Investigating Solar System Origins with Occultations

08 May 2024
Seminars and colloquia
Dobson Room, Atmospheric Physics Building & Online

Marc Buie (Southwest Research Institute)

Seminar series
AOPP seminar
For more information contact

Abstract: The results from the Gaia mission have opened a new pathway to the use of occultations for the investigation of small bodies. We now can reasonable expect success with occultation measurements across the entire range of the known populations from near-Earth asteroids out to the Kuiper Belt. Recent discoveries of the nature of the new Horizons target, Arrokoth, and the Lucy Mission target, Polymele, have already influenced formation theories and have brought a better understanding of those processes. Extending this work to the characterization of small body populations is an important next step in exploration and discovery. I will discuss what these observations require, what data we can reasaonably expect to gather along with some recent examples, what science questions this work will address, and finally what stands in our way as a community to realize these goals.