Wednesday, February 5, 2014

FSI Seminar 2/5

Florida Space Institute Seminar Announcement

Speaker: Tracy Becker and Zoe Landsman
Affiliation: UCF Physics
Day and Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Time: 11:00 – 12:00

Location: Research Park
12354 Research Parkway
Partnership 1 Bldg. Suite 209
Orlando, FL 32826

Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) Fellowship Prize Talk:
Doctoral Candidate
UCF- Planetary Sciences Group
Tracy’s Abstract:
The particles that constitute Saturn’s rings range from micron-sized dust to small boulders. The presence of small particles is a signature of more energetic collisions between ring particles, while the absence of dust indicates that the particles are aggregating into larger clumps. Characterizing the size distribution of particles throughout the rings therefore provides insight into the dynamical environment of the ring particles. We examine stellar and solar occultation data from the Cassini spacecraft to measure detections of forward-scattered light by the smallest particles. We present results from computer models that reproduce the signature of the forward-scattered light and thereby constrain the size distribution of particles throughout Saturn’s rings.

Presenter Zoe Landsman
Graduate Research Fellow
UCF- Planetary Sciences Group
Zoe’s Abstract:

The M-type asteroids have traditionally been interpreted as the disrupted iron cores of differentiated bodies by spectral analogy with the nickel-iron meteorites. More detailed studies have revealed the presence of hydrated minerals on M-type asteroids (e.g., Jones et al. 1990, Rivkin et al. 1995, 2000, Fornasier et al. 2010, Ockert-Bell et al. 2010), challenging the notion that these bodies are highly thermally evolved. We seek to characterize the 2 - 4 micron spectra of M-type asteroids, as this wavelength range is diagnostic of hydrated minerals (Rivkin et al. 2002, Takir and Emery 2012). With this work, we hope to shed new light on the origin of hydration on M-type asteroids and its context within the mineralogy and thermal evolution of these bodies.
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