Comparative Mid-infrared Spectroscopy of Dark, Primitive Asteroids: Does Shared Taxonomic Class Indicate Shared Silicate Composition?OPEN ACCESS 

Oriel A. Humes, Audrey C. Martin, Cristina A. Thomas and Joshua P. Emery

The Planetary Science Journal, Volume 5, Number 5


“Primitive asteroids with low albedos and red slopes in the visible and near-infrared (VNIR) are found in both the main belt and the Jupiter Trojan clouds. In order to determine whether the VNIR spectral similarities of primitive main-belt asteroids and Jupiter Trojans are reflective of a true compositional similarity, we compare the mid-infrared silicate emission features of main-belt and Jupiter Trojan asteroids. Using archival data from the Spitzer Space Telescope’s Infrared Spectrograph and observations from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy’s FORCAST instrument, we analyze the 5–40μm spectra of 13 primitive main-belt asteroids and compare them to those of Jupiter Trojans in the literature. We find that while many primitive asteroids in the main belt resemble their Trojan counterparts with strong spectral signatures of olivine-rich high-porosity silicate regoliths, we identify (368) Haidea as a spectrally distinctive asteroid that lacks strong evidence of olivine in its mid-IR spectrum. Differences in silicate compositions among D-type asteroids imply a diversity of origins for primitive asteroids.”