Evidence of Thermal Metamorphism on the C, G, B, and F Asteroids

Science  20 Aug 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5124, pp. 1016-1018
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5124.1016


Reflectance spectra (0.3 to 2.6 micrometers) of 14 C, G, B, and F asteroids and 21 carbonaceous chondrite powders are compared in detail. Only three thermally metamorphosed CM-Cl chondrites that have a weak ultraviolet absorption are shown to have close counterparts among those asteroids. Reflectance spectra of heated Murchison CM2 chondrite are compared with the average C and G type asteroid spectra. Murchison heated at 600° to 1000°C exhibits a similar weak ultraviolet absorption and provides the best analog for those spectra. Comparison of ultraviolet absorption strengths between 160 C, G, B, and F asteroids and carbonaceous chondrites suggests that surface minerals of most of those asteroids are thermally metamorphosed at temperatures around 600° to 1000°C.