Title

Rotation Period of Asteroids

Poster Number

6

Lead Author Major

Physics, Music, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering, Math, and Biology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Helene Flohic

Faculty Mentor Department

Physics

Abstract/Artist Statement

Understanding outer space is a longcraved aspiration of science. We are investigating the rotational period of asteroids using lightcurves. Knowing the rotational period can convey information about the object such as its size, composition, and surrounding objects. Asteroids are abundant in our solar system; thousands have been observed, but only a small number have reliable data. By investigating the period, we can make statements about the size and composition of the object. As we improve our overall picture of individual asteroids, we gain a better idea of the dynamics of the asteroid belt. To observe the asteroids we use iTelescope.net to control a network of telescopes around the world. The observations are then analyzed using AstroImageJ to find the change in apparent magnitude of the asteroid over time. The apparent magnitude is then plotted against time and we are able to find the period of the asteroid. Using observations from deep space telescopes, we have been able to obtain preliminary results for several asteroids and are in the process of refining the results. These results seem to be very promising, showing periods in the order of a day or a week. We will need to obtain more observations in order to verify our asteroid periods. With the data that we have collected, we are hoping to build a better understanding of our solar system. In addition to knowing more about the size and composition of asteroids, analyzing the rotational periods of many asteroids could lead to conclusions about their origins and thus, the formation of our solar system. We are already close to finding the rotational periods of several asteroids.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

25-4-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

25-4-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Rotation Period of Asteroids

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Understanding outer space is a longcraved aspiration of science. We are investigating the rotational period of asteroids using lightcurves. Knowing the rotational period can convey information about the object such as its size, composition, and surrounding objects. Asteroids are abundant in our solar system; thousands have been observed, but only a small number have reliable data. By investigating the period, we can make statements about the size and composition of the object. As we improve our overall picture of individual asteroids, we gain a better idea of the dynamics of the asteroid belt. To observe the asteroids we use iTelescope.net to control a network of telescopes around the world. The observations are then analyzed using AstroImageJ to find the change in apparent magnitude of the asteroid over time. The apparent magnitude is then plotted against time and we are able to find the period of the asteroid. Using observations from deep space telescopes, we have been able to obtain preliminary results for several asteroids and are in the process of refining the results. These results seem to be very promising, showing periods in the order of a day or a week. We will need to obtain more observations in order to verify our asteroid periods. With the data that we have collected, we are hoping to build a better understanding of our solar system. In addition to knowing more about the size and composition of asteroids, analyzing the rotational periods of many asteroids could lead to conclusions about their origins and thus, the formation of our solar system. We are already close to finding the rotational periods of several asteroids.