Science Seminars

Evolution of Asteroids

Speaker: Oleksiy Golubov (Kharkiv National University/CU Boulder)
Date: Thursday, Feb 07, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC W120

Seminar Abstract:

In my talk, I will trace evolution of asteroids, from their obscure beginnings in the dusty protoplanetary disk, through their turbulent life among myriads of gravitational perturbations in the Solar System, and to the glorious end of the luckiest of them as falling stars in the Earth atmosphere. I will briefly describe what we learn about asteroids from their photometric and radar observations, and equally briefly review the investigation of asteroids by space missions. In more detail, I will describe the physical processes affecting asteroids: How does the light pressure force (the Yarkovsky effect) push asteroids into resonances with Jupiter? How do these resonances throw asteroids out of the Main Asteroid Belt? How does the light pressure torque (the YORP effect) spin asteroids up to the disruption limit? How do the centrifugal forces split rapidly rotating asteroids into binaries? What happens to these binaries afterwards? I will attempt to share with the audience my understanding of the state of the art in the asteroid research, my view of the physical picture of asteroids’ evolution, and my fascination with the physical richness of this weird world.