The recommended time for completion is after completing Solar System Physics and Celestial Mechanics.
The course will be offered every odd year (that is, every other year) in the autumn term, in I and II periods.
The course starts with an introduction to asteroids and the history of asteroid research and proceeds to assess how remote observations yield information about asteroids. This part discusses, first, asteroid surveys, as well as numbers, orbits, biases, and size distributions of asteroids, and, second, physical properties such as sizes, shapes, spins, and compositions of asteroids.
The remote-observations part is followed by a part discussing in situ exploration of asteroids. The in situ part discusses cratering on asteroids and asteroid geology based on space missions. Special attention is paid to sample return from near-Earth asteroids. Thereafter, dynamical, collisional, and cosmochemical evolutionary processes of asteroids are discussed.
Towards the end of the course, asteroids are interrelated with other solar-system bodies, including a discussion of asteroid families, relation of asteroids to meteoroid streams, evolution of comets into asteroids, main-belt comets, as well as the origins of the various populations of asteroids.
Finally, near-Earth-object impact hazard is discussed in depth with up-to-date information about objects with nonzero collision probabilities and efforts to mitigate the risks involved.
|Study materials and literature
The literature used during the course includes both review articles and peer-reviewed original research reports. The set reading list includes only selected chapters from the Asteroids IV book whereas up-to-date peer-reviewed research reports are agreed upon on a case-by-case basis. The supplementary reading list includes the earlier books in the Asteroids series (Asteroids I-III).
P. Michel, F. DeMeo & W. F. Bottke (eds): Asteroids IV, The Univ of Arizona Press, 2015.
W. F. Bottke, A. Cellino, P. Paolicchi & R. P. Binzel (eds): Asteroids III, The Univ of Arizona Press, 2002.