Surface Composition of (99942) Apophis

Vishnu Reddy, Juan A. Sanchez, Roberto Furfaro, Richard P. Binzel, Thomas H. Burbine, Lucille Le Corre, Paul S. Hardersen, William F. Bottke, Marina Brozovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


On 2029 April 13, near-Earth asteroid (NEA) (99942) Apophis will pass at a distance of ∼6 Earth radii from Earth. This event will provide researchers with a unique opportunity to study the effects of tidal forces experienced by an asteroid during a close encounter with a terrestrial planet. Binzel et al. predicted that close flybys of terrestrial planets by NEAs would cause resurfacing of their regolith due to seismic shaking. In this work, we present the best pre-encounter near-infrared spectra of Apophis obtained so far. These new data were obtained during the 2013 apparition using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). We found that our spectral data is consistent with previous observations by Binzel et al. but with a much higher signal-to-noise ratio. Spectral band parameters were extracted from the spectra and were used to determine the composition of the asteroid. Using a naïve Bayes classifier, we computed the likelihood of Apophis being an LL chondrite to be >99% based on mol% of Fa versus Fs. Using the same method, we estimated a probability of 89% for Apophis being an LL chondrite based on ol/(ol+px) and Fs. The results from the dynamical model indicate that the most likely source region for Apophis is the ν 6 resonance in the inner main belt. Data presented in this study (especially Band I depth) could serve as a baseline to verify seismic shaking during the 2029 encounter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • methods: observational
  • minor planets, asteroids: general
  • minor planets, asteroids: individual (Apophis)
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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