DIFFERENT ORIGINS or DIFFERENT EVOLUTIONS? DECODING the SPECTRAL DIVERSITY among C-TYPE ASTEROIDS

P. Vernazza, J. Castillo-Rogez, P. Beck, J. Emery, R. Brunetto, M. Delbo, M. Marsset, F. Marchis, O. Groussin, B. Zanda, P. Lamy, L. Jorda, O. Mousis, A. Delsanti, Z. Djouadi, Z. Dionnet, F. Borondics, B. Carry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anhydrous pyroxene-rich interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) have been proposed as surface analogs for about two-thirds of all C-complex asteroids. However, this suggestion appears to be inconsistent with the presence of hydrated silicates on the surfaces of some of these asteroids, including Ceres. Here, we report the presence of enstatite (pyroxene) on the surface of two C-type asteroids (Ceres and Eugenia) based on their spectral properties in the mid-infrared range. The presence of this component is particularly unexpected in the case of Ceres, because most thermal evolution models predict a surface consisting of hydrated compounds only. The most plausible scenario is that Ceres' surface has been partially contaminated by exogenous enstatite-rich material, possibly coming from the Beagle asteroid family. This scenario questions a similar origin for Ceres and the remaining C-types, and it possibly supports recent results obtained by the Dawn mission (NASA) that Ceres may have formed in the very outer solar system. Concerning the smaller D ∼ 200 km C-types such as Eugenia, both their derived surface composition (enstatite and amorphous silicates) and low density (<1.5 g cm-3) suggest that these bodies accreted from the same building blocks, namely chondritic porous, pyroxene-rich IDPs and volatiles (mostly water ice), and that a significant volume fraction of these bodies has remained unaffected by hydrothermal activity likely implying a late accretion. In addition, their current heliocentric distance may best explain the presence or absence of water ice at their surfaces. Finally, we raise the possibility that CI chondrites, Tagish-Lake-like material, or hydrated IDPs may be representative samples of the cores of these bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number72
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume153
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • meteorites, meteors, meteoroids
  • methods: data analysis
  • methods: laboratory: solid state
  • methods: observational
  • minor planets, asteroids: general
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'DIFFERENT ORIGINS or DIFFERENT EVOLUTIONS? DECODING the SPECTRAL DIVERSITY among C-TYPE ASTEROIDS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this