Detection of temperature-dependent spectral variation on the asteroid Eros and new evidence for the presence of an olivine-rich silicate assemblage

Paul G. Lucey, John Hinrichs, Mary Kelly, Dennis Wellnitz, Noam Izenberg, Scott Murchie, Mark Robinson, Beth E. Clark, James F. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Data obtained by the near-infrared spectrometer carried by the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft show that the spectral properties of the asteroid Eros vary with temperature. The manner in which they vary demonstrates that the mineral olivine is a major constituent of the surface. The near-IR temperature-dependent spectral properties of Eros in the northern hemisphere, and for two individual regions on the surface, show clear evidence of the presence of the mineral olivine and are a close match to the temperature-spectral behavior of LL-type ordinary chondrite meteorites. While the presence of other olivine-rich meteorites cannot be excluded, H-type ordinary chondrites are clearly too pyroxene-rich to be permitted as a major surface component of Eros. The results of the thermal-spectral analysis are consistent with results from analysis of conventional reflectance spectra of the asteroid and contribute unambiguous detection of olivine to the understanding of the surface composition of Eros.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalIcarus
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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