1. Scientific articles

Near-infrared colors of minor planets recovered from VISTA - VHS survey (MOVIS)

Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A). Link to A&A. Link to Arxiv.

V-type candidates and Vesta family asteroids in the Moving Objects VISTA (MOVIS) catalogue

Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A). Link to A&A.

Minor Planet Science with the VISTA Hemisphere Survey

Published in ESO The Messenger 167 – March 2017. Link to article.

Association between meteor showers and asteroids using multivariate criteria

Accepted for Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A). Link to A&A - Forthcoming article.

Data mining of near Earth asteroids in the Subaru Suprime-Cam archive

Published in Astronomische Nachrichten. Link to arXiv version. Link to article.

Photometric Observations of the Near-Earth Asteroids (326683) 2002 WP and 2016 LX48e

Published in The Minor Planet Bulletin. Link to ADS abstract.

2. Posters, participations to conferences, seminars

Poster 1. Title: Investigation of meteor shower parent bodies using various metrics @ International Meteor Conference 2016. Authors: Bogdan DUMITRU, Mirel BIRLAN, Alin NEDELCU, Marcel POPESCU. Link to conference program. Link to ADS abstract. Link to poster.

Poster 2. Title: M4AST - A Tool for Asteroid Modelling @ DPS 48 / EPSC 11 Meeting in Pasadena, California, 16–21 October 2016. Authors: Birlan, Mirel; Popescu, Marcel; Irimiea, Lucian; Binzel, Richard. Link to conference. Link to ADS abstract.

Poster 3. Title: Photometry and colors of NEAs at the origin of meteor showers XXVIII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) - Tenerife, Spain, 7-16 November 2016. Authors: B. A. Dumitru, M. Birlan, M. Popescu, A. Sonka, A. Nedelcu. Link to poster.

Poster 4. Title: Taxonomical classification of asteroids based on the near-infrared colors observed by VISTA-VHS survey ASTEROIDS, COMETS, METEORS, Montevideo, April 10th-14th 2017. Authors: M. Popescu, J. Licandro, J. de León, D. Morate, and I. L. Boaca. Link to abstract. Link to poster. Link to conference website.

Talk 1. Title: Spectrophotometric characterization of minor planets using VISTA-VHS survey - MOVIS catalog @ DPS 48 / EPSC 11 Meeting in Pasadena, California, 16–21 October 2016. Authors: M. Popescu, J. Licandro, D. Morate, J. de Leon , D.A. Nedelcu. Link to conference. Link to ADS abstract. Link to presentation.

Talk 2. Title: Spectral properties of near-Earth asteroids on cometary orbits @ European Planetary Science Congress 2017 17–22 September 2017, Riga, Latvia. Authors: M. Popescu, O. Vaduvescu, J. de Leon, I. L. Boaca, R. M. Gherase, D. A. Nedelcu, and I.N.G INT students. Link to conference. Link to abstract. Link to presentation.

Seminar 1. Title: Compositional mapping of minor planets population using near-infrared data @ 1. LESIA - Observatoire de Paris; March 21, 2016; 2. IMCCE - Observatoire de Paris; November 7, 2016. Presenter: Marcel Popescu. Link to announcement. Link to presentation.

3. Observational projects

Near-Earth asteroids on cometary orbits (NEACOs) – PI: Marcel Popescu

Abstract: Our proposal aims to obtain spectra of near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits [NEACOs] using SpeX for about 10% of the NEACOs. The obtained data will provide important clues for answering to questions such as : how many end-state comets are among these NEACOs; what are the mechanism for loosing their volatiles; what are the source regions for this peculiar population; and what are the weathering mechanism which affects these objects?

Observations performed a) Isaac Newton Telescope, IDS instrument, spectral region: 0.4-1.0 microns. Observations performed: December 27, 2015; January 25, 2016.

b) NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), SpeX instrument, spectral region: 0.82-2.45 microns. Observations performed: March 09,2016; April 09, 2016; May 03, 2016.

c) William Herschel Telescope, LIRIS instrument, spectral region: 0.9-2.4 microns. Observations performed: July 21, 2016.

This program was completed. The data reduction was performed. The analysis of the results is ongoing.

Physical characterization of V-type asteroids

Abstract: Our proposal aims to obtain spectra of asteroids classified as V-type based on their NIR colours obtained from VIST-VHS survey. The objectives are: 1) Confirm with spectral data the V-type candidates based on Y, J, H, Ks observations. 2) Compare the spectral data and its mineralogical interpretation with the obtained NIR colours in order to find correlations and derive empirical models to infer composition based on colours. This technique can be use also for further investigation of very faint V-types candidates, not accessible for spectral data, as well for interpreting further survey data. 3) Map the abundance, physical nature, mineralogy, and provenance of a much larger sample than the current number of V-type asteroids outside the Vesta family, therefore providing important clues for the origin of the basaltic material in our Solar System. 4) Compare the mineralogical composition of V-type asteroids outside the Vesta family with those belonging to Vesta family.

Observations performed a) William Herschel Telescope, LIRIS instrument, spectral region: 0.9-2.4 microns. Observations performed: July 21, 2016.

Spectral properties of the outer main belt asteroids with unusual NIR colors – PI: Marcel Popescu

Abstract: We aim to investigate the asteroids with unusual NIR colors provided by VISTA-VHS survey. This identification of spectral features based on NIR colours is supported by the fact that the Y filter samples the spectral region close to the first band minimum, the J and H filters are centred around the maximum, and Ks filter includes the second band minimum of olivine-pyroxene compositions. In this proposal,we target those objects that have colours similar with A-type [red spectrum with deep 1 um band ], O-type [deep 1 and 2 um bands], and R-types [red spectrum with 1 and 2 um bands]. The O- and R-types have particular spectral features, suggesting some pyroxene composition but with the bands atypical compared with terrestrial pyroxenes. The A-types which are olivine-dominated asteroids,formed either in nebular processes or through magmatic differentiation. Their discovery is of an important interest regarding the accretion and geochemical evolution of primitive bodies. The goals of our proposal are: 1] confirm spectroscopically the unusual characteristics indicated by colours and verify the reliability of the identification method of these rare types; 2] use the observed spectra to derive their mineralogy [e.g. de Leon et al. 2004]; 3] test the space weathering models at these orbital distances [Brunetto et al. 2007].

Global picture of meteor showers and their asteroid parent bodies – PI: Bogdan Dumitru

Abstract: The main objective of our proposal is to characterize spectroscopically the asteroids that are dynamically associated with meteor showers. Used metrics allows 372 asteroids linked with 24 meteor showers with high probability. Among them we found 55 objects with sparse physical parameters. Our goal proposal aims to densify the knowledge of NIR reflectance of those Near-Earth-Asteroids. From the literature only eight objects have VNIR spectra, which is irrelevant for statistics. We will investigate the ratio of primitive objects among them [out of the 55 objects with sparse physical parameters with 10% are primitive objects ]. We will also search for the meteorites with the same spectral properties and what are the sources of this population [comparing both the spectral results with numerical integration].

4. Technical reports

The description of data-mining routines developed during this project was published as part of the article Near-infrared colors of minor planets recovered from VISTA - VHS survey (MOVIS). Please see Section 3, Section 4, and Appendix A.

Our databases resulted (called MOVIS-C catalogue) from this data-mining software can be accessed via CDS- Strasbourg - the world-wide data centre which collects and distributes the astronomical information. Link to MOVIS-C database.

5. Software tools developed during this project

Data-minig software for recovering the Solar System objects observed by “all-sky surveys”

This software was used to obtain the photometric and astrometric measurements from VISTA-VHS survey. It is written in PHP. The software is designed to work with the format of the data provided by VISTA. This means: the format of the observing logs, the SQL database provided by the VISTA Data Flow System and the vhsDetectionCatalog. In order to be used for other surveys, the inputs should be adapted accordingly to the data survey specification.

The algorithm is divided into three steps, and should be done in this order.
1) Find the SSo that were imaged by the survey. This is done by using the routines provided in the folder ./skyboot/ 2) Retrieve the observations from the database; The routines available in the folder ./prepsql/ will create a ‘.csv’ table based on the predictions provided at first step. This table must be cross-matched with the catalogue provided by the survey (in this case ‘vhsDetection’) 3) Post-processing of the data and generate the catalogues. Based on the inputs obtained at the first step, this is done by using the routines provided in the folder /postproc/

The code is organized as follow: - Each folder contains a xcfg.php file which contains the configuration information (paths and different parameters). This should be edited by user. - Each folder contains a runx.php file which is the script that runs all the functions from that folder. [x is the name of the folder].

Link to download the data-mining routines.

Observing planning tool for data available in MOVIS catalogues

Link to the web interface. This tool allows to plan follow-up observations for the objects with particular characteristics from MOVIS catalogue.

Association between meteor showers and asteroids based on dynamical criteria

This tool computes the distance within the space of orbital parameters between an asteroid and different meteor showers Link to the web interface

6. Public outreach

7. Reports

The following reports were submitted to financing authority (UEFISCDI):

2015 Report(EN). 2015 Report(RO).

2016 Report(EN). 2016 Report(RO).

2017 Report(EN) - Final report. 2017 Report(RO) - Raport Final.