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Thermal physics of asteroids
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Physics, Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, The Uppsala Astronomical Observatory.
1998 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thermal infrared and microwave emission from asteroids have many applications. Fundamental physical properties can be investigated, which have implications for the geophysical evolution of the asteroids, and the early history of the solar system.

A new thermophysical model of asteroids is presented. A number of physical processes previously neglected in the Standard Thermal Model are now considered. The new model predicts the thermal emission of asteroids, from mid-infrared to microwave wavelengths. The irregular shapes of asteroids are modelled in detail, and the spin state of the asteroids is taken into account, whereby it is possible to calculate model thermal lightcurves. The heat conduction into the surface material in general lowers the mid-infrared flux from main-belt asteroids. The model is able to explain the observed "beaming" of the emission into the solar direction, under the assumption that it is caused by the small-scale surface roughness. Subsurface scattering processes are considered when calculating the directional- and wavelength-dependent emissivity.

The model is applied to a large database of observations in the wavelength range of 7-2 000 µm. The purpose is to derive the thermophysical properties of ten asteroids, selected as calibration targets for the instruments on board the Infrared Space Observatory. The results indicate very rough and porous surfaces, with low levels of heat conduction. The emissivity variessignificantly with wavelength.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , vii, [1], 37 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 341
Keyword [en]
Astronomy, asteroids, infrared emission, thermophysical models
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-143ISBN: 91-554-4144-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-143DiVA: diva2:160955
Public defence
1998-03-20, Lecture hall at the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 14:00
Available from: 1998-02-27 Created: 1998-02-27Bibliographically approved

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