Regional spectrophotometric properties of 951 Gaspra

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Abstract

Spectrophotometric examination of the Galileo Solid State Imager (SSI) observations from the Galileo spacecraft reveal surface compositional heterogeneities in mineral compositions not related to geologic unit. These include variations in olivine and orthopyroxene content on the order of 15% and 25%, respectively. Opaque mineral phases across the inter-ridge regions vary in quantity, but consistently modeled better with ilmenite. The macroscale fraction of metallic iron varies subtly (0–10%) in quantity and in grain size (60–100 μm). Color properties also vary across the inter-ridge regions, indicating variations in regolith maturity. Comparisons of near-infrared ratio-reflectance suggest changes in regolith maturity that are different from those seen on the lunar surface and asteroid 433 Eros, commensurate with Gaspra's higher olivine content. Visible to near-infrared slopes compared to near-ultraviolet to visible slopes are indicative of a nanophase iron content of 0.01%–0.1%. Spectral mixing modeling studies of the SSI color spectra show results consistent with the presence of both microphase (> 50 nm) and nanophase (< 50 nm) size iron particulates. While the quantity of microphase and nanophase iron appears to be constant within the sample areas studied, the grain size of the microphase component varies. Agglutinates are present in some areas of the inter-ridge regions, but at low abundances (∼5%).

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Domingue, D. L., Vilas, F., Choo, T., Stockstill-Cahill, K. R., Cahill, J. T. S., & Hendrix, A. R. (2016). Regional spectrophotometric properties of 951 Gaspra. Icarus, 280, 340–358. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2016.07.011

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