Catastrophic Events Caused by Cosmic Objects

pp 91-116

Size-Frequency Distribution Of Asteroids And Impact Craters: Estimates Of Impact Rate

  • Boris IvanovAffiliated withInstitute for Dynamics of Geospheres, Russian Academy of Sciences

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The size-frequency distribution (SFD) of small bodies in the Solar System provides an important insight into the origin and evolution of these bodies. Main members of the small-body population are asteroids and comets. The direct way to determine small bodies’ SFD is direct optical and radar observations. However, the long distance to a telescope, typically based on Earth, puts severe restrictions on the completeness of observations when asteroids smaller than ∼10 km in the Main Belt and smaller than ∼1 km in the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population are counted (citeauthorch02:ivezic2001 citeyearch02:ivezic2001; citeauthorch02:stuart2001 citeyearch02:stuart2001). SFD of Jupiter-family (JF) comets and long-periodic (LP) comets are known approximately due to the presence of coma at small heliocentric distances and relatively small statistics of observations (citeauthorch02:tancredi2000 citeyearch02:tancredi2000; see also Chap. 3).