Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Seminar: Haghighipour

April 20, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Speaker: Nader Haghighipour, University of Hawaii

Title: Origin and Activation of Main Belt Comets

Main-belt comets (MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest since their identification
as a new class of bodies by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006. Much of this interest is due to the
implication that MBC activity is driven by the sublimation of volatile material (presumed
to be water-ice) presenting these bodies as probable candidates for the delivery of a
significant fraction of Earth’s water. Results of the studies of the dynamics of MBCs
suggest that these objects formed in-situ as the remnants of the break-up of large icy
asteroids. Simulations also show that collisions among MBCs and small objects could
have played an important role in triggering the cometary activity of these bodies. Such
collisions might have exposed sub-surface water-ice which sublimated and created thin
atmospheres and tails around MBCs. In order to drive the effort of understanding the nature
of the activation of MBCs, we have investigated these collision processes by simulating these
impacts in detail using a smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). We have carried out
simulations for a range of impact velocities and angles, allowing m-sized impactors to erode
enough of an MBC’s surface to trigger its activation. In this talk, I will present the current models
of the origin and formation of MBCs and discuss the results of our SPH simulations and their
implications for the activation of these objects.


April 20, 2015
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:


Physical Science Building 211
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 United States


Karen Meech