Adventures into the Kuiper Belt: Accretion, Composition, and the Proto-planetary Disc
NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
It has been common to study the Kuiper Belt with the view point that Kuiper Belt Objects are largely unprocessed objects which exhibit nearly primordial surfaces. While this idea has provided a useful framework within which to interpret observations of the belt, it is becoming ever more clear that this view point is incorrect. I will initially summarize what we think we know about the accretionary and dynamical history of the Kuiper Belt. >From there, I will discuss various aspects of my research of the Belt. Based on the audience's preference, the discussion may include aspects of the Kuiper Belt size distribution and its accretion, efforts into predicting and catching occultations by Kuiper Belt Objects, the bulk composition of the Belt, and spectral efforts which may have revealed the presence of silicates in the Belt for the first time. With the various aspects of my research, I will paint a new picture of what Kuiper Belt Objects tell us about their failed planet formation process and the structure of the primordial disc from which they accreted.
Date: Tuesday, 22 October 2013 Time: 16:00 Where: McGill University Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103) Contact: Robert Rutledge