Space weathering within C-complex Main Belt Asteroid Families

Cristina A. Thomas, David E. Trilling, Andrew S. Rivkin, Tyler Linder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Moving Object Catalog, we study color as a function of size for C-complex families in the main asteroid belt to improve our understanding of space weathering of carbonaceous materials. We find two distinct spectral slope trends: Hygiea type and Themis type. The Hygiea-type families exhibit a reduction in spectral slope with increasing object size until a minimum slope value is reached and the trend reverses with increasing slope with increasing object size. The Themis family shows an increase in spectral slope with increasing object size until a maximum slope is reached and the spectral slope begins to decrease slightly or plateaus for the largest objects. Most families studied show the Hygiea-type trend. The processes responsible for these distinct changes in spectral slope affect several different taxonomic classes within the C-complex and appear to act quickly to alter the spectral slopes of the family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9pp
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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