My research focuses on Main Belt asteroids, the denizens of the region of the Solar System between Mars and Jupiter.
These objects are the building blocks that remain from the formation of the Solar System, and can be studied to probe the early conditions of the dust disk that created the planets.
Since asteroids tend to be small (100 meters - 100 km) they look like points, even in the biggest telescope.
However, as they orbit the Sun they move with respect to the background stars.
This is a movie of the asteroid Apollo. The data are three different infrared wavelengths of Spitzer data
taken by Amy Mainzer, combined to form a true-color movie. This is what you would see if you had infrared eyes.
Note how the asteroid is one of the redder things in the field.
This is a plot of an asteroid light curve, from my Thousand Asteroid Light Curve Survey.
Each symbol represents a different night of observing, and you can see the clear variation
in magnitude (a measure of brightness) as a function of time.
(hopefully I'll be able to make this prettier soon...)
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