Walkabout the Galaxy
asteroids, primordial protoplanets
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics
Objects in our solar system can take pretty torturous paths to get from point A to point B. Nature can scramble the orbits of asteroids, and people can make satellite orbits scramble in just the right way to go from one orbit to another. Strange, Charm, and Top explore the ways orbits change and a new research report that says that most of the asteroids in the inner part of the asteroid belt may be the debris of just five primordial protoplanets that got smashed to smithereens billions of years ago. That's why the new name for asteroids is going to be "smithereens". Plus: nerd news and spaceflight history trivia!
The Tisserand Parameter
When you're walking about the solar system, those gravitational bullies like Jupiter and Saturn may scramble your orbital elements so you don't know whether you're coming or going, periapsing or climbing the ascending node, but you can always hang your hat, and your identity, on the Tisserand Parameter. This simple combination of a, e, and I might not spell a scrabble word, but it does let you keep track of comets and asteroids after they've had their orbits scrambled by Jove. The Tisserand Parameter – know yours, and don't leave your home planet without it.
© Joshua Colwell, All Rights Reserved
Length of Episode
Colwell, Joshua; Dove, Adrienne; and Cooney, James, "What Goes Around Comes Around" (2018). Walkabout the Galaxy Podcast. 54.