How to characterize terrains on 4 Vesta using Dawn Framing Camera color bands?

Lucille Le Corre, Vishnu Reddy, Andreas Nathues, Edward A. Cloutis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We present methods for terrain classification on 4 Vesta using Dawn Framing Camera (FC) color information derived from laboratory spectra of HED meteorites and other Vesta-related assemblages. Color and spectral parameters have been derived using publicly available spectra of these analog materials to identify the best criteria for distinguishing various terrains. We list the relevant parameters for identifying eucrites, diogenites, mesosiderites, pallasites, clinopyroxenes and olivine+orthopyroxene mixtures using Dawn FC color cubes. Pseudo Band I minima derived by fitting a low order polynomial to the color data are found to be useful for extracting the pyroxene chemistry. Our investigation suggests a good correlation (R2=0.88) between laboratory measured ferrosilite (Fs) pyroxene chemistry vs. those from pseudo Band I minima using equations from Burbine et al. (Burbine, T.H., Buchanan, P.C., Dolkar, T., Binzel, R.P. [2009]. Planetary Science 44, 1331-1341). The pyroxene chemistry information is a complementary terrain classification capability beside the color ratios. We also investigated the effects of exogenous material (i.e., CM2 carbonaceous chondrites) on the spectra of HEDs using laboratory mixtures of these materials. Our results are the basis for an automated software pipeline that will allow us to classify terrains on 4 Vesta efficiently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-386
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Asteroid Vesta
  • Asteroids, Composition
  • Asteroids, Surfaces
  • Meteorites
  • Mineralogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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