive bodies accrete? Are cometary nuclei mostly ice? What drives their spectacular activity and evolution? The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) mission will image the detailed internal structure of the nucleus of 10P/Tempel 2. This ~16 x 8 x 7 km Jupiter Family Comet (JFC), or its parent body, originated in the outer planets region possibly millions of years before planet formation. CORE arrives post-perihelion and observes the comet’s waning activity from safe distance. Once the nucleus is largely dormant, the spacecraft enters a ~20-km dedicated Radar Mapping Orbit (RMO). The exacting design of the RRI experiment and the precise navigation of RMO will achieve a highly focused 3D radar reflection image of internal structure, to tens of meters resolution, and tomographic images of velocity and attenuation to hundreds of meters resolution, tied to the gravity model and shape. Visible imagers will produce maps of the surface morphology, albedo, color, texture, and photometric response, and images for navigation and shape determination. The cameras will also monitor the structure and dynamics of the coma, and its dusty jets, allowing their correlation in 3D with deep interior structures and surface features. Repeated global high-resolution thermal images will probe the near-surface layers heated by the Sun. Derived maps of thermal inertia will be correlated with the radar boundary response, and photometry and

  12. 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....... 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......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...

  13. Heavy Metal - Exploring a magnetised metallic asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlund, J.-E.; Andrews, D. J.

    2017-09-01

    We propose an ESA/M5 spacecraft mission to orbit and explore (16) Psyche - the largest M-class metallic asteroid in the main belt. Recent estimates of the shape, 279×232×189 km and mass, 2.7×1019 kg of (16) Psyche make it one of the largest and densest of asteroids, 4.5 g cm-3, and together with the high surface radar reflectivity and the spectral data measured from Earth it is consistent with a bulk composition rich in iron-nickel. (16) Psyche orbits the Sun with semi-major axis 2.9 AU, 3º inclination, and is as yet unexplored in-situ.

  14. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Three: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 183-301, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Nugent, C.; Cutri, R. M. [California Institute of Technology, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, 1200 California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Wright, E. L. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Bauer, J. M. [University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Grav, T.; Sonnett, S., E-mail: Joseph.Masiero@jpl.nasa.gov [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E Fort Lowell Road #106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2017-10-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) reactivation mission has completed its third year of surveying the sky in the thermal infrared for near-Earth asteroids and comets. NEOWISE collects simultaneous observations at 3.4 and 4.6  μ m of solar system objects passing through its field of regard. These data allow for the determination of total thermal emission from bodies in the inner solar system, and thus the sizes of these objects. In this paper, we present thermal model fits of asteroid diameters for 170 NEOs and 6110 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) detected during the third year of the survey, as well as the associated optical geometric albedos. We compare our results with previous thermal model results from NEOWISE for overlapping sample sets, as well as diameters determined through other independent methods, and find that our diameter measurements for NEOs agree to within 26% (1 σ ) of previously measured values. Diameters for the MBAs are within 17% (1 σ ). This brings the total number of unique near-Earth objects characterized by the NEOWISE survey to 541, surpassing the number observed during the fully cryogenic mission in 2010.

  15. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Three: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, E.; Nugent, C.; Cutri, R. M.; Wright, E. L.; Bauer, J. M.; Grav, T.; Sonnett, S.

    2017-01-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) reactivation mission has completed its third year of surveying the sky in the thermal infrared for near-Earth asteroids and comets. NEOWISE collects simultaneous observations at 3.4 and 4.6  μ m of solar system objects passing through its field of regard. These data allow for the determination of total thermal emission from bodies in the inner solar system, and thus the sizes of these objects. In this paper, we present thermal model fits of asteroid diameters for 170 NEOs and 6110 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) detected during the third year of the survey, as well as the associated optical geometric albedos. We compare our results with previous thermal model results from NEOWISE for overlapping sample sets, as well as diameters determined through other independent methods, and find that our diameter measurements for NEOs agree to within 26% (1 σ ) of previously measured values. Diameters for the MBAs are within 17% (1 σ ). This brings the total number of unique near-Earth objects characterized by the NEOWISE survey to 541, surpassing the number observed during the fully cryogenic mission in 2010.

  16. Mobility in the Small Body Environment: Close Proximity Landing and Surface Dynamics

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Increasingly over the past decade, scientific interest in asteroids and comets has led to the development of mission architectures for both robotic and crewed...

  17. Towing Asteroids with Gravity Tractors Enhanced by Tethers and Solar Sails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Haijun; Roithmayr, Carlos M.

    2015-01-01

    Material collected from an asteroid's surface can be used to increase gravitational attraction between the asteroid and a Gravity Tractor (GT); the spacecraft therefore operates more effectively and is referred to as an Enhanced Gravity Tractor (EGT). The use of tethers and solar sails to further improve effectiveness and simplify operations is investigated. By employing a tether, the asteroidal material can be placed close to the asteroid while the spacecraft is stationed farther away, resulting in a better safety margin and improved thruster efficiency. A solar sail on a spacecraft can naturally provide radial offset and inter-spacecraft separation required for multiple EGTs.

  18. Technical manual for COMET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Jin Ho; Kwon, Young Min; Kim, Taek Mo; Lee, Sang Jong; Jeong, Hae Yong

    1996-07-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide a description for a COMET computer code which is to be used in the analysis of mass and energy releases during post-blowdown phase of LOCA. The mass and energy data re to be used as input data for the containment functional design. This report contains a brief description of analytical models and guidelines for the usage of the computer code. This computer code is to be used for both cold leg and hot leg break analyses. A verification analyses are performed for Ulchin 3 and 4 cold and hot leg break. 11 figs (Author)

  19. On the origin of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendis, A.; Alfven, H.

    1976-01-01

    Physico-chemical processes leading to the dynamic formation and physical evolution of comets are reviewed in relationship to the various theories that propose solar origins, protoplanetary origins, planetary origins and interstellar origins. Evidence points to the origins of comets by the growth and agglomeration of small particles from gas and dust at very low temperatures at undetermined regions in space.

  20. Inside look at Halley's comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beatty, J.K.

    1986-01-01

    The 1985-1986 emergence of Halley's comet, the first since the advent of the space age, was explored by a variety of spacecraft. The Vega 1, launched by the USSR together with the Eastern-block alliance, passed 5523 miles from the comet's nucleus at 7:20:06 Universal time. It indicated that the comet was about 300 miles closer to the sun than had been predicted. The Japanese spacecraft, Suisei, was created to map the distribution of neutral hydrogen atoms outside Halley's visible coma. Its pictures indicated that the comet's output of water varied between 25 and 60 tons per second. Five days after the Vega 2's passage through the comet, the Giotto (sponsored by the European Space Agency) probe appeared. Giotto's close approach took place 3.1 minutes after midnight UT on March 14th; the craft had passed 376 miles from its target. Giotto's data indicated that the nucleus was bigger than expected, and that the comet was composed primarily of water, CO2 and N2. The Vegas and Giotto found that as the solar wind approaches Halley, it slows gradually and the solar magnetic lines embedded in the wind begin to pile up. Pick-up ions, from the comet's halo of neutral hydrogen, were found in this solar wind. Sensors on the Vega spacecraft found a variety of plasma waves propagating inside the bow wave. In order to synthesize all the results, a conference on the exploration of Halley's comet will be held this October

  1. Molecular ions in comet tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P.A.

    1976-01-01

    Band intensities of the molecular ions CH + , CO + , N 2 + , and H 2 O + have been determined on an absolute scale from tail spectra of comet Kohoutek (1973f) and comet Bradfield (1974b). Photoionization and photodissociation rates have been computed for CH, CO, and N 2 . Also emission rate excitation g-factors for (1) photoionization plus excitation and (2) resonance fluorescence have been computed for the observed ions. It is shown that resonance fluorescence is the dominant excitation mechanism for observed comet tail ions at rapprox. =1 AU. Band system luminosities and molecular ion abundances within a projected nuclear distance rho 4 km have been determined for CH + , CO + , N 2 + , and H 2 O + in comet Kohoutek, and for H 2 O + in comet Bradfield. Estimates are also given for column densities of all observed ions at rhoapprox. =10 4 km on the tailward side of the coma. The observed H 2 O + column densities were found to be roughly the same in comet Kohoutek and comet Bradfield et equal heliocentric distances, while CO + was found to be approximately 100 times more abundant than H 2 O + , N 2 + , and CH + at rhoapprox. =10 4 km in comet Kohoutek. Finally, the relative abundances of the observed ions and of the presumed parent neutral species are briefly discussed

  2. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; West, Andrew A.; /MIT, MKI; Claire, Mark; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Juric, Mario; /Princeton U. Observ.; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Hall, Patrick B.; /York U., Canada; Kent, Steve; /Fermilab; Lupton, Robert H.; /Princeton U. Observ.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2010-12-01

    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  3. In-Situ Sampling Analysis of a Jupiter Trojan Asteroid by High Resolution Mass Spectrometry in the Solar Power Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebukawa, Y.; Aoki, J.; Ito, M.; Kawai, Y.; Okada, T.; Matsumoto, J.; Yano, H.; Yurimoto, H.; Terada, K.; Toyoda, M.; Yabuta, H.; Nakamura, R.; Cottin, H.; Grand, N.; Mori, O.

    2017-12-01

    The Solar Power Sail (SPS) mission is one of candidates for the upcoming strategic middle-class space exploration to demonstrate the first outer Solar System journey of Japan. The mission concept includes in-situ sampling analysis of the surface and subsurface (up to 1 m) materials of a Jupiter Trojan asteroid using high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). The candidates for the HRMS are multi-turn time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MULTUM) type and Cosmorbitrap type. We plan to analyze isotopic and elemental compositions of volatile materials from organic matter, hydrated minerals, and ice (if any), in order to understand origin and evolution of the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. It will provide insights into planet formation/migration theories, evolution and distribution of volatiles in the Solar System, and missing link between asteroids and comets on evolutional. The HRMS system allows to measure H, N, C, O isotopic compositions and elemental compositions of molecules prepared by various pre-MS procedures including stepwise heating up to 600ºC, gas chromatography (GC), and high-temperature pyrolysis with catalyst to decompose the samples into simple gaseous molecules (e.g., H2, CO, and N2) for isotopic ratio analysis. The required mass resolution should be at least 30,000 for analyzing isotopic ratios for simple gaseous molecules. For elemental compositions, mass accuracy of 10 ppm is required to determine elemental compositions for molecules with m/z up to 300 (as well as compound specific isotopic compositions for smaller molecules). Our planned analytical sequences consist of three runs for both surface and subsurface samples. In addition, `sniff mode' which simply introduces environmental gaseous molecules into a HRMS will be done by the system.

  4. Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous: mission overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Santo, A. G.; Heeres, K. J.; Landshof, J. A.; Farquhar, R. W.; Gold, R. E.; Lee, S. C.

    1997-10-01

    The Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, the first launch of NASA's Discovery Program, will be the first mission to orbit an asteroid. NEAR will make the first comprehensive scientific measurements of an asteroid's surface composition, geology, physical properties, and internal structure. NEAR launched successfully on February 17, 1996, aboard a Delta II-7925. It will orbit the 20-km-diameter near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros for about 1 year, at a minimum orbit radius of about 35 km from the center of the asteroid. The NEAR is a solar-powered, three-axis stabilized spacecraft with a launch mass including propellant of 805 kg. NEAR uses X band telemetry to the NASA Deep Space Network, with the data rates at Eros up to 8.8 kbits/s using a 34-m High Efficiency (HEF) dish, and up to 26.5 kbits/s using a 70-m dish. A solid-state recorder is accommodated with a memory capacity of 1.8 Gbytes. Attitude control is to 1.7 mrad, line-of-sight pointing stability is within 50 μrad over 1 s, and post processing attitude knowledge is within 50 μrad. NEAR accommodates 56 kg of instruments and provides them with 84 W. The instruments are a multispectral imager (MSI), a near-infrared spectrograph (NIS), an X ray/gamma ray spectrometer (XRS/GRS), a magnetometer (MAG), and a laser rangefinder (NLR), while a radio science (RS) investigation uses the coherent X band transponder. NEAR will make a flyby of the C-type asteroid 253 Mathilde in June 1997 and will rendezvous with 433 Eros in February 1999. It will execute an initial slow flyby of Eros, with a flyby speed of 5 m/s and a closest approach distance of 500 km. Subsequently, its orbit will be lowered to 35 km. The NEAR Mission Operations Center and the Science Data Center are at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The Science Data Center will maintain the entire NEAR data set on-line, and data from all instruments can be accessed by every member of the NEAR Science Team. Data, including images, are released over

  5. Comet Halley and interstellar chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snyder, L.E.

    1989-01-01

    How complex is the chemistry of the interstellar medium? How far does it evolve and how has it interacted with the chemistry of the solar system? Are the galactic chemical processes destroyed, preserved, or even enhanced in comets? Are biogenic molecules formed in space and have the formation mechanisms interacted in any way with prebiotic organic chemical processes on the early earth? Radio molecular studies of comets are important for probing deep into the coma and nuclear region and thus may help answer these questions. Comets are believed to be pristine samples of the debris left from the formation of the solar system and may have been the carrier between interstellar and terrestrial prebiotic chemistries. Recent observations of Comet Halley and subsequent comets have given the author an excellent opportunity to study the relationship between interstellar molecular chemistry and cometary chemistry

  6. Composition of LHB Comets and Their Influence on the Early Earth Atmosphere Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tornow, C.; Kupper, S.; Ilgner, M.; Kuehrt, E.; Motschmann, U.

    2011-01-01

    Two main processes were responsible for the composition of this atmosphere: chemical evolution of the volatile fraction of the accretion material forming the planet and the delivery of gasses to the planetary surface by impactors during the late heavy bombardment (LHB). The amount and composition of the volatile fraction influences the outgassing of the Earth mantle during the last planetary formation period. A very weakened form of outgassing activity can still be observed today by examining the composition of volcanic gasses. An enlightenment of the second process is based on the sparse records of the LHB impactors resulting from the composition of meteorites, observed cometary comas, and the impact material found on the Moon. However, for an assessment of the influence of the outgassing on the one hand and the LHB event on the other, one has to supplement the observations with numerical simulations of the formation of volatiles and their incorporation into the accretion material which is the precursors of planetary matter, comets and asteroids. These simulations are performed with a combined hydrodynamic-chemical model of the solar nebula (SN). We calculate the chemical composition of the gas and dust phase of the SN. From these data, we draw conclusions on the upper limits of the water content and the amount of carbon and nitrogen rich volatiles incorporated later into the accretion material. Knowing these limits we determine the portion of major gas compounds delivered during the LHB and compare it with the related quantities of the outgassed species.

  7. Compositional studies of primitive asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilas, F.

    1988-01-01

    The composition of primitive asteroids and their relationship to satellites in the solar system will be studied by analyzing existing narrowband charge coupled device (CCD) reflectance spectra, acquiring additional spectra of asteroids and small satellites in the 0.5 to 1.0 micrometer spectral range, and exploring possibilities for obtaining compositional information in the blue-UV spectral region. Comparison with laboratory spectra of terrestrial chlorites and serpentines (phyllosilicates) and the clay minerals found in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites will continue. During 1987, narrowband CCD reflectance spectra of 17 additional asteroids were acquired. These spectra and spectra of 34 other asteroids have been used primarily for two studies: weak absorption features similar to those due to Fe2(+) and Fe2(+) - Fe3(+) transitions in iron oxides f ound in terrestrial chlorites and serpentines and carbonaceous chondrites have been identified in some primitive asteroid spectra. There is a first indication that asteroids grouped by heliocentric distance show similar weak absorption features. Nonparametric statistics are being applied to test the hypothesis of discrete remnants of a gradation in composition of outer-belt asteroids

  8. Giant comets and mass extinctions of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napier, W. M.

    2015-03-01

    I find evidence for clustering in age of well-dated impact craters over the last 500 Myr. At least nine impact episodes are identified, with durations whose upper limits are set by the dating accuracy of the craters. Their amplitudes and frequency are inconsistent with an origin in asteroid breakups or Oort cloud disturbances, but are consistent with the arrival and disintegration in near-Earth orbits of rare, giant comets, mainly in transit from the Centaur population into the Jupiter family and Encke regions. About 1 in 10 Centaurs in Chiron-like orbits enter Earth-crossing epochs, usually repeatedly, each such epoch being generally of a few thousand years' duration. On time-scales of geological interest, debris from their breakup may increase the mass of the near-Earth interplanetary environment by two or three orders of magnitude, yielding repeated episodes of bombardment and stratospheric dusting. I find a strong correlation between these bombardment episodes and major biostratigraphic and geological boundaries, and propose that episodes of extinction are most effectively driven by prolonged encounters with meteoroid streams during bombardment episodes. Possible mechanisms are discussed.

  9. Destruction of Sun-Grazing Comet C-2011 N3 (SOHO) Within the Low Solar Corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrijver, C. J.; Brown, J. C.; Battams, K.; Saint-Hilaire, P.; Liu, W.; Hudson, H.; Pesnell, W. D.

    2012-01-01

    Observations of comets in Sun-grazing orbits that survive solar insolation long enough to penetrate into the Suns inner corona provide information on the solar atmosphere and magnetic field as well as on the makeup of the comet. On 6 July 2011, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed the demise of comet C2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona in five wavelength bands in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). The comet penetrated to within 0.146 solarradius (100,000 kilometers) of the solar surface before its EUV signal disappeared.

  10. 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.

  11. Constraints on Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Man-To; Ye, Quan-Zhi; Wiegert, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Encke-type comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami is experiencing cascading fragmentation events during its 2016 apparition. It is likely the first splitting Encke-type comet ever observed. A nongravitational solution to the astrometry reveals a statistical detection of the radial and transverse nongravitational parameters, {A}1=(1.54+/- 0.39)× {10}-8 au day‑2 and {A}2=(7.19+/- 1.92)× {10}-9 au day‑2, respectively, which implies a nucleus erosion rate of (9.1+/- 1.7)‰ per orbital revolution. The mass-loss rate likely has to be supported by a much larger fraction of an active surface area than known cases of short-period comets; it may be relevant to the ongoing fragmentation. We failed to detect any serendipitous pre-discovery observations of the comet in archival data from major sky surveys, whereby we infer that 332P used to be largely inactive, and is perhaps among the few short-period comets that have been reactivated from weakly active or dormant states. We therefore constrain an upper limit to the nucleus size as 2.0 ± 0.2 km in radius. A search for small bodies in similar orbits to that of 332P reveals comet P/2010 B2 (WISE) to be the best candidate. From an empirical generalized Jupiter-family (Encke-type included) comet population model, we estimate the likelihood of a chance alignment of the 332P–P/2010 B2 pair to be 1 in 33, a small number indicative of a genetic linkage between the two comets on a statistical basis. The pair possibly originated from a common progenitor, which underwent a disintegration event well before the twentieth century.

  12. The Rosetta Mission to Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, Bonnie J.

    2017-06-01

    As remnant bodies left over from the formation of the Solar System, comets offer clues to the physical conditions and architecture of the protosolar nebula. The Rosetta spacecraft, which included an orbiter and a lander that were built and managed by the European Space Agency with NASA contributing four instruments and scientific expertise, was the first mission to orbit and study a comet through a perihelion passage. The targeted Jupiter-family comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is seemingly two distinct planetesimals stuck together. The comet has not melted or been processed substantially, except for its outer layers, which consist of reaccreted dust and a crust of heated, devolatized, and annealed refractory materials and organics. The exceptionally low density (0.53 gm/cc) of 67P/ implies it is a rubble pile. The comet also appears to contain a hierarchy of building blocks: smaller spherically shaped meter-sized bodies can be seen in its interior, and even smaller cm-sized pebbles were imaged by the camera as the spacecraft made a soft crash landing on the comet’s surface on 30 September 2016. The unexpected discovery of molecular oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen imply that 67P/ was formed under cold conditions not exceeding 30K. The discovery of many organic compounds, including the amino acid glycine, lends support to the idea that comets, which originate in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, brought the building blocks of life to Earth. More laboratory data on organic compounds would help to identify additional organic compounds on the comet. The differences between cometary and terrestrial D/H ratios suggest that comets are not the primary source of terrestrial water, although data on more comets is needed to confirm this result.Besides being primordial objects offering a window into the formation of solar systems, comets are astrophysical laboratories, ejecting dust and charged particles into the plasma comprising the solar wind. Several unusual phenomena

  13. Two-step Laser Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry to Elucidate Organic Diversity in Planetary Surface Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getty, Stephanie A.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Cornish, Timothy; Li, Xiang; Floyd, Melissa; Arevalo, Ricardo Jr.; Cook, Jamie Elsila; Callahan, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    Laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LD-TOF-MS) holds promise to be a low-mass, compact in situ analytical capability for future landed missions to planetary surfaces. The ability to analyze a solid sample for both mineralogical and preserved organic content with laser ionization could be compelling as part of a scientific mission pay-load that must be prepared for unanticipated discoveries. Targeted missions for this instrument capability include Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and small icy bodies, such as asteroids and comets.

  14. Tracing meteorite source regions through asteroid spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina Ana

    attempting to infer mineralogy. Yet work by Gaffey et al. (1993) describes the S-asteroid class as home to a wide variety of mineralogies. Using data from the Small Main-belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey (SMASS), the 24-color asteroid survey and the 52-color asteroid survey, the spectral parameters of subclass members are investigated to predict possible errors to our model. While spectra are a diagnostic tool, there are factors inherent to the environment of near-Earth asteroids that pose ambiguities, such as grain size, temperature and space weathering. These factors are difficult to deconvolve from the compositional signal and are addressed here by simulated effects on meteorites from RELAB, Moroz et al. (2000) and Strazzulla et al (2005). A long-standing puzzle in asteroid science is the space weathering process and its implications for the relationship between S-type asteroids and ordinary chondrites. While Q-type asteroids are most spectrally similar to ordinary chondrites, these meteorites share certain diagnostic similarities with S-type asteroids. Binzel et al. (2004) statistically demonstrated a trend in spectral slope in near-Earth objects from 0.1 to 5 km. This analysis provided a missing link between the Q- and S-type by showing a reddening of spectral slope with larger diameter that corresponds to a transition from Q-type asteroid spectra to S-type asteroid spectra. This reddening of spectral slope is attributed to the effects of space weathering on the observable surface composition. This work shows preliminary results of a photometric survey of small Koronis family members. Observations of these objects were obtained in visible and near- infrared Harris and Sloan filters. Due to their common origin, Koronis family members have shown similar S-type spectroscopic signatures. We assume this consistency applies to the small-unclassified bodies. This provides a unique opportunity to compare the effects of the space weathering process on potentially ordinary

  15. EPOXI at comet Hartley 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    A'Hearn, Michael F; Belton, Michael J S; Delamere, W Alan; Feaga, Lori M; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P; McFadden, Lucy A; Meech, Karen J; Melosh, H Jay; Schultz, Peter H; Sunshine, Jessica M; Thomas, Peter C; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D; Yeomans, Donald K; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J; Carcich, Brian T; Collins, Steven M; Farnham, Tony L; Groussin, Olivier; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S; Kelley, Michael S; Li, Jian-Yang; Lindler, Don J; Lisse, Carey M; McLaughlin, Stephanie A; Merlin, Frédéric; Protopapa, Silvia; Richardson, James E; Williams, Jade L

    2011-06-17

    Understanding how comets work--what drives their activity--is crucial to the use of comets in studying the early solar system. EPOXI (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation) flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus, taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nucleus is outgassing primarily because of CO(2), which drags chunks of ice out of the nucleus. It also shows substantial differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  16. Comets in the space age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, F.L.

    1989-01-01

    The historical development of the study of the nature of comets and their origin is discussed, emphasizing the use of aerospace technology in cometary science. The use of satellites to study the Comet Kohoutek 1973 XII, advances between Kohoutek and P/Halley, and studies of P/Halley during its 1986 return are examined. Consideration is given to data from ground, air, and space sensors, and from the Giotto and Vega spacecraft missions. Also, the physical structure of the nucleus of Comet Halley is described. 136 refs

  17. 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.

  18. Spectral properties of binary asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajuelo, Myriam; Birlan, Mirel; Carry, Benoît; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Binzel, Richard P.; Berthier, Jérôme

    2018-04-01

    We present the first attempt to characterize the distribution of taxonomic class among the population of binary asteroids (15% of all small asteroids). For that, an analysis of 0.8-2.5{μ m} near-infrared spectra obtained with the SpeX instrument on the NASA/IRTF is presented. Taxonomic class and meteorite analog is determined for each target, increasing the sample of binary asteroids with known taxonomy by 21%. Most binary systems are bound in the S-, X-, and C- classes, followed by Q and V-types. The rate of binary systems in each taxonomic class agrees within uncertainty with the background population of small near-Earth objects and inner main belt asteroids, but for the C-types which are under-represented among binaries.

  19. Observing the variation of asteroid thermal inertia with heliocentric distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozitis, B.; Green, S. F.; MacLennan, E.; Emery, J. P.

    2018-06-01

    Thermal inertia is a useful property to characterize a planetary surface, since it can be used as a qualitative measure of the regolith grain size. It is expected to vary with heliocentric distance because of its dependence on temperature. However, no previous investigation has conclusively observed a change in thermal inertia for any given planetary body. We have addressed this by using NEOWISE data and the Advanced Thermophysical Model to study the thermophysical properties of the near-Earth asteroids (1036) Ganymed, (1580) Betulia, and (276 049) 2002 CE26 as they moved around their highly eccentric orbits. We confirm that the thermal inertia values of Ganymed and 2002 CE26 do vary with heliocentric distance, although the degree of variation observed depends on the spectral emissivity assumed in the thermophysical modelling. We also confirm that the thermal inertia of Betulia did not change for three different observations obtained at the same heliocentric distance. Depending on the spectral emissivity, the variations for Ganymed and 2002 CE26 are potentially more extreme than that implied by theoretical models of heat transfer within asteroidal regoliths, which might be explained by asteroids having thermal properties that also vary with depth. Accounting for this variation reduces a previously observed trend of decreasing asteroid thermal inertia with increasing size, and suggests that the surfaces of small and large asteroids could be much more similar than previously thought. Furthermore, this variation can affect Yarkovsky orbital drift predictions by a few tens of per cent.

  20. Near Earth Asteroid redirect missions based on gravity assist maneuver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledkov, Anton; Shustov, Boris M.; Eismont, Natan; Boyarsky, Michael; Nazirov, Ravil; Fedyaev, Konstantin

    During last years several events attracted world community attention to the hazards of hitting the Earth by sky objects. One of these objects is Apophis asteroid what was expected with nonzero probability to hit the Earth in 2036. Luckily after more precise measurements this event is considered as practically improbable. But the other object has really reached the Earth, entered the atmosphere in the Chelyabinsk area and caused vast damages. After this the hazardous near Earth objects problem received practical confirmation of the necessity to find the methods of its resolution. The methods to prevent collision of the dangerous sky object with the Earth proposed up to now look not practical enough if one mentions such as gravitational tractor or changing the reflectivity of the asteroid surface. Even the method supposing the targeting of the spacecraft to the hazardous object in order to deflect it from initial trajectory by impact does not work because its low mass as compared with the mass of asteroid to be deflected. For example the mass of the Apophis is estimated to be about 40 million tons but the spacecraft which can be launched to intercept the asteroid using contemporary launchers has the mass not more than 5 tons. So the question arises where to find the heavier projectile which is possible to direct to the dangerous object? The answer proposed in our paper is very simple: to search it among small near Earth asteroids. As small ones we suppose those which have the cross section size not more than 12-15 meters and mass not exceeding 1500 -1700 tons. According to contemporary estimates the number of such asteroids is not less than 100000. The other question is how to redirect such asteroid to the dangerous one. In the paper the possibilities are studied to use for that purpose gravity assist maneuvers near Earth. It is shown that even among asteroids included in contemporary catalogue there are the ones which could be directed to the trajectory of the

  1. Predictions of asteroid hazard to the Earth for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Nikita; Sokolov, Leonid; Polyakhova, Elena; Oskina, Kristina

    2018-05-01

    Early detection and investigation of possible collisions and close approaches of asteroids with the Earth are necessary to exept the asteroid-comet hazard. The difficulty of prediction of close approaches and collisions associated with resonant returns after encounters with the Earth due to loss of precision in these encounters. The main research object is asteroid Apophis (99942), for which we found many possible orbits of impacts associated with resonant returns. It is shown that the early orbit change of Apophis allows to avoid main impacts, associated with resonant returns. Such a change of the orbit, in principle, is feasible. We also study the possible impacts with the Ground asteroid 2015 RN35. We present 21 possible collisions in this century, including 7 collisions with large gaps presented in NASA website. The results of observations by the telescope ZA-320M at Pulkovo Obser-vatory of the three near-Earth asteroids, namely, 7822, 20826, 68216, two of which 7822 and 68216 are potentially hazardous, are presented.

  2. Comets, impacts, and atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Tobias; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    Studies of element abundances and values of D/H in the atmospheres of the giant planets and Titan have emphasized the important role of icy planetesimals in the formation of these bodies. In these atmospheres, C/H and D/H increase as the relative masses of the 'cores' of the planets increase. N/H appears to deviate from this trend in an interesting way. In the inner solar system, the traditional approach of using carbonaceous chondrites as the source of planetary volatiles is in serious trouble because of the depletion of xenon and the unusual pattern of xenon isotopes found in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars, and because of the solar-type abundance ratios of argon, krypton and xenon and the large amounts of neon and argon on Venus. Recent studies of elemental abundances in comets, especially P/Halley, coupled with laboratory studies of the trapping of gas in ice formed at low temperatures by A. Bar-Nun et al. provide a consistent interpretation of all of these results. This interpretation emphasizes the fundamental importance of icy planetesimals (comets) and the randomness of early impacts in the formation of planetary systems. Cometary delivery by itself will not explain the noble gas abundances on the inner planets. There is good evidence for at least one additional source, which presumably consists of the rocky material making up the bulk of the planets. The existence of this rocky reservoir is manifested in the nucleogenic isotopes and in the neon which is found in all these atmospheres and is also present in the Earth's mantle. This neon may well be a relic of the planets' earliest, accretional atmospheres.

  3. Special issue on asteroids - Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novaković, Bojan; Hsieh, Henry H.; Gronchi, Giovanni F.

    2018-04-01

    The articles in this special issue are devoted to asteroids, small solar system bodies that primarily populate a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, known as the asteroid belt, but can also be found throughout the Solar System. Asteroids are considered to be a key to understanding the formation and evolution of our planetary system. Their properties allow us to test current theoretical models and develop new theoretical concepts pertaining to evolutionary processes in the Solar System. There have been major advances in asteroid science in the last decade, and that trend continues. Eighteen papers accepted for this special issue cover a wide range of asteroid-related subjects, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of these intriguing objects even further. Here we provide the reader with a brief overview of these thrilling papers, with an invitation for interested scientists to read each work in detail for a better understanding of these recent cutting edge results. As many topics in asteroid science remain open challenges, we hope that this special issue will be an important reference point for future research on this compelling topic.

  4. Modeling the Thermodynamic Properties of the Inner Comae of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boice, Daniel C.

    2017-10-01

    properties of small Solar System bodies, including near-Sun comets and asteroids.Acknowledgments: This work was supported by FAPESP under Grant No. 2015/03176-8 and the National Science Foundation Planetary Astronomy Program Grant No. 0908529.

  5. The Science of Sungrazers, Sunskirters, and Other Near-Sun Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Geraint H.; Knight, Matthew M.; Battams, Karl; Boice, Daniel C.; Brown, John; Giordano, Silvio; Raymond, John; Snodgrass, Colin; Steckloff, Jordan K.; Weissman, Paul; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Lisse, Carey; Opitom, Cyrielle; Birkett, Kimberley S.; Bzowski, Maciej; Decock, Alice; Mann, Ingrid; Ramanjooloo, Yudish; McCauley, Patrick

    2018-02-01

    This review addresses our current understanding of comets that venture close to the Sun, and are hence exposed to much more extreme conditions than comets that are typically studied from Earth. The extreme solar heating and plasma environments that these objects encounter change many aspects of their behaviour, thus yielding valuable information on both the comets themselves that complements other data we have on primitive solar system bodies, as well as on the near-solar environment which they traverse. We propose clear definitions for these comets: We use the term near-Sun comets to encompass all objects that pass sunward of the perihelion distance of planet Mercury (0.307 AU). Sunskirters are defined as objects that pass within 33 solar radii of the Sun's centre, equal to half of Mercury's perihelion distance, and the commonly-used phrase sungrazers to be objects that reach perihelion within 3.45 solar radii, i.e. the fluid Roche limit. Finally, comets with orbits that intersect the solar photosphere are termed sundivers. We summarize past studies of these objects, as well as the instruments and facilities used to study them, including space-based platforms that have led to a recent revolution in the quantity and quality of relevant observations. Relevant comet populations are described, including the Kreutz, Marsden, Kracht, and Meyer groups, near-Sun asteroids, and a brief discussion of their origins. The importance of light curves and the clues they provide on cometary composition are emphasized, together with what information has been gleaned about nucleus parameters, including the sizes and masses of objects and their families, and their tensile strengths. The physical processes occurring at these objects are considered in some detail, including the disruption of nuclei, sublimation, and ionisation, and we consider the mass, momentum, and energy loss of comets in the corona and those that venture to lower altitudes. The different components of comae and

  6. Nitrogen abundance in Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.C.; Engel, L.

    1991-01-01

    Data on the nitrogen-containing compounds that observed spectroscopically in the coma of Comet Halley are summarized, and the elemental abundance of nitrogen in the Comet Halley nucleus is derived. It is found that 90 percent of elemental nitrogen is in the dust fraction of the coma, while in the gas fraction, most of the nitrogen is contained in NH3 and CN. The elemental nitrogen abundance in the ice component of the nucleus was found to be deficient by a factor of about 75, relative to the solar photosphere, indicating that the chemical partitioning of N2 into NH3 and other nitrogen compounds during the evolution of the solar nebula cannot account completely for the low abundance ratio N2/NH3 = 0.1, observed in the comet. It is suggested that the low N2/NH3 ratio in Comet Halley may be explained simply by physical fractionation and/or thermal diffusion. 88 refs

  7. Lifetime of a spacecraft around a synchronous system of asteroids using a dipole model

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Leonardo Barbosa Torres; de Almeida Prado, Antonio F. Bertachini; Sanchez, Diogo Merguizo

    2017-11-01

    Space missions allow us to expand our knowledge about the origin of the solar system. It is believed that asteroids and comets preserve the physical characteristics from the time that the solar system was created. For this reason, there was an increase of missions to asteroids in the past few years. To send spacecraft to asteroids or comets is challenging, since these objects have their own characteristics in several aspects, such as size, shape, physical properties, etc., which are often only discovered after the approach and even after the landing of the spacecraft. These missions must be developed with sufficient flexibility to adjust to these parameters, which are better determined only when the spacecraft reaches the system. Therefore, conducting a dynamic investigation of a spacecraft around a multiple asteroid system offers an extremely rich environment. Extracting accurate information through analytical approaches is quite challenging and requires a significant number of restrictive assumptions. For this reason, a numerical approach to the dynamics of a spacecraft in the vicinity of a binary asteroid system is offered in this paper. In the present work, the equations of the Restricted Synchronous Four-Body Problem (RSFBP) are used to model a binary asteroid system. The main objective of this work is to construct grids of initial conditions, which relates semi-major axis and eccentricity, in order to quantify the lifetime of a spacecraft when released close to the less massive body of the binary system (modeled as a rotating mass dipole). We performed an analysis of the lifetime of the spacecraft considering several mass ratios of a binary system of asteroids and investigating the behavior of a spacecraft in the vicinity of this system. We analyze direct and retrograde orbits. This study investigated orbits that survive for at least 500 orbital periods of the system (which is approximately one year), then not colliding or escaping from the system during this

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    In the course of the major observational programme of asteroids by the Institute of Planetary Exploration of the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) [1] in Berlin, two of the staff astronomers, Stefano Mottola and Gerhard Hahn , have discovered a small satellite (moon) orbiting the asteroid (3671) Dionysus. The new measurements were obtained with the DLR CCD Camera attached at the 60-cm Bochum telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile. This is only the second known case of an asteroid with a moon. Moons and planets Until recently, natural satellites were only known around the major planets . The Moon orbits the Earth, there are two tiny moons around Mars, each of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune has many more, and even the smallest and outermost, Pluto, is accompanied by one [2]. However, the new discovery now strengthens the belief of many astronomers that some, perhaps even a substantial number of the many thousands of minor planets (asteroids) in the solar system may also possess their own moons. The first discovery of a satellite orbiting an asteroid was made by the NASA Galileo spacecraft, whose imagery, obtained during a fly-by of asteroid (253) Ida in August 1993, unveiled a small moon that has since been given the name Dactyl. (3671) Dionysus: an Earth-crossing asteroid In the framework of the DLR asteroid monitoring programme, image sequences are acquired to measure an asteroid's brightness variations caused by the changing amount of sunlight reflected from the asteroid's illuminated surface as it spins, due to its irregular shape. The brightness variations may be used to derive the asteroid's rotational properties, such as speed of rotation and spin axis orientation. Asteroid Dionysus [3] was put on the observing list because it belongs to a special class of asteroids, the members of which occasionally come very close to the Earth and have a small, but non-negligible chance of colliding with our planet. Most of

  9. Dust arcs in the region of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaodong; Schmidt, Jürgen

    2018-01-01

    Aims: The surfaces of the Trojan asteroids are steadily bombarded by interplanetary micrometeoroids, which releases ejecta of small dust particles. These particles form the faint dust arcs that are associated with asteroid clouds. Here we analyze the particle dynamics and structure of the arc in the region of the L4 Trojan asteroids. Methods: We calculate the total cross section of the L4 Trojan asteroids and the production rate of dust particles. The motion of the particles is perturbed by a variety of forces. We simulate the dynamical evolution of the dust particles, and explore the overall features of the Trojan dust arc. Results: The simulations show that the arc is mainly composed of grains in the size range 4-10 microns. Compared to the L4 Trojan asteroids, the dust arc is distributed more widely in the azimuthal direction, extending to a range of [30, 120] degrees relative to Jupiter. The peak number density does not develop at L4. There exist two peaks that are azimuthally displaced from L4.

  10. Rotation Frequencies of Small Jovian Trojan Asteroids: An Excess of Slow Rotators

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Linda M.; Stephens, Robert D.; James, David J.; Coley, Daniel; Connour, Kyle

    2015-11-01

    Several lines of evidence support a common origin for, and possible hereditary link between, cometary nuclei and jovian Trojan asteroids. Due to their distance and low albedos, few comet-sized Trojans have been studied. We discuss the rotation properties of Jovian Trojan asteroids less than 30 km in diameter. Approximately half the 131 objects discussed here were studied using densely sampled lightcurves (French et al. 2015a, b); Stephens et al. 2015), and the other half were sparse lightcurves obtained by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF; Waszcazk et al. 2015).A significant fraction (~40%) of the objects in the ground-based sample rotate slowly (P > 24h), with measured periods as long as 375 h (Warner and Stephens 2011). The PTF data show a similar excess of slow rotators. Only 5 objects in the combined data set have rotation periods of less than six hours. Three of these fast rotators were contained in the data set of French et al. these three had a geometric mean rotation period of 5.29 hours. A prolate spheroid held together by gravity rotating with this period would have a critical density of 0.43 gm/cm3, a density similar to that of comets (Lamy et al. 2004).Harris et al. (2012) and Warner et al. (2011) have explored the possible effects on asteroid rotational statistics with the results from wide-field surveys. We will examine Trojan rotation statistics with and without the results from the PTF.

  11. An initial perspective of S-asteroid subtypes within asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, M. S.; Gaffey, M. J.

    1993-01-01

    Many main belt asteroids cluster around certain values of semi-major axis (a), inclination (i), and eccentricity (e). Hirayama was the first to notice these concentrations which he interpreted as evidence of disruptions of larger parent bodies. He called these clusters 'asteroid families'. The term 'families' is increasingly reserved for genetic associations to distinguish them from clusters of unknown or purely dynamical origin (e.g. the Phocaea cluster). Members of a genetic asteroid family represent fragments derived from various depths within the original parent planetesimal. Thus, family members offer the potential for direct examination of the interiors of parent bodies which have undergone metamorphism and differentiation similar to that occurring in the inaccessible interiors of terrestrial planets. The differentiation similar to that occurring in the inaccessible interiors of terrestrial planets. The condition that genetic family members represent the fragments of a parent object provides a critical test of whether an association (cluster in proper element space) is a genetic family. Compositions (types and relative abundances of materials) of family members must permit the reconstruction of a compositionally plausible parent body. The compositions of proposed family members can be utilized to test the genetic reality of the family and to determine the type and degree of internal differentiation within the parent planetesimal. The interpretation of the S-class mineralogy provides a preliminary evaluation of family memberships. Detailed mineralogical and petrological analysis was done based on the reflectance spectra of 39 S-type asteroids. The result is a division of the S-asteroid class into seven subtypes based on compositional differences. These subtypes, designated S(I) to S(VII), correspond to surface silicate assemblages ranging from monomineralic olivine (dunites) through olivine-pyroxene mixtures to pure pyroxene or pyroxene-feldspar mixtures

  12. Comets, Carbonaceous Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    Evidence for indigenous microfossils in carbonaceous meteorites suggests that the paradigm of the endogenous origin of life on Earth should be reconsidered. It is now widely accepted that comets and carbonaceous meteorites played an important role in the delivery of water, organics and life critical biogenic elements to the early Earth and facilitated the origin and evolution of the Earth's Biosphere. However; the detection of embedded microfossils and mats in carbonaceous meteorites implies that comets and meteorites may have played a direct role in the delivery of intact microorganisms and that the Biosphere may extend far into the Cosmos. Recent space observations have found the nuclei of comets to have very low albedos (approx.0.03) and. these jet-black surfaces become very hot (T approx. 400 K) near perihelion. This paper reviews recent observational data-on comets and suggests that liquid water pools could exist in cavities and fissures between the internal ices and rocks and the exterior carbonaceous crust. The presence of light and liquid water near the surface of the nucleus enhances the possibility that comets could harbor prokaryotic extremophiles (e.g., cyanobacteria) capable of growth over a wide range of temperatures. The hypothesis that comets are the parent bodies of the CI1 and the CM2 carbonaceous meteorites is advanced. Electron microscopy images will be presented showing forms interpreted as indigenous-microfossils embedded' in freshly. fractured interior surfaces of the Orgueil (CI1) and Murchison (CM2) meteorites. These forms are consistent in size and morphologies with known morphotypes of all five orders of Cyanobacteriaceae: Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) elemental data shows that the meteoritic forms have anomalous C/O; C/N; and C/S as compared with modern extremophiles and cyanobacteria. These images and spectral data indicate that the clearly biogenic and embedded remains cannot be interpreted as recent biological

  13. An Investigation of the Ranges of Validity of Asteroid Thermal Models for Near-Earth Asteroid Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, M.; Jedicke, R.; Trilling, D. E.

    2018-02-01

    The majority of known asteroid diameters are derived from thermal-infrared observations. Diameters are derived using asteroid thermal models that approximate their surface temperature distributions and compare the measured thermal-infrared flux with model-dependent predictions. The most commonly used thermal model is the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM), which is usually perceived as superior to other models like the Fast-Rotating Model (FRM). We investigate the applicability of the NEATM and the FRM to thermal-infrared observations of Near-Earth Objects using synthetic asteroids with properties based on the real Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population. We find the NEATM to provide more accurate diameters and albedos than the FRM in most cases, with a few exceptions. The modeling results are barely affected by the physical properties of the objects, but we find a large impact of the solar phase angle on the modeling results. We conclude that the NEATM provides statistically more robust diameter estimates for NEAs observed at solar phase angles less than ∼65°, while the FRM provides more robust diameter estimates for solar phase angles greater than ∼65°. We estimate that <5% of all NEA diameters and albedos derived up to date are affected by systematic effects that are of the same order of magnitude as the typical thermal model uncertainties. We provide statistical correction functions for diameters and albedos derived using the NEATM and FRM as a function of solar phase angle.

  14. Tying Extinction Events to Comet Impacts Large Enough to Cause an Extinction in Themselves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgener, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Comets over 35 km in size impacting Earth will create vast fireballs, and will boil large parts of the oceans, causing extinction events in themselves. They will likely provide enough energy to shatter the crust and eject large masses of molten rock from the mantle, forming traps. Traps are clearly associated with extinction events, but are not expected to cause extinctions. While Chicxulub is recognized to have occurred at the time of the K/Pg boundary layer, it is recognized as being too small in itself to cause an extinction. Are large comet impacts likely? The Kuiper belt has more than 100,000 objects over 100 km in diameter and millions over 10 km. Typically their orbits are less stable than asteroid orbits due to large bodies such as Pluto moving through the belt. The asteroid belt has only 10,000 objects over 10 km diameter. Comet impacts should be more common than asteroid impacts, yet none of the recognized craters are expected to be due to comets. There are many features on Earth that are poorly explained by Plate Tectonics that would be well explained if they were considered to be comet impact craters. A consideration of the Black Sea and the Tarim Basin will show that impact interpretations are a better fit than the present Plate Tectonics' explanations. Both basins are in the midst of mountain building from plate collisions, but are themselves not being disturbed by the plate collisions. Both are ellipses angled at 23.4 degrees to the equator, matching the angle expected for a low angle impact from a comet traveling in the ecliptic. Both are too deep at 15 km depths to be standard oceans (typically 5 km deep). Both are filled with horizontal layers of sediments, undisturbed by the mountain building occurring at the edges. Both have thin crusts and high Moho boundaries. Both have thin lithosphere. Yet both show GPS movement of the land around them moving away from them, as though they were much thicker and stronger than the surrounding land. The Tarim

  15. Developing an Asteroid Rotational Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geis, Gena; Williams, Miguel; Linder, Tyler; Pakey, Donald

    2018-01-01

    The goal of this project is to develop a theoretical asteroid rotational theory from first principles. Starting at first principles provides a firm foundation for computer simulations which can be used to analyze multiple variables at once such as size, rotation period, tensile strength, and density. The initial theory will be presented along with early models of applying the theory to the asteroid population. Early results confirm previous work by Pravec et al. (2002) that show the majority of the asteroids larger than 200m have negligible tensile strength and have spin rates close to their critical breakup point. Additionally, results show that an object with zero tensile strength has a maximum rotational rate determined by the object’s density, not size. Therefore, an iron asteroid with a density of 8000 kg/m^3 would have a minimum spin period of 1.16h if the only forces were gravitational and centrifugal. The short-term goal is to include material forces in the simulations to determine what tensile strength will allow the high spin rates of asteroids smaller than 150m.

  16. Discovery of M class objects among the near-earth asteroid population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.; Gradie, Jonathan

    1987-01-01

    Broadband colorimetry, visual photometry, near-infrared photometry, and 10 and 20 micron radiometry of the near-earth asteroids (NEAs) 1986 DA and 1986 EB are used to show that these objects belong to the M class of asteroids. The similarity among the distributions of taxonomic classes among the 38 NEAs to the abundances found in the inner astoroid belt between the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances suggests that NEAs have their origins among asteroids in the vicinity of these resonances. The implied mineralogy of 1986 DA and 1986 EB is mostly nickel-iron metal; if this is indeed the case, then current models for meteorite production based on strength-related collisional processes on asteroidal surfaces predict that these two objects alone should produce about one percent of all meteorite falls. Iron meteorites derived from these near-earth asteroids should have low cosmic-ray exposure ages.

  17. 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

  18. ASTEROID POLARIMETRIC DATABASE V6.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Asteroid Polarimetric Database (APD) is a collection of asteroid polarimetry results compiled by D.F. Lupishko and S.V. Vasiliev of Karazin Kharkiv National...

  19. ASTEROID PHOTOMETRIC CATALOG V1.1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Asteroid Photometric Catalog (3rd update), Lagerkvist, et.al., 1993 [LAGERKVISTETAL1993], is a compilation of all asteroid lightcurve photometry published up to...

  20. Comet 67P Through the Lens of Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina

    2017-04-01

    My proposal is to share my artistic exploration of a comet through the bodily senses, while finding inspiration in scientific data. I will present my artwork as a slideshow, showcasing: large scale paintings, ceramic sculptures, music and interactive augmented reality. The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) to comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko is remarkable. The scientific investigation of the comet's composition, atmosphere, dust, vapor, surface and internal structure are crucial to help researchers understand the origin of the solar system and our own planet. Sight: Paintings Rosetta mission discovered that the water on the comet is different from the water on Earth; as measured with the ROSINA-DFMS instrument on Rosetta, water on 67P contains approximately 3 times more hydrogen­deuterium oxide - HDO, than found in Earth's oceans. In the art studio I re-create water that is close in composition to the water on the comet, by concentrating the level of HDO. With this water I paint large scale watermedia paintings, based on the photographs by Rosetta (OSIRIS, Nav. Cam.). Touch: Sculptures While exploring the comet's three-dimensional form, I focus more deeply on the composition of the comet. Stoneware clay and my choice of a glaze both include iron oxide, a common constituent of meteorites and comets. Hearing: Music An audio piece "A Singing Comet", by Manuel Senfft, based on the Rosetta Plasma Consortium data, inspired me to make a musical piece. In collaboration with clarinetist Lee Mottram (Wales) and composer Takuto Fukuda (Japan) we created an electro­acoustic composition in which we tell the story of comets visiting our Solar System, repeating their cycle, curving around the sun and releasing water, carrying away dust to form their tails. Smell In collaboration with The Open University, UK, postcards with a smell of the comet were created, introducing the chemical components of the comet. The smell was recreated by combining several molecules

  1. Catastrophic disruptions as the origin of bilobate comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Stephen R.; Michel, Patrick; Jutzi, Martin; Marchi, Simone; Zhang, Yun; Richardson, Derek C.

    2018-05-01

    Several comets observed at close range have bilobate shapes1, including comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G), which was imaged by the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission2,3. Bilobate comets are thought to be primordial because they are rich in supervolatiles (for example, N2 and CO) and have a low bulk density, which implies that their formation requires a very low-speed accretion of two bodies. However, slow accretion does not only occur during the primordial phase of the Solar System; it can also occur at later epochs as part of the reaccumulation process resulting from the collisional disruption of a larger body4, so this cannot directly constrain the age of bilobate comets. Here, we show by numerical simulation that 67P/C-G and other elongated or bilobate comets can be formed in the wake of catastrophic collisional disruptions of larger bodies while maintaining their volatiles and low density throughout the process. Since this process can occur at any epoch of our Solar System's history, from early on through to the present day5, there is no need for these objects to be formed primordially. These findings indicate that observed prominent geological features, such as pits and stratified surface layers4,5, may not be primordial.

  2. Determination of the radius of comet 19P/Borrelly in support of the NMP DS1 Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festou, Michel

    1999-07-01

    Comet 19P/Borrelly is the ultimate target of the New Mellinium Program {NMP} Deep Space 1 asteroid-comet flyby mission. The size of this comet's nucleus is a critical parameter needed for flyby planning activities. However, as we describe below, P/Borrelly's radius is not well established. We, the NMP DS1 Science Team, request 1 orbit of HST/STIS time in Cycle 8 to refine the nuclear size estimate. This program cannot wait until Cycle 9 because of mission planning constraints and the fact that the comet is likely to be producing a weak but nonetheless enhanced coma by the time of Cycle 9. We therefore propose to observe comet P/Borrelly in Cycle 8 when the activity level of its nucleus is near its minimum, and quite possibly negligible. From a clear separation of the contributions of the coma and the nucleus in the inner part of STIS images, we will extract the cross section of Borrelly's nucleus. In addition to its immediate value for NMP DS1 mission planning, when c oupled to existing data sets, the STIS data will then enable us to model the coma morphology to better infer the effect of the nucleus outgassing on the comet's motion.

  3. Identification, Calculation Of The Three Dimensional Orbit, And Flux Of Asteroid 2007 TD14

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Vincent; Martin, E.; Millan, J.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years the rate of discovery of asteroids has improved dramatically and has far outstripped efforts to physically characterize them. In this work, we took part in the International Astronomical Search Campaign and confirmed the discovery of asteroid 2007 TD14. We then calculated the two and three dimensional orbit of the asteroid around the sun, given its six elements of orbit. Once the heliocentric and geocentric distances are known, and the visual magnitude of the asteroid obtained through photometry, its diameter can be calculated assuming a suitable value for the albedo. The diameter was 0.718 km and the albedo was 0.039. Using the Standard Thermal Model we calculated the temperature distribution on the surface of the asteroid and the flux of the asteroid in the thermal infrared (1.095 mJy at 22 microns on March 19, 2010). To the best of our knowledge there have been no previous reports of the diameter and flux of the asteroid. Our ultimate goal is to compare our flux values with newly released data from NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Mission and thus obtain better estimates of the asteroid diameter and albedo.

  4. Incoming asteroid! what could we do about it?

    CERN Document Server

    Lunan, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    Lately there have been more and more news stories on objects from space – such as asteroids, comets, and meteors – whizzing past Earth. One even exploded in the atmosphere over a Russian city in 2012, causing real damage and injuries. Impacts are not uncommon in our Solar System, even on Earth, and people are beginning to realize that we must prepare for such an event here on Earth.   What if we knew there was going to be an impact in 10 years’ time? What could we do? It’s not so far in the future that we can ignore the threat, and not so soon that nothing could be done. The author and his colleagues set out to explore how they could turn aside a rock asteroid, one kilometer in diameter, within this 10-year timescale.   Having set themselves this challenge, they identified the steps that might be taken, using technologies that are currently under development or proposed. They considered an unmanned mission, a follow-up manned mission, and a range of final options, along with ways to reduce the worst...

  5. Study of the Asteroid Florence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto; Pereira, Mario

    2018-06-01

    Asteroid Florence was discovered at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia (March 1981). Paul Chodas, manager of CNEOS-JPL said: “Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began” [1]. The asteroid passed 7.1 million kilometers away from the earth [2]. The GDSCC-NASA discovered that the asteroid has two small moons. The diameter of Florence is 4.5 kilometers, and the sizes of the two moons are probably between 100 – 300 meters across. The inner moon has a rotation period around Florence of about 8 hours, and the outer moon has a period of about 25 hours [3]. From our Observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we captured several pictures, videos and astrometry data during several hours during three days. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [4]. The pictures were captured with the following equipment: CGE PRO 1400 CELESTRON and STL-1001 SBIG camera. Astrometry and photometry was carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements and the rotation period. Summary and conclusions: We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity = 0.422548 +/- 0.000994, semi-major axis = 1.76675 +/- 0.00313 A.U, orbital inclination = 22.128 +/- 0.029 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 336.0960 +/- 0.0013 deg, argument of perihelion = 27.861 +/- 0.016, mean motion = 0.41970 +/- 0.00112 deg/d, perihelion distance = 1.0202151 +/- 5.27e-5 A.U, aphelion distance = 2.51329 +/- 0.00625 A.U, absolute magnitude = 14.4. The parameters were calculated based on 281 observations. Dates: 2017 September 01 to 05 with mean residual = 0.19 arcseconds. The asteroid has an orbital period of 2.35 years (857.74 days). The rotation period of the asteroid is 2.3 hours. Note: Spaceweather published our video on September 1-2017 [5].[1] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/large-asteroid-to-safely-pass-earth-on-sept-1[2] http

  6. Comet showers and Nemesis, the death star

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.

    1984-01-01

    The recently proposed hypothesis that the periodic extinctions of terrestrial species are the result of comet showers catalyzed by a hypothetical distant solar companion, Nemesis, a tale of global death by comet bombardment of the earth, is discussed

  7. Comet Hyakutake to Approach the Earth in Late March 1996

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-03-01

    the very distant `Oort Cloud' of comets that surrounds the solar system. In this sense it is different from the periodical comets which move in closed orbits around the Sun with revolution periods between a few years and some decades. Its `dirty snowball' nucleus of ices and dust has therefore not been heated by the Sun for a very long time, perhaps never, if this is its first visit to the inner regions of the solar system. Hence it is particularly difficult to predict its future performance. Nevertheless, the available observations seem to indicate that it is a quite `active' comet and that it may therefore become comparatively bright when it approaches the Earth and later at perihelion. But how bright ? Imaging as well as spectroscopic observations have been performed in order to better characterize Comet Hyakutake. On CCD-frames obtained of the comet in early February with telescopes at the ESO La Silla Observatory and elsewhere, an elongation is clearly visible (cf. ESO Press Photo 11/96 ) in the anti-sunward direction of the coma (the cloud of gas and dust that surrounds the cometary nucleus). A real tail has not yet developed, but this is expected to happen soon. The size of the coma was measured as at least 7 arcmin, corresponding to a projected diameter of nearly 500,000 kilometres. It is also of interest that until recently the coma otherwise appeared absolutely symmetrical - there was no indication of `jets', i.e. no large vents on the surface of the nucleus had yet become active. However, on images obtained with the ESO 3.6-metre telescope in the morning of February 13, a `jet'-like feature is seen which emerges south-east of the nucleus (i.e. from the sunlit side) and curls counter-clockwise towards the opposite side (the `tail'-direction). This is probably the first evidence of localized dust production on the surface of the nucleus. CCD observations were made on February 9 at the Lowell Observatory (Flagstaff, U.S.A.) through special optical filters

  8. Model for the coma of Comet Halley, based on the Astron ultraviolet spectrophotometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boiarchuk, A.A.; Grinin, V.P.; Petrov, P.P.; Sheikhet, A.I.; Zvereva, A.M.

    1986-01-01

    The development of a model of the Comet Halley coma from spectral and photometric data is described. Spectra in the 1500-3500 A range and photometric scans at the 3085 A and 2190 A in the (0-0) band of the OH and CO(+) molecules were obtained by the UV telescope of the satellite Astron on December 3, 13, and 23, 1985. Surface-brightness profiles of the coma in the (0-0) band of OH, NH, and CS molecules are derived. The source and formation of these molecules, the lifetime of their radicals, the radial velocity of their parent molecules, and the water-molecule sublimation rate are computed and examined. The basic characteristics of the comet observed from the UV data are compared to the properties of other comets. It is observed that Comet Halley is similar to other large short-period comets. 29 references

  9. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Michael; Feaga, Lori; Bodewits, Dennis; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane

    2014-12-01

    Spacecraft missions to comets return a treasure trove of details of their targets, e.g., the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Deep Impact experiment at comet 9P/Tempel 1, or even the flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars. Yet, missions are rare, the diversity of comets is large, few comets are easily accessible, and comet flybys essentially return snapshots of their target nuclei. Thus, telescopic observations are necessary to place the mission data within the context of each comet's long-term behavior, and to further connect mission results to the comet population as a whole. We propose a large Cycle 11 project to study the long-term activity of past and potential future mission targets, and select bright Oort cloud comets to infer comet nucleus properties, which would otherwise require flyby missions. In the classical comet model, cometary mass loss is driven by the sublimation of water ice. However, recent discoveries suggest that the more volatile CO and CO2 ices are the likely drivers of some comet active regions. Surprisingly, CO2 drove most of the activity of comet Hartley 2 at only 1 AU from the Sun where vigorous water ice sublimation would be expected to dominate. Currently, little is known about the role of CO2 in comet activity because telluric absorptions prohibit monitoring from the ground. In our Cycle 11 project, we will study the CO2 activity of our targets through IRAC photometry. In conjunction with prior observations of CO2 and CO, as well as future data sets (JWST) and ongoing Earth-based projects led by members of our team, we will investigate both long-term activity trends in our target comets, with a particular goal to ascertain the connections between each comet's coma and nucleus.

  10. CATASTROPHIC DISRUPTION OF COMET ISON

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B. [Astrochemistry Laboratory, NASA GSFC, MS 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Coulson, Iain M. [Joint Astronomy Center, 660 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Sekanina, Zdenek [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Kracht, Rainer, E-mail: keane@ifa.hawaii.edu [Ostlandring 53, D-25335 Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

    2016-11-10

    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 μ m dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31–0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 ( r {sub h} = 0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60″ (>10{sup 5} km) in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 μ m image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing ∼5.2 × 10{sup 10} kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  11. Comet-Narval acquisition notice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Bris, J.; Sellem, R.; Artiges, J.C.; Clavelin, J.F.; Du, S.; Grave, X.; Hubert, O.; Sauvage, J.; Roussiere, B.

    2006-01-01

    The COMET cards (encoding and time marking) serve to determine the energies and the time correlations of radiations detected during a multiparameter experiment while avoiding any extra specific module like coincidence circuits or delays) to set this time correlation. For each detected radiation, the arrival time information as well as the amplitude of the detected signal, are encoded. The results of these amplitude and time coding are associated to create an event. In this way, each detector is an independent source which provides a building block of the general information obtained by all the detectors. The COMET cards are associated with a NARVAL data acquisition system. This document is the instruction booklet of the COMET-NARVAL acquisition system

  12. Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Coulson, Iain M.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Sekanina, Zdenek; Kracht, Rainer; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2016-01-01

    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 microns dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31-0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 (rh?=?0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60? (greater than 10(exp 5) km in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 microns image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing approximately 5.2?×?10(exp 10) kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  13. Spectral Classification of Asteroids by Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chao; Ma, Yue-hua; Zhao, Hai-bin; Lu, Xiao-ping

    2017-10-01

    With the increasing spectral and photometric data of asteroids, a variety of classification methods for asteroids have been proposed. This paper classifies asteroids based on the observations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue (MOC) by using the random forest algorithm. In combination with the present taxonomies of Tholen, Bus, Lazzaro, and DeMeo, and the principal component analysis, we have classified 48642 asteroids according to their SDSS magnitudes at the g, r, i, and z wavebands. In this way, these asteroids are divided into 8 (C, X, S, B, D, K, L, and V) classes.

  14. 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).

  15. Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission: Robotic Boulder Capture Option Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Merrill, Raymond G.; Belbin, Scott P.; Reeves, David M.; Earle, Kevin D.; Naasz, Bo J.; Abell, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently studying an option for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) that would capture a multi-ton boulder (typically 2-4 meters in size) from the surface of a large (is approximately 100+ meter) Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and return it to cislunar space for subsequent human and robotic exploration. This alternative mission approach, designated the Robotic Boulder Capture Option (Option B), has been investigated to determine the mission feasibility and identify potential differences from the initial ARRM concept of capturing an entire small NEA (4-10 meters in size), which has been designated the Small Asteroid Capture Option (Option A). Compared to the initial ARRM concept, Option B allows for centimeter-level characterization over an entire large NEA, the certainty of target NEA composition type, the ability to select the boulder that is captured, numerous opportunities for mission enhancements to support science objectives, additional experience operating at a low-gravity planetary body including extended surface contact, and the ability to demonstrate future planetary defense strategies on a hazardous-size NEA. Option B can leverage precursor missions and existing Agency capabilities to help ensure mission success by targeting wellcharacterized asteroids and can accommodate uncertain programmatic schedules by tailoring the return mass.

  16. Tabulation of comet observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1957 III Arend-Roland, 1957 V Mrkos, 1958 III Burnham, 1959 III Bester-Hoffmeister, 1959 VI Alcock, 1959 VIII P/Giacobini-Zinner, 1960 I P/Wild 1, 1960 II Burnham, 1960 III P/Schaumasse, 1960 VIII P/Finlay, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1961 VIII Seki, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 VIII Humason, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1963 V Pereyra, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 VIII Ikeya, 1964 IX Everhart, 1979 X Bradfield, 1980 X P/Stephan-Oterma, 1980 XII Meier, 1980 XIII P/Tuttle, 1981 II Panther, 1982 I Bowell, 1982 IV P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1982 VII P/d'Arrest, 1986 III P/Halley, 1987 IV Shoemaker, 1987 XII P/Hartley 3, 1987 XIX P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 2, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1987 XXXVI P/Parker-Hartley, 1987 XXXVII P/Helin- Roman-Alu 1, 1988 III Shoemaker-Holt, 1988 V Liller, 1988 VIII P/Ge-Wang, 1988 XI P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXI Shoemaker, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1989 III Shoemaker, 1989 V Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989 VIII P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XI P/Gunn, 1989 XIII P/Lovas 1, 1989 XVIII McKenzie-Russell, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989 XX P/Clark, 1989 XXI Helin-Ronan-Alu, 1989 XXII Aarseth-Brewington, 1989h P/Van Biesbroeck, 1989t P/Wild 2, 1989u P/Kearns-Kwee, 1989c1 Austin, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990e P/Wolf-Harrington, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990g McNaught-Hughes, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990n P/Taylor, 1990ο P/Shoemaker-Levy 1, 1991a P/Metcalf-Brewington, 1991b Arai, 1991c P/Swift-Gehrels, 1991d Shoemaker-Levy, 1991e P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 1991h P/Takamizawa, 1991j P/Hartley 1, 1991k P/Mrkos, 1991l Helin-Lawrence, 1991n P/Faye, 1991q P/Levy, 1991t P/Hartley 2, P/Encke, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  17. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baer, James [Private address, 3210 Apache Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241 (United States); Chesley, Steven R., E-mail: jimbaer1@earthlink.net [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  20. Size-dependent modification of asteroid family Yarkovsky V-shapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolin, B. T.; Morbidelli, A.; Walsh, K. J.

    2018-04-01

    Context. The thermal properties of the surfaces of asteroids determine the magnitude of the drift rate cause by the Yarkovsky force. In the general case of Main Belt asteroids, the Yarkovsky force is indirectly proportional to the thermal inertia, Γ. Aim. Following the proposed relationship between Γ and asteroid diameter D, we find that asteroids' Yarkovsky drift rates might have a more complex size dependence than previous thought, leading to a curved family V-shape boundary in semi-major axis, a, vs. 1/D space. This implies that asteroids are drifting faster at larger sizes than previously considered decreasing on average the known ages of asteroid families. Methods: The V-Shape curvature is determined for >25 families located throughout the Main Belt to quantify the Yarkovsky size-dependent drift rate. Results: We find that there is no correlation between family age and V-shape curvature. In addition, the V-shape curvature decreases for asteroid families with larger heliocentric distances suggesting that the relationship between Γ and D is weaker in the outer MB possibly due to homogenous surface roughness among family members.

  1. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1991-01-01

    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. The program has online help as well as user and programmer documentation manuals. The SOARD already has provided data to fulfill requests by members of the astronomical community. The SOARD continues to grow as data is added to the database and new features are added to the program.

  2. Shape and spin of asteroid 967 Helionape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolovska, G.; Kostov, A.; Donchev, Z.; Bebekovska, E. Vchkova; Kuzmanovska, O.

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of the spin and shape parameters of the asteroids is very important for understanding of the conditions during the creation of our planetary system and formation of asteroid populations. The main belt asteroid and Flora family member 967 Helionape was observed during five apparitions. The observations were made at the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory (BNAO) Rozhen, since March 2006 to March 2016. Lihtcurve inversion method (Kaasalainen et al. (2001)), applied on 12 relative lightcurves obtained at various geometric conditions of the asteroid, reveals the spin vector, the sense of rotation and the preliminary shape model of the asteroid. Our aim is to contribute in increasing the set of asteroids with known spin and shape parameters. This could be done with dense lightcurves, obtained during small number of apparitions, in combination with sparse data produced by photometric asteroid surveys such as the Gaia satellite (Hanush (2011)).

  3. Finding Long Lost Lexell's Comet: The Fate of the First Discovered Near-Earth Object

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Quan-Zhi; Wiegert, Paul A.; Hui, Man-To

    2018-04-01

    Jupiter-family Comet D/1770 L1 (Lexell) was the first discovered Near-Earth Object (NEO) and passed the Earth on 1770 July 1 at a recorded distance of 0.015 au. The comet was subsequently lost due to unfavorable observing circumstances during its next apparition followed by a close encounter with Jupiter in 1779. Since then, the fate of D/Lexell has attracted interest from the scientific community, and now we revisit this long-standing question. We investigate the dynamical evolution of D/Lexell based on a set of orbits recalculated using the observations made by Charles Messier, the comet’s discoverer, and find that there is a 98% chance that D/Lexell remains in the solar system by the year of 2000. This finding remains valid even if a moderate non-gravitational effect is imposed. Messier’s observations also suggest that the comet is one of the largest known near-Earth comets, with a nucleus of ≳10 km in diameter. This implies that the comet should have been detected by contemporary NEO surveys regardless of its activity level if it has remained in the inner solar system. We identify asteroid 2010 JL33 as a possible descendant of D/Lexell, with a 0.8% probability of chance alignment, but a direct orbital linkage of the two bodies has not been successfully accomplished. We also use the recalculated orbit to investigate the meteors potentially originating from D/Lexell. While no associated meteors have been unambiguously detected, we show that meteor observations can be used to better constrain the orbit of D/Lexell despite the comet being long lost.

  4. Comets as Messengers from the Early Solar System - Emerging Insights on Delivery of Water, Nitriles, and Organics to Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2012-01-01

    The question of exogenous delivery of water and organics to Earth and other young planets is of critical importance for understanding the origin of Earth's volatiles, and for assessing the possible existence of exo-planets similar to Earth. Viewed from a cosmic perspective, Earth is a dry planet, yet its oceans are enriched in deuterium by a large factor relative to nebular hydrogen and analogous isotopic enrichments in atmospheric nitrogen and noble gases are also seen. Why is this so? What are the implications for Mars? For icy Worlds in our Planetary System? For the existence of Earth-like exoplanets? An exogenous (vs. outgassed) origin for Earth's atmosphere is implied, and intense debate on the relative contributions of comets and asteroids continues - renewed by fresh models for dynamical transport in the protoplanetary disk, by revelations on the nature and diversity of volatile and rocky material within comets, and by the discovery of ocean-like water in a comet from the Kuiper Belt (cf., Mumma & Charnley 2011). Assessing the creation of conditions favorable to the emergence and sustenance of life depends critically on knowledge of the nature of the impacting bodies. Active comets have long been grouped according to their orbital properties, and this has proven useful for identifying the reservoir from which a given comet emerged (OC, KB) (Levison 1996). However, it is now clear that icy bodies were scattered into each reservoir from a range of nebular distances, and the comet populations in today's reservoirs thus share origins that are (in part) common. Comets from the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Disk reservoirs should have diverse composition, resulting from strong gradients in temperature and chemistry in the proto-planetary disk, coupled with dynamical models of early radial transport and mixing with later dispersion of the final cometary nuclei into the long-term storage reservoirs. The inclusion of material from the natal interstellar cloud is probable

  5. 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.

  6. Galileo photometry of asteroid 243 Ida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.; Thomas, P.C.; Simonelli, D.P.; Klaasen, K.; Johnson, T.V.; Fanale, F.; Granahan, J.; McEwen, A.S.; Belton, M.; Chapman, C.

    1996-01-01

    Galileo imaging observations over phase angles 19.5?? to 109.8?? are combined with near-opposition Earth-based data to derive the photometric properties of Ida. To first order these properties are uniform over the surface and well modeled at ?? = 0.55 ??m by Hapke parameters ????0 = 0.22, h = 0.020, B0 = 1.5, g = -0.33, and ?? = 18?? with corresponding geometric albedo p = 0.21??0.030.01 and Bond albedo AB = 0.081??0.0170.008. Ida's photometric properties are more similar to those of "average S-asteroids" (P. Helfenstein and J. Veverka 1989, Asteroids II, Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson) than are those of 951 Gaspra. Two primary color units are identified on Ida: Terrain A exhibits a spectrum with relatively shallower 1-??m absorption and a relatively steeper red spectral slope than average Ida, while Terrain B has a deeper 1-??m absorption and a less steep red slope. The average photometric properties of Ida and Terrain A are similar while those of Terrain B differ mostly in having a slightly higher value of ????0 (0.22 versus 0.21), suggesting that Terrain B consists of slightly brighter, more transparent regolith particles. Galileo observations of Ida's satellite Dactyl over phase angles 19.5?? to 47.6?? suggest photometric characteristics similar to those of Ida, the major difference being Dactyl's slightly lower albedo (0.20 compared to 0.21). ?? 1990 Academic Press, Inc.

  7. Comet Mineralogy as Inferred from Infrared Spectra of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.

    2006-01-01

    For most comets, infrared (IR) spectroscopy (remote sensing) is the method through which we diagnose the mineralogy and size distribution of dust in their comae. The shape and contrast of the IR spectral features depend on the particle size: optically active minerals (absorbing of visible and near-IR solar photons) and submicron solid grains or highly porous (> 90% vacuum) grains primarily contribute to the shapes of the observed resonances. Comet mineralogies typically are determined by fitting thermal emission models of ensembles of discrete mineral grains to observed IR spectral energy distributions. The absorptivities (Q-abs) and scattering efficiencies (Q-scat) of the discrete mineral grains are computed using Mie scattering, Maxwell-Garnet mixing, Discrete Dipole Approximation, and Multi-Layered Sphere codes. These techniques when applied to crystalline minerals, specifically olivine (Mg_x, Fe_1-x)2 Si04, x>0.9, require the use of ellipsoidal shaped particles with elongated axial ratios or hollow spheres to produce the shapes of the resonances observed both from comet comae and laboratory samples. The wavelength positions of the distinct resonances from submicron-radii crystalline silicates, as well as their thermal equilibrium temperatures, constrain the crystalline olivine to have a relatively high Mg-content (x>0.9, or Fo>90). Only resonances computed for submicron Mg-rich crystalline olivine and crystalline orthopyroxene match the observed IR spectral features. However, this has led to the interpretation that micron-radii and larger crystals are absent from comet comae. Furthermore, the mass fraction of silicate crystals is dependent upon whether just the submicron portion of the size distribution is being compared or the submicron crystals compare to the aggregates of porous amorphous silicates that are computationally tractable as porous spheres. We will discuss the Deep Impact results as examples of these challenges to interpreting mid-IR spectra of

  8. Detection of the 3.4- and 2.8-micron emission features in Comet Bradfield (1987s)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brooke, T.Y.; Tokunaga, A.T.; Knacke, R.F.; Owen, T.C.; Mumma, M.J.

    1990-01-01

    Comet Bradfield's 3.4-micron C-H emission feature at 3.4 microns, as well as the emission feature near 2.8 microns, exhibit spectral shapes similar to those noted in Comets Halley and Wilson; the derived abundances of the C-H bonds in all three comets are also comparable (within water production rate uncertainties). These data support the hypothesis that the species responsible for the 3.4- and 2.8-micron features may be common to all comets. Beyond this, the widely differing ages of the three comets suggest that the 3.4-micron feature-emitting organics are not the product of surface irradiation processes after the comets' formation. 25 refs

  9. Comets as parent bodies of CI1 carbonaceous meteorites and possible habitats of ice-microbes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wickramasinghe, Janaki T.; Wallis, Jamie; Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.

    2011-10-01

    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth's atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  10. Comets as Parent Bodies of CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites and Possible Habitats of Ice-Microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wallis, Daryl H.; Rozanov, Alexei Yu.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth s atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  11. Interplanetary Trajectory Design for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission Alternate Approach Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond Gabriel; Qu, Min; Vavrina, Matthew A.; Englander, Jacob A.; Jones, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents mission performance analysis methods and results for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) option to capture a free standing boulder on the surface of a 100 m or larger NEA. It details the optimization and design of heliocentric low-thrust trajectories to asteroid targets for the ARRM solar electric propulsion spacecraft. Extensive searches were conducted to determine asteroid targets with large pick-up mass potential and potential observation opportunities. Interplanetary trajectory approximations were developed in method based tools for Itokawa, Bennu, 1999 JU3, and 2008 EV5 and were validated by end-to-end integrated trajectories.

  12. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: The Boulder Capture Option

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar-electric-propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (approximately 4-10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (approximately 1-5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (approximately 100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. This option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well-characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. The boulder option is an extremely large sample-return mission with the prospect of bringing back many tons of well-characterized asteroid material to the Earth-Moon system. The candidate boulder from the target NEA can be selected based on inputs from the world-wide science community, ensuring that the most scientifically interesting boulder be returned for subsequent sampling. This boulder option for NASA's ARM can leverage knowledge of previously characterized NEAs from prior robotic missions, which provides more

  13. Physical and dynamical properties of the anomalous comet 249P/LINEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Licandro, Javier; Moreno, Fernando; Sosa, Andrea; Cabrera-Lavers, Antonio; de León, Julia; Birtwhistle, Peter

    2017-10-01

    Images and low-resolution spectra of the near-Earth Jupiter family comet (JFC) 249P/LINEAR in the visible range obtained with the instrument OSIRIS in the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) (La Palma, Spain) on January 3, 4, 6 and February 6, 2016 are presented, together with a series of images obtained with the 0.4m telescope of the Great Shefford Observatory obtained on Oct. 22 and 27, and Nov. 1 and 24, 2006. The reflectance spectrum of 249P is similar to that of a B-type asteroid. The comet has an absolute (visual) nuclear magnitude HV = 17.0 ± 0.4 , which corresponds to a radius of about 1-1.3 km for a geometric albedo ∼ 0.04 - 0.07 . From the analysis of GTC images using a Monte Carlo dust tail code we find that the time of maximum dust ejection rate was around 1.6 days before perihelion. The analysis of the dust tails during the 2006 and 2016 perihelion approaches reveals that, during both epochs, the comet repeated the same dust ejection pattern, with a similar short-lived activity period of about 20 days (FWHM) around perihelion and a dust loss rate peaking at 145 ± 50 kg/s. The total dust mass ejected during its last perihelion passage was (2.5 ± 0.9) × 108 kg, almost all this mass being emitted before the first observation of January 3, 2016. The activity onset, duration, and total ejected mass were very similar during the 2006 perihelion passage. This amount of dust mass is very low as compared with that from other active JFCs. The past orbital evolution of 249P and 100 clones were also followed over a time scale of ∼ 5 × 104 yr. The object and more than 60% of the clones remained bound to the near-Earth region for the whole computed period, keeping its perihelion distance within the range q ≃ 0.4 - 1.1 au. The combination of photometric and spectroscopic observations and dynamical studies show that the near-Earth comet 249P/LINEAR has several peculiar features that clearly differentiate it from typical JFCs. We may be in front of a new

  14. Comet C/2001 J1

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Helin, E.; Lawrence, K.; Kotková, Lenka; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.

    č. 7623 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  15. The COMET Sleep Research Platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Deborah A; DeSalvo, Steven; Miller, Richard A; Jónsson, Darrell; Griffin, Kara S; Hyde, Pamela R; Walsh, James K; Kushida, Clete A

    2014-01-01

    The Comparative Outcomes Management with Electronic Data Technology (COMET) platform is extensible and designed for facilitating multicenter electronic clinical research. Our research goals were the following: (1) to conduct a comparative effectiveness trial (CET) for two obstructive sleep apnea treatments-positive airway pressure versus oral appliance therapy; and (2) to establish a new electronic network infrastructure that would support this study and other clinical research studies. The COMET platform was created to satisfy the needs of CET with a focus on creating a platform that provides comprehensive toolsets, multisite collaboration, and end-to-end data management. The platform also provides medical researchers the ability to visualize and interpret data using business intelligence (BI) tools. COMET is a research platform that is scalable and extensible, and which, in a future version, can accommodate big data sets and enable efficient and effective research across multiple studies and medical specialties. The COMET platform components were designed for an eventual move to a cloud computing infrastructure that enhances sustainability, overall cost effectiveness, and return on investment.

  16. Modeling Formaldehyde Emission in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disanti, M. A.; Reuter, D. C.; Bonev, B. P.; Mumma, M. J.; Villanueva, G. L.

    Modeling fluorescent emission from monomeric formaldehyde (H2CO) forms an integral part of our overall comprehensive program of measuring the volatile composition of comets through high-resolution (RP ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy using CSHELL at the IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck II. The H2CO spectra contain lines from both the nu1 (symmetric CH2 stretch) and nu5 (asymmetric CH2 stretch) bands near 3.6 microns. We have acquired high-quality spectra of twelve Oort cloud comets, and at least six of these show clear emission from H2CO. We also detected H2CO with NIRSPEC in one Jupiter Family comet, 9P/Tempel 1, during Deep Impact observations. Our H2CO model, originally developed to interpret low-resolution spectra of comets Halley and Wilson (Reuter et al. 1989 Ap J 341:1045), predicts individual line intensities (g-factors) as a function of rotational temperature for approximately 1300 lines having energies up to approximately 400 cm^-1 above the ground state. Recently, it was validated through comparison with CSHELL spectra of C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), where newly developed analyses were applied to obtain robust determinations of both the rotational temperature and abundance of H2CO (DiSanti et al. 2006 Ap J 650:470). We are currently in the process of extending the model to higher rotational energy (i.e., higher rotational quantum number) in an attempt to improve the fit to high-J lines in our spectra of C/T7 and other comets. Results will be presented, and implications discussed.Modeling fluorescent emission from monomeric formaldehyde (H2CO) forms an integral part of our overall comprehensive program of measuring the volatile composition of comets through high-resolution (RP ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy using CSHELL at the IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck II. The H2CO spectra contain lines from both the nu1 (symmetric CH2 stretch) and nu5 (asymmetric CH2 stretch) bands near 3.6 microns. We have acquired high-quality spectra of twelve Oort cloud comets, and at least six of

  17. Periodic Comet Machholz and its idiosyncrasies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1990-01-01

    The dynamics and physical characteristics of Comet P/Machholz are analyzed. The discovery of the comet (Machholz, 1986) is discussed, including the observational conditions and the theory that the comet is inactive over extensive periods of time. Consideration is given to observations of the two tails of Comet P/Machholz (Emerson, 1986), the brightness variations and light curve of the comet, and nuclear photometry of the comet (Green, 1987). It is suggested that the increase in activity beginning one day after perihelion was triggered by a discrete source within 15 deg of the rotation pole that became sunlit after perihelion. Also, the possibility that Comet P/Machholz is associated with a meteor stream is examined. 45 refs

  18. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in type-1 comet tails and associated phenomena

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ershkovich, A.I.

    1980-01-01

    Selected problems of the solar wind - comet tail coupling that are currently accessible to quantitative analysis are reviewed. The model of a comet tail as a plasma cylinder separated by a tangential discontinuity surface from the solar wind is discussed in detail. This model is compatible with the well-known Alfven mechanism of formation of the comet tail. The stability problem of the comet tail boundary (considered as a discontinuity surface) is solved. Under typical conditions a comet tail boundary can undergo the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. With finite amplitude the stabilizing effect of the magnetic field increases, and waves become stabilized. This model supplies a detailed quantitative description of helical waves observed in type-1 comet tails. A more general model of the tail boundary as a transition layer with a continuous change of the plasma parameters within it is also considered. This theory, in principle, enables us to solve one of the fundamental problems of cometary physics: the magnetic field of the comet tail can be derived from the observations of helical waves. This field turns out to be of the order of the interplanetary field. Various other considerations, discussed in this review also support this conclusion. (orig.)

  19. Hyperactivity and Dust Composition of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 During the EPOXI Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harker, David E.; Woodward, Charles E.; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Wooden, Diane H.

    2018-05-01

    Short-period comet 103P/Hartley 2 (103P) was the flyby target of the Deep Impact eXtended Investigation on 2010 November 4 UT. This comet has a small hyperactive nucleus, i.e., it has a high water production rate for its surface area. The underlying cause of the hyperactivity is unknown; the relative abundances of volatiles in the coma of 103P are not unusual. However, the dust properties of this comet have not been fully explored. We present four epochs of mid-infrared spectra and images of comet 103P observed from Gemini-South +T-ReCS on 2010 November 5, 7, 21 and December 13 UT, near and after the spacecraft encounter. Comet 103P exhibited a weak 10 μm emission feature ≃1.14 ± 0.01 above the underlying local 10 μm continuum. Thermal dust grain modeling of the spectra shows the grain composition (mineralogy) was dominated by amorphous carbon and amorphous pyroxene with evidence for Mg-rich crystalline olivine. The grain size has a peak grain radius range of a peak ∼ 0.5–0.9 μm. On average, the crystalline silicate mass fraction is ≃0.24, fairly typical of other short-period comets. In contrast, the silicate-to-carbon ratio of ≃0.48–0.64 is lower compared to other short-period comets, which indicates that the flux measured in the 10 μm region of 103P was dominated by amorphous carbon grains. We conclude that the hyperactivity in comet 103P is not revealing dust properties similar to the small grains seen with the Deep Impact experiment on comet 9P/Tempel 1 or from comet C/1995 O1 (Hale–Bopp).

  20. DISCOVERY OF MAIN-BELT COMET P/2006 VW{sub 139} BY Pan-STARRS1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Yang Bin; Haghighipour, Nader; Kaluna, Heather M.; Denneau, Larry; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Armstrong, James D.; Micheli, Marco; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Urban, Laurie; Riesen, Timm; Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Fitzsimmons, Alan [Astrophysics Research Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN (United Kingdom); Novakovic, Bojan [Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade (Serbia); Duddy, Samuel R.; Lowry, Stephen C. [Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, The University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH (United Kingdom); Trujillo, Chadwick A. [Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Center, 670 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Abe, Shinsuke; Cheng, Yu-Chi, E-mail: hsieh@ifa.hawaii.edu [Institute of Astronomy, National Central University, 300 Jhongda Rd, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); and others

    2012-03-20

    The main-belt asteroid (300163) 2006 VW{sub 139} (later designated P/2006 VW{sub 139}) was discovered to exhibit comet-like activity by the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope using automated point-spread-function analyses performed by PS1's Moving Object Processing System. Deep follow-up observations show both a short ({approx}10'') antisolar dust tail and a longer ({approx}60'') dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane, similar to the morphology observed for another main-belt comet (MBC), P/2010 R2 (La Sagra), and other well-established comets, implying the action of a long-lived, sublimation-driven emission event. Photometry showing the brightness of the near-nucleus coma remaining constant over {approx}30 days provides further evidence for this object's cometary nature, suggesting it is in fact an MBC, and not a disrupted asteroid. A spectroscopic search for CN emission was unsuccessful, though we find an upper limit CN production rate of Q{sub CN} < 1.3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 24} mol s{sup -1}, from which we infer a water production rate of Q{sub H{sub 2O}}<10{sup 26} mol s{sup -1}. We also find an approximately linear optical spectral slope of 7.2%/1000 A, similar to other cometary dust comae. Numerical simulations indicate that P/2006 VW{sub 139} is dynamically stable for >100 Myr, while a search for a potential asteroid family around the object reveals a cluster of 24 asteroids within a cutoff distance of 68 m s{sup -1}. At 70 m s{sup -1}, this cluster merges with the Themis family, suggesting that it could be similar to the Beagle family to which another MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, belongs.

  1. 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.

  2. The asteroid 2014 JO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto; Pereira, Mario

    2017-10-01

    The asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered by A. D. Grauer at the Mt. Lemmon Survey on May 2014, and Joe Masiero used observations from the NEOWISE in 2014 to estimate a diameter of 650 meters [1]. However, using the radio telescope at Arecibo-Puerto Rico, astronomers obtained radar images on April 17-2017 and Edgar Rivera Valentín (scientist at Arecibo) said: “We found 2014 JO25 is a contact binary asteroid, two space rocks that were originally separate bodies, and each segment is about 640 meters and 670 meters, for a total of about 1.3 km long. Its rotation is of 3.5 hours” [2]. This asteroid flew past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 4.6 lunar distances from the Earth. This was the closest approach by an asteroid since 4179 Toutatis. Toutatis flew past Earth on September 2004 at a distance of about 4 lunar distances from the Earth [3]. In April 12-2020 the asteroid will be at a minimum possible distance of 0.1617280 A.U from Earth [4]. From our observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we obtained a lot of pictures. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center [5] and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [6]. Astrometry and photometry were carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements. We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity=0.88454+/-0.00152, semi-major axis= 2.0573+/- 0.0216 A.U, orbital inclination=25.22+/-0.10 deg, longitude of the ascending node =30.6530+/-0.0032 deg, argument of perihelion=49.586+/-0.012 deg, mean motion = 0.33402+/-0.00527 deg/d, perihelion distance=0.237524+/-0.000644 A.U, aphelion distance=3.8770+/-0.0449 A.U, absolute magnitude =18.1. The parameters were calculated based on 164 observations. Dates: 2017 April: 22 to 24 with mean residual=0.22 arcseconds.The asteroid has an orbital period of 2.95 years.[1] https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2014JO25/2014JO25_planning.html[2] http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/large-asteroid-2014-jo25-close-april-19-2017-how-to-see[3] https

  3. Physical studies of asteroids. XXXII. Rotation periods and UBVRI-colours for selected asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piironen, J.; Lagerkvist, C.-I.; Erikson, A.; Oja, T.; Magnusson, P.; Festin, L.; Nathues, A.; Gaul, M.; Velichko, F.

    1998-03-01

    We present lightcurves of selected asteroids. Most of the asteroids were included to obtain refined spin periods. Enhanced periods were determined for 11 Parthenope, 306 Unitas and 372 Palma. We confirmed the spin periods of 8 Flora, 13 Egeria, 71 Niobe, 233 Asterope, 291 Alice, 409 Aspasia, 435 Ella and 512 Taurinensis. We determined also BV-colours for most of the included asteroids and UBVRI-colours for a total of 22 asteroids.

  4. Comet Halley and its historic passages during the past millennium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Legrand, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    The March 12, 1759 return of Comet Halley verified Halley's hypothesis on the existence of periodic comets and supported Newton's principle of universal attraction. Comet Halley's appearances before the 16th century are traced and it is noted that the length of the comet's tail has varied greatly. The comet's rendezvous with ESA's satellite Giotto is discussed briefly

  5. Shape, Density, and Geology of the Nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P.C.; A'hearn, Michael F.; Veverka, Joseph; Belton, Michael J. S.; Kissel, Jochen; Belton, Michael J. S.; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Data from the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation (EPOXI) mission show Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is a bi-lobed, elongated, nearly axially symmetric comet 2.33 km in length. Surface features are primarily small mounds 1%. The shape may be the evolutionary product of insolation, sublimation, and temporary deposition of materials controlled by the object’s complex rotation.

  6. Rationalization of Comet Halley's periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.

    1990-01-01

    The sense of long axis orientation of Comet Halley during the Vega 1 encounter must be reversed from that deduced by Sagdeev et al. (1986) in order to harmonize the comet nucleus' Vega/Giotto-observed orientations with periodicities extracted from time-series brightness data. It is also demonstrated that Vega/Giotto observations can be satisfied by either a 2.2- or 3.7-day long-axis free precession period. A novel Fourier algorithm is used to reanalyze five independent data sets; strong evidence is adduced for periods harmonically related to a 7.4-day period. The preferred candidate models for Halley's nuclear rotation are characterized by a long-axis precession period of 3.7 days.

  7. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Raffaela; Ferraiuolo, Maria; Morgano, Gian Paolo; Muti, Paola; Strano, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    The comet assay can be useful in monitoring DNA damage in single cells caused by exposure to genotoxic agents, such as those causing air, water, and soil pollution (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, electromagnetic fields) and chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients, or in the assessment of genoprotective effects of chemopreventive molecules. Therefore, it has particular importance in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology, and in both environmental and human biomonitoring. It allows the detection of single strand breaks as well as double-strand breaks and can be used in both normal and cancer cells. Here we describe the alkali method for comet assay, which allows to detect both single- and double-strand DNA breaks.

  8. Comet Halley, parameter study I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huebner, W.F.; Fikani, M.M.

    1982-06-01

    To aid in defining a mission to comet P/Halley, its inner coma is simulated by a computer program that models time-dependent chemical reactions in a radially and isentropically expanding gas, taking into account attenuation of solar ultraviolet radiation in the subsolar direction. Column density predictions are based on intelligently selected combinations of poorly known values for nucleus parameters that include size, visual albedo, and infrared emissivity. Only one chemical composition and a minor modification of it are considered here; the dust-to-gas ratio in this model is zero. Although the somewhat optimistically volatile composition chosen here favors a smaller nucleus, a mean nuclear radius of only 0.5 km is unlikely. No significant increase of molecular column density is predicted by this model as a spacecraft approaches, once it is less than a few 10 4 km from the nucleus. Predictions are made for various heliocentric distances of interest for comet missions and for ground observations

  9. Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids in Polarized Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afanasiev, V. L.; Ipatov, A. V.

    2018-04-01

    We report the results of position, photometric, and polarimetric observations of two near-Earth asteroids made with the 6-m telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 1.2-hour measurements of the photometric variations of the asteroid 2009 DL46 made onMarch 8, 2016 (approximately 20m at a distance of about 0.23 AU from the Earth) showed a 0.m2-amplitude flash with a duration of about 20 minutes. During this time the polarization degree increased from the average level of 2-3% to 14%. The angle of the polarization plane and the phase angle were equal to 113° ± 1° and 43°, respectively. Our result indicates that the surface of the rotating asteroid (the rotation period of about 2.5 hours) must be non-uniformly rough. Observations of another asteroid—1994 UG—whose brightness was of about 17m and which was located at a geocentric distance of 0.077 AU, were carried out during the night of March 6/7, 2016 in two modes: photometric and spectropolarimetric. According to the results of photometric observations in Johnson's B-, V-, and R-band filters, over one hour the brightness of the asteroid remained unchanged within the measurement errors (about 0.m02). Spectropolarimetric observations in the 420-800 nm wavelength interval showed the polarization degree to decrease from 8% in the blue part of the spectrum to 2% in the red part with the phase angle equal to 44°, which is typical for S-type near-Earth asteroids.

  10. New Heating Mechanism of Asteroids in Protoplanetary Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Raymond L.; Roberge, W. G.

    2013-10-01

    Heating of asteroids in the early solar system has been mainly attributed to two mechanisms: the decay of short-lived radionuclides and the unipolar induction mechanism originally proposed in a classic series of papers by Sonett and collaborators. As originally conceived, unipolar induction heating is the result of the dissipation of current inside the body driven by a “motional electric field”, which appears in the asteroid’s reference frame when it is immersed in a fully-ionized, magnetized T-Tauri solar wind. However we point out a subtle conceptual error in the way that the electric field is calculated. Strictly speaking, the motional electric field used by Sonett et al. is the electric field in the free-streaming plasma far from the asteroid. For realistic assumptions about the plasma density in protoplanetary disks, the interaction between the plasma and asteroid cause the formation of a shear layer, in which the motional electric field decreases and even vanishes at the asteroid surface. We reexamine and improve the induction heating mechanism by: (1) correcting this conceptual error by using non-ideal multifluid MHD to self consistently calculate the velocity, magnetic, and electric fields in and around the shear layer; and (2) considering more realistic environments and scenarios that are consistent with current theories about protoplanetary disks. We present solutions for two highly idealized flows, which demonstrate that the electric field inside the asteroid is actually produced by magnetic field gradients in the shear layer, and can either vanish or be comparable to the fields predicted by Sonett et al. depending on the flow geometry. We term this new mechanism “electrodynamic heating”, calculate its possible upper limits, and compare them to heating generated by the decay of short-lived radionuclides.

  11. Solar wind stagnation near comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galeev, A.A.; Cravens, T.E.; Gombosi, T.I.

    1983-03-01

    The nature of the solar wind flow near comets is examined analytically. In particular, the typical values for the stagnation pressure and magnetic barrier strength are estimated, taking into account the magnetic field line tension and the charge exchange cooling of the mass loaded solar wind. Knowledge of the strength of the magnetic barrier is required in order to determine the location of the contact discontinuity which separates the contaminated solar wind plasma and the outflowing plasma of the cometary ionosphere. (author)

  12. On the asymmetric evolution of the perihelion distances of near-Earth Jupiter family comets around the discovery time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, A.; Fernández, J. A.; Pais, P.

    2012-12-01

    We study the dynamical evolution of the near-Earth Jupiter family comets (NEJFCs) that came close to or crossed the Earth's orbit at the epoch of their discovery (perihelion distances qdisc time evolution of the mean perihelion distance bar{q} of the NEJFCs at the discovery time of each comet (taken as t = 0) and a past-future asymmetry of bar{q} in an interval -1000 yr, +1000 yr centred on t = 0, confirming previous results. The asymmetry indicates that there are more comets with greater q in the past than in the future. For comparison purposes, we also analysed the population of near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q > 4.5 AU) and with absolute magnitudes H time a large sample of fictitious comets, cloned from the observed NEJFCs, over a 20 000 yr time interval and started the integration before the comet's discovery time, when it had a perihelion distance q > 2 AU. By assuming that NEJFCs are mostly discovered when they decrease their perihelion distances below a certain threshold qthre = 1.05 AU for the first time during their evolution, we were able to reproduce the main features of the observed bar{q} evolution in the interval [-1000, 1000] yr with respect to the discovery time. Our best fits indicate that 40% of the population of NEJFCs would be composed of young, fresh comets that entered the region q spending at least 3000 yr in the q family comets (JFCs).

  13. Comet coma sample return instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albee, A. L.; Brownlee, Don E.; Burnett, Donald S.; Tsou, Peter; Uesugi, K. T.

    1994-01-01

    The sample collection technology and instrument concept for the Sample of Comet Coma Earth Return Mission (SOCCER) are described. The scientific goals of this Flyby Sample Return are to return to coma dust and volatile samples from a known comet source, which will permit accurate elemental and isotopic measurements for thousands of individual solid particles and volatiles, detailed analysis of the dust structure, morphology, and mineralogy of the intact samples, and identification of the biogenic elements or compounds in the solid and volatile samples. Having these intact samples, morphologic, petrographic, and phase structural features can be determined. Information on dust particle size, shape, and density can be ascertained by analyzing penetration holes and tracks in the capture medium. Time and spatial data of dust capture will provide understanding of the flux dynamics of the coma and the jets. Additional information will include the identification of cosmic ray tracks in the cometary grains, which can provide a particle's process history and perhaps even the age of the comet. The measurements will be made with the same equipment used for studying micrometeorites for decades past; hence, the results can be directly compared without extrapolation or modification. The data will provide a powerful and direct technique for comparing the cometary samples with all known types of meteorites and interplanetary dust. This sample collection system will provide the first sample return from a specifically identified primitive body and will allow, for the first time, a direct method of matching meteoritic materials captured on Earth with known parent bodies.

  14. Halley comet, implication on the origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Festou, M.C.

    1990-01-01

    One will first give a rapid description of the different parts that compose a comet coma. Then one will describe the spectrum of comets from the UV to the IR regions with special emphasis on how information relative to the physico-chemistry of comet atmospheres can be retrieved. Our basic knowledge about the composition of comets before 1985 will be summarized and the input of the 1985-86 observing campaign of comet Halley will be shown (in situ, ground-based and space borne observations). One will see then that the chemical composition of comets appears as of today completely compatible with a formation from pre-solar matter that condensed inside the solar system [fr

  15. IR-dust observations of Comet Tempel 2 with CRAF VIMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Combi, M.R.; McCord, T.B.; Bell, J.F.; Brown, R.H.; Clark, R.N.; Cruikshank, D.P.; Johnson, T.V.; Lebofsky, L.A.; Matson, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    Measurement strategies are now being planned for using the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) to observe the asteroid Hestia, and the nucleus, and the gas and dust in the coma of comet P/Tempel 2 as part of the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission. The spectral range of VIMS will cover wavelengths from 0.35 to 5.2 micrometers, with a spectral resolution of 11 nm from 0.35 to 2.4 micrometers and of 22 nm from 2.4 to 5.2 micrometers. The instantaneous field of view (IFOV) provided by the foreoptics is 0.5 milliradians, and the current design of the instrument provides for a scanning secondary mirror which will scan a swath of length 72 IFOVs. The CRAF high resolution scan platform motion will permit slewing VIMS in a direction perpendicular to the swath. This enables the building of a two dimensional image in any or all wavelength channels. Important measurements of the dust coma will include the onset of early coma activity, the mapping of gas and dust jets and correlations with active nucleus areas, observations of the dust coma from various scattering phase angles, coverage of the low wavelength portion of the thermal radiation, and the 3.4 micrometer hydrocarbon emission. A description of the VIMS instrument is presented

  16. Visible/Near-Infrared Spectral Properties of MUSES C Target Asteroid 25143 Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, K. S.; Vilas, F.; Kelley, M. S.; Abell, P. A.

    2004-01-01

    The Japanese MUSES C mission launched the Hayabusa spacecraft last May 15, 2003, to encounter and study the near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa. The spacecraft will obtain visible images through broadband filters similar to the ECAS filters, and near-infrared spectra from 0.85 - 2.1 microns. In preparation for this encounter, opportunities to study the asteroid with Earth-based telescopes have been fully leveraged. Visible and near-infrared spectral observations were made of asteroid 25143 Itokawa during several nights of March, 2001, around the last apparition. We report here on the results of extensive spectral observations made to address the questions of compositional variations across the surface of the asteroid (as determined by the rotational period and shape model); variations in phase angle (Sun-Itokawa-Earth angle) on spectral characteristics; and predictions of Itokawa observations by Hayabusa based on the spectral resolution and responsivity of the NIRS and AMICA instruments.

  17. Collecting Comet Samples by ER-2 Aircraft: Cosmic Dust Collection During the Draconid Meteor Shower in October 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastien, Ron; Burkett, P. J.; Rodriquez, M.; Frank, D.; Gonzalez, C.; Robinson, G.-A.; Zolensky, M.; Brown, P.; Campbell-Brown, M.; Broce, S.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Many tons of dust grains, including samples of asteroids and comets, fall from space into the Earth's atmosphere each day. NASA periodically collects some of these particles from the Earth's stratosphere using sticky collectors mounted on NASA's high-flying aircraft. Sometimes, especially when the Earth experiences a known meteor shower, a special opportunity is presented to associate cosmic dust particles with a known source. NASA JSC's Cosmic Dust Collection Program has made special attempts to collect dust from particular meteor showers and asteroid families when flights can be planned well in advance. However, it has rarely been possible to make collections on very short notice. In 2012, the Draconid meteor shower presented that opportunity. The Draconid meteor shower, originating from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, has produced both outbursts and storms several times during the last century, but the 2012 event was not predicted to be much of a show. Because of these predictions, the Cosmic Dust team had not targeted a stratospheric collection effort for the Draconids, despite the fact that they have one of the slowest atmospheric entry velocities (23 km/s) of any comet shower, and thus offer significant possibilities of successful dust capture. However, radar measurements obtained by the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar during the 2012 Draconids shower indicated a meteor storm did occur October 8 with a peak at 16:38 (+/-5 min) UTC for a total duration of approximately 2 hours.

  18. Asteroid size distributions for the main belt and for asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazantzev, A.; Kazantzeva, L.

    2017-12-01

    The asteroid-size distribution for he Eos family was constructed. The WISE database containing the albedo p and the size D of over 80,000 asteroids was used. The b parameter of the power-law dependence has a minimum at some average values of the asteroid size of the family. A similar dependence b(D) exists for the whole asteroid belt. An assumption on the possible similarity of the formation mechanisms of the asteroid belt as a whole and separate families is made.

  19. UV Spectrophotometry of the Galilean Satellites, Saturnian Satellites & Selected Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Robert M.

    We propose a series of ultraviolet spectral observations of solid surfaces of selected solar system objects, specifically the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, several atmosphereless satellites of Saturn, and the asteroids, 5 Astraea, 18 Melpomene, 532 Herculina, 68 Leto, 31 Euphmsyne, 80 Sappho, 3 Juno, and 39 Laetitia. Historically such spectral observations have allowed for the Identification of spectrally active solid state materials on planetary surfaces. Furthermore, because the rotational properties are known for all the objects proposed for study, this technique will provide a longitude map of such materials on the objects' surfaces. The study of asteroid surface mineralogy is an important method of constraining solar system formation models. The asteroid spectra we have previously acquired with IUE have created unique subdivisions within the existent asteroid types. The new spectra will provide more sophisticated mineralogical characterizations of asteroid surface materials. Our other accomplishments with IUE include mapping of the distribution of condensed S02 on Io, identification of a longitudinal asymmetry on Europa associated with magnetospheric particle bombardment of the surface, and establishing the ultraviolet geometric albedo variation as a function of longitude for all the Galilean satellites. Because Io is the most volcanically active body In the solar system, and short tern variations in selected regions of the Jovian magnetosphere are known to occur, it is important to periodically check for temporal variations in the spectra of the Galilean satellites that may be due to variations n Io tectonic/volcanic activity, or magnetosphere changes. These proposed UV observations are critical to the design and operation of several instruments on Project Galileo, NASA's Jupiter Orbiter and Probe Mission. Spectra of Iapetus, Rhea and Dione have been acquired during the previous year; however, only at orbital locations near elongation. In addition, the dark

  20. 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

  1. Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission: Kinetic impactor

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cheng, A.F.; Michel, R.; Jutzi, M.; Rivkin, A. S.; Stickle, A.; Barnouin, O.; Ernst, C.; Atchison, J.; Pravec, Petr; Richardson, D.C.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 121, February (2016), s. 25-37 ISSN 0032-0633 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : planetary defense * near- Earth asteroids * asteroid impact hazards Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.892, year: 2016

  2. Binary asteroid population. 1. Angular momentum content

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 190, č. 1 (2007), s. 250-259 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.869, year: 2007

  3. 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-t...

  4. New Image of Comet Halley in the Cold

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-09-01

    brightness of the cometary image perfectly matches that expected for the nucleus alone, taking into account the distance, the solar illumination and the reflectivity of the surface. This shows that all cometary activity has now ceased. The nucleus is now an inert ball of ice and dust, and is likely to remain so until it again returns to the solar neighbourhood, more than half a century from now. A record observation At 28.06 AU heliocentric distance (1 AU = 149,600,000 km - the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun), this is by far the most distant observation ever made of a comet [2]. It is also the faintest comet ever detected (by a factor of about 5); the previous record, magnitude 26.5, was co-held by comet Halley at 18.8 AU (with the ESO New Technology Telescope in 1994) and Comet Sanguin at 8.5 AU (with the Keck II telescope in 1997). Interestingly, when Comet Halley reaches its largest distance from the Sun in December 2023, about 35 AU, it will only be 2.5 times fainter than it is now. The comet would still have been detected within the present exposure time. This means that with the VLT, for the first time in the long history of this comet, the astronomers now possess the means to observe it at any point in its 76-year orbit! A census of faint Transneptunian Objects The image of Halley was obtained by combining a series of exposures obtained simultaneously with three of the 8.2-m telescopes (ANTU, MELIPAL and YEPUN) during 3 consecutive nights with the main goal to count the number of small icy bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune, known as Transneptunian Objects (TNOs). Since the discovery of the first TNO in 1992, more than 600 have been found, most of these measuring several hundred km across. The VLT observations aim at a census of smaller TNOs - the incorporation of the sky field with Comet Halley allows verification of the associated, extensive data processing. Similar TNO-surveys have been performed before, but this is the first time that several very

  5. Lightcurve Photometry of Six Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrero, Andrea

    2012-07-01

    Observations from 2012 January to March lead to the determination of the rotation periods for six main-belt asteroids: 33 Polyhymnia, P = 18.604 ± 0.004 h; 467 Laura, P = 37.4 ± 0.1 h; 825 Tanina, P = 6.940 ± 0.001 h; 1421 Esperanto, P = 21.982 ± 0.005 h; 3481 Xianglupeak, P = 5.137 ± 0.003 h; and 4350 Shibecha, which had two possible solutions, P = 2.890 ± 0.001 h and P = 5.778 ± 0.002 h.

  6. Absence of satellites of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gehrels, T.; Drummond, J.D.; Levenson, N.A.

    1987-01-01

    The absence of satellites within 0.1-7.0 arcmin of minor planets noted in the present CCD imaging survey is judged consistent with previous theoretical studies of collisions in which it is held that satellites would have to be larger than about 30 km in order to be collisionally stable. In view of tidal stability, the only main belt asteroid satellites which could conceivably possess stability over eons are near-contact binaries. Any recent collisional debris would be chaotic and collisionally unstable. 15 references

  7. Cohesion of Mm- to Cm-Sized Asteroid Simulant Grains: An Experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisset, Julie; Colwell, Joshua E.; Dove, Adrienne; Jarmak, Stephanie; Anderson, Seamus

    2017-10-01

    The regolith covering the surfaces of asteroids and planetary satellites is very different from terrestrial soil particles and subject to environmental conditions very different from what is found on Earth. The loose, unconsolidated granular material has angular-shaped grains and a broad size distribution. On small and airless bodies (Earth surface gravity, the cohesion behavior of the regolith grains will dictate the asteroid’s surface morphology and its response to impact or spacecraft contact.Previous laboratory experiments on low-velocity impacts into regolith simulant with grain sizes landing missions to small bodies such as asteroids or Martian moons.

  8. The evolution of comets and the detectability of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, S.A.

    1989-01-01

    According the standard theory, comets are natural products of solar system formation, ejected to the Oort Cloud by gravitational scattering events during the epoch of giant planet formation. Stored far from the Sun for billions of years, comets almost certainly contain a record of the events which occurred during (and perhaps even before) the epoch of planetary formation. Two themes are examined of the evolutionary processes that affect comets in the Oort Cloud, and a search for evidence of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds (ESOCs). With regard to cometary evolution in the Oort Cloud, it was found that luminous O stars and supernovae have heated the surface layers of all comets on numerous occasions to 20 to 30 K and perhaps once to 50 K. Interstellar medium (ISM) interactions blow small grains out of the Oort Clouds, and erode the upper few hundred g/cu cm of material from cometary surfaces. The findings presented contradict the standard view that comets do not undergo physical change in the Oort Cloud. A logical consequence of the intimate connection between the Oort Cloud and our planetary system is that the detection of comet clouds around other stars would strongly indicate the sites of extant extra-solar planetary systems. A search was conducted for infrared IR emission from debris in ESOCs. After examining 17 stars using the Infrared Astronomical Satellite data base, only upper limits on ESOC emission could be set

  9. The flyby of Rosetta at asteroid Šteins - mission and science operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accomazzo, Andrea; Wirth, Kristin R.; Lodiot, Sylvain; Küppers, Michael; Schwehm, Gerhard

    2010-07-01

    The international Rosetta mission, a cornerstone mission of the european space agency scientific Programme, was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 years journey towards a rendezvous with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko ( Gardini et al., 1999). During its interplanetary flight towards its target Rosetta crosses the asteroid belt twice with the opportunity to observe at close quarters two asteroids: (2867)-Šteins in 2008 and (21)-Lutetia in 2010. The spacecraft design was such that these opportunities could be fully exploited to deliver valuable data to the scientific community. The mission trajectory was controlled such that Rosetta would fly next to asteroid Šteins on the 5th of September 2008 with a relative speed of 8.6 km/s at a minimum distance of 800 km. Mission operations have been carefully planned to achieve the best possible flyby scenario and scientific outcome. The flyby scenario, the optical navigation campaign, and the planning of the scientific observations had to be adapted by the Mission and the Science Operations Centres to the demanding requirements expressed by the scientific community. The flyby was conducted as planned with a large number of successful observations.

  10. Basic targeting strategies for rendezvous and flyby missions to the near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perozzi, Ettore; Rossi, Alessandro; Valsecchi, Giovanni B.

    2001-01-01

    Missions to asteroids and comets are becoming increasingly feasible both from a technical and a financial point of view. In particular, those directed towards the Near-Earth Asteroids have proven suitable for a low-cost approach, thus attracting the major space agencies as well as private companies. The choice of a suitable target involves both scientific relevance and mission design considerations, being often a difficult task to accomplish due to the limited energy budget at disposal. The aim of this paper is to provide an approach to basic trajectory design which allows to account for both aspects of the problem, taking into account scientific and technical information. A global characterization of the Near-Earth Asteroids population carried out on the basis of their dynamics, physical properties and flight dynamics considerations, allows to identify a group of candidates which satisfy both, the scientific and engineering requirements. The feasibility of rendezvous and flyby missions towards them is then discussed and the possibility of repeated encounters with the same object is investigated, as an intermediate scenario. Within this framework, the capability of present and near future launch and propulsion systems for interplanetary missions is also addressed.

  11. UV Spectroscopy of Metallic Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, N. J.; Becker, T. M.; Retherford, K. D.; Roth, L.; Feaga, L. M.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-09-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche is the largest M-type asteroid, and the planned destination of the NASA Discovery mission Psyche and the proposed ESA M5 mission Heavy Metal. Psyche is considered to be the exposed core of a differentiated asteroid, whose mantle has been stripped by collisions; but other histories have been proposed. We observed Psyche with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, to obtain a full ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of both of Psyche's hemispheres. We seek to test three possible scenarios for Psyche's origin: Is Psyche the exposed core of a differentiated asteroid? Is it an asteroid with high olivine content that has been space-weathered? Or did Psyche accrete as-is in a highly-reducing environment early in the history of the solar system? We will present the UV spectra and their implications for Psyche's history.

  12. Standardizing electrophoresis conditions: how to eliminate a major source of error in the comet assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar Brunborg

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the alkaline comet assay, cells are embedded in agarose, lysed, and then subjected to further processing including electrophoresis at high pH (>13. We observed very large variations of mean comet tail lengths of cell samples from the same population when spread on a glass or plastic substrate and subjected to electrophoresis. These variations might be cancelled out if comets are scored randomly over a large surface, or if all the comets are scored. The mean tail length may then be representative of the population, although its standard error is large. However, the scoring process often involves selection of 50 – 100 comets in areas selected in an unsystematic way from a large gel on a glass slide. When using our 96-sample minigel format (1, neighbouring sample variations are easily detected. We have used this system to study the cause of the comet assay variations during electrophoresis and we have defined experimental conditions which reduce the variations to a minimum. We studied the importance of various physical parameters during electrophoresis: (i voltage; (ii duration of electrophoresis; (iii electric current; (iv temperature; and (v agarose concentration. We observed that the voltage (V/cm varied substantially during electrophoresis, even within a few millimetres of distance between gel samples. Not unexpectedly, both the potential ( V/cm and the time were linearly related to the mean comet tail, whereas the current was not. By measuring the local voltage with microelectrodes a few millimetres apart, we observed substantial local variations in V/cm, and they increased with time. This explains the large variations in neighbouring sample comet tails of 25% or more. By introducing simple technology (circulation of the solution during electrophoresis, and temperature control, these variations in mean comet tail were largely abolished, as were the V/cm variations. Circulation was shown to be particularly important and optimal conditions

  13. Spectrophotometry of 25 comets - Post-Halley updates for 17 comets plus new observations for eight additional comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.; Spinrad, Hyron

    1989-01-01

    The best possible production figures within the current post-Halley framework and available observations are given for H2O, O(1D), CN, C3, C2 and dust in 25 comets. Of these, the three objects with the smallest mixing ratios of all minor species have moderate to little or no dust and appear 'old'. Comets with large amounts of CN are very dusty, and there is a clear correlation of CN with dust, although comets with little or no dust still have some CN. Thus, CN appears to have at least two sources, dust and one or more parent gases. Also, the C2/CN production ratio changes continuously with heliocentric distance in every comet considered, suggesting that C2 production may be a function of coma density as well as parental abundance. Dust production ranges from essentially zero in Comet Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa up to 67,000 kg/s for Halley on March 14, 1986.

  14. Dynamics of landslides on comets of irregular shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2017-04-01

    Landslides were observed on a few comet's nuclei, e.g. [1], [2]. The mechanism of their origin is not obvious because of very low gravity. According to [2] fluidization and multiphase transport of cometary material could be an explanation. We investigate here motion of the mass on a comet of irregular shape. The mechanism responsible for the low friction is not considered here. In fact, mass motion often occurs without contact with the surface. The motion could be triggered by meteoroids impacts or by the tidal forces. Comets nuclei are believed to be built of soft materials like snow and dust. The landing of Philae on the comet 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko indicates a different situation. According to [1]: "thermal probe did not fully penetrate the near-surface layers, suggesting a local resistance of the ground to penetration of >4 megapascals, equivalent to >2 megapascal uniaxial compressive strength". Here we assume that elastic properties of comet's nuclei could be similar to elastic properties of dry snow, namely Young modulus is assumed to be 1 - 100 MPa, see [3] and [4]. We consider nucleus of the shape of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with density 470 kg/m3. The impact or tidal forces result in changing of rotation of the comet. In general, the vector of angular velocity will be a subject to nutation that results in changing of centrifugal force, and consequently could be a factor triggering landslides. Note that nucleus' shape does not resemble the shape of surface of constant value of gravitational potential (i.e. 'geoid'). Our numerical models indicate the parts of the nucleus where landslides start and other parts where landslides stop. Of course, the regolith from the first type of regions would be removed to the regions of the second class. The motion of the mass is often complicated because of complicated distribution of the gravity and complicated shape of the nucleus. Acknowledgement: The research is partly supported by Polish National Science Centre

  15. Near-Earth Asteroid Physical Observations: 1993-1995

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skiff, B. A.; Buie, M. W.; Bowell, E.

    1996-09-01

    In September 1993, we initiated a regular program of photometric observations of Near-Earth objects. Since that time we have been allocated 5-7 nights per month at the 42'' Hall telescope at Anderson Mesa. There are three goals of our observing program for each asteroid: (1) to obtain an accurate rotation period and characterization of the lightcurve, (2) to obtain the surface color, and (3) to measure the photometric parameters, H and G. All of the lightcurve observations are made in Kron-Cousins R and we always obtain a V-R color. Limited ECAS colors are also obtained when the objects are bright enough. We have secured periods for 9 asteroids, 1864 Daedalus, 1866 Sisyphus, 3200 Phaethon, 4954 Eric, 5693 (1993 EA), 5836 (1993 MF), 6489 (1991 JX), 1993 QP, and 1993 WD. Some of these periods are a confimation of an earlier result but most are new. We obtained colors for all these objects as well as four additional asteroids, 5407 (1992 AX), 1993 UC, 1993 VW, and 1994 LW. We have additional (as yet unreduced) observations of 2062 Aten, 2212 Hephaistos, 3752 Camillo, 5143 Heracles, 5863 (1983 RB), 6053 (1993 BW3), 7025 (1993 QA), 7092 (1992 LC), 1989 VA, 1992 TC, 1994 RC, and 1995 YA3. The fastest rotation period we find is 2.402 hours for 1866 Sisyphus and the slowest is 93QP at ~ 24 hours. The colors for these objects range from V-R=0.34 for 3200 Phaethon to V-R=0.49 for 1866 Sisyphus and 4954 Eric. Most colors fall near V-R=0.43. These observations should help to provide a more complete understanding of the surface properties and rotational states of the Near-Earth asteroids. This work was supported by NASA Grant NAGW-1470.

  16. Reflectance spectrophotometry (about 0.5-1.0 micron) of oute-belt asteroids - Implications for primitive, organic solar system material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, F.; Smith, B. A.

    1985-01-01

    The surface compositions of outer-belt asteroids were used to obtain information about the origin of these asteroids. High-resolution CCD reflectance spectra of 21 asteroids, primarily P class, were examined for compositional information. Distinct slope changes are observed that suggest that these asteroids are the remnants of a compositional gradation of planetesimals in the outer solar system, which were retained selectively in location when other material was ejected from the solar system. Other data suggest that this gradation could extend through the orbits of Uranus and Neptune.

  17. Survival of Glycolaldehyde and Production of Sugar Compounds via Comet Impact Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, N.; McCaffrey, V.; Crake, C.; Butler, J.; Robbins, J.; Fodor, A.

    2017-12-01

    Impact experiments using glycolaldehyde (GLA), a two-carbon sugar precursor that has been detected in regions of the interstellar medium and on comets, have been conducted at the Experimental Impact Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Samples of GLA and GLA mixed with montmorillonite clays were subjected to the pressure conditions that are found during impact delivery of biomolecules by comets, asteroids, or meteors; pressures ranged from 4.5 GPa to 25 GPa. Results show that large amounts of GLA survived the impacts and moderate amounts of threose, erythrose, and glycolic acid were produced in these impacts. Total amounts are dependent on impact pressure. Ethylene glycol, a reduced variant of GLA that has also been detected in the interstellar medium and on comets, was also produced. The results of these experimental impacts provide evidence that large amounts of GLA, EG, and other biomolecules were available on habitable moons or planets, especially during the era of late heavy bombardment ( 4.2 to 3.7 billion years ago) when life may have been developing on Earth. The presence and availability of these biomolecules, under appropriate conditions, may be important for understanding the origin of life as we know it. Glycolaldehyde in particular, may be an important molecule in the production of ribose, the five-carbon sugar in RNA.

  18. Hydrodynamic Modeling of the Deep Impact Mission into Comet Tempel 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorli, Kya; Remington, Tané; Bruck Syal, Megan

    2018-01-01

    Kinetic impact is one of the primary strategies to deflect hazardous objects off of an Earth-impacting trajectory. The only test of a small-body impact is the 2005 Deep Impact mission into comet Tempel 1, where a 366-kg mass impactor collided at ~10 km/s into the comet, liberating an enormous amount of vapor and ejecta. Code comparisons with observations of the event represent an important source of new information about the initial conditions of small bodies and an extraordinary opportunity to test our simulation capabilities on a rare, full-scale experiment. Using the Adaptive Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (ASPH) code, Spheral, we explore how variations in target material properties such as strength, composition, porosity, and layering affect impact results, in order to best match the observed crater size and ejecta evolution. Benchmarking against this unique small-body experiment provides an enhanced understanding of our ability to simulate asteroid or comet response to future deflection missions. 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-739336-DRAFT.

  19. Amino Acids from a Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elisla

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned samples from comet 81P/Wild 2 to Earth in January 2006. Examinations of the organic compounds in cometary samples can reveal information about the prebiotic organic inventory present on the early Earth and within the early Solar System, which may have contributed to the origin of life. Preliminary studies of Stardust material revealed the presence of a suite of organic compounds including several amines and amino acids, but the origin of these compounds (cometary- vs. terrestrial contamination) could not be identified. We have recently measured the carbon isotopic ratios of these amino acids to determine their origin, leading to the first detection of a coetary amino acid.

  20. High Resolution 3D Radar Imaging of Comet Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E. I.; Gim, Y.; Belton, M.; Brophy, J.; Weissman, P. R.; Heggy, E.

    2012-12-01

    images of interior structure to ~20 m, and to map dielectric properties (related to internal composition) to better than 200 m throughout. This is comparable in detail to modern 3D medical ultrasound, although we emphasize that the techniques are somewhat different. An interior mass distribution is obtained through spacecraft tracking, using data acquired during the close, quiet radar orbits. This is aligned with the radar-based images of the interior, and the shape model, to contribute to the multi-dimensional 3D global view. High-resolution visible imaging provides boundary conditions and geologic context to these interior views. An infrared spectroscopy and imaging campaign upon arrival reveals the time-evolving activity of the nucleus and the structure and composition of the inner coma, and the definition of surface units. CORE is designed to obtain a total view of a comet, from the coma to the active and evolving surface to the deep interior. Its primary science goal is to obtain clear images of internal structure and dielectric composition. These will reveal how the comet was formed, what it is made of, and how it 'works'. By making global yet detailed connections from interior to exterior, this knowledge will be an important complement to the Rosetta mission, and will lay the foundation for comet nucleus sample return by revealing the areas of shallow depth to 'bedrock', and relating accessible deposits to their originating provenances within the nucleus.

  1. On the nature of the Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobrovol'skij, O.V.; Ioffe, Z.M.

    1987-01-01

    The results of study of the Halley comet by means of the ''Vega'', ''Suisej'', ''Sakigaki'' and ''Jotton'' space probes are presented in the popular form. The form and composition of the comet nucleus, its atmosphere and processes ocurring when moving in the near-the-solar space are described

  2. Origin of comets - implications for planetary formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; Arizona Univ., Tucson)

    1985-01-01

    Primordial and episodic theories for the origin of comets are discussed. The implications of the former type for the origin of the solar system are considered. Candidate sites for the formation of comets are compared. The possible existence of a massive inner Oort cloud is discussed

  3. Meteoroid Streams from Sunskirter Comet Breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    In its first year of operations, the CAMS project (Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance) has measured 47,000 meteoroid orbits at Earth, including some that pass the Sun as close as 0.008 AU. The population density increases significantly above perihelion distance q = 0.037 AU. Meteoroid streams are known with q about 0.1 AU. The Sun has a profound effect on comets that pass at 0.04-0.16 AU distance, called the sunskirter comets. SOHO and STEREO see families of small comets called the Marsden and Kracht groups. Sunlight is efficiently scattered by small 10-m sized fragments, making those fragments visible even when far from Earth. These comet groups are associated with meteor showers on Earth, in particular the Daytime Arietids and Delta Aquariids. All are related to 96P/Machholz, a highly inclined short-period (5.2 year) Jupiter family comet that comes to within 0.12 AU from the Sun, the smallest perihelion distance known among numbered comets. The proximity of the Sun speeds up the disintegration process, providing us a unique window on this important decay mechanism of Jupiter family comets and creating meteoroid streams. These are not the only sunskirting comets, however. In this presentation, we will present CAMS observations of the complete low-q meteoroid population at Earth and review their association with known parent bodies.

  4. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 meets Jupiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, D. H.; Shoemaker, E. M.; Shoemaker, C. S.

    1995-08-01

    The impact of comet D/1993 F2 (Shoemaker-Levy 9) with Jupiter was unforgettable, an event probably not to be repeated for millennia to come. One year later the astronomers who first spotted the comet reflect on their discovery, on the anxious months of anticipation before the collision and on what has been learned since.

  5. Comet mission hopes to uncover Earth's origins

    CERN Multimedia

    Henderson, M

    2004-01-01

    "A European spacecraft that will hunt down a comet in search of clues to the origin of life on Earth will blast off tomorrow from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The Rosetta probe will take 12 years to catch up with Churyumov-Gerasimenko before becoming the first spacecraft to make a soft, controlled landing on a comet's nucleus" (1 page).

  6. Iron alteration minerals in the visible and near-infrared spectra of low-albedo asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, Faith; Jarvis, Kandy S.; Gaffey, Michael J.

    1994-01-01

    Absorption features centered near 0.60-0.65 and 0.80-0.90 micrometers have been identified in the spectra of five low-albedo main-belt and outer-belt asteroids. These absorption features are attributed respectively to the (6)A(sub 1) goes to (4)T(sub 2)(G) and (6)A(sub 1) goes to (4)T(sub 1)(G) charge transfer transitions in minerals such as goethite, hematite, and jarosite that are products of the aqueous alteration of anhydrous silicates. A shoulder near 0.63 micrometers has also been identified in the absorption feature centered near 0.7 micrometers attributed to oxidized iron in phyllosilicates found predominantly in C- and G-class asteroids reflectance spectra. The coexistence of iron oxides with phyllosilicates in asteroids believed to have undergone aqueous alteration would be expected based upon analogy with terrestrial aqueous alteration and the observed mineralogy of carbonaceous chondrites. The number of low-albedo asteroids having only iron alteration absorption features compared to the number of low-albedo asteroids having spectral characteristics indicative of phyllosilicates is small. Either the conditions under which these asteroids formed are rare, or the iron alteration minerals could be formed in the interiors of objects where phyllosilicates dominate the surface mineralogy.

  7. Origin of Short-Perihelion Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guliyev, A. S.

    2011-01-01

    New regularities for short-perihelion comets are found. Distant nodes of cometary orbits of Kreutz family are concentrated in a plane with ascending node 76 and inclination 267 at the distance from 2 up to 3 a.u. and in a very narrow interval of longitudes. There is a correlation dependence between q and cos I concerning the found plane (coefficient of correlation 0.41). Similar results are received regarding to cometary families of Meyer, Kracht and Marsden. Distant nodes of these comets are concentrated close three planes (their parameters are discussed in the article) and at distances 1.4; 0.5; 6 a.u. accordingly. It is concluded that these comet groups were formed as a result of collision of parent bodies with meteoric streams. One more group, consisting of 7 comets is identified. 5 comet pairs are selected among sungrazers.

  8. Comets and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Schmude, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Comets have inspired wonder, excitement and even fear ever since they were first observed. They contain material from early in the life of the Solar System, held in deep-freeze. This makes them key in our understanding of the formation and evolution of many Solar System bodies. Recent ground- and space-based observations have changed much in our understanding of comets. Comets and How to Observe Them gives a summary of our current knowledge and describes how amateur astronomers can contribute to the body of scientific knowledge of comets. This book contains many practical examples of how to construct comet light-curves, measure how fast a comet’s coma expands, and determine the rotation period of the nucleus. All these examples are illustrated with drawings and photographs.

  9. C/2013 P2 Pan STARRS - The Manx Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meech, Karen J.; Yang, Bin; Keane, Jacqueline; Hainaut, Olivier; Kleyna, Jan; Hsieh, Henry; Bauer, James; Wainscoat, Richard; Veres, Peter

    2014-11-01

    On Aug 4, 2013 an apparently asteroidal object was discovered by the Pan STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope on Haleakala at magnitude 20.4 (corresponding to a nucleus radius between 1.4-2.9 km for albedos between 0.25-0.04). PS1 pre-recovery images taken on July 26 and on Aug. 3 allowed a good orbit to be determined. The orbit looks like that of a long-period comet with a semi major axis of 2720 AU and an eccentricity of 0.999. Shortly following the discovery, reports from small telescopes came in that there was low level activity associated with this object (at r = 3.45 AU), and the object was designated P/2013 P2 (Pan STARRS). The activity was not seen in images obtained with PS1, the Faulkes N telescope or the CFHT 3.6m, however the object was passing through a region of significant nebulosity. Deep images obtained on the CFHT on Aug. 8 and follow up images obtained with the Gemini North 8m telescope on Sep. 9 showed a very faint tail extending a few arcsec to PA=45 deg (inconsistent with the earlier reports). The object was observed using several facilities up until solar conjunction, and again after perihelion (Feb. 17, 2014) in March, with little increase in activity. A search of the NEOWISE archives show no detection during the cryogenic and immediate pos-cryogenic phases, so we can only place an upper limit on the nucleus size from these data. An object on a long-period comet orbit at this heliocentric distance typically should be very active, and our team hypothesized that this could either be a nearly-extinct comet or possibly inner solar system material ejected to the outer solar system during planet migration as predicted by various dynamical models. To distinguish between these scenarios, we obtained both optical and near-IR spectra of P/2013 P2 on 2014 May 7 and 21, when the object was at r=2.97 and 2.99 AU, respectively. Initial reductions show no emission lines. We will report on our spectra and imaging data, and discuss the implications for the origin

  10. Working Group Reports and Presentations: Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John

    2006-01-01

    The study and utilization of asteroids will be an economical way to enable exploration of the solar system and extend human presence in space. There are thousands of near-earth objects (NEOs) that we will be able to reach. They offer resources, transportation, and exploration platforms, but also present a potential threat to civilization. Asteroids play a catastrophic role in the history of the Earth. Geological records indicate a regular history of massive impacts, which astronomical observations confirm is likely to continue with potentially devastating consequences. However, study and exploration of near earth asteroids can significantly increase advanced warning of an Earth impact, and potentially lead to the technology necessary to avert such a collision. Efforts to detect and prevent cataclysmic events would tend to foster and likely require international cooperation toward a unified goal of self-preservation. Exploration of asteroids will help us to understand our history and perhaps save our future. Besides the obvious and compelling scientific and security drivers for asteroid research and exploration, there are numerous engineering and industrial applications for near-term asteroid exploration. We have strong evidence that some asteroids are metal rich. Some are water and organic rich. They can be reached with a very low fuel cost compared to other solar system destinations. Once we reach them, there are efficient, simple extraction technologies available that would facilitate utilization. In addition, the costs of returning extracted resources from asteroids will be a fraction of the cost to return similar resources from the moon to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). These raw materials, extracted and shipped at relatively low cost, can be used to manufacture structures, fuel, and products which could be used to foster mankind s further exploration of the solar system. Asteroids also have the potential to offer transport to several destinations in the solar system

  11. 3D radar wavefield tomography of comet interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sava, Paul; Asphaug, Erik

    2018-04-01

    Answering fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of small planetary bodies hinges on our ability to image their surface and interior structure in detail and at high resolution. The interior structure is not easily accessible without systematic imaging using, e.g., radar transmission and reflection data from multiple viewpoints, as in medical tomography. Radar tomography can be performed using methodology adapted from terrestrial exploration seismology. Our feasibility study primarily focuses on full wavefield methods that facilitate high quality imaging of small body interiors. We consider the case of a monostatic system (co-located transmitters and receivers) operated in various frequency bands between 5 and 15 MHz, from a spacecraft in slow polar orbit around a spinning comet nucleus. Using realistic numerical experiments, we demonstrate that wavefield techniques can generate high resolution tomograms of comets nuclei with arbitrary shape and complex interior properties.

  12. Thermal inertia of eclipsing binary asteroids : the role of component shape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; van de Weijgaert, Marlies

    2015-01-01

    Thermal inertia controls the temperature distribution on asteroid surfaces. This is of crucial importance to the Yarkovsky effect and for the planning of spacecraft operations on or near the surface. Additionally, thermal inertia is a sensitive indicator for regolith structure.A uniquely direct way

  13. Antioxidants and the Comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cemeli, Eduardo; Baumgartner, Adolf; Anderson, Diana

    2009-01-01

    It is widely accepted that antioxidants, either endogenous or from the diet, play a key role in preserving health. They are able to quench radical species generated in situations of oxidative stress, either triggered by pathologies or xenobiotics, and they protect the integrity of DNA from genotoxicants. Nevertheless, there are still many compounds with unclear or unidentified prooxidant/antioxidant activities. This is of concern since there is an increase in the number of compounds synthesized or extracted from vegetables to which humans might be exposed. Despite the well-established protective effects of fruit and vegetables, the antioxidant(s) responsible have not all been clearly identified. There might also be alternative mechanisms contributing to the protective effects for which a comprehensive description is lacking. In the last two decades, the Comet assay has been extensively used for the investigation of the effects of antioxidants and many reports can be found in the literature. The Comet assay, a relatively fast, simple, and sensitive technique for the analysis of DNA damage in all cell types, has been applied for the screening of chemicals, biomonitoring and intervention studies. In the present review, several of the most well-known antioxidants are considered. These include: catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, selenium, iron chelators, melatonin, melanin, vitamins (A, B, C and E), carotenes, flavonoids, isoflavones, tea polyphenols, wine polyphenols and synthetic antioxidants. Investigations showing beneficial as well as non-beneficial properties of the antioxidants selected, either at the in vitro, ex vivo or in vivo level are discussed.

  14. comets in the STIP context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallis, M.K.

    1977-01-01

    Fluid descriptions of plasma motion through a cometary coma are briefly sketched, distinguishing the bow shock and ionizing flow region mainly within it, the tail region and ray structure, and the 'ionosphere' coupled closely to the expanding cometary gas. Whether there is a contact discontinuity or continuous transition between the incoming flow and the ionosphere depends on solar fluxes rather than comet size. A discontinuity as observed requires much faster ionization in the inner coma or severe collisional cooling of incoming plasma. Changes in structure and brightness may reflect solar UV and solar plasma variations, but may also be evidence of intrinsic instabilities of hydrodynamic/MHD or chemically-reactive flow. Molecular ionization and dissociation processes strongly influence the stagnation region ahead of the comet, and make it particularly susceptible to flow instabilities. Solar UV variations are energetically dominant within the ionosphere, changing the evaporation and chemical reaction rates, and probably stimulate dust halos. Shocked changes in the solar wind propagating through the head can trigger structural and intensity fluctuations in the plasma, notably disruptions of the plasma tail. (Auth.)

  15. Tidal disruption of asteroids by supermassive black holes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gomboc A.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The compact radio source Sgr A* at the centre of our Galaxy harbours a super-massive black hole, and is therefore the nearest laboratory for testing the super-massive black hole astrophysics and environment. Since it is not an active galactic nucleus, it also offers the possibility of observing the capture of low-mass objects, such as comets or asteroids, that may orbit the central black hole. In this paper we discuss conditions for tidal disruption of low-mass objects and predictions of the appearance and light curve of such events, as well as their relevance for the X-ray and infra-red flares detected in Sgr A*. The modelled light curves of such tidal disruption events bear marks of the strong gravitational field: tidal squeezing and elongation of the object, gravitational lensing, aberration of light, and Doppler effects. Finally, we show that this model is able to reproduce and fit X-ray flares.

  16. Re-accumulation of Asteroids to Equilibrium Figures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestroffer, D.; Tanga, P.; Richardson, D. C.; Berthier, J.; Cellino, A.; Durech, J.; Michel, P.

    2008-09-01

    Since their formation, asteroids since their formation have experienced little physical, geological or thermal evolution. Like comets they are thought to be among the most pristine remnants of the early solar system. One physical process, however, has played a major role since the ancient times: collisions. Dynamical families were produced by catastrophic collisions involving large enough energy to break the parent body. Other lines of evidence suggest that catastrophic collisions can also produce rubble-piles, i.e., loosely bound of post-collisional aggregates that re-accumulate to form a single body, and are kept together by gravity. The main objective of this work is to understand if—and under what conditions—Jacobi ellipsoids or other equilibrium figures can be obtained naturally by this way. This is done by performing numerical experiments simulating the re-accumulation process, and by performing high-angular resolution observations in order to better constrain the shape and density of the targets. It is shown that the outcomes of reaccumulation events tend to produce a rather narrow variety of possible shapes, and in some cases also binary systems.

  17. Asteroid Redirection Mission Evaluation Using Multiple Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzocchi, Michael C. F.; Emami, M. Reza

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, a low-thrust tugboat redirection method is assessed using multiple spacecraft for a target range of small near-Earth asteroids. The benefits of a landed configuration of tugboat spacecraft in formation are examined for the redirection of a near-Earth asteroid. The tugboat method uses a gimballed thruster with a highly collimated ion beam to generate a thrust on the asteroid. The target asteroid range focuses on near-Earth asteroids smaller than 150 m in diameter, and carbonaceous (C-type) asteroids, due to the volatiles available for in-situ utilization. The assessment focuses primarily on the three key parameters, i.e., the asteroid mass redirected, the timeframe for redirection, and the overall system cost. An evaluation methodology for each parameter is discussed in detail, and the parameters are employed to determine the expected return and feasibility of the redirection mission. The number of spacecraft employed is optimized along with the electrical power needed for each spacecraft to ensure the highest possible return on investment. A discussion of the optimization results and the benefits of spacecraft formation for the tugboat method are presented.

  18. Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) Aboard the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, R. A.; Chodas, M.; Bayley, L.; Allen, B.; Hong, J.; Biswas, P.; McMenamin, C.; Stout, K.; Bokhour, E.; Bralower, H.; Carte, D.; Chen, S.; Jones, M.; Kissel, S.; Schmidt, F.; Smith, M.; Sondecker, G.; Lim, L. F.; Lauretta, D. S.; Grindlay, J. E.; Binzel, R. P.

    2018-02-01

    The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is the student collaboration experiment proposed and built by an MIT-Harvard team, launched aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. REXIS complements the scientific investigations of other OSIRIS-REx instruments by determining the relative abundances of key elements present on the asteroid's surface by measuring the X-ray fluorescence spectrum (stimulated by the natural solar X-ray flux) over the range of energies 0.5 to 7 keV. REXIS consists of two components: a main imaging spectrometer with a coded aperture mask and a separate solar X-ray monitor to account for the Sun's variability. In addition to element abundance ratios (relative to Si) pinpointing the asteroid's most likely meteorite association, REXIS also maps elemental abundance variability across the asteroid's surface using the asteroid's rotation as well as the spacecraft's orbital motion. Image reconstruction at the highest resolution is facilitated by the coded aperture mask. Through this operation, REXIS will be the first application of X-ray coded aperture imaging to planetary surface mapping, making this student-built instrument a pathfinder toward future planetary exploration. To date, 60 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been involved with the REXIS project, with the hands-on experience translating to a dozen Master's and Ph.D. theses and other student publications.

  19. OpenComet: An automated tool for comet assay image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M. Gyori

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires laborious manual tagging of cells. This paper presents OpenComet, an open-source software tool providing automated analysis of comet assay images. It uses a novel and robust method for finding comets based on geometric shape attributes and segmenting the comet heads through image intensity profile analysis. Due to automation, OpenComet is more accurate, less prone to human bias, and faster than manual analysis. A live analysis functionality also allows users to analyze images captured directly from a microscope. We have validated OpenComet on both alkaline and neutral comet assay images as well as sample images from existing software packages. Our results show that OpenComet achieves high accuracy with significantly reduced analysis time.

  20. The global morphology of the solar wind interaction with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendis, D. A.; Horányi, M.

    2014-01-01

    The forthcoming Rosetta-Philae mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko provides a novel opportunity to observe the variable nature of the solar wind interaction with a comet over an extended range of heliocentric distance. We use a simple analytical one-dimensional MHD model to estimate the sizes of the two most prominent features in the global structure of the solar wind interaction with a comet. When the heliocentric distance of the comet reaches d ≤ 1.51 AU, we expect a sharp shock to be observed, whose size would increase monotonically as the comet approaches the Sun, reaching a value ≅ 15, 000 km at perihelion (d ≅ 1.29 AU). Upstream of the shock, we expect the velocity-space distribution of the picked up cometary ions to be essentially gyrotropic. A well-defined ionopause is predicted when d ≤1.61 AU, though its size is expected to be only ≅25 km at perihelion, and it is expected to be susceptible to the 'flute' instability due to its small size. Consequently, we expect the magnetic field to penetrate all the way to the surface of the nucleus. We conclude with a brief discussion of the response of the comet's plasma environment to fast temporal variations in the solar wind.

  1. Prospects for asteroid mass determination from close encounters between asteroids: ESA's Gaia space mission and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivantsov, Anatoliy; Hestroffer, Daniel; Eggl, Siegfried

    2018-04-01

    We present a catalog of potential candidates for asteroid mass determination based on mutual close encounters of numbered asteroids with massive perturbers (D>20 km). Using a novel geometric approach tuned to optimize observability, we predict optimal epochs for mass determination observations. In contrast to previous studies that often used simplified dynamical models, we have numerically propagated the trajectories of all numbered asteroids over the time interval from 2013 to 2023 using relativistic equations of motion including planetary perturbations, J2 of the Sun, the 16 major asteroid perturbers and the perturbations due to non-sphericities of the planets. We compiled a catalog of close encounters between asteroids where the observable perturbation of the sky plane trajectory is greater than 0.5 mas so that astrometric measurements of the perturbed asteroids in the Gaia data can be leveraged. The catalog v1.0 is available at ftp://dosya.akdeniz.edu.tr/ivantsov.

  2. The comet assay in testing the potential genotoxicity of nanomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amaya Azqueta

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the last two decades the production and use of nanomaterials (NMs has impressively increased. Their small size, given a mass equal to that of the corresponding bulk material, implies an increase in the surface area and consequently in the number of atoms that can be reactive. They possess different physical, chemical and biological properties compared to bulk materials of the same composition, which makes them very interesting and valuable for many different applications in technology, energy, construction, electronics, agriculture, optics, paints, textiles, food, cosmetics, medicine... Toxicological assessment of NMs is crucial; the same properties that make them interesting also make them potentially harmful for health and the environment. However, the term NM covers many different kinds of particle , and so there is no simple, standard approach to assessing their toxicity. NMs can enter the cell, interact with cell components and even penetrate the nucleus and interfere with the genetic material. Among the different branches of toxicology, genotoxicity is a main area of concern since it is closely related with the carcinogenic potential of compounds. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD has published internationally agreed in vitro and in vivo validated test methods to evaluate different genotoxic endpoints of chemicals, including chromosome and gene mutations, and DNA breaks. However not all the assays are suitable to study the genotoxic potential of NMs as has been shown by the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN. Moreover, alterations to DNA bases, which are precursors to mutations and of great importance in elucidating the mechanism of action of NMs, are not covered by the OECD guidelines. The in vivo standard comet assay (which measures DNA breaks and alkali-labile sites was included in the OECD assays battery in September 2014 while the in vitro standard comet assay is currently under

  3. Delivery of water and organics to Mercury through asteroid and comet impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, Kateryna; Mueller, Michael; van der Tak, Floris F. S.

    2017-01-01

    Detection and observation of the bright and dark polar deposits in permanently shadowed northpolar regions of Mercury suggest that these regions contain water and organic compounds. This is somehow surprising taking into account the planet’s proximity to the Sun. Water flux on Mercury was studied in

  4. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahrens, T.J.; O'Keefe, J.D.

    1983-01-01

    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet at 30 km/sec demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. In the gravity field of the earth some 10 to 30 times the impactor mass of water is launched on trajectories which would take it to altitudes of 10 km or higher. This ejecta launched on trajectories which can achieve stratospheric heights is 10 1 to 10 2 projectile masses, similar to that resulting from impact of objects on an ocean-free silicate half-space (continent). Ejecta composed of impactor material, launched on trajectories which would carry it to stratospheric heights, matches the fraction (10 -2 to 10 -1 ) of bolide (extraterrestrial) material found in the platinum-metal-rich Cretaceous-Tertiary and Eocene-Oligocene boundary layers. Oceanic impact results in giant tsunamis initially having amplitudes of approx. 4 km, representing the solitary waterwave stability limit in the deep ocean, and containing 10 -2 to 10 -1 of the energy of the impact. Using the constraint of no observed turbidities in marine sediments in the Cretaceous-Tertiary and Eocene-Oligocene boundary materials (calculated maximum water-sediment interface particle velocity approx. 10 0 m/sec) implies a maximum impactor energy of approx. 10 28 to approx. 10 29 erg corresponding to a maximum diameter for a silicate impactor of approx. 2 km (at 11 km/sec). Minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents corresponding to impacts of this energy are 300-400 m. We speculate that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas. As a result, the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed, which could have caused extinction of large terrestrial animals

  5. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, T. J.; Okeefe, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. It is speculated that minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents would be 300-400 meters, and that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas, and strip and silt-over virtually all vegetation. As a result the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed. This could in turn cause extinction of large terrestrial animals.

  6. OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, D. S.; Balram-Knutson, S. S.; Beshore, E.; Boynton, W. V.; Drouet d'Aubigny, C.; DellaGiustina, D. N.; Enos, H. L.; Golish, D. R.; Hergenrother, C. W.; Howell, E. S.; Bennett, C. A.; Morton, E. T.; Nolan, M. C.; Rizk, B.; Roper, H. L.; Bartels, A. E.; Bos, B. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Highsmith, D. E.; Lorenz, D. A.; Lim, L. F.; Mink, R.; Moreau, M. C.; Nuth, J. A.; Reuter, D. C.; Simon, A. A.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Bryan, B. H.; Ballouz, R.; Barnouin, O. S.; Binzel, R. P.; Bottke, W. F.; Hamilton, V. E.; Walsh, K. J.; Chesley, S. R.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. E.; Connolly, H. C.; Crombie, M. K.; Daly, M. G.; Emery, J. P.; McCoy, T. J.; McMahon, J. W.; Scheeres, D. J.; Messenger, S.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Righter, K.; Sandford, S. A.

    2017-10-01

    In May of 2011, NASA selected the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security- Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission as the third mission in the New Frontiers program. The other two New Frontiers missions are New Horizons, which explored Pluto during a flyby in July 2015 and is on its way for a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019, and Juno, an orbiting mission that is studying the origin, evolution, and internal structure of Jupiter. The spacecraft departed for near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 evolved expendable launch vehicle at 7:05 p.m. EDT on September 8, 2016, on a seven-year journey to return samples from Bennu. The spacecraft is on an outbound-cruise trajectory that will result in a rendezvous with Bennu in November 2018. The science instruments on the spacecraft will survey Bennu to measure its physical, geological, and chemical properties, and the team will use these data to select a site on the surface to collect at least 60 g of asteroid regolith. The team will also analyze the remote-sensing data to perform a detailed study of the sample site for context, assess Bennu's resource potential, refine estimates of its impact probability with Earth, and provide ground-truth data for the extensive astronomical data set collected on this asteroid. The spacecraft will leave Bennu in 2021 and return the sample to the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) on September 24, 2023.

  7. Comet Halley Returns. A Teacher's Guide, 1985-1986.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Robert D.; Bondurant, R. Lynn, Jr.

    This booklet was designed as an aid for elementary and secondary school teachers. It is divided into two distinct parts. Part I is a brief tutorial which introduces some of the most important concepts about comets. Areas addressed include: the historical importance of Comet Halley; how comets are found and names; cometary orbits; what Comet Halley…

  8. The Comet Halley Handbook: An Observer's Guide. Second Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    This handbook contains information on: (1) the orbit of comet Halley; (2) the expected physical behavior of comet Halley in 1985-1986, considering brightness estimates, coma diameters, and tail lengths; (3) observing conditions for comet Halley in 1985-1986; and (4) observing conditions for the dust tail of comet Halley in 1985-1986. Additional…

  9. Asteroid Spectroscopy: A Declaration of Independence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.

    1995-09-01

    One of the shibboleths of asteroid spectroscopy for the past 25 years has been that a detailed knowledge of meteoritics is essential for proper interpretation of asteroid spectra. In fact, several recent spectroscopic discoveries have overturned long-standing models based on popular interpretations of meteorite data. A case can be made that spectroscopists could have made much faster progress if they had worked in total isolation from meteoritics. Consider the first three spectral classes identified in the 1970s: Vesta: The very first asteroid spectrum was unambigously basaltic, yet some meteoriticists have persistently resisted the obvious conclusion that the HED clan comes from Vesta, because A) Vesta is "impossibly" far from the known dynamical escape hatches; and B) the HED O-isotope data "establishes" a lirlk with pallasites and IIIAB irons, suggesting that their parent was some other completely disrupted asteroid. The discovery of a "dynamically impossible" extended family of basaltic fragments extending from Vesta to the 3:1 resonance [1] makes it clear that HEDs must originate on Vesta, and that dynamical, physical and isotopic arguments all led in the wrong direction. Stony: In the early 1970s meteorite fall statistics led to an expectation that many of the larger asteroids would be ordinary chondrites. When the most common class of asteroids proved to have silicate absorption bands, many concluded that these objects were the expected ordinary chondrite parent asteroids. The later discovery that S-type spectra do not actually resemble OCs was rationalized with imaginary "space weathering" processes (which have never been observed or simulated despite 20 years of wasted effort). Now that the real weathering trends in S asteroids have been resolved [2] and asteroids which actually do look like OCs discovered [3], it is clear that the eDhre controversy over S asteroid composition was a blind alley that could have been avoided by taking the spectra at face

  10. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  11. A CCD portrait of Comet P/Tempel 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jewitt, D.; Luu, J.

    1989-01-01

    The development of activity in Comet P/Tempel 2 is studied from aphelion (R = 4 AU) to perihelion (R = 1.4 AU) using extensive time-series CCD photometry and CCD spectra. The comet undergoes a profound morphological change at R of about 2-2.5 AU, from a bare nucleus at larger distances to an active comet supporting a coma of gas and dust. Cyclic photometric variations with the period T = 8.95 + or - 0.01 hr. are present at all R, and are attributed to the rotation of the nucleus at this period. The nucleus is prolate (axes a:b:c = 1.9:1:1), a property shared with other nuclei studied using CCD photometry. Novel results include a limit on the bulk density of the nucleus, rho above 300 kg/cu m, and a 20-A-resolution CCD spectrum of the nucleus. Spatially and temporally resolved photometry is used to study the effects of nucleus rotation on the coma. The coma does not share the dramatic photometric variations shown by the nucleus. It possesses a steep surface-brightness distribution, which is attributable to progressive destruction of the coma grains with increasing space exposure. 41 refs

  12. Strategy for infrared photometry of comets with ISO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solc, M.; Vanysek, V.; Gruen, E.

    1994-07-01

    The launch of the ISO (Infrared Satellite Observatory) by the European Space Agency is scheduled for autumn 1995. Photometry and spectrophotometry observing programs of comets in the wavelength range 2.5-200 microns for the onboard spectrophotometer ISOPHOT is now under final preparation. Technical details for preparing propasals are given. Phenomena in comets to be studied are surface properties of bare cometary nuclei at large heliocentric distances, onset of coma activity, and coma dust and gas emission (in inner solar system). Dust production, dust/gas mass ratio, dust distribution in coma, and their temporal variability are important for understanding the physical processes on nuclei, and spectrophotometry in the range of 2.5-12 microns could provide us with data of the chemical composition of cometary dust. Several active comets expected for the 18-month lifetime of ISO in 1995-1997 were selected for the ISO Central Program according to their orbital and physical parameters: P/Schwassman-Wachmann 1, P/Encke, P/d'Arrest, P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, P/Kopff, P/IRAS, P/Wirtanen, P/Wild 2, P/Grigg-Skjellerup, P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3, P/Machholz, and (2060) Chiron. Four of them match well various constraints put on the observations by the technical arrangement of the satellite and instrument. A simple four-parameter model (size, albedo, rotation, optical thickness)was developed to estimate the temperatures and thermal fluxes of both solid nuclei and dust coma.

  13. Boulder Capture System Design Options for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission Alternate Approach Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belbin, Scott P.; Merrill, Raymond G.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a boulder acquisition and asteroid surface interaction electromechanical concept developed for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) option to capture a free standing boulder on the surface of a 100 m or larger Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). It details the down select process and ranking of potential boulder capture methods, the evolution of a simple yet elegant articulating spaceframe, and ongoing risk reduction and concept refinement efforts. The capture system configuration leverages the spaceframe, heritage manipulators, and a new microspine technology to enable the ARRM boulder capture. While at the NEA it enables attenuation of terminal descent velocity, ascent to escape velocity, boulder collection and restraint. After departure from the NEA it enables, robotic inspection, sample caching, and crew Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA).

  14. A dynamical study on extrasolar comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loibnegger, B.; Dvorak, R.

    2017-09-01

    Since the detection of absorption features in spectra of beta Pictoris varying on short time scales it is known that comets exist in other stellar systems. We investigate the dynamics of comets in two differently build systems (HD 10180 and HIP 14810). The outcomes of the scattering process, as there are collisions with the planets, captures and ejections from the systems are analysed statistically. Collisions and close encounters with the planets are investigated in more detail in order to conclude about transport of water and organic material. We will also investigate the possibility of detection of comets in other planetary systems.

  15. The spacecraft encounters of Comet Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asoka Mendis, D.; Tsurutani, Bruce T.

    1986-01-01

    The characteristics of the Comet Halley spacecraft 'fleet' (VEGA 1 and VEGA 2, Giotto, Suisei, and Sakigake) are presented. The major aims of these missions were (1) to discover and characterize the nucleus, (2) to characterize the atmosphere and ionosphere, (3) to characterize the dust, and (4) to characterize the nature of the large-scale comet-solar wind interaction. While the VEGA and Giotto missions were designed to study all four areas, Suisei addressed the second and fourth. Sakigake was designed to study the solar wind conditions upstream of the comet. It is noted that NASA's Deep Space Network played an important role in spacecraft tracking.

  16. Radiation Recoil Effects on the Dynamical Evolution of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotto-Figueroa, Desiree

    The Yarkovsky effect is a radiation recoil force that results in a semimajor axis drift in the o