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832 Karin Shows No Rotational Spectral Variations. Clark R. Chapman, B. Enke, W.J. Merline, D. Nesvorn ý , P. Tamblyn, and E.F. Young. Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA. Presentation No. 71.08, Fri. 1:30-3:00 pm 38 th Annual AAS/DPS Meeting

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832 Karin Shows No Rotational Spectral Variations

Clark R. Chapman, B. Enke, W.J. Merline, D. Nesvorný, P. Tamblyn, and E.F. Young


Boulder, Colorado, USA

Presentation No. 71.08, Fri. 1:30-3:00 pm

38th Annual AAS/DPS Meeting

Pasadena, California USA 8-13 October 2006

spatial variations of color hence composition on asteroids
Spatial Variations of Color (hence Composition) on Asteroids?
  • 1928: Bobrovnikoff first found spectral variations on Vesta, determined 5h rotation period from their periodicity
  • Since then: No other asteroid has been found to have such significant color variations
    • Many that have been reported (e.g. for 433 Eros) have been found later not to be real
  • By far the most prominent color variations reported have been for 832 Karin (Sasaki et al. 2004)
832 karin a very young asteroid
832 Karin, a Very Young Asteroid
  • Karin is the brightest member of a “cluster” within the large, well-known Koronis family
  • Nesvorný et al. (2002) integrated the orbits of Karin cluster members backwards in time and showed that orbital parameters converged at 5.8 My ago, precisely defining the age of the break-up…very young!
  • Thus Karin cluster members became obvious targets, in comparison with regular Koronis members, for studying time-variable phenomena like space-weathering
sasaki et al apj 2004 big color differences
Sasaki et al. (ApJ, 2004): Big Color Differences!
  • IR spectra: biggest ever color variation on any asteroid
  • Rotational phases plotted on Yoshida et al. lightcurve
  • “Green” spectrum (identical to “blue”) just 15° from “red”
  • Interpretation: “blue” = fresh, “red” = space-weathered
our irtf spex observations of karin 7 14 january 2006
Our IRTF SpeX Observations of Karin, 7-14 January 2006
  • IRTF SpeX
  • 0.8 - 2.4 μm
  • Good rotational phase coverage, analyzed in 7 50° intervals
  • Solar analog stars for air-mass correc-tion and solar calibration
  • Generally excellent skies during 5 nights
  • Remote & on-site observing
  • Funding from NASA PAST


(assuming 18.3h period)

result no significant spectral variations with rotation
Result: No Significant Spectral Variations with Rotation
  • Average spectra for 7 bins of rotational phase
  • Error bars shown for (a) noisiest and (b) best spectrum (sta-tistical errors only)
  • There are no ob-viously significant differences between these spectra
  • Certainly, nothing resembling the Sasaki et al. “red” spectrum is apparent
comparison of sasaki et al and chapman et al results
Comparison of Sasaki et al. and Chapman et al. Results
  • Two results are overlaid
  • Fair agreement between our average spectrum (black) and their “blue” spectrum
  • Their “red” result is dramatically inconsistent with our result.
observing geometry
Observing Geometry
  • Could our constant spectra be because we were observing pole-on?
  • We observed just 0.5 Karin-year later, in the opposite direction from where Sasaki and Yoshida et al. observations showed 0.7 mag. lightcurve amplitude.
  • Pole-on views would be approximately 90° away from Karin’s ecliptic longitude in Jan. 2006.
  • There is no plausible way we could have missed a “red” hemisphere in our rotational phase sampling.

From JPL “orbit viewer” website

karin s reflectance spectrum preliminary interpretation
Karin’s Reflectance Spectrum:Preliminary Interpretation
  • As previous observers have noted, Karin’s spectrum is:
    • Slightly less red than other S-types
    • Has slightly weaker pyroxene absorption bands
  • Possibly Karin, as a relatively fresh asteroid, has had time for space-weathering to reduce spectral contrast but not enough time to show substantial reddening
  • We are currently reducing our other SpeX data on Koronis family members

Average spectral reflectance for 832 Karin

We thank Bobby Bus and the IRTF staff, Cathy Olkin, and NASA’s Planetary Astronomy Program.

Wavelength (μm)