NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0503

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0503


PI: Faith Vilas, Planetary Science Institute, fvilas@psi.edu
Address: 1700 E. Fort Lowell Rd. Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: Amanda R. Hendrix, Planetary Science Institute
CoI: Nicholas Moskovitz, MIT

Title: MMT UV/Blue Reflectance Spectra of PHA 163249 (2002 GT) Prior to NASA's Deep Impact Fly-By

Abstract: The Deep Impact spacecraft is currently on course for a January 4, 2020, fly-by of the sub-km near-Earth asteroid 163249 (2002 GT). This fly-by will provide high-resolution images to address a host of scientific questions related to the physical, chemical and geologic properties of small asteroids. Little is currently known, however, about 2002 GT. As part of a coordinated campaign to characterize this object during its favorable 2013A apparition, the last such opportunity before the 2020 fly-by, we propose to obtain near-UV/visible spectroscopy (3200 - 6200 Ang) of this asteroid, in order to constrain its composition and investigate its level of space weathering. These data will contribute to the interpretation of the fly-by images. This program has broader implications for understanding a general class of objects (100m to multi-km scale near-Earth asteroids) that are ideal candidates for future spacecraft and human exploration. It also augments previous work demonstrating that asteroid surfaces least altered by space weathering potentially exist in the NEA population (Vilas and Hendrix, 2012, ACM).


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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