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 Asteroids, Comets & Satellites
Comet Tempel 1

The Asteroids, Comets and Satellites Group is composed of several research teams with interrelated interests and goals. Its members span the disciplines of planetary sciences, with areas of expertise ranging from observational planetary astronomy, planetary geology, data analysis and interpretation, theoretical modeling, and mission leadership and support.

Over the past decade the research areas led by the group include modeling the morphology of cometary jets; detection of volatile transport on Triton; physical characterization of asteroids and cometary nuclei; detection and modeling of hot spots on Io; physical characterization of extinct comets, asteroids, Kuiper Belt Objects, and Centaurs; formation and composition of the low-albedo side of Iapetus; the dynamics and physical properties of planetary rings; and the nature of Martian surface material. One of the world's leading planetary radar science teams is contained in the group.

The members of the group have played key leadership roles for many missions, including Voyager, Cassini-Huygens, Deep Space 1, Stardust, and the Mars Exploration Rover, and many of its observers have obtained key ground-based coactive measurements for these and other NASA missions.


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