The appearance of a ‘fresh’ surface on 596 Scheila as a consequence of the 2010 impact eventOPEN ACCESS 

Sunao Hasegawa, Michael Marsset, Francesca E. DeMeo, Schelte J. Bus, Masateru Ishiguro, Daisuke Kuroda, Richard P. Binzel, Josef Hanus, Akiko M. Nakamura, Bin Yang, Pierre Vernazza

Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters


Update (6 January 2022): LINK, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 924, Number 1

“Dust emission was detected on main-belt asteroid 596 Scheila in December 2010, and attributed to the collision of a few-tens-of-meters projectile on the surface of the asteroid. In such impact, the ejected material from the collided body is expected to mainly comes from its fresh, unweathered subsurface. Therefore, it is expected that the surface of 596 was partially or entirely refreshed during the 2010 impact. By combining spectra of 596 from the literature and our own observations, we show that the 2010 impact event resulted in a significant slope change in the near-infrared (0.8 to 2.5 μm) spectrum of the asteroid, from moderately red (T-type) before the impact to red (D-type) after the impact. This provides evidence that red carbonaceous asteroids become less red with time due to space weathering, in agreement with predictions derived from laboratory experiments on the primitive Tagish Lake meteorite, which is spectrally similar to 596. This discovery provides the very first telescopic confirmation of the expected weathering trend of asteroids spectrally analog to Tagish Lake and/or anhydrous chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles. Our results also suggest that the population of implanted objects from the outer solar system is much larger than previously estimated in the main-belt, but many of these objects are hidden below their space-weathered surface.”