Regional photometric modeling of asteroid (101955) bennu

D. R. Golish, J. Y. Li, B. E. Clark, D. N. Dellagiustina, X. D. Zou, J. L. Rizos, P. H. Hasselmann, C. A. Bennett, S. Fornasier, C. Drouet D'Aubigny, B. Rizk, M. G. Daly, O. S. Barnouin, J. A. Seabrook, L. Philpott, M. M. Al Asad, C. L. Johnson, B. Rozitis, A. J. Ryan, J. P. EmeryD. S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present a regional photometric analysis of asteroid (101955) Bennu, using image data from the MapCam color imager of the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS). This analysis follows the previously reported global photometric analysis of Bennu, which found that Bennu's roughness was difficult to photometrically model owing to unresolved surface variation. Here we find that, even with a high-resolution shape model (20 cm per facet) and automatic image registration (<1 pixel error), Bennu remains a challenging surface to photometrically model: neither a suite of empirical photometric models nor the physically motivated Hapke model were able to eliminate the scatter in the data due to pixel-scale variations. Nonetheless, the models improved on the global analysis by identifying regional variations in Bennu's photometric response. A linear empirical model, when compared with independent measures of surface roughness and albedo, revealed correlations between those characteristics and phase slope. A regional Hapke analysis showed the same structure in its single-scattering albedo and asymmetry factors; although the Hapke parameters were loosely constrained, complicating interpretation of their spatial variation, the regional variation in relative parameter sensitivity also correlated with shallower phase slope, higher albedo, and less macroscopic roughness. 2021. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124
JournalPlanetary Science Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Asteroid surfaces (2209)
  • Asteroids (72)
  • Near-earth objects (1092)
  • Photometry (1234)
  • Surface photometry (1670)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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