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Special Topic: 1I/‘Oumuamua

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Special Topic: Trojan Asteroids

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Special Topic: 2008 TC3 and the Almahata Sitta Meteorite

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Special Topic: Carbonaceous Chondrites

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While the details are always in a state of revision, for quite some time now the general consensus among astronomers as to how the solar system and its planets formed involves the accumulation of smaller objects, “planetesimals.” The comets and asteroids we see today, and that have been the primary focus of “Ice and Stone …

In any orbital configuration involving two, and only two, objects – for example, Earth and the sun – the orbital motion can be solved directly from Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation; the mathematical solution is complete and analytical. As soon as additional objects are added to the mix, however, things become much more complex, …

The “Special Topics” presentation three weeks ago discussed actions that we might take should we detect an asteroid that appears will impact Earth. The first and foremost task is the collection of as much data as possible in order to refine the orbit and the likelihood of an actual impact, and if this continues to …

In an earlier “Special Topics” presentation I described how meteorites are classified based upon their respective compositions. As I indicated in that presentation, the majority of known meteorites are the “stony” meteorites composed primarily of various silicates, and of these, most contain small, roughly spherical particles called “chondrules” that are primarily made up of silicates …

Of all the phenomena associated with comets, the one that more than any other gives them their beauty and their mystique is their tails. As recounted in a previous “Special Topics” presentation, the first recorded scientific observation of a comet concerned its tail: when observing the bright comet that appeared during the second half of …

A common and persistent theme throughout “Ice and Stone 2020,” and indeed one of the primary reasons the “small bodies” of the solar system are of such high interest in the first place, is the threat they pose to Earth – or, at least, to our civilization and way of life here on Earth – …