Asteroid Analysis Using Lightcurve Photometry

Document Type


Publication Date



During the summer of 2011 data was taken of asteroid 3807 Pagels, a mid-sized asteroid located in the main asteroid belt in order to identify its rotational period. The asteroid 3807 Pagels is a poorly studied main belt asteroid that has little information recorded about its physical features. Time-series photometry of 3807 Pagels was obtained with a 16-inch telescope connected to a CCD camera located at the Texas A{\&}M University - Commerce Observatory. CCD images were taken continuously with five minute exposure times through the standard broadband V filter. The data was then analyzed using the MPO Canopus program which utilized comparison stars within each CCD image to determine differential photometry and then generate a lightcurve for the asteroid. The final lightcurve did not show a complete rotational period for the asteroid. Thus, additional observations are needed in order to precisely determine 3807 Pagels rotational period. This research is the first steps of a long process of determining more information about the many mid-sized asteroids located in the asteroid belt for the potential of being able to classify these asteroids by their physical characteristics.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Presented at the Joint Fall 2011 Meeting of the Texas Sections of the APS, AAPT, and Zone 13 of the SPS on October 7, 2011 in Commerce, TX