Connecting asteroids and meteorites with visible and near-infrared spectroscopy

Francesca E. DeMeo, Brian J. Burt, Michaël Marsset, David Polishook, Thomas H. Burbine, Benoît Carry, Richard P. Binzel, Pierre Vernazza, Vishnu Reddy, Michelle Tang, Cristina A. Thomas, Andrew S. Rivkin, Nicholas A. Moskovitz, Stephen M. Slivan, Schelte J. Bus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In this work we identify spectral similarities between asteroids and meteorites. Using spectral features such as absorption bands and spectral curvature, we identify spectral matches between 500 asteroid spectra and over 1,000 samples of RELAB meteorite spectra over visible plus near-infrared wavelengths (0.45–2.5μm). We reproduce and confirm many major and previously known meteorite–asteroid connections and find possible new, more rare or less-established connections. Well-established connections include: ordinary chondrites with S-complex asteroids; pristine CM carbonaceous chondrites with Ch-type asteroids and heated CMs with C-type asteroids; HED meteorites with V-types; enstatite chondrites with Xc-type asteroids; CV meteorites with K-type asteroids; Brachinites, Pallasites and R chondrites with olivine-dominated A-type asteroids. In addition to the link between ordinary chondrite meteorites with S-complex asteroids, we find a trend from Q, Sq, S, Sr to Sv correlates with LL to H, with Q-types matching predominately to L and LL ordinary chondrites, and Sr and Sv matching predominantly with L and H ordinary chondrites. We find ordinary chondrite samples that match to the X-complex. These are measurements of slabs and many are labeled as dark or black (shocked) ordinary chondrites. We find carbonaceous chondrite samples having spectral slopes large enough to match D-type asteroid spectra. We find in many cases the asteroid type to meteorite type links are not unique, for classes with and without distinct spectral features. While there are examples of dominant matches between an asteroid class and meteorite class that are well established, there are less common but still spectrally compatible matches between many asteroid types and meteorite types. This result emphasizes the diversity of asteroid and meteorite compositions and highlights the degeneracy of classification by spectral features alone requiring additional measurements to firmly establish asteroid–meteorite links. Recent and upcoming spacecraft missions will shed light on the compositions of many of the asteroid classes, particularly those without diagnostic features, (C-, B-, X-, and D-types), with measurements of C-type Ceres, C-type Ryugu, B-type Bennu, M-type Psyche, and C-, P-, and D-types as part of the Lucy mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114971
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Asteroids
  • Asteroids, composition
  • Asteroids, surfaces
  • Meteorites
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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