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public:research_areas:solar_system:start [2018/11/02 15:09]
Michele Bannister update Colin's location
public:research_areas:solar_system:start [2018/11/02 15:32] (current)
Michele Bannister add some text on TNOs, ISSI link for Oumuamua
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 [{{ :​public:​research_areas:​solar_system:​itokawa8_hayabusa_1210.jpg?​300|Asteroid Itokawa as imaged by the Hayabusa Spacecraft (Image courtesy ISAS/​JAXA)}}] [{{ :​public:​research_areas:​solar_system:​itokawa8_hayabusa_1210.jpg?​300|Asteroid Itokawa as imaged by the Hayabusa Spacecraft (Image courtesy ISAS/​JAXA)}}]
  
-Between the planets Mars and Jupiter lies the main asteroid belt, where Earth-bound telescopes have so far discovered over 700,000 small rocky bodies orbiting our Sun. +Between the planets Mars and Jupiter lies the main asteroid belt, where Earth-bound telescopes have so far discovered over 700,000 small rocky bodies orbiting our Sun. Some of these objects form a source for the near-Earth asteroid population.
  
-Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) pose an immediate threat to the Earth through the possibility of impact. From 2005-2008 we operated [[http://​star.pst.qub.ac.uk/​~ukapp/​|UKAPP]] in order to improve our knowledge of this threat, and occasionally still assist in this area. They also offer an exciting opportunity to study small asteroids brought to us from the asteroid belt, and test dynamical and physical theories of small body evolution. ​Hence we also determine the composition of these bodies through multi-colour photometry and spectroscopy,​ to assist theoretical models in disentangling the possibles sources of NEOs.+Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) pose an immediate threat to the Earth through the possibility of impact. From 2005-2008 we operated [[http://​star.pst.qub.ac.uk/​~ukapp/​|UKAPP]] in order to improve our knowledge of this threat, and occasionally still assist in this area. They also offer an exciting opportunity to study small asteroids brought to us from the asteroid belt, and test dynamical and physical theories of small body evolution. ​We determine the composition of these bodies through multi-colour photometry and spectroscopy,​ to assist theoretical models in disentangling the possibles sources of NEOs
 +An important project that started in 2012 is [[https://​habu.pst.qub.ac.uk/​wiki/​pages/​M5w0v9p29/​NEOShield_project_starts_assessing_Earth_defence.html|NEOShield]],​ an international effort to investigate the best ways to deflect oncoming asteroids before they impact. Initially a 3.5 year project starting in 2012, this project successfully evaluated what we know, and importantly what we don't know, about moving asteroids. This is continued via EU Horizon 2020 funding as NEOShield-2. By the end of 2017 the project obtained and published studies on the nature of NEOs and how to avoid impacts by using a kinetic impactor.
  
-A primary focus of our current research is asteroid science with the [[http://​pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/​public/​|Pan-STARRS 1]] telescope. Surveying the sky since May 2010, we have already ​made million asteroid detections ​with this facility. We are using this unique resource to understand the spin distribution of small main-belt asteroids, searching for contact binaries that may result from asteroid-asteroid collisions or YORP spin-up, and looking for for real-time collisions+A primary focus of our current research is asteroid science with the [[http://​pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/​public/​|Pan-STARRS 1]] telescope. Surveying the sky since May 2010, this facility has made 20 million asteroid detections. We are using this unique resource to understand the spin distribution of small main-belt asteroids, searching for contact binaries that may result from asteroid-asteroid collisions or YORP spin-up, and looking for for real-time collisions.
- +
-An important project that started in 2012 is [[https://​habu.pst.qub.ac.uk/​wiki/​pages/​M5w0v9p29/​NEOShield_project_starts_assessing_Earth_defence.html|NEOShield]],​ an international effort to investigate the best ways to deflect oncoming asteroids before they impact. Initially a 3.5 year project starting in 2012, this project successfully evaluated what we know, and importantly what we don't know, about moving asteroids. This is continued via EU Horizon 2020 funding as NEOShield-2. By the end of 2017 the project obtained and published studies on the nature of NEOs and how to avoid impacts by using a kinetic impactor.+
  
 ===== Comets and other icy bodies ===== ===== Comets and other icy bodies =====
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 }}] }}]
  
 +Cometary nuclei are the most primitive bodies that exist in our Solar system. The current generation of 4-m and 8-m telescopes allow us to derive the properties of cometary nuclei such as size, spin-rate and colour. ​ Although we occasionally study bright long-period comets such as [[http://​www2.jpl.nasa.gov/​comet/​|Hale-Bopp]] or  [[http://​apod.nasa.gov/​apod/​ap070122.html|McNaught]],​ many of the comets we study are short-period comets. Also called Jupiter-family comets, these originate from the Kuiper-Belt. The target of the [[http://​blogs.esa.int/​rosetta/​|Rosetta mission]], comet 67P/​Churyumov-Gerasimenko,​ was such a comet. We were part of the ground-based observation programme lead by [[http://​www.open.ac.uk/​people/​cdbs2|Colin Snodgrass]] in support of this once-in-a-lifetime scientific project, and co-organised a major international meeting on the new findings in London in 2016.
  
-Cometary nuclei are the most primitive bodies that exist in our Solar system. The current generation of 4-m and 8-m telescopes allow us to derive the gross properties of cometary nuclei such as size, spin-rate and colour. ​ Although we occasionally study bright long-period comets such as [[http://​www2.jpl.nasa.gov/​comet/​|Hale-Bopp]] or  [[http://​apod.nasa.gov/​apod/​ap070122.html|McNaught]],​ many of the comets we study are short-period comets. Also called Jupiter-family comets, these originate from the Kuiper-Belt. The target of the [[http://​blogs.esa.int/​rosetta/​|Rosetta mission]], comet 67P/​Churyumov-Gerasimenko,​ was such a comet. We were part of the ground-based observation programme lead by [[http://​www.open.ac.uk/​people/​cdbs2|Colin Snodgrass]] in support of this once-in-a-lifetime scientific project, and co-organised a major international meeting on the new findings in London in 2016. +In recent years a new population of comets have been discovered in the main asteroid belt. These main-belt comets may be way of identifying the source of Earth'​s water. Several of the mysterious objects have now been discovered/​observed with Pan-STARRS 1, and we are working with [[https://​www.psi.edu/​about/​staff/​hhsieh/​hhsieh.html|Henry Hsieh]] at PSI to search for more signs of water in the asteroid belt, and are part of the [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​teams/​mainbeltcomets/​|Main-Belt Comet Team]] at [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​|ISSI]] to push these studies forward.
- +
-In recent years a new population of comets have been discovered ​residing ​in the main asteroid belt. These main-belt comets may be our way of identifying the source of Earth'​s water. Several of the mysterious objects have now been discovered/​observed with Pan-STARRS 1, and we are working with [[https://​www.psi.edu/​about/​staff/​hhsieh/​hhsieh.html|Henry Hsieh]] at PSI to search for more signs of water in the asteroid belt, and are part of the [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​teams/​mainbeltcomets/​|Main-Belt Comet Team]] at [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​|ISSI]] to push these studies forward.+
  
 A fascinating population of comets are the Sungrazers - comets that approach the Sun within 1 Solar radius. Over 3,000 of these objects have now been observed by Solar observatories being vaporised by the Sun's intense heat. We are members of an [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​teams/​nearsuncomet/​| International team]] to investigate this unique population. We are leading a programme to try and detect these comets from Earth before their death-plunge. In 2015 we observed a similar comet - a Sunskirter - from Earth for the first time, in collaboration with colleagues from Lowell Observatory and University of Maryland. A fascinating population of comets are the Sungrazers - comets that approach the Sun within 1 Solar radius. Over 3,000 of these objects have now been observed by Solar observatories being vaporised by the Sun's intense heat. We are members of an [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​teams/​nearsuncomet/​| International team]] to investigate this unique population. We are leading a programme to try and detect these comets from Earth before their death-plunge. In 2015 we observed a similar comet - a Sunskirter - from Earth for the first time, in collaboration with colleagues from Lowell Observatory and University of Maryland.
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 ===== Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) ===== ===== Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) =====
  
-They'​re big! They'​re round! They'​re nowhere near the ground! Alsothey'​re not planets.+The minor planets orbiting beyond Neptune have surfaces that are tracers of the composition of the original planetesimal diskand many have orbits produced by the outward migration of Neptune. We are involved in several major studies to discover new worlds ([[http://​www.ossos-survey.org/​|OSSOS]]) and measure TNO colours ([[https://​www.colossos.net/​|Col-OSSOS]]),​ and conduct ongoing programs to measure spectra, reflected surface light as TNOs rotate, and understand how these planetesimals form (many as binary systems) in the initial disk.
  
 ===== Interstellar Objects (ISOs) ===== ===== Interstellar Objects (ISOs) =====
  
-During the formation and evolution of our Solar system, the planets have ejected trillions of bodies into interstellar space. The Oort Cloud will also have lost many comets due to passing stars galactic tides. If other planetary systems do the same, then interstellar space should contain many of these objects, and some should occasionally be visible passing through our Solar system. In 2017 we were part of a study that estimated an upper limit to the number of ISOs, and we led three observational studies of the first interstellar object, 1I/​`Oumuamua.+During the formation and evolution of our Solar system, the planets have ejected trillions of bodies into interstellar space. The Oort Cloud will also have lost many comets due to passing stars galactic tides. If other planetary systems do the same, then interstellar space should contain many of these objects, and some should occasionally be visible passing through our Solar system. In 2017 we were part of a study that estimated an upper limit to the number of ISOs, and we led three observational studies of the first interstellar object, 1I/​`Oumuamua. In 2018-19 we are part of an [[http://​www.issibern.ch/​teams/​1ioumuamua/​|international study]] of interstellar objects.
  
  
 The group [[public:​research_areas:​solar_system:​Journal_club| meets each week]] to discuss our research and review papers in the literature. The group [[public:​research_areas:​solar_system:​Journal_club| meets each week]] to discuss our research and review papers in the literature.
public/research_areas/solar_system/start.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/02 15:32 by Michele Bannister

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