You are here

Investigating the Activity Drivers of Small Bodies in the Centaur-to-Jupiter-Family Transition

Content owned by sleggett

Approved LLPs

Principle Investigator: Charles Schambeau, Florida Space Institute, University of Central FLorida, USA

Program Summary:

We request long-term Gemini-N and Gemini-S GMOS imaging of the Solar System’s Centaur-to-Jupiter- Family transition population. This new data will provide vital inputs for a series of thermophysical modeling efforts focused on constraining their nuclei compositions. They contain some of the most pristine materials leftover since the early era of planetesimal formation. Studies of them provide links to the conditions present in the early protoplanetary disk. In particular, our program seeks to monitor their long-term dust comae behaviors to better understand the activity mechanisms in the outer Solar System. Activity in this region is not driven by water ice sublimation because of the low temperatures present. Knowledge for what drives the distant activity is elusive, however there are proposed mechanisms (e.g., CO vs. CO2 sublimation). Our program will address this knowledge gap. We have completed a successful proof-of-concept study through the Gemini poor-weather program and used the methods learned from them to develop an efficient large and long program that will collect the necessary data to address our science goals.


  • Yanga Fernandez: University of Central Florida
  • Olga Harrington-Pinto: University of Central Florida
  • Theodore Kareta: University of Arizona
  • Eva Lilly (Schunova): Planetary Science Institute
  • Nalin Samarasinha: Planetary Science Institute
  • Gal Sarid: SETI Institute
  • Jordan Steckloff: Planetary Science Institute
  • Maria Womack: National Science Foundation
  • Laura Woodney: California State University San Bernardino
  • Marco Micheli: ESA NEO Coordination
Investigating the Activity Drivers of Small Bodies in the Centaur-to-Jupiter-Family Transition | Gemini Observatory


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.