Comet disruption is difficult to understand due to the large number of parameters involved in this process. In the present work we would like to find a possible connection between the disruption of cometary nuclei and their orbital parameters. The JPL Small-Body Database2 contains orbital elements for 2461 comets. We have excluded from our analysis comets detected by satellites (such as SOHO and SOLWIND) which leaves 1352 objects.
The 3rd Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Moving Object Catalog (SDSS MOC3) has been compared with visible wavelength spectra available from the Small Main-Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey (SMASS). Using 149 objects in common to both surveys, we create a translation from SDSS colors to the SMASS taxonomic system developed by Bus (1999). We extend up to 40313 the number of asteroids for which a taxonomic classification is available. These data clearly reveal the well known compositional structure of the asteroid belt with respect to the distribution of S-types, C-types, and V-types. A direct test on our SDSS classification of V-types by follow-up spectroscopic measurements confirms a V-type taxonomy for five of the six objects sampled. Most interestingly, our SDSS taxonomy correctly predicted the V-type nature for asteroid (21238) 1995 WV7 located far from Vesta across the 3:1 mean motion resonance at 2.54 AU. Asteroid 21238 may be a new example of a basaltic achondrite asteroid having no connection to Vesta.
Search of new, high-inclination clusters in the main belt asteroid population, using the D-criterion. We find three possible new clusters: (31) Euphrosyne; (702) Alauda and (945) Barcelona. We provide simple ephemerides for the next oppositions in the time interval 2004-2008, in order to motivate physical observations of the candidates, to check their reliability as families