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Asteroid (21) Lutetia: Low Mass, High Density

Asteroid (21) Lutetia: Low Mass, High Density

Publication date: 29 October 2011

Authors: Pätzold, M., et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 334
Issue: 6055
Page: 491-492
Year: 2011

Copyright: AAAS

Asteroid 21 Lutetia was approached by the Rosetta spacecraft on 10 July 2010. The additional Doppler shift of the spacecraft radio signals imposed by 21 Lutetia's gravitational perturbation on the flyby trajectory were used to determine the mass of the asteroid. Calibrating and correcting for all Doppler contributions not associated with Lutetia, a least-squares fit to the residual frequency observations from 4 hours before to 6 hours after closest approach yields a mass of (1.700 ± 0.017) × 1018 kilograms. Using the volume model of Lutetia determined by the Rosetta Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) camera, the bulk density, an important parameter for clues to its composition and interior, is (3.4 ± 0.3) × 103 kilograms per cubic meter.

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