CLASS Seminar

Title: Spectral Diversity Among Primitive Asteroids: Implications for Origins of Bennu and Ryugu


Monday, October 9, 2017





Abstract: Recent observations at wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared, have revealed new and diagnostic spectral differences among primitive asteroids. We review the observed spectral characteristics of these asteroids and their inferred surface compositions.  Most spacecraft-accessible near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) originate in the inner asteroid belt, between 2.15 and 2..50 AU at low inclinations. This region contains several primitive families and a background of low albedo primitive asteroids.  The largest inner-belt families have already been studied spectroscopically and offer a tantalizing preview of the spectral and compositional characteristics expected in the NEAs they produce.



Biography: After receiving his Ph.D. Dr. Campins had a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Maryland and spent five years at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson. In 1989, he accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Florida, where he attained the rank of Professor in 1997. While at the University of Florida, Dr. Campins was Director at the Florida Space Grant Consortium from 1994 to 1998. From 1998 to 2002, Dr.. Campins worked as Program Officer at the Research Corporation and as research faculty at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona in Tucson. In August 2002, Dr. Campins joined the UCF faculty as Provost Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and head of the Planetary and Space Science Group. In 2013, Dr. Campins was named Pegasus Professor, the highest award attainable by a UCF faculty member; he has also received two teaching awards and a number of research awards.


Dr. Campins’ research area is astronomy. He studies asteroids, comets and other small bodies in the solar system using a variety of ground based, airborne and space based telescopes. This research is funded by NASA and by the National Science Foundation. One of his current interests is the role that asteroids and comets may have played in the origin of water and organic molecules on Earth and Mars. Dr. Campins is a co-investigator on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample return mission to a near-Earth Asteroid, scheduled for launch in September 2016. He is also a co-investigator in UCF’s new Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science (CLASS) funded by NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI)… He was the leader of one of two teams to discover water ice and organics on the surface of an asteroid.