ISAS Space Science Colloquium & Space Science Seminar
Small Worlds - Big Discoveries
James Green, Chief Scientist
One of the most important sets of objects in our solar system are small bodies such as asteroids, planetesimals, protoplanets, dwarf planets, and comets. These small worlds provide a wealth of knowledge that, if properly understood, can tell us an enormous amount about the origin and evolution of the solar system. They represent remnants of the building blocks of the planets and provide insight into the conditions of our earliest history. It is also well known that after the formation of the solar system continual impacts by small bodies to the terrestrial planets were the delivery mechanism of key elements that perhaps gave rise to the origin of life here on Earth. Small bodies also experience a myriad of processes, providing numerous natural science laboratories to gain knowledge into the evolution of the solar system. In addition, small bodies represent both hazards, such as Near Earth Objects, but also potential future resources, as humans leave low Earth orbit and trek out into the solar system their need for future materials and fuels may largely be met by mining certain types of small bodies.
This talk will place the current small worlds missions, mostly by JAXA and NASA, into a broader context of the importance small bodies plays in the solar system and what they are telling us. This is truly an exciting time for exploring these small worlds allowing true missions of discovery. We have much to learn from them.
Place: 2F Conf. room（1236） / 研究管理棟２階会議場（1236号室）