This script explores asteroid shape models derived from public data sources. It illustrates methods to download discrete shape models from the web, explores the surface triangulation methods convexhull, boundary, and alphashape to find the surface area and volume, writes an stl file useful for 3d-printing, voxelizes the interior of an asteroid mesh, and computes the inertial tensor and gravitational field of an asteroid, assuming constant mass density. The methods developed here can be applied to other mesh and point-cloud data sets.
The script may interest students and educators in physics, astronomy, and engineering. "Try this" explorations and follow-on projects are suggested.
This script downloads and uses of the codes Anton Semechko (2020) and Sven (2020).