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Solar System

Solar System;
Image Credit: Sumita Jayaraman/Nature

Research Statement

Five faculty in the Astronomy and Physics departments have active programs in the area of solar system science. One theme of this research is the dynamical evolution of the solar system with particular emphasis on the dynamics of the small bodies in the solar system (asteroids and Kuiper belt objects), and the dynamics of the dust particles that are generated by the collisional evolution of the asteroidal and cometary populations. The work is both theoretical and numerical and is aimed at interpreting observations in the infrared of the interplanetary dust complex that have recently returned by the IRAS and COBE spacecraft. The department also houses a microwave analog light scattering facility for testing theories of how light is scattered by small, non-spherical dust particles. All of this work has application to the study of debris disks around young, nearby stars in which planets have formed or are still forming. Work in the physics department is concerned with the structure and the dynamics of the thin gaseous envelopes that surround most of the planetary bodies in our solar system and uses theoretical and numerical methods to interpret images of planetary atmospheres returned by the Voyager and Cassini spacecraft.

Areas of Specialty

Solar system dynamics, zodiacal cloud structure, small body and interplanetary dust particle dynamics, debris disk modeling, numerical simulations. Laboratory simulations using microwaves of light scattering by dust particles. The structure and dynamics of the thin gaseous envelopes that surround giant planets.

Research Pages

Faculty Contacts


Phone: (352) 392 2052 + Ext
Email: Ename@astro.ufl.edu

Name Position Office Ext /
Ename

Dermott,
Stanley F.

Professor

216

203 /
dermott

Ford,
Eric B.

Associate Professor

212

209 /
eford

Gustafson,
Bo A. S.

Professor &
Director of Laboratory
for Astrophysics

224

216 /
gustaf

Kehoe,
Thomas J.

Assistant Scientist

214

211 /
kehoe

Matcheva,
Katia

Affiliate Professor

2073 NPB

- /
katia



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