Spectral Characterization of Bennu Analogs Using PASCALE: A New Experimental Set-Up for Simulating the Near-Surface Conditions of Airless Bodies

K. L. Donaldson Hanna, N. E. Bowles, T. J. Warren, V. E. Hamilton, D. L. Schrader, T. J. McCoy, J. Temple, A. Clack, S. Calcutt, D. S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe the capabilities, radiometric stability, and calibration of a custom vacuum environment chamber capable of simulating the near-surface conditions of airless bodies. Here we demonstrate the collection of spectral measurements of a suite of fine particulate asteroid analogs made using the Planetary Analogue Surface Chamber for Asteroid and Lunar Environments (PASCALE) under conditions like those found on Earth and on airless bodies. The sample suite includes anhydrous and hydrated physical mixtures, and chondritic meteorites (CM, CI, CV, CR, and L5) previously characterized under Earth- and asteroid-like conditions. And for the first time, we measure the terrestrial and extra-terrestrial mineral end members used in the olivine- and phyllosilicate-dominated physical mixtures under the same conditions as the mixtures and meteorites allowing us better understand how minerals combine spectrally when mixed intimately. Our measurements highlight the sensitivity of thermal infrared emissivity spectra to small amounts of low albedo materials and the composition of the sample materials. As the albedo of the sample decreases, we observe smaller differences between Earth- and asteroid-like spectra, which results from a reduced thermal gradient in the upper hundreds of microns in the sample. These spectral measurements can be compared to thermal infrared emissivity spectra of asteroid (101955) Bennu's surface in regions where similarly fine particulate materials may be observed to infer surface compositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JE006624
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume126
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Bennu
  • airless bodies
  • laboratory
  • spectroscopy
  • thermal infrared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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