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The Solar System Notification Alert Processing System (SNAPS)

Presentation #423.06 in the session “Community Alert Brokers: Lessons Learned”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
The Solar System Notification Alert Processing System (SNAPS)

Asteroids are the most numerous objects in the Solar System and as such act as tracers of the dynamical and physical evolution of our planetary system. At present, there are nearly 800,000 known asteroids — primarily in the main belt — and there are probably around 1 million asteroids larger than 1 km. A comprehensive understanding of the evolution of our Solar System can therefore use the individual properties of asteroids as the fine-grained measurements from which broader conclusions can be drawn. Asteroids can be used to understand the dynamical and collisional history of the Solar System, the intrinsic material properties of primitive bodies, and help unravel the origin of life on Earth through understanding the degree to which asteroids brought water and organics to the early Earth. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory will carry out the Legacy Survey through Space and Time (LSST) will observe more than 5 million main belt asteroids, an order of magnitude increase over present catalogs. However, the LSST data by itself (time, brightness, position) will not provide new insight into the processes that have driven the evolution of our Solar System. To reap the scientific reward from this data set, the physical properties of each asteroid must be derived, so that the ensemble properties can be used for scientific investigations. In this talk I will present our ongoing project entitled the Solar System Notification Alert Processing System (SNAPS). We are presently ingesting the ZTF data stream as a pathfinder for LSST alerts. We derive physical properties for each asteroid and are constructing a value-added publicly accessible database that enables a wide range of science cases. These tasks will provide the missing steps between survey-provided measurements and detailed science investigations.


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