William Bottke

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Planet formation models suggest the primordial main belt experienced a short but intense period of collisional evolution shortly after the formation of planetary embryos. This period is believed to have lasted until Jupiter reached its full size, when dynamical processes (e.g., sweeping resonances, excitation via planetary embryos) ejected most(More)
The orbital and absolute magnitude distribution of the near-Earth objects (NEOs) is difficult to compute, partly because only a modest fraction of the entire NEO population has been discovered so far, but also because the known NEOs are biased by complicated observational selection effects. To circumvent these problems, we created a model NEO population(More)
The orbital distributions of prominent asteroid families are thought to be direct by-products of catastrophic disruption events among diameter D greater, similar 100 kilometer bodies. Ejection velocities derived from studying observed families, however, are surprisingly high compared with results from impact experiments and simulations. One way to resolve(More)
We revisit the early evolution of the Moon’s bombardment. Our work combines modeling (based on plausible projectile sources and their dynamical decay rates) with constraints from the lunar crater record, radiometric ages of the youngest lunar basins, and the abundance of highly siderophile elements in the lunar crust and mantle. We deduce that the evolution(More)
The main belt is believed to have originally contained an Earth mass or more of material, enough to allow the asteroids to accrete on relatively short timescales. The present-day main belt, however, only contains ∼5 × 10−4 Earth masses. Numerical simulations suggest that this mass loss can be explained by the dynamical depletion of main belt material via(More)
The Yarkovsky effect is a thermal radiation force that causes objects to undergo semimajor axis drift and spinup/spindown as a function of their spin, orbit, and material properties. This mechanism can be used to (1) deliver asteroids (and meteoroids) with diameter D < 20 km from their parent bodies in the main belt to chaotic resonance zones capable of(More)
Asteroid families are believed to originate by catastrophic disruptions of large asteroids. They are nowadays identified as clusters in the proper orbital elements space. The proper elements are analytically defined as constants of motion of a suitably simplified dynamical system. Indeed, they are generally nearly constant on a 107–108-year time scale. Over(More)
The present population of asteroids in the main belt is largely the result of many past collisions. Ideally, the asteroid fragments resulting from each impact event could help us understand the large-scale collisions that shaped the planets during early epochs. Most known asteroid fragment families, however, are very old and have therefore undergone(More)
Collisions have been thought to be the dominant process altering asteroid rotations, but recent observations of the Koronis family of asteroids suggest that this may be incorrect. This group of asteroids was formed in a catastrophic collision several billion years ago; in the intervening period their rotational axes should have become nearly random because(More)
Iron meteorites are core fragments from differentiated and subsequently disrupted planetesimals. The parent bodies are usually assumed to have formed in the main asteroid belt, which is the source of most meteorites. Observational evidence, however, does not indicate that differentiated bodies or their fragments were ever common there. This view is also(More)