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Research Seminar - Centre for Astrophysics

Taxonomy and Dynamics of Small Solar System Body Populations presented by Tim Holt

Date: 13 April 2021
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Venue: Online via Zoom
Contact: For more information, please contact Michelle Griffiths.
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In the story of our Solar system, there are two populations of captured small bodies, the Irregular satellites of the gas giants and the Jovian Trojans, that are critical to the narrative. The Jovian Trojans are two swarms of asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit, one leading and one trailing the gas giant, and form the main focus of this PhD. The dynamical situation of the Jovian Trojans has also made traditional classification systems problematic. Included within this project are two dynamical studies on the Jovian Trojans.

Bio: Most people start out in astronomy looking up at the stars as a child. That was not me. I grew up moving all over the world. Every kid goes through a dinosaur phase. Mine just happened to last until my mid 20's. For my first degree, I undertook a Bachelor of Science at the University of Southern Queensland. There I helped the UQ Dinosaur Lab dig up fossil dinosaurs, fish, and crocodiles in Western Queensland. I am currently undertaking a PhD on the Taxonomy and Dynamics of small Solar system objects, including the satellite systems of the giant planets and the Jovian Trojan Asteroids, with Prof. Jonti Horner at USQ. The project includes adapting a taxonomic technique called astrocladistics for use in the planetary sciences, with the aim of identifying families in the Jovian Trojan swarms. I am also using n-body simulations to examine the dynamics of the Jovian Trojans, within a taxonomic context. My hope is to provide a context for future use of astrocladistics in Planetary sciences, as well as the exploration of the Jovian Trojans. I am located in Boulder CO, USA at the Southwest Research Institute. When I’m not researching, I enjoy internet spaceships (Eve Online), board games, and sci-fi in all their forms.

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