Comet-asteroid differentiation using visible and near-infrared spectroscopy
Author(s)Klesman, Alison J. (Alison June), 1981-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Richard P. Binzel.
MetadataShow full item record
Comets have historically been defined as objects that experience the formation of a "head" (coma) or "tail" as ice and other volatiles that comprise their chemical makeup vaporize when they near the sun. Comets can lose this ability to form a coma or tail, however, through a variety of dynamical processes, creating objects that could chemically be comets but that do not fit the traditional definition. Thus, a new challenge has arisen to correctly define the properties that differentiate comets and asteroids. In this study, a number of cometary candidates were observed in visible and infrared wavelengths in an attempt to correctly classify them as asteroids or dormant or extinct comets. From this data, two groups of objects were identified: one group of possible cometary candidates, and one group of likely outer asteroid belt origin objects. From this and other studies, a broader picture of solar system dynamics can be achieved that will give much insight into not only the current dynamical processes that control interplanetary bodies, but also processes that were important in the formation and stratification of the solar system at its birth.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 40-42).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.