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Astronomy/Geology 330 Seminar on Asteroids Tuesdays 4-7 pm Kendade Hall 203 Tom Burbine tburbine@mtholyoke PowerPoint Presentation
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Astronomy/Geology 330 Seminar on Asteroids Tuesdays 4-7 pm Kendade Hall 203 Tom Burbine tburbine@mtholyoke.edu Focus of Class Asteroids Comets Meteorites My Background BS in Physics from RPI MS in Geology and Planetary Science from the Univ. Pittsburgh PhD in Planetary Science from MIT

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Astronomy/Geology 330Seminar on AsteroidsTuesdays 4-7 pmKendade Hall 203Tom Burbinetburbine@mtholyoke.edu
focus of class
Focus of Class
  • Asteroids
  • Comets
  • Meteorites
my background
My Background
  • BS in Physics from RPI
  • MS in Geology and Planetary Science from the Univ. Pittsburgh
  • PhD in Planetary Science from MIT
  • Postdoc at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum for 3 years
  • Postdoc at NASA’s Goddard Space Center for 2 years
  • Researcher at Mount Holyoke since January
  • Taught Astronomy 100 at UMASS in Spring
introduction to planetary science seminar series

Tuesdays in October and November

4-5 pm

Kendade Hall 305

Mount Holyoke College

Introduction to Planetary Science Seminar Series

October 18th – Cometary Volatiles – William Irvine (UMASS)

October 25th – Cometary Dust and Nuclei – Martha Hanner (UMASS)

November 1st – Minor Planet Center – Timothy Spahr (CFA)

November 8th – Asteroid Hazards – Richard Binzel (MIT)

November 15th – NEAR-Shoemaker Mission– Louise Prockter (APL)

November 29th – Deep Impact– Lucy McFadden (Univ. Maryland)

For more information, contact Tom Burbine (tburbine@mtholyoke.edu)

Funded by a grant from Mount Holyoke’s Innovation Fund

website
Website
  • www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/tburbine/ASTR330
  • Can be accessed using WebCT
  • All presentations will be available on website immediately after class
  • So you don’t have to copy down everything I put up
grading
Grading
  • Class Exercises - 10%
  • Problem Sets -10%
  • Class Participation - 10%
  • Class Presentation - 10%
  • Mid-Term (October 4th) - 20%
  • Final - 20%
  • Final Project- 20%
  • Late Class Exercises and Problem Sets will have 10% of their grade deducted for every day they are late (unless this is your first class)
slide8
A 92.50 - 100
  • A- 89.50 – 92.49
  • B+ 87.50 – 89.49
  • B 82.50 – 87.49
  • B- 79.50 – 82.49
  • C+ 77.50 – 79.49
  • C 72.50 – 77.49
  • C- 69.50 – 72.49
  • D+ 67.50 – 69.49
  • D 62.50 – 67.49
  • D- 59.50 – 62.49
  • ? below 59.49
books
Books
  • All books are on reserve in the library
  • Asteroids II
  • Asteroids III
  • Comets II
  • Comet Science
  • The New Solar System
office hours
Office Hours
  • Thursdays 2-4 pm
  • Drop in anytime if you have problem
  • IM or email me anytime if you have problem
today
Today
  • 4-5 pm Asteroids, Comets
  • 5-6 pm Meteorites
  • 6-7 pm Students introduce themselves
  • 10 minute break between classes
  • We will have lots of definitions today
what s the difference
What’s the difference?
  • Asteroids
  • Comets
  • Meteorites
what s the difference13
What’s the difference?
  • Asteroids - small, solid objects in the Solar System
  • Comets - small bodies in the Solar System that (at least occasionally) exhibit a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail
  • Meteorites - small extraterrestrial body that reaches the Earth's surface
why are these things important15
Why are these things important?
  • These things can hit us (and possibly kill us)
  • They are records of the early solar system
  • They could be sources of material for mining
probability
Probability
  • Probability of Impact
record of early solar system
Record of Early Solar System
  • Meteorites usually have ages of ~4.6 billion years
  • Asteroids and comets are thought to be the building blocks of the terrestrial planets
resources
Resources
  • In outer space, it may be easier (and less expensive) to extract raw materials from asteroids or comets then to bring them from Earth
  • Raw materials include water, iron, aluminum, chromium
problem set 1
Problem Set #1
  • Due next week
  • It can be found on the syllabus part of website
  • Problem Set #1
meaning of asteroid
Meaning of Asteroid
  • Asteroid means “star-like”
  • Called vermin of the sky by astronomers
asteroid flyby
Asteroid Flyby
  • Movie
  • Images of 2002 NY40 on August 15-16
  • Asteroid has diameter of 700 meters
  • 524,000 kilometers from Earth (1.3 times the distance of the Earth to the Moon)
  • Movie over 2 hour time period
951 gaspra
951 Gaspra
  • 17 kilometers long, 10 kilometers wide
433 eros
433 Eros
  • Surface of 433 Eros
  • Landing of NEAR-Shoemaker on Eros
when were these objects first discovered
When were these objects first discovered?
  • Comets have been known since the earliest days of mankind
  • Usually thought to be unlucky
  • Attacks by heavenly beings on terrestrial people

Comet Ikeya-Zhang

153P/Ikeya-Zhang

Period of 341 years

halley s comet
Halley’s Comet
  • Edmund Halley figured out that the orbit of the comet of 1682 was nearly the same as those of two comets which had appeared in 1531 and 1607
  • Halley concluded that all three comets were in fact the same object returning every 76 years
  • Halley predicted its return for 1757.
  • Halley's prediction of the comet's return proved to be correct, although it was not seen until December 25, 1758
titius bode law
Titius-Bode Law
  • The mean distance a (AU) of the planet from the Sun:
  • a = 0.4 + 0.3 x k
  • where k=0,1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128 (0 followed by the powers of two)
  • 1 astronomical unit (AU) is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun
slide29
So …
  • Baron Franz Xaver von Zach organized a group of 24 astronomers to search the sky for the "missing planet"
  • But the first asteroid, 1 Ceres, was not discovered by a member of the group, but rather by accident in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi
slide30
But …
  • Three other asteroids (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta) were discovered over the next few years (1802-1807)
  • After eight more years of fruitless searches, most astronomers assumed that there were no more
  • However, Karl Ludwig Hencke persisted, and began searching for more asteroids in 1830.
  • Fifteen years later, he found 5 Astraea, the first new asteroid in 38 years. He also found 6 Hebe less than two years later.
meteorites
Meteorites
  • Many early cultures recognized (or believed) certain stones as having fallen from the sky
  • Many early cultures had tools made from iron meteorites
  • But for most scientists at the time, stones falling from the heavens were considered superstition or heresy
more evidence
More evidence …
  • In 1492, a meteorite weighing almost 130 kilograms landed near the town of Ensisheim, Alsace, France, then in the hands of Germany
slide34
Then ..
  • In 1794, Ernst Friedrich Chladni, considered the father of meteoritics, published a book in which he concluded that stone and iron masses did fall out of the sky
  • In 1803, thousands of meteorite fragments bombarded L'Aigle in Normandy, France, an event investigated by Jean-Baptiste Biot of the French Academy of Science.
thomas jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
  • Meteorite landed in Weston, CT in 1807
  • It was brought to Yale where it was concluded it was from outer space
  • Thomas Jefferson, President of the United states, was told about it
and responded
And responded
  • "Gentlemen, I would rather believe that two Yankee professors would lie than believe that stones fall from heaven."
how are these objects named
How are these objects named?
  • Asteroids
    • After being observed on two consecutive nights, the object is given a provisional designation
    • a 4-digit number indicating the year
    • a space
    • a letter to show the half-month
    • another letter to show the order within the half-month
    • And an optional number to indicate the number of times the second letter has been repeated in that half-month period.
  • For example, 1977 RG
half month discovery
Half Month Discovery
  • Letter Dates Letter Dates
  • A Jan. 1-15 B Jan. 16-31
  • C Feb. 1-15 D Feb. 16-29
  • E Mar. 1-15 F Mar. 16-31
  • G Apr. 1-15 H Apr. 16-30
  • J May 1-15 K May 16-31
  • L June 1-15 M June 16-30
  • N July 1-15 O July 16-31
  • P Aug. 1-15 Q Aug. 16-31
  • R Sept.1-15 S Sept.16-30
  • T Oct. 1-15 U Oct. 16-31
  • V Nov. 1-15 W Nov. 16-30
  • X Dec. 1-15 Y Dec. 16-31
  • I is omitted and Z is unused
order within month
Order within Month
  • A = 1st B = 2nd C = 3rd D = 4th E = 5th
  • F = 6th G = 7th H = 8th J = 9th K = 10th
  • L = 11th M = 12th N = 13th O = 14th P = 15th
  • Q = 16th R = 17th S = 18th T = 19th U = 20th
  • V = 21st W = 22nd X = 23rd Y = 24th Z = 25th
  • I is omitted
asteroids discovered between sept 16 30 of 1995
Asteroids discovered between Sept 16-30 of 1995
  • 1995 SA
  • 1995 SB
  • ...
  • 1995 SY
  • 1995 SZ
  • 1995 SA1
  • 1995 SZ1
  • 1995 SA2
  • ...
  • 1995 SZ9
  • 1995 SA10
asteroid numbers and names
Asteroid Numbers and Names
  • When well-observed, asteroid is given a number
  • 5159 1977 RG
  • When was it discovered?
asteroid numbers
Asteroid Numbers
  • When well-observed, asteroid is given a number
  • 5159 1977 RG
  • When was it discovered?
    • 1977
    • R Sept.1-15
    • G 7th asteroid
asteroid names
Asteroid Names
  • Then the discover gets to name it for period of 10 years or so
  • 5159 1977 RG
  • Was named
asteroid names44
Asteroid Names
  • Then the discover gets to name it for period of 10 years or so
  • 5159 1977 RG
  • Was named
    • 5159 Burbine
comets
Comets
  • Usually named after discoverer (or person who computed its orbit)
  • Comet Halley
  • Number given when discover (or discoverers) have discovered numerous comets
  • Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
comets46
Comets
  • Comets are now initially designated by the year of their discovery
  • followed by a letter indicating the half-month of the discovery
  • and a number indicating the order of discovery
  • Example, the fourth comet discovered in the second half of February 2006 would be designated 2006 D4.
prefixes
Prefixes
  • Prefixes are also added to indicate the nature of the comet
  • P/ - periodic comet (seen two separate times)
  • C/ - non-periodic comet
  • X/ - no reliable orbit could be calculated
  • D/ - a comet which has broken up or been lost
  • A/ - an object that was mistakenly identified as a comet, but is actually an asteroid
types of comets
Types of Comets
  • Short period comets – periods < 200 years
  • Long-Period Comets – periods > 200 years
slide49
Also
  • After their second observed perihelion passage, periodic comets are also assigned a number indicating the order of their discovery.
  • Perihelion is the point where an object is closest to the Sun
slide50
So
  • Halley's Comet, the first comet to be identified as periodic, has the systemic designation 1P/1682 Q1 (or 1P/Halley)
  • Comet Hale-Bopp's designation is C/1995 O1
comets51
Comets
  • Comet West
  • Blue tail –gases, white tail – dust particles
comet halley
Comet Halley
  • Giotto image
  • Dimensions - 16 x 8 x 8 km
image from deep impact
Image from Deep Impact
  • Comet Tempel 1 or Comet 9P/Tempel 1
comets54
Comets
  • Called Dirty Snowballs by Fred Whipple
  • Because they are mixtures of ice and dust