Surface texture of Vesta from optical polarimetry

  • Le Bertre T
  • Zellner B
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Polarimetric, photometric, and reflectance spectroscopic properties of asteroid 44 Vesta are simulated in the laboratory by a preparation of eucrite Bereba consisting oof a broad mixture of particle sizes (mainly greater than 50-μm) mixed and partially coated with particles of size 10 μm and less. Coarse grains are necessary for producing the same albedo and a very fine dust coating is necessary for producing the same polarization inversion angle as observed for Vesta. There are less small grains and fine dust in this sample than in lunar soils. Photometrically, if coating a sphere, this sample shows a constant brightness on the sunward half of the observed hemisphere, the brightness being given on the other half by the Minnaert reciprocity principle. With such a photometric behavior, the global geometric albedo and the sub-Earth point geometric albedo differ by no more than 5%. The microscopic phase coefficient β is 0.021 magnitude per degree for the sample; the larger value, β = 0.025, observed telescopically for Vesta indicates that large-scale roughness is present on this asteroid. © 1980, All rights reserved.

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  • T. Le Bertre

  • B. Zellner

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