Solar System Small Body Demographics with the Palomar Transient Factory Survey Thesis by Adam Waszczak Pdf, Observational research of the solar system’s small-body inhabitants (asteroids and comets) provide insight to the background of our planetary system, since these small planets signify the left-over construction blocks out of its creation. The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) survey started in 2009 as the hottest wide-field sky-survey program to be run on the 1.2-meter Samuel Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory. Although its principal science application has been the discovery of high energy extragalactic sources (for example, supernovae), throughout its initial five decades PTF has accumulated nearly five thousand observations of more than half a million special solar system small bodies.
This thesis starts to examine this huge data collection to deal with key population-level science issues, such as: the discovery rates of infrequent main-belt comets and little near-Earth asteroids, the twist and form attributes of asteroids as inferred in their lightcurves, the applicability of the visible light information into the interpretation of ultraviolet asteroid observations, along with also a comparison of the physiological attributes of main-belt and Jovian Trojan asteroids. Prospective sky-surveys would benefit from application of these analytical methods presented herein, including novel modeling procedures and special programs of machine-learning classification. The PTF asteroid small-body information generated in the course of the thesis work must remain a fertile source of solar system discovery and science for a long time to come.
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