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Investigation of the Three-Micron Absorption Band in Carbonaceous Chondrite Simulants

Presentation #509.05 in the session “Asteroids: NEOs Physical Properties 3 - volatiles and composition”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Investigation of the Three-Micron Absorption Band in Carbonaceous Chondrite Simulants

Missions to carbonaceous (C-type) asteroids, such as OSIRIS-REx, will certainly encounter a surface that has been altered via space weathering. These missions will return spectral data of the asteroids free of the atmospheric interference that complicates Earth-based observations. In order to interpret this data, we must establish a laboratory counterpart to the observational data. The goal of this project is to characterize the three-micron absorption band in carbonaceous asteroids, a spectral region for which little data currently exists. We are currently studying the three-micron region of carbonaceous chondrite simulants, which were developed by Britt et al. (2019) to mimic the mineralogical and spectral properties of various C-type chondrites. We have developed an apparatus that allows us to heat our mineral samples in situ, in order to elucidate which water absorption features are due to atmospheric contamination and which are intrinsic to the mineral sample. Here, we present our initial results, which are aimed at establishing a baseline understanding of this spectral region, so that we can perform follow-up experiments focused on space weathering.


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