Composition of near-Earth asteroids
- Lebofsky, Larry A.
- JAN 1, 1992.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The continuing goal is to determine whether any of the near-Earth asteroids or the satellites of Mars contain hydrated phyllosilicate (clay) minerals. If these minerals are present, they would provide a ready source of water for propellant generation and use in life support systems. Many of the dark main belt asteroids have been shown to contain hydrated phyllosilicate minerals. Some of the near-Earth asteroids are also dark, but telescopic detection of water on these near-Earth asteroids is complicated because of the faintness of these small asteroids and because thermal emission masks the diagnostic spectral features beyond 3 microns due to water of hydration for objects within 2 AU of the Sun. New techniques for asteroid classification based on spectral reflectance and mineralogy will be necessary to determine whether the water absorption features are present on any of the near-Earth asteroids. This past year, better ways to classify 'wet' vs. 'dry' asteroids in the main belt were looked at. This new classification may allow us to determine the presence of water of hydration in the surface minerals of near-Earth asteroids even when we can only observe them at wavelengths that are not affected by thermal emission.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19930017501., Accession ID: 93N26690., and NASA Space Engineering Research Center for Utilization of Local Planetary Resources; 6 p.
- No Copyright.
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