Asteroid and Comets


Asteroids are a class of Small Solar System Bodies in orbit around the Sun.

There are millions of asteroids, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets.

A large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter or co-orbital with Jupiter.

• Trojan is a minor planet or natural satellite that shares an orbit with a larger planet. • But does not collide with it. • Because it orbits around one of the two lagrangian points of stability, which lie approximately 60° ahead of and behind the larger body.

TROJANS AND GREEKS • Trojan points are the points labeled L4 and L5. around the primary object (yellow). on the orbital path of the secondary object (blue). . highlighted in red.

• Two different theories are present there to explain the formation of asteroids. Formation of Asteroids .

Theory 1 • In 1802. shortly after discovering Pallas suggestion came that Ceres and Pallas were fragments of a much larger planet that once occupied the Mars-Jupiter region. Olbers Herschel . • This planet must have suffered an internal explosion or a cometary impact many million years before.

Limitations • Large amount of energy would be required to destroy a planet. • The belt has very low combined mass (which is only about 4% of the mass of the our Moon). . • The significant chemical differences between the asteroids are difficult to explain if they come from the same planet.

which gradually increased in size. .Theory 2 • In the Solar System. • This gravitational accretion led to the formation of the rocky planets and the gas giants. • During the first few million years of the Solar System's history. planetary formation occurred via the Solar nebula process. • Clump could draw in other bodies through gravitational attraction and become planetesimals. an accretion process of sticky collisions caused the clumping of small particles.

Theory 2 cntd„ • Planetesimals within the region were too strongly perturbed by Jupiter's gravity to form a planet. • In regions where the average velocity of the collisions was too high. • The region lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter contains many orbital resonances. the shattering of planetesimals tended to dominate over accretion. • Instead they continued to orbit the Sun as before. . while occasionally colliding. preventing the formation of planet-sized bodies.

.Theory 2 cntd„ • As Jupiter migrated inward following its formation. • Explosive volcanism and formed magma oceans was there on few bodies. dynamically exciting the region's population and increasing their velocities relative to each other. these resonances would have swept across the asteroid belt.

• There has been no significant increase or decrease in the typical dimensions of the main-belt asteroids. surface melting from impacts. space weathering from radiation. • The current asteroid belt is believed to contain only a small fraction of the mass of the primordial belt. including internal heating.Evolution • Asteroids have undergone considerable evolution since their formation. • The original asteroid belt may have contained mass equivalent to the Earth. and bombardment by micrometeorites. .

• Give information about the surface composition. and sometimes albedo.Classification • Asteroids are assigned a type based on spectral shape. color. • For small bodies that are not internally differentiated. the surface and internal compositions are presumably similar. • While large bodies such as 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta are known to have internal structure. .

Differentiation .

Classification • Two main classification schemes to be discussed are: 1. Tholen classification 2. SMASS Classification .

.Tholen classification • This classification was developed from broad band spectra (between 0.06μm) obtained during the Eight-Color Asteroid Survey (ECAS) in the 1980s and albedo measurements.31μm and 1. S group and X group) and several smaller types. • There are three broad categories (C group.

G-type • C-type asteroids are carbonaceous asteroids. • 75% of known asteroids falls in this category.C-type .03-0.C-group • C-group contains following type .1) 253 Mathilde . • C-types are much darker than most other asteroid types except D-type (albedo: 0.B-type .F-type .

C-group cntd„ • This type of asteroid has very similar spectra to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites.5 μm. .4 μm to 0. • Their spectra contain moderately strong ultraviolet absorption at wavelengths below about 0. whose chemical composition is approximately the same as the Sun. helium and other volatiles. • Hydrated (water-containing) minerals are present. • While at longer wavelengths they are slightly reddish. • Except that they do not contain hydrogen.

• Their spectrum has a moderately steep slope at wavelengths shorter than 0. hence the name.S-type asteroids • Are of a stony composition.22) • Consist mainly of iron. • The 1 µm absorption is indicative of the presence of silicates (stony minerals).and magnesium-silicates. making it the second most common after the C-type. Eros . • S-types are moderately bright (albedo: 0.7 µm.10-0. • Approximately 17% of asteroids are of this type.

X-group • Since in this scheme the albedo is crucial in discriminating between the above types. some objects for which albedo information was not available were assigned an X-type • The X-group contains the types-E-type -M-type Steins -P-type • Example:50 Virginia. • The small classes -A-type(446 Aeternitas) -D-type (624 Hektor) -T-type (96 Aegle) -Q-type (1862 Apollo) -R-type (349 Dembowska) -V-type (4 Vesta) .

The majority of bodies fall again into the three broad C. • This survey produced spectra of a far higher resolution. • Albedos were not considered • Asteroids were sorted into the 24 types. S.SMASS Classification • This is a more recent classification introduced based on the Small Main-Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey (SMASS) of 1447 asteroids. and X categories.92μm) was observed. • A smaller range of wavelengths (0. .44μm to 0.

. the wider C-group contains • B-type corresponding to the Tholen B and F-types • a core C-type for asteroids having the most "typical" spectra in the group • Cg and Cgh types corresponding to the Tholen G-type • Ch type with an absorption feature around 0.SMASS cntd„ • In the SMASS classification.7μm • Cb type corresponding to transition objects between the SMASS C and B types.

Sq. and R-types. respectively. L. Sl. K. Q. Sk. .S-group • Contains the following types: -A-type -K-type -L-type -Q-type -R-type • core S-type for asteroids having the most "typical" spectra for the S-group • Sa. and Sr-types containing transition objects between the core S-type and the A.

Some other type are given -T-type -D-type -Ld-type: a new type with more extreme spectral features than the L-type -O-type a small category (3628 Boznemcová) -V-type .X-group • contains the types: -X-type -Xe-type -Xc.and Xk-type.

• For example.82 AU (5:2 resonance) • 2.KIRKWOOD GAP • A Kirkwood gap is a gap or dip in the distribution of main-belt asteroids with semi-major axis (or equivalently their orbital period).5 AU (3:1 resonance). home to the Alinda family of asteroids • 2. period 3.50 AU.95 years.06 AU (4:1 resonance) • 2.95 AU (7:3 resonance) • 3. home to the Griqua family of asteroids .27 AU (2:1 resonance). • The most prominent Kirkwood gaps (see diagram) are located at mean orbital radii of: • 2. there are very few asteroids with semimajor axis near 2.


47 AU (11:6 resonance) AU (7:2 resonance) .03 AU (9:4 resonance) 3.9 AU (9:2 resonance) 2.7 AU (5:3 resonance) http://ssd.Kirkwood Gaps cntd„ • • • • • • • • • Weaker and/or narrower gaps are also found at: 1.71 AU (8:3 resonance) 3.jpl.nasa.075 AU (11:5 resonance) 3.33 AU (10:3 resonance) 2.


org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2005/27/text/ .INTERNAL STRUCTURE http://hubblesite.

the center dot) with a period equal to Jupiter's orbital period.. The orbit of Pallas is green when above the ecliptic. • Mars' motion is orange. • Accordingly.Courtesy: Tony Dunn from the Gravity Simulator message board. • The motion of Pallas is shown in a reference frame that rotates about the Sun (i. • The animation illustrates Pallas' near-18:7 resonance pattern with Jupiter. and red when below. Jupiter's orbit appears almost stationary as the pink ellipse at top left. and the Earth–Moon system is blue and white.e. .

Comets .

.  Comets have been regarded as omen.Introduction  The history of comet watching dates back to 1000 BC from the Chinese records and Chaldea. even as recently as 1986.  Today Astronomer study Comets from scientific perspectives. and our understanding of these fascinating objects have grown tremendously. a place in present Iraq.

which means "longhaired star"---a reference to the tail.Comets………Dirty Balls of Ice They look like a star with a ghostly white tail. . The term "comet" derives from the Greek aster kometes.

Comets: Dirty Balls of Ice • They can be seen by us only when they pass by the sun and the sun’s heat melts them. • The tail always points away from the sun due to the solar winds (movement of heat away from sun) . • The comet's tail is made of material from the comet. gas from the ices and dust that is mixed in with the ice. They escape as the comet melts.

it takes a long time to go around the Sun. or millennia to orbit the Sun. Example: • If a comet has a large orbit. Some comets are "long-period" comets that take decades. . centuries.Comets: Dirty Balls of Ice • They travel around the sun in long looping orbits that bring them near the sun on one end and around Jupiter on the other end. Some comets are "short-period" comets that take five or ten years to complete an orbit.

As the comet melts. hard part of the comet is called the nucleus.Comets: Dirty Balls of Ice • The icy. • The gas and dust are released and form an atmosphere around the comet called the coma. . sometimes large chunks of ice break off in a hurry and large amounts of gases escape at once and cause a bright “outburst”.


Components of Comets: .

Orbits of Comets • Elliptical in Shape • Randomly oriented Comet Aphelion distance Sun Earth Perihelion distance .

Ikeya.Nomenclature of comets • Comet are named by International Astronomical Union (IAU) after the person who first discovers them. Bernard. Hale and Bopp. E. . E. • Charles Messier. • Many comets are discovered by amateur astronomers. Seki and Hayakutake are popular comet hunters. Shoemaker and Levy.

Origins of Comets • Comets are thought to be the left over debris from during the time of formation of the solar system. • The elliptical orbits of comets suggest that they underwent gravitational pull from the giant planets. • This all lead us to infer two possible locations where comets could start their journey towards the sun. .

Deep Impact .Possible Homes for Comets  Kuiper Belt  Oort Cloud Courtesy .JPL .NASA .

Kuiper Belt • • • • • Discovered by Gerard Kuiper in 1951 The belt is 30 to 50 AU from the Sun The plane of the belt is close to the ecliptic Probably contains more than 100.000 objects Some of these objects are 100 km or larger in diameter .

Kuiper belt .

50. Shape is spherical distribution around the Sun. May contain 5 trillion objects.Oort Cloud • • • • • Hypothesized by a Dutch Astronomer Jan Oort in 1950.6 billion years ago. Probably created 4. .000 AU from the Sun.

. etc) and dust. methane.Formation • Astronomers are not certain how comets formed. but most believe that comets formed at the same time our solar system did. carbon dioxide. perhaps even in among the planets. • These are precisely the materials that probably existed when the solar system was forming. • Comets are made of a mixture of ices (water.

• The hydrogen atoms also absorb ultraviolet photons and can only be detected by space based telescope (Earths atmosphere absorbs UV radiation) when they emit back ultraviolet radiation. its nucleus begins to vaporize creating a hydrogen gas envelope around it. This envelope is not visible to the naked eye. • The hydrogen in the envelope comes from water molecules breaking up when they absorb the ultraviolet photons from the Sun.Hydrogen Envelope of Comet • When the Comet approaches the Sun. .

.Comets Tails • Ludwig Biermann propose the idea of solar wind to explain comet tails. Mariner 2 spacecraft captured the one such event in 1962.

Comets Tails • The solar wind produces three Comet tails that point away from the motion of the Comet. – The blue ion tails is ionized atoms of CN and C2. – The third tail is made up of Sodium and is usually invisible to the unaided eyes. . This causes the dust particles to drift away from the coma. – The dust tail is produced when the photons from the Sun strike the dust particles and produce radiation pressure on them. • The effect of solar wind on dust particles is less compared to that on ions. this gives the dust tails a curved shape.

.Comets and their Spectra • Spectroscopy is a technique in which light is broken into its component colors. • Most of the information on Comets come from Infrared radiation. because Comets are cold objects they radiate strongly at Infrared radiation. Each chemical element show their fingerprint in the spectrum of the object. • We can thus find the composition of Comets by identifying the fingerprints.

Na. CH3. Co. Ca+. HCN. C2. V.Observed Composition • Coma – H. Ni. C. K. Cu plus dust particles with silicates • Tail – CH+. Cr. CO2+. H2O. OH+. plus dust particles with silicates . Ca. CH. CO+. C3. OH. NH2. NH. O. H2O+. Mn. N2+. Fe. CN.

they burn up as they fall Orbit the sun Orbit the sun .What’s That Up In The Sky??? COMETS Made of ice-have tails Stay in space ASTEROIDS Made of rock and metal Stay in space METEORS Made of rock and metal Fall into Earth’s atmosphere Gravity pulls to Earth.

Comet Collisions • Comet collision with Earth can bring devastation to life on Earth. • Study of Shoemaker-Levey collision with Jupiter gave us important facts about Comet collisions. • Jupiter in our solar system is the largest planet and thus exerts greater gravitational pull on incoming Comets. .

Comet Collisions Courtesy: NASA/JPL .

. Wolfram Demonstrations Project. Zellner. . radiometry. Morrison.References • www.104C. • "Lagrange Points" by Enrique Zeleny... C. D.. and spectrophotometry". • http://solarsystem. (1975).1016/00 19-1035(75)90191-8. Icarus 25 (1): 104– 130. Bibcode 1975Icar. "Surface properties of asteroids: A synthesis of • Chapman..nasa. B.doi:10.

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