Laboratory Spectral Characterization of Ribbeck Aubrite: Meteorite Sample of Earth-impacting Near-Earth Asteroid 2024 BX1OPEN ACCESS 

David C. Cantillo, Kaycee I. Ridenhour, Adam Battle, Thomas Joyce, Juliana Nunez Breceda, Neil Pearson and Vishnu Reddy

The Planetary Science Journal, Volume 5, Number 6


“Characterization of near-Earth objects (NEOs) is critical for Earth-impact hazard assessment. Particularly crucial to our physical understanding of NEOs are laboratory spectral measurements of meteorites as they are the best and most widely available analog materials, barring sample return missions. However, most meteorites do not have direct orbital links to specific asteroids, making it challenging to identify their source body in the NEO or main-belt asteroid populations. Near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 2024 BX1 was discovered on 2024 January 20 at 21:48 UTC from MPC code K88, impacting the Earth (west of Berlin, Germany) 165 minutes later. The incoming bolide was observed by multiple meteor cameras, which enabled successful reconstruction of its exo-atmospheric orbit and quick recovery. We present results from laboratory spectral characterization of the Ribbeck meteorite in the UV–mid-infrared wavelengths (0.2–14.2 μm) over seven grain size bins (<45 μm–slab). Our results suggest that Ribbeck has spectral properties consistent with enstatite achondrite (aubrite) meteorites. Our grain-size spectral analysis shows that albedo and spectral slope decrease as grain size increases. In addition, increasing grain size also shifts the taxonomic type in the Bus–DeMeo system from Xn to B types, suggesting the limitations of taxonomy in classifying small, regolith-free NEAs. We also present results of our comparison between Ribbeck data and spectra of E types in the main-belt and NEA populations. Principal component analysis of our Ribbeck samples shows variations parallel to the α line, which can be confused with space weathering in PC space.”