Laboratory reflection polarimetry is presented for crushed rocks, lunar soils, and 24 meteoritic samples. The polarization-phase curves found for the meteorites closely resemble telescopic results for minor planets, but only if the samples are crushed finely enough to coat the larger particles with dust. The results generally confirm the identifications previously made from reflection spectroscopy for the meteoritic analogues of various types of asteroids; the more metal-rich ordinary chondrites, for example, match telescopic observations of the S-type minor planets well enough, as do the basaltic achondrites for Vesta. No meteorite measured, however, has a geometric albedo less than 0.05 as required for many of the C asteroids. A calibration of the polarimetric slope-albedo law, now determined strictly for meteoritic samples, confirms the asteroid albedo and diameter scale derived by the independent method of thermal radiometry.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Proceedings
- Pub Date:
- Astronomical Spectroscopy;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration