Since my graduate years, I have been interested in minor bodies of the Solar system - asteroids, meteors and comets. Within my master and PhD thesis, I studied the physical properties, orbital parameters and size-frequency distribution of Near-Earth asteroids (NEOs) and the connection between NEOs and meteoroids. I was involved in development and operation of AMOS video meteor camera in its early stages and worked as an observer at AGO Observatory in Slovakia for two years, doing photometric and astrometric observations of asteroids and comets.
As a postdoc in Hawaii, I joined the Pan-STARRS team when they started the full operation in 2011. As a member of daily MOPS crew, I co-discovered hundreds of asteroids and tens of comets with Pan-STARRS, performed survey simulations and implemented trail fitting algorithm for astrometric improvement of fast moving asteroids.
In 2015, I joined Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for NEO Studies and worked on high-fidelity simulations for LSST, as a future discovery machine of small Solar system bodies. My work included improvement of orbital uncertainties and measurement errors of asteroid and comet astrometry that led to better estimation of orbital parameters.
In 2017, I joined the Minor Planet Center, operating under SAO, under the auspices of Division F of IAU and funded by NASA.The MPC is responsible for the designation of minor bodies in the solar system: minor planets; comets; and natural satellites. The MPC is also responsible for the efficient collection, computation, checking and dissemination of astrometric observations and orbits for minor planets and comets.
- Population models of asteroids and comets
- Physical properties of asteroids - 250,000 H,G,G12 values derived from Pan-STARRS data
- Dynamical evolution of orbits
- Discovery and follow-up of NEOs
- Astrometric uncertainties for large asteroid surveys - Paper
- All-sky telescopic surveys and survey efficiency for NEO discovery - NASA LSST study
- LSST Solar System Science Collaboration
- Earth-impacting asteroids - with Pan-STARRS and parallax effect on orbit determination
- Physical and dynamical properties of meteoroids
- Extrasolar planets: transiting exoplanets
- Commercial utilization of space resources
- Space policy regarding asteroid mining
My public outreach activities mostly consist of request to media on current space-related topics. Either covering my own work or commenting on the most recent discoveries, the list of media appearances is rather long and incomplete. My contributiobs in my mother tongue (Slovak) are found here (click the image):
Main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is assumed that about 1 million asteroids larger than 1 km reside in Main asteroid belt.
Video rendering (by Peter Veres) of a first discovered interstellar object 1I/'Oumuamua. It is probably the most elongated natural object ever observed, with the axial ratio of 1:6 - 1:10. Approximate size of the object is 230x35x35 meters. Discovered by Pan-STARRS1 on October 19, 2017.
Asteroids with confirmed ring systems. Graphical rendering Left to right: 2060 Chiron, 10199 Chariklo, 136108 Haumea.
Meteoroids are tiny fragments of comets and asteroids. When they enter the Earth's atmosphere, they burn as meteors and disintegrate 80-120 km above the surface. When we observe the meteor trail by at least two stations separated by tens of kilometers, we can compute the 3D atmospheric trajectory and derive the heliocentric orbit. Helicentric orbits lead to the parent body that released the meteoroids or can serve as an indicator of already disintegrated body. Additionaly, we can obtain a spectrum of a meteor and study the volatiles in the ionizied trail.
The global network for all-sky video meteor surveillance - AMOS Video Meteor Network, PI: Juraj Toth (Comenius University, Slovakia)