Composition of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8: An H Chondrite from the Outer Asteroid Belt

Juan A. Sanchez, Vishnu Reddy, Melissa Dykhuis, Sean Lindsay, Lucille Le Corre

Accepted for publication in APJ

PDF (full text)

Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) represent a unique opportunity for physical characterization during their close approaches to Earth. The proximity of these asteroids makes them accessible for sample-return and manned missions, but could also represent a risk for life on Earth in the event of collision. Therefore, a detailed mineralogical analysis is a key component in planning future exploration missions and developing appropriate mitigation strategies. In this study we present near-infrared spectra (0.7-2.55 microns) of PHA (214869) 2007 PA8 obtained with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility during its close approach to Earth on November 2012. The mineralogical analysis of this asteroid revealed a surface composition consistent with H ordinary chondrites. In particular, we found that the olivine and pyroxene chemistries of 2007 PA8 are Fa18(Fo82) and Fs16, respectively. The olivine-pyroxene abundance ratio was estimated to be 47%. This low olivine abundance and the measured band parameters, close to the H4 and H5 chondrites, suggest that the parent body of 2007 PA8 experienced thermal metamorphism before being catastrophically disrupted. Based on the compositional affinity, proximity to the J5:2 resonance, and estimated flux of resonant objects we determined that the Koronis family is the most likely source region for 2007 PA8.