Thesis Proposal by Martin Hynes on Tuesday, January 31st
Space Studies master’s student, Martin Hynes, will give his thesis proposal presentation as follows. Please mark your calendars and show your support by attending.
When: Tuesday, January 31st at 4:00 p.m.
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Remote Sensing of Asteroid Surface Mineralogy
Asteroid impacts represent a serious, long term, threat to the existence of life on Earth. It is now widely accepted that an impact 65 million years ago caused the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction in which 75% of species were wiped out. Statistically the Earth is hit by an asteroid, capable of destroying a metropolitan area, once per century. In 1908 an air-burst over the Tunguska region of Russia destroyed an estimated 2000 km2 of forest. Recognizing this danger, Congress passed the Near-Earth Object Survey Act of 2005 which mandates NASA to detect, track, catalogue and characterize near-Earth asteroids and comets in order to provide warning and mitigation of the potential hazard of such objects to the Earth.
The main motivation for my research is to characterize Near Earth Asteroids as an input for impact risk mitigation. Additionally I hope to help refine our understanding of the dynamics that move asteroids from the main asteroid belt into Earth crossing orbits. In June 2011 two asteroids, 3628 Boznemcova and 2002 JB9 were observed from NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea. I will use infrared reflectance spectroscopy to constrain the surface mineralogy of these asteroids. I hope to test the hypothesis that 3628 Boznemcova may be the parent body of the Angrite meteorites. I also wish to investigate if a linkage can be established between NEA 2002 JB9 and a parent body in the main asteroid belt.