Postdoctoral Fellow - Harvard College Observatory
Asteroids and other small bodies are markers, like tiny beacons, relaying information about the initial temperature and composition conditions of our Solar System revealed by their surface compositions, as well as the Solar System’s evolution fossilized in the scattering record of these bodies. They are also the building blocks of the terrestrial planets, supplying both organic matter and water, essential for life as we currently understand it. In this talk I will begin by providing context for the asteroids and the asteroid belt answering questions such as 'what are asteroids, where are they, and how many are there?' I will describe our current understanding of asteroid compositions and how they relate to meteorites. I will then present the current distribution of asteroids in the main belt and explain what that distribution means for the evolution of the solar system and the implications for Earth.