Guy Cosolmagno: Physical and thermal properties of asteroid-analog meteorites
Over the past five years, we have measured the physical properties of meteorites in classes closely associated with asteroids that have been sampled or are to be closely studied by spacecraft missions. Following our previous measurements of density and porosity, we now have data for heat capacity and thermal conductivity, from which thermal inertia and thermal diffusivity can be calculated, and the coefficient of thermal expansion, all as a function of temperature over the range 5K - 300 K. Our results for CM meteorites (close analogs to asteroids Bennu and Ryugu) and iron meteorites (an important constituent of asteroid Psyche) have important applications in understanding their surface properties, including our understanding of how they respond to Yarkovsky and YORP forces.
Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is the Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he earned undergraduate and master's degrees from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona; he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989. He is the curator of the Vatican Meteorite Collection and was the 2014 recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.