NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0607

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0607


PI: Paul Abell, NASA Johnson Space Center, paul.a.abell@nasa.gov
Address: Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science, 2101 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas 77058-3696, USA

CoI: Yan Fernandez, University of Central Florida
CoI: Steve Larson, University of Arizona

Title: Mineralogical Characterization and Source Region Determination of Near- Earth Objects and Extinct Comet Candidates

Abstract: Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are of scientific interest because of their links to meteorites and mainbelt asteroids, which preserve records of early solar system history. These objects are also of interest as potential spacecraft targets and are being considered by NASA as key destinations in future exploration strategies of the solar system. The proposed observations would obtain high signal-to-noise spectral data to derive mineralogical characterizations of NEOs and identify possible extinct/dormant cometary candidates. The central focus of this research will be the determination of detailed surface mineralogy of NEOs and identification of potential cometary objects through collection of visible reflectance spectra utilizing the MMT Red spectrograph. Identification of major iron-bearing minerals, their compositions, and their relative abundances can be derived from strongly featured reflectance spectra. The spectra of many meteorite types have diagnostic features in visible/near-IR spectra (~0.4 (micron) - 1.0 (mu)m). Of particular interest are the weak, but persistent absorption features between ~0.5 (micron) and ~1.0 (micron) in the spectra of the hydrated CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous chondrite meteorites.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0607

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