Minor planets and related objects. XX. Polarimetric evidence for the albedos and compositions of 94 asteroids.
Polarimetric observations are presented and analyzed for a total of 94 asteroids. The data include numerical parameters describing the polarization-plane curve, the maximum depth of the negative branch, geometric albedo, and diameter. With few exceptions, the polarizations are found to be repeatable from hour to hour, night to night, and apparition to apparition at the same solar phase angle within an observational accuracy of plus or minus 0.05%. It is shown that over a range of more than a factor of 50 in diameter or a factor of 100,000 in mass, all the asteroids seem to have microscopically very rough or particulate surface textures. In terms of their polarimetric properties, the asteroids are classified as follows: 48 in the broad S class, with compositions corresponding to stony-iron meteorites or ordinary chondrites; 34 in the C class, probably corresponding to carbonaceous chondrites; three to five M asteroids with surfaces rich in free metal; two with low-opacity surfaces (class E) attributable to pure enstatite; and five of other types.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- April 1976
- Polarization Characteristics;
- Meteoritic Composition;
- Stony Meteorites;
- Stony-Iron Meteorites;
- Tables (Data);
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration