Spectroscopy and photometry of Mars Trojans

A. S. Rivkin, R. P. Binzel, E. S. Howell, S. J. Bus, J. A. Grier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Mars is the only terrestrial planet known to have co-orbiting "Trojan" asteroids. We have obtained visible and near-IR reflectance spectra of three of these objects: 5261 Eureka and 1998 VF31 in the L5 region and 1999 UJ7 in the L4 region. We also obtained JHK spectrophotometry and a visible lightcurve for 5261 Eureka. The asteroid 5261 Eureka has a visible spectrum that is classified as Sr in the Bus taxonomy, and has infrared colors consistent with the A-class asteroids. The data for 1998 VF31 have a restricted wavelength range, but are most consistent with the Sr or Sa class, though we note a marginal consistency with the D class. We can rule out a C-class classification. 1999 UJ7 has an X-class or T-class spectrum, which is unlike that of the other two Mars Trojans. The photometric data for Eureka are limited, but we can constrain the period to longer than 5 hours (likely 5.5-6 hours) and lightcurve amplitude of at least 0.15 magnitude at this viewing geometry. The spectral differences among the Mars Trojans suggests that either they did not all form at their present solar distances or that they have not always been at their present sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Asteroids
  • Asteroids, composition
  • Satellites of Mars
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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