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Title: Photometric studies of the rotational and shape properties of asteroids
Author: McNeill, Andrew John
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 3025
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis, I present a study of the rotation and shape properties of small asteroids using both sparse survey observations from PanSTARRS 1 and dense light curve observations. The rotation al state of asteroids is controlled by various physical mechanisms including collisions, internal damping and the Yarkovsky O'Keefe Radzievskii Paddack (YORP) effect. I have analysed the changes in magnitude between consecutive detections of over 60,000 asteroids measured by the PanSTARRS 1 survey during its first 18 months of operations. Using this sparse photometric data I have attempted to explain the derived brightness changes physically and through the application of a Monte Carlo simulation. I have found a tendency toward smaller magnitude variations with decreasing diameter for objects of 1 1.0 mag. I carried out follow up photometric observations telescopes on La Palma and in La Silla, Chile. In the course of this work I have studied the photometry of 21 objects. 9 asteroids produced light curves with amplitude A > 1 mag with no objects exhibiting a spin period P<2.2 h. I discuss the different possible shape configurations for each of the 9 high amplitude asteroids and constrain their shape and density information. Of the observed asteroids, 2 had sufficient observations at different orbital geometries to allow shape models and spin pole axes to be determined through light curve inversion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available