Image: NAC_2016-01-27T16.20.08.963Z_ID10_1397549000_F22; Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

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Formation and evolution of small Solar System bodies

How did our Solar System form and evolve? What properties did the protoplanetary disk of the Solar System have? Did any of the first solid bodies in the Solar System survive to this day?
These questions lie at the heart of planetary science and form my research interests.

Three processes have interested me particularly over the past years:

  • The formation and evolution of the gas and dust in the protoplanetary disk and the formation of planetesimals within it. Read more…
  • The collisional evolution of planetesimals and small solar system bodies and how this evolution might have changed their primordial properties. Read more…
  • The activity of comets and the resulting gas and dust environment around their nuclei. Read more…

Involvement in inter-planetary space missions

While many observations can be made with telescopes from the ground or in orbit around the Earth, small solar system bodies such as asteroids and comets usually remain unresolved. One of the only ways to access more detailed observations of these bodies is spacecraft missions to these bodies. Such missions allow in-situ observations of the surface and interior of these bodies. Below, I list my involvement in past, current, and future missions.