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VNIR spectroscopy of asteroids: phase reddening and mineralogical characterization

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Among the different tools available for the study of asteroids, spectroscopy is a powerful remote sensing technique used to derive information about their surface mineralogy. This mineralogical characterization relies primarily on the identification and analysis of diagnostic features present in the spectra of some asteroids. Spectral band parameters (e.g., band centers, band depths, band areas, spectral slope) derived from visible and near-infrared (VNIR) spectra are used to determine the chemistry and abundance of minerals that could be present on the surface of the asteroid. These parameters are also employed for taxonomic classification, and to study the effects of space weathering on asteroids. However, band parameters are also affected by numerous effects that can influence the interpretation of asteroid spectral data. The present talk focuses on the effect of phase angle variations on spectral band parameters. The use of laboratory spectral calibrations for mineralogical characterization of asteroids is also discussed.

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