The many “phases” of small bodies

Asteroids, comets, and trans-Neptunian objects are collectively known as small bodies. In a way, they are the debris left by the planetary formation in the Solar system, and as such, they carry a lot of information regarding the processes that shaped it.

But, small bodies are by no means stationary objects: not only do they move across the sky, but their brightness also changes due to different mechanisms, from rotational variations due to irregular shapes to changes in the observing geometry. The changes in brightness are related to the overall shape, size, reflecting properties, and microscopical structure of the bodies.

In this presentation, I will tackle the brightness variations due to phase angle variations using photometric phase curves to obtain absolute magnitudes of small bodies. This work primarily targets multi-filter surveys to provide an extensive database of their absolute magnitudes in different wavelengths, which can be used to remove undressed biases in the current taxonomical classifications.

08/11/2022 - 12:30
Dr. Álvaro Alvarez-Candal
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía - CSIC, Granada , Spain