Surface composition of near-Earth Asteroid (4953) 1990 MU: Possible fragment of (6) Hebe

Michael S. Kelley, Michael J. Gaffey, Vishnu Reddy, Juan A. Sanchez

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are interesting as both a threat to the Earth and as the immediate parent bodies of most meteorites. We observed NEA (4953) 1990 MU using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and University of Hawaii (U.H.) telescopes on Mauna Kea to constrain its surface composition and origin. The surface composition of 1990 MU is similar to ordinary chondrites (H chondrites). The calculated olivine and pyroxene chemistry of 1990 MU (Fa13.5±1.3 and Fs12.7±1.4) are consistent with the olivine and pyroxene chemistry ranges for H chondrites (Fa15-21 and Fs13-19) (Dunn, T.L., McCoy, T.J., Sunshine, J.M., McSween, H.Y. [2010]. Icarus 208, 789-797), although the estimated Fa value is at the lower end of the H chondrite range. The olivine abundance ratio of 1990 MU (0.57±0.03) is slightly higher but not inconsistent with H chondrites (0.47-0.55±0.03). The radar circular polarization ratio (same circular polarization state or SC/opposite circular polarization state or OC) (Benner, L.A.M., Ostro, S.J., Magri, C., Nolan, M.C., Howell, E.S., Giorgini, J.D., Jurgens, R.F., Margot, J.L., Taylor, P.A., Busch, M.W., Shepard, M.K. [2008]. Icarus, 198, 294-304) of 1990 MU is 0.36±0.03, which is higher than the mean SC/OC ratio for S-type NEAs (0.270±0.079). The 1990 MU SC/OC is also higher than those of (25143) Itokawa (0.27±0.04), (4179) Toutatis (0.29±0.01) and (433) Eros (0.28±0.06) suggesting a rougher surface at decimeter scale (Benner, L.A.M., Ostro, S.J., Magri, C., Nolan, M.C., Howell, E.S., Giorgini, J.D., Jurgens, R.F., Margot, J.L., Taylor, P.A., Busch, M.W., Shepard, M.K. [2008]. Icarus, 198, 294-304). We constrained the diameter of 1990 MU (4.4km) using the average albedo at 0.55μm of H chondrites (0.21) and absolute magnitude (H) of 14.1 (Flower, J.W., Chillemi J.R. [1992]. IRAS Asteroid Data Processing: The IRAS Minor Planet Survey, Philips Laboratory Technical Report PL-TR-92-2049. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, pp. 17-43). This diameter is higher than the 2.8km value from Harris et al. (Harris, A.W. et al. [2011]. Astron. J. 141, 10) using an albedo of 0.52 for 1990 MU. This albedo value is unusually high for H chondrites, which have an albedo range of 0.12-0.30. We compared olivine and pyroxene chemistries of 1990 MU with main belt Asteroid (6) Hebe, probable parent body of H chondrite meteorites and IIE irons (Gaffey, M.J., Gilbert, S.L. [1998]. Meteor. Planet. Sci. 33, 1281-1295), and found that 1990 MU has more high-calcium pyroxene than Hebe. Fayalite and ferrosilite values of the two asteroids are consistent with H chondrites but do not overlap each other. The differences could be due to compositional variations observed on Hebe by Gaffey and Gilbert (Gaffey, M.J., Gilbert, S.L. [1998]. Meteor. Planet. Sci. 33, 1281-1295), although the observed rotational variation in spectral parameters does not match well with those of 1990 MU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalIcarus
Volume233
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Asteroids, composition
  • Asteroids, surfaces
  • Mineralogy
  • Near-Earth objects
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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