Seminars at FGG

Ice Rocks in the Solar System

Speaker: Noemi Pinilla Alonso (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia)

Date and time: 2012-06-06 10:00

The study of the minor bodies in the Solar System has historically been a major source of information. The term "Minor Body" covers objects exhibiting very different dynamical and compositional characteristics, in fact, every object in the Solar System that is not a planet or a star, is a minor body. All these objects share a common link, they were the building blocks of the Solar System that we observe today and are considered to retain the most pristine material. The discovery of 1992 QB1, the first trans-Neptunian object (TNO), twenty years ago, extended the outer frontier of our Solar System. Before this detection, the trans-Neptunian belt was only a hypothetical population of objects beyond the orbit of Neptune, a possible source of the short period comets. Nowadays, more than 1000 TNOs have been discovered and the study of their icy surfaces has revealed as one hot topic in the astrophysics of the Solar System. In this talk I will present some of the most meaningful studies on the icy surfaces of minor bodies and will discuss on how these works have changed our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System.