Thesis Proposal Presentation by Stephen Rider on Nov. 2nd
Space Studies online master’s student, Stephen Rider, will give his thesis proposal presentation as follows. Please show your support by attending.
When: Friday, November 2nd at 2:00 pm
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Rotational Periods of Main-Belt Asteroids using Differential and Absolute Photometric Lightcurve Analysis
Topic: This study aims to obtain lightcurves for main-belt asteroids for the primary purpose of determining their rotational periods. Spin rates may provide information regarding the objects composition and the collisional evolution of the asteroid population in addition, lightcurves can be used to deduce the object's shape, size (when combined with infrared observations) and, spin axis orientation (if observed over several apparitions). To date, only a modest number of asteroids have had their rotational periods determined. This study shall enlarge this sample in order to provide data for additional physical studies. Data will be collected using the CCD imager of UND's robotic observatory over the period spanning Sept. 2012 - May 2013. Objects will be selected based upon several criteria including their placement for optimum viewing, nearness to opposition and, magnitude (to ensure an adequate signal-to-noise ratio). Data reduction will employ MPO Canopus to generate differential lightcurves. A subset of these objects will combine these results with astrometric data in order to derive absolute magnitudes and slope parameters from which phase curves shall be generated. Results will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication and to the Minor Planet Center.