Title of Presentation

A Pedagogical Look at Kirkwood Gaps

Type of Submission

Event

Faculty Advisor

Robert Wagner

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

13-4-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

13-4-2019 10:00 AM

Disciplines

Education

Abstract

Kirkwood Gaps are gaps in the distribution of asteroid orbital periods which correspond to orbital resonances between Jupiter and the asteroids. Simplified explanations account for this effect by saying that Jupiter pulls on the asteroid at the same location each orbit, pulling it into a new orbit. However, in simulations what is found is simply an oscillation, with the orbital distance and eccentricity of the objects orbit never rising to a breaking point of the orbit. More detailed explanations are often summarized as “Chaos Theory”, which gives no intuitive idea of the actual cause. The goal of my research is to provide a pedagogical look at Kirkwood Gaps utilizing multiple levels of complexity to describe the origins of Kirkwood gaps in a way that can be understood across various educational levels.

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Apr 13th, 9:00 AM Apr 13th, 10:00 AM

A Pedagogical Look at Kirkwood Gaps

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Kirkwood Gaps are gaps in the distribution of asteroid orbital periods which correspond to orbital resonances between Jupiter and the asteroids. Simplified explanations account for this effect by saying that Jupiter pulls on the asteroid at the same location each orbit, pulling it into a new orbit. However, in simulations what is found is simply an oscillation, with the orbital distance and eccentricity of the objects orbit never rising to a breaking point of the orbit. More detailed explanations are often summarized as “Chaos Theory”, which gives no intuitive idea of the actual cause. The goal of my research is to provide a pedagogical look at Kirkwood Gaps utilizing multiple levels of complexity to describe the origins of Kirkwood gaps in a way that can be understood across various educational levels.