Asteroids: Surface Composition from Reflection Spectroscopy

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Science  25 Oct 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4161, pp. 352-355
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4161.352


Minerals partly composing the surfaces of 14 asteroids are determined by using asteroid reflectance spectra and optical properties of meteorites and other materials. Individual electronic absorption features are identified in the asteroids' spectra. The energies, relative strengths, and shapes of these features are interpreted by using laboratory and theoretical studies. Analysis of the initial 14 asteroid reflectance spectra indicates the presence of the following types of surface materials: six carbonaceous chondrite-like; two stony-iron-like (metal/silicate ∼ 1); one iron meteorite-like; one basaltic achondrite-like; and four silicate-metal assemblages (metal/silicate ∼ 0.25). These results support the conclusion that the asteroid belt is a source of at least some meteoritic material, and they show a relation between certain asteroids and certain classes of meteoritcs.