CCA Colloquium: Alice Quillen
Title: Soft Astronomy
Abstract: Compact mass-spring models can measure remarkably small deformations while conserving angular momentum. We use them within an N-body code to simulate tidal evolution of viscoelastic spinning objects, tying simulated rheology to spin dynamics, orbital drift and the internal distribution of tidally generated heat. Discoveries made using this simulation technique include a resonant mechanism to tilt Pluto and Charon’s minor satellites and a way to shut down Bi-YORP effect drift in binary asteroids with spin-synchronous secondaries.