Light Curve Update: A Change in Scope and Other Adaptations

On July 5th, I entered Small Hall and made an action plan with my research adviser, Professor Deconinck, in regards to the troubling news that the observatory dome is not quite yet operational, and likely will not be ready to use until after my investigations with asteroid lightcurves has concluded. We have a contingency in the Meade LX90 telescope that Prof. Deconinck brought in, although its 8 inch aperture limits the size of the asteroids that I can view. Therefore, instead of viewing asteroids which have few to no lightcurves previously made of their rotations I will add to the data collected on larger minor planets, such as Ceres. This is useful information to the international scientific community since it helps to identify and quantify the error involved with using the Minor Planet Observatory Canopus software.

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Light Curve Analysis of Minor Planets within the Asteroid Belt

Light Curve Analysis of Minor Planets within the Asteroid Belt

Between June 10 and July 22, I will apply Fourier Analysis and other statistical analyses to stacked photographs of low-mass minor planets within the asteroid belt to generate light curves with the Minor Planet Observatory Canopus program, and post my results to the Minor Planet Observatory database under the guidance of Professor Wouter Deconinck. In this process, I will determine the rotation rate of these asteroids, as well as their distance from Earth, and relative size. Using the Canopus software, I will further interpret the general shape and composition of the bodies, and will use the Minor Planet Observatory Light Curve Inverter to formulate a rendition of the asteroids appearance.

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