Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 3:45pm, Science Building 110
Fun with Asteroid Dynamics: Binaries, Collisions, and Weathering
Prof. Larry Molnar and Student Katie McKay
Much of the history of the formation of the planets of our solar system has been written in the properties and dynamics of the innumerable small objects left over: the asteroids. Before we can read that history, we must also understand the ongoing processes that affect asteroids: fission into binaries, collisions producing families of fragments, and weathering of the surfaces due to exposure to the space environment. We will present new observations and analysis that represent progress in all three of these areas. And as a bonus, we will present some of our recent images of the most recent asteroid collision of all: that of 596 Scheila just two months ago.