Awarded Project: Active Asteroids in ZTF Alerts

Project Description

Active asteroids are a diverse population driven by a variety of mechanisms, including volatile sublimation, direct impacts, rotation-driven mass shedding, and “exotic” dust creation and ejection processes. Current and deep future surveys such as ZTF and Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will increase the numbers of known active asteroids by orders of magnitudes. We will:

  • Use ZTF alerts to look for newly active asteroids among the population of known asteroids. (MPC, ALCDEF data, and prior ZTF data will establish a baseline light curve)
  • Use 100 hours of LCO 1-m time to take confirming photometry of candidate active asteroids
  • Disseminate confirmed asteroid activity triggers to the community

Project Details

  • Contact: Geza Gyuk at Adler Planetarium
  • Project timeframe: January – December 2020
  • Location: Adler Planetarium, Astronomy Department, Chicago, IL

Project Support

LSSTC/Heising-Simons/Zegar Family Support: $21,500

This award was made possible by a collaboration between LSST Corporation, Las Cumbres Observatory, NOAO, and SOAR Observatories and gratefully acknowledges support from the Heising-Simons and Zegar Family Foundations.