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2014_fitzsimmons_asteroids [2014/02/05 17:48]
Alan Fitzsimmons
2014_fitzsimmons_asteroids [2014/02/05 18:03] (current)
Alan Fitzsimmons
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-QUB has been co-lead on the asteroid science key project with Pan-STARRS 1 since 2012 and we will have exclusive access to these data until 2015. We will also be partners in the new survey to be performed by  Pan-STARRS 1 + 2.+QUB has been co-lead on the asteroid science key project with Pan-STARRS 1 since 2012 and we will have exclusive access to these data until 2015. We will also be partners in the new survey to be performed by Pan-STARRS 1 + 2.
  
  
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-The student will perform a photometric analysis ​of the Near-Earth Object brightnesses detected by Pan-STARRS 1. The sparse sampling by Pan-STARRS 1 does not allow a true rotation rate to be derived. Insteadmodels will be calculated to debias the observations ​and constrain ​the size-frequency relationship for NEOsAt the same time, as the brightness is directly related to size, the student will search for any significant observational biasas has been found previously for main-belt asteroids. This will lead to more accurate size distribution, ​and therefore an improved estimate of the collision rate with Earth.+The asteroid belt is collisionally dominated, with the results ​of these collisions being seen in the existence of asteroid families, and the rubble-pile nature of small asteroidsIt was only in 2010 that the first probable collisional event was identified with the mysterious object P/2010 A2. Since then another 2 have been discovered. However the rate at which collisions take place between small asteroidsand the behavior of the resulting ejectais still very uncertain. As collisions are the dominant form of erosion in the asteroid-belt and Kuiper-belts today, it is important ​to discover many more and understand their nature.
  
  
-This project would be performed ​in collaboration with DrRichard Wainscoat ​and/or Dr. Robert Jedicke ​of the Unversity of Hawai’i Institute of Astronomy. It is anticipated that a small amount of time would be spent working at the Institutesubject ​to funding availability.+The student will help lead a search for inter-asteroid collisions ​in the main asteroid beltThis will involve the building ​and monitoring ​of the real-time data stream from the telescope, to search for potential collisions. Suspicious objects will be followed-up using other ground-based facilities, such as ESO, ING and the SAFT 1-m on La Palma. ​ Confirmed discoveries will be used to derive the true asteroid collision rate in the asteroid belt and thereby constrain the small asteroid population there
  
  
-Should adequate progress ​be made, further avenues of research are possibleThe Pan-STARRS 1 data can be used to constrain the number ​of contact-binary asteroids in the main-asteroid belt, or the rotation models could be applied to individual families ​of main-belt asteroids in order to search for age-related evolution due to the YORP effectAnother possibility would be to apply the asteroid rotation models ​to NEOs observed by the ATLAS facility, which will on-sky by the end of 2015.+This project would be performed in collaboration with DrRichard Wainscoat and/or Dr. Robert Jedicke ​of the Unversity of Hawai’i Institute ​of AstronomyIt is anticipated that a small amount of time may be spent working at the Institute, subject ​to funding availability.
  
  
2014_fitzsimmons_asteroids.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/05 18:03 by Alan Fitzsimmons

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