AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 64 The Hazardous Solar System and Other Objects
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[64.06] Amateur Contributions to Asteroid Lightcurve Studies

B.D. Warner (Palmer Divide Observatory), R.D. Stephens (Santana Observatory)

The study of asteroid lightcurves is critical to the development of several important fields of research involving the minor planets. Recent studies using lightcurve data by Steve Slivan, Mikko Kaaslainen, and others have shown the strong likelihood that the YORP effect is a dominant force in determining spin axis rates and orientation. Kassalainen has also been a leader in the difficult problem of lightcurve inversion where lightcurve data is used to determine the shape of an asteroid.

In addition, Alan Harris and Petr Pravec have used lightcurve data to determine trends within the asteroid system regarding spin rates versus size, most notably finding certain "barriers" or zones that preclude or favor certain size/rate combinations. In recent years, amateur astronomers have been providing an ever-growing number of lightcurves to the statistical pool and forming collaborative efforts aimed at assisting profession astronomers such as those above in order to provide the necessary data for further development and refinement of asteroid-related theories.

The authors have been significant contributors to lightcurve studies, having submitted more than 150 lightcurves for publication in the Minor Planet Bulletin in the past five years. This poster presentation shows some of the specific contributions they have made and how other interested amateurs can contribute to the ongoing efforts, which will eventually require the work of a small legion of dedicated amateur observers.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.MinorPlanetObserver.com/astlc/default.htm. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: brian@MinorPlanetObserver.com

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