The Meteorite-Asteroid Connection: The Infrared Spectra of Eucrites, Shergottites, and Vesta

Science  15 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4458, pp. 805-807
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4458.805


Infrared reflectance spectra have been obtained for the meteorites Shergotty and Allan Hills (ALHA) 77005, a unique achondrite apparently related to the shergottites. Comparisons with the reflectance spectra of eucrites and asteroid 4 Vesta indicate that the surface of Vesta is covered with eucrite-like basalts and that, if shergottite-like basalts are present on the surface of Vesta, they must be a minor rock type. The paradox that both the eucrite and shergottite parent bodies should presently exist is examined. The preferred solution is that both eucrites and shergottites are derived from Vesta, and that this asteroid is compositionally and isotopically heterogeneous; however, other possible solutions cannot be ruled out.