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Asteroids 2867 Steins and 21 Lutetia: surface composition from far infrared observations with the Spitzer space telescope

Asteroids 2867 Steins and 21 Lutetia: surface composition from far infrared observations with the Spitzer space telescope

Publication date: 15 January 2008

Authors: Barucci., M.A., et al.

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume: 477
Page: 665-670
Year: 2008

Copyright: ESO 2007

Aims.The aim of this paper is to investigate the surface composition of the two asteroids 21 Lutetia and 2867 Steins, targets of the Rosetta space mission.

Methods.We observed the two asteroids through their full rotational periods with the Infrared Spectrograph of the Spitzer Space Telescope to investigate the surface properties. The analysis of their thermal emission spectra was carried out to detect emissivity features that diagnose the surface composition.

Results. For both asteroids, the Christiansen peak, the Reststrahlen, and the Transparency features were detected. The thermal emissivity shows a clear analogy to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, in particular to the CO-CV types for 21 Lutetia, while for 2867 Steins, already suggested as belonging to the E-type asteroids, the similarity to the enstatite achondrite meteorite is confirmed.

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