Mineralogy and Geology of asteroid (4) Vesta from Dawn Framing Camera

Guneshwar Thangjam

PhD Thesis, Clausthal University of Technology, 2015

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“This thesis presents insights into the surface compositional heterogeneity and geology of asteroid Vesta. Lithologic mapping using Framing Camera onboard the NASA Dawn spacecraft revealed that the majority of the surface is howarditic in composition (Thangjam et al. 2013). An important outcome of this thesis is identification of olivine-rich exposures for the first time using FC color data (Thangjam et al., 2014). Another significant contribution from this thesis is an innovative three-dimensional approach of spectral analysis that could be used to study surface compositional heterogeneity of Vesta (Thangjam et al., 2016). The three band parameter space with defined polyhedrons is more advanced and robust compared to the generally used two-dimensional spectral analysis i.e., two band parameter space. A revised petrologic evolution model is presented to explain the ongoing problem of missing olivine-rich mantle of Vesta and also the petrogenesis of HED meteorites (howardite, eucrite, diogenite clan of stony achondrites).”