Discovery and Follow-up of Active Asteroids in ZTF Alerts

On-going project: January - December, 2020; Adler Planetarium, Astronomy Department, Chicago, IL

Active asteroids are a diverse population driven by a variety of mechanisms including volatile sublimation, direct impacts, rotation driven mass shedding and "exotic" dust creation and ejection processes. Current and deep future surveys such as ZTF and Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will increase the numbers of known active asteroids by orders of magnitudes. We will use ZTF alerts to look for newly active asteroids among the population of known asteroids. MPC, ALCDEF data and prior ZTF data will establish a baseline light curve. 100 hours of LCO 1-m time will be used to take confirming photometry of candidate active asteroids. Confirmed asteroid activity triggers will be disseminated to the community. 

Contact Geza Gyuk at Adler for more information.

LSSTC/Heising-Simons/Zegar Family Support: $21,500

This award was made possible by a collaboration between LSST Corporation, Las Cumbres Observatory, NOAO, and SOAR Observatories and gratefully acknowledges support from the Heising-Simons and Zegar Family Foundations,

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