Spectral analogues of Barbarian asteroids among CO and CV chondritesOPEN ACCESS 

Max Mahlke, Jolantha Eschrig, Benoit Carry, Lydie Bonal, Pierre Beck

Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics


“K- and L-type asteroids are considered to be the parent bodies of CV and CO chondrites. Spectral models of L-types invoke an enrichment in CAI with respect to the chondrites in the meteorite collection. Barbarian asteroids are associated to L-type asteroids yet the relationship between these populations is still not clear. We aim to investigate the link between the K- and L-type and Barbarian asteroids and the CV and CO chondrites by means of spectral matching of a large number of reflectance spectra of objects from either population. We seek to identify matches based on observed rather than modelled spectral features. We employ a matching criterion that accounts for the residuals and the correlation of the spectral features. The only free parameter in the comparison is the degree of alteration of the asteroids with respect to the meteorites expressed via an exponential model. We derive an absolute scale of similarity between the spectra using laboratory data from irradiation experiments. CVOxA chondrites are the best match to the asteroids, in particular to K-type (7 out of 11 asteroids matched) and Barbarians (11 out of 16). CO chondrites provide convincing matches for K-types (5 out of 11) and Barbarians (7 out of 16) as well. A single non-Barbarian L-type is matched to a meteorite. Only a few asteroids are matched to CVOxB and CVRed chondrites. Barbarian asteroids are represented among CO and CVOxA chondrites without requiring an enrichment of CAI in the asteroids. Four candidate Barbarian asteroids are identified, three of which are classified as K-types. These asteroids are favourable targets for polarimetric observations. The discrepancy between L-type asteroids and CV and CO chondrites is likely related to the ambiguity of the asteroid class itself. An extension of the taxonomy to include polarimetric properties is required. “