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The Visible Spectrophotometric Slopes of the Polana-Eulalia Complex: Variabilities with Size & between Constituent Families

Presentation #102.05 in the session Asteroids: Objects of Interest (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
The Visible Spectrophotometric Slopes of the Polana-Eulalia Complex: Variabilities with Size & between Constituent Families

The Polana-Eulalia Complex (PEC) is a population of low-albedo, low-inclination carbonaceous asteroids (C-types) in the Inner Main Belt (IMB). The PEC is placed near a dynamical “escape-hatch” (i. e., the ν6 secular resonance) that allows for some members to enter Near-Earth space. This type of dynamical evolution is the likely origin scenario for both Bennu and Ryugu, the Near-Earth asteroid (NEA) targets of OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2, respectively (Campins et al. 2010; Bottke et al. 2015). Investigating the origin of these relatively well-characterized NEAs is crucial to understanding these NEAs themselves. In this work, we present an investigation of the visible (VIS; 0.55—0.9 μm) spectrophotometric slopes within the PEC’s constituent families, the “New Polana” and Eulalia families. Using the 4th Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s Moving Object Catalog (SDSS MOC4), we find that both families demonstrate size-based, VIS spectrophotometric slope trends (SS trends). The SS trends are consistent with “Hygiea”-Type behavior, with bluing then reddening from smaller to larger sizes (Thomas et al. 2021). Both families also exhibit increased slope variability with decreasing size, consistent with prior work related to C-type families in the IMB (Morate et al. 2019). We also find the PEC’s two families are distinguishable with regard to VIS spectrophotometric slope. Eulalia family members exhibit – on average – bluer slopes than Polana family members. Other, newer datasets are also employed to provide further confidence for these SDSS MOC4-based discoveries. Potential implications for Bennu and Ryugu are discussed.

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