Images of the solar system's small icy bodies show great varieties of nuclei shapes and morphologies on their surface. The formation and evolution mechanism of these shapes and surface features such as sinks, pits, cliffs, fractures and pinnacles may indicate a distinct thermal, dynamic and chemical history of the body. The unprecedented amount high resolution data obtained by the Rosetta mission to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/CG) provided us an opportunity to better understand and further investigate properties of its shape and local surface morphologies and study in better details the process of sublimation in its role in shape evolution. Furthermore, recent results from NASA mission New Horizons revealed the unexpected flattened shape of the Kuiper Belt Object (486958) Arroktoh . How significant is sublimation activities on small icy bodies at such large solar distance? Is itresponsible for their peculiar shape formation. Combined with the MONET (mass-loss-driven shape evolution) model, we are able to qualitatively learn the sublimation induced shape and morphology evolution of small icy bodies.
Associate Professor at the Purple Mountain Observatory. She is interested in the study of cometary activities and the induced shape and morphology evolution, the dynamics and evolution history of small celestial bodies, and the orbital mechanics of deep space exploration. She has participated in the pre-study of orbital design of several Chinese space missions, including the sample return lunar missions, the manned Moon landing missions and the Mars missions and was involved in the implementation and data analysis of the CE-2’s Toutatis flyby mission. In recent years, she has participated in study of solar system small bodies combined with observational data obtained by space missions, mainly focusing on the dynamic history, rotational dynamics, shape formation, cometary activities and the induced large structure and morphology evolution. She is also in the scientific team of the SWI instrument on the JUICE mission currently in plan to lift off to the Jovian system in 2022.