Jenna Crowell

Our research group is investigating the surface variations of S-complex asteroids. Currently, I am working on enhancing the physical shape model and creating a thermophysical model of 1627 Ivar. Ivar is an Amor class NEA with a taxonomic type of Sqw. During Ivar’s apparition in 2013, we were able to obtain CCD lightcurves, radar data, and near-IR spectra. The radar data consist of Doppler spectra and delay-Doppler images obtained using the Arecibo Observatory’s 2380 MHz radar. Lightcurve data were gathered using the 0.35m telescope at the Palmer Divide Station. The NIR spectra encompass reflected and thermal wavelengths (0.8 – 4.1 µm) and were acquired using the SpeX instrument at the NASA IRTF. With the radar and lightcurve data, we were able to enhance the shape model of Ivar and we are using this as input for our thermophysical modeling software in order to better understand its compositional and regolith properties. The goal of this research is to study the heterogeneity and other intrinsic properties of Ivar’s surface. In order to validate this research and to better understand how Ivar compares to other S-complex near Earth asteroids (NEAs), I will also study other S-type asteroids with known shapes and use this information to analyze variations in their observed spectra. In addition, I will compare my findings with similarly sized main belt asteroids in order to better understand the processes that begin to affect these asteroids once they become NEAs.

Research collaborators include:
Dr. Yan Fernandez (Advisor): University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
Dr. Ellen Howell: Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Dr. Christopher Magri: University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington, ME, USA
Dr. Ronald Vervack, Jr.: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD, USA