Workshop summary on physical and chemical properties of potential Earth impactors
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CitationHuebner, W. F., & Greenberg, J. M. (2002). Workshop summary on physical and chemical properties of potential Earth impactors. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 37(12), 1642-1647.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractFrom 2001 June 17 to 25, we held the first international workshop in Erice, Italy, dedicated to the determination of geological and geophysical properties of near-Earth objects (NEOs). The goal was to develop a roadmap for determining the physical chemical properties of NEOs in the coming decades to meet the scientific requirements for development of Earth collision avoidance technology. We identified many properties that are desired, but four measurements are needed most critically for any potentially hazardous NEO: (1) its mass, (2) its mass distribution, (3) its material strengths, and (4) its internal structure. Global (whole-body) properties, such as material strengths and internal structure, can be determined best from the analyses of permeating waves: artificially initiated seismology and multifrequency reflection and transmission radio tomography. Seismology provides the best geophysical (material strengths) data of NEOs composed of consolidated materials while radio tomography provides the best geological data (e.g., the state of fracture) of electrically nonconducting media. Thus, teh two methods are complimentary: seismology is most suitable for stony and metallic asteroids, while radio tomography is most appropriate for comet nuclei and carbonaceous asteroids. The three main conclusions are (1) remote sensing for physical characterization should be increased, (2) several dedicated NEO missions should be prepared for geophysical and geological investigations, and (3) that it is prudent to develop and prove the technology to make geophysical measurements on NEOs now.