New NCN-OPUS grant for asteroid research

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UAM Institute of Astronomical Observatory received funding in the OPUS13 National Science Center competition in the amount of about 700 000PLN. As part of the project, a new classification of the asteroids will be created based on their surface properties (so-called taxonomy).

The obtained new asteroid taxonomy will allow for a direct comparison of asteroids with meteorites. Understanding these relationships is one of the most important topics in today’s planetology. From the point of view of protecting the Earth from catastrophic collisions, the determination of physical properties is key in defining a strategy for deflection of asteroid orbits (eg, using the Yarkowski effect, which strongly dependents on the thermal inertia of the material). This knowledge is also necessary in accurate planning of space missions to asteroids (in particular designation exact density and mass are crucial for maneuvers around weak objects gravity). The remote characterization of asteroids is also of great importance when choosing space missions targets, and also for the purpose of extraction of raw materials/minerals. In addition, the remote asteroid characterization is necessary for solving the most important topics in today’s planetology such as efficiency migration of asteroids from different regions of the Main Belt to the Earth, formation planetesimals and planets, and the evolution of the Solar System and the planetary systems in general.

Project participants: prof. Agnieszka Kryszczyńska, dr hab. Tomasz Kwiatkowski, Dr. Dagmara Oszkiewicz.

2017-11-24, DO