Josep Maria Trigo-Rodriguez


Research Interests

Dr. Trigo-Rodríguez research currently focuses on the formation of primitive solar system minor bodies (comets and asteroids), the study of their fragments in space (meteoroids) or as surviving rocks arrived to the Earth (meteorites). These undifferentiated bodies have not sufferent significant heating and can provide important clues on the protoplanetary disk astrophysical processes, and allow dating the origin of the terrestrial planets. The carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are particularly rich in organics, water and other volatile compounds and might provide clues on the origin of life in Earth. Consequently, his current research deals with critical (and poorly-known) processes, like e.g. the physico-chemical interaction between meteorite components in the protoplanetary disk, the interaction of meteorites with the atmosphere of planets, and other processes occurred on the parent bodies of meteorites: collisional compaction and shock, aqueous alteration, and irradiative heating. He is trying to constrain and define realistic parameters for solar system formation, and asteroid evolution. The long way from dust accretion to planetesimal formation will be amenable of being better understood from laboratory studies, simulations and modeling in the next future. He also studies bolides and superbolides, especially interested in obtaining physical properties from the careful optical study of the interaction of large meteoroids with Earth’s atmosphere. He is one of the promoters of the Spanish Meteor and Fireball Network (SPMN) based on all-sky CCD and video cameras and other instruments, with the main goal of detecting the trail that bolides leave when entering the atmosphere, and eventually recovering these meteorites. So far, his research group has participated in the recovery and characterization of two meteorite falls in Spain: Villalbeto de la Peña in 2004 and Puerto Lápice in 2007, and others in South America (Berduc and Cali). Dr. Trigo-Rodríguez is also an awarded science popularizer with more than ten books published on different topics concerning astronomy and planetary sciences. He is currently the P.I. of the Meteorites, Minor Bodies and Planetary Sciences’ ICE Group.

  • Meteorites, Minor Bodies and Planetary Sciences’ Group
  • Spanish Meteor and Fireball Network Web
  • The Planetary Sciences’ Initiative