A Research Proposal To Study An Activated Asteroid, Directed By FSI Research Scientist Noemí Pinilla-Alonso, Recently Awarded By AURA
Noemí Pinilla-Alonso, Research Scientist at FSI, is the director of a research proposal recently awarded by AURA. The funded study “WFC3 imaging of active asteroid P/2016 G1” is linked to an observing proposal granted time by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
The funded research is aimed to study an active main belt asteroid, P/2016 G1 (PANSTARRS), which was observed active in June 2016 with the 10m Gran Telescopic CANARIAS (GTC) telescope. The detailed GTC observations of the coma suggest that the object is breaking apart due to some unknown mechanism¹. The analysis of the observations of this active asteroid, made last Summer with the unique high resolution and sensitivity provided by HST, will determine which mechanism is causing the disruption: a collision of asteroids, rotational mass loss, or ice sublimation.
This work is made in collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI, USA), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC, Spain) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA, Spain).