Active Asteroids: Main-Belt Comets and Disrupted Asteroids
The study of active asteroids has attracted a great deal of interest in recent years since the recognition of main-belt comets (which exhibit comet-like activity likely due to the sublimation of volatile ices, yet orbit in the main asteroid belt) as a new class of solar system objects in 2006, and the discovery of the first disrupted asteroid (which, unlike a MBC, exhibits comet-like activity likely due to a physical disruption such as an impact or rotational destabilization, not sublimation) in 2010. In this talk, I will discuss key areas of interest in the study of active asteroids including the direct and indirect evidence for ice in main-belt comets and in the asteroid belt in general, the significance of the collisional family associations identified for a number of active asteroids, thermal modeling results for icy bodies in the asteroid belt, and how both main-belt comets and disrupted asteroids fit along the asteroid-comet continuum.
IAU General Assembly
- Pub Date:
- August 2015