Asteroid families identification: history and state of the art – Dr. Zoran Knezevic (Astronomic Observatory of Belgrade)


Sala Seminari (Dip. Matematica).


The history of asteroid families, from their discovery back in 1918, until the present time, is briefly reviewed. Two threads have been followed: on the development of the theories of asteroid motion and the computation of proper elements, and on the methods of classification themselves. Three distinct periods can be distinguished: the first one until mid-1930s, devoted to discovery and first attempts towards understanding of the properties of families; the second one, until early 1980s, characterized by a growing understanding of their importance as key evidence of the collisional evolution; the third one, characterized by an explosion of work and results comprises the contemporary era. An assessment is given of the state-of-the-art and possible directions for the future effort, focusing on the dynamical studies, and on improvements of classification methods to cope with ever increasing data set.

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