2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Asteroid Shape and Spin Axis Modeling via Light Curve Inversion
Paul D. Friz
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

By acquiring many light curves of asteroids over several apparitions it is possible to determine their shapes and spin axes by a process known as light curve inversion. Knowledge of individual asteroid shapes and spin axes is vital to understanding the origins of the solar system. However, currently only 113 out of the 500,000 asteroids with known orbits have been modeled. When modeling asteroids, first several rotation light curves are taken using CCD cameras attached to telescopes. Those light curves are then combined with light curves taken by other observers on the same asteroid and are processed using the program LCInvert to produce a model. Using this method, a successful model of asteroid 291 Alice was obtained. Currently data is being taken on asteroid 337 Devosa. Shape and spin axes models for previously and newly observed asteroids will be presented.

Keywords: Astronomy, Asteroid, Shape and Spin Axis Modeling, Light Curve Inversion


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 40-1
Location: MG 1096
Time: 2:45

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