NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0177

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0177


PI: Andrew Rivkin, Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, andy.rivkin@jhuapl.edu
Address: 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd., Laurel, MD 20723, USA

Title: Quantifying Rotational Variation on the Dwarf Planet Ceres

Abstract: Ceres is the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, and is seen as a transitional object between full-fledged planets and ``simple" asteroids, a status recognized by its current IAU designation as a ``dwarf planet". It is an object of great scientific interest, one of the primary targets of the Dawn Discovery mission. Remarkably, while HST and AO imagery at selected wavelengths shows evidence of surface features, and spectra in the 2-4 (micron) region also show rotational variability, Ceres has not been spectroscopically observed at visible wavelengths through an entire rotation in the published literature. In addition, published visible spectra of Ceres differ in potentially important ways, including the possible presence of spectral features attributed to phyllosilicates. I propose to take visible spectra of Ceres through an entire rotation, which will not require a large telescope or much time (beyond the physical requirement that Ceres go through an entire 9 hour rotation). This will allow possible connections to be explored between composition and the surface features, and spectral variability seen in other data sets.


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