Friday, February 27, 2009

02/18/2009 - Multiple Asteroid Systems: New Techniques to Study New Worlds

Franck Marchis, UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute

Since the discovery of Ida’s companion Dactyl in 1993, the number of known multiple asteroids has been continuously increasing and ~165 of them are now known. Since 2003, Dr. Marchis and his colleagues have been conducting a large survey of these interesting and diverse populations using various ground-based telescopes and techniques, such as high angular resolution imaging, lightcurve photometry, and VIS/NIR spectroscopy, and also the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. Dr. Marchis ' talk will cover the latest insights into these multiple systems, such as the sizes and shapes of their components, their bulk-density and their orbital parameters, which are key to understanding how they formed and evolved.

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