Asteroids & Comets

Monoliths vs. rubble piles. Orbital families. Collisional disruption. Origin of near-Earth objects. Sublimation of comets. Meteor showers.


Please read the following in Carroll & Ostlie.

22.1 Pluto and Charon
The Discovery of Charon — The Densities and Compositions of Pluto and Charon — The Possible Formation of Charon by a Large Impact — Complete Spin-Orbit Coupling — A Frozen Surface and a Changing Atmosphere — A Rendezvous with Pluto
22.2 Comets and Kuiper Belt Objects
A Model of a Comet — The Dynamics of Comet Tails — The Composition of Comets — Disconnection Events — Robotic Investigation of Comets — Sun-Grazing Comets — The Oort Cloud — The Kuiper Belt — A Kuiper Belt Object Larger Than Pluto — Classes of Kuiper Belt Objects — Centuars — The Implications for Water in the Inner Solar System
22.3 Asteroids
The Kirkwood Gaps in the Asteroid Belt — The Trojan Asteroids — The Amors, Apollos, and Atens — Hirayama Famalies — Rendezvousing with Asteroids — Classes of Asteroids — Internal Heating
22.4 Meteorites
The Age and Composition of the Allende Meteorite — CAIs and Chrondrules — Carbonaceous and Ordinary Chrondrites — Chemically Differentiated Meteorites — Sources of Meteorites — A History of Collisions with Earth — The Basic Building Blocks of Life


Asteroids & Comets, 18 October 2012


Problem Set #7: Due 25 October 2012.

Joshua E. Barnes      (barnes at
Updated: 18 October 2012
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