Physical Properties of Asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, a Potential Spacecraft Target, from Spitzer Observations
We report on results from recent Spitzer observations of near-Earth asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, which is among the lowest-ranking objects in terms of the specific momentum Δv required to reach it from Earth. It was originally considered as a target for Hayabusa and is now under consideration as a target of the planned ESA mission Don Quijote.Unfortunately, little is known about the physical properties of 1989 ML, in particular its size and albedo are unknown. Its exhibits an X type reflection spectrum, so depending on its albedo, 1989 ML may be an E, M, or P type asteroid. Provisional results from thermal-infrared observations carried out with Spitzer indicate that the albedo of 1989 ML is compatible with an M- or E-type classification. We will discuss our results and their implications for the physical properties and the rotation period of 1989 ML, and its importance as a potential spacecraft target. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #38
- Pub Date:
- September 2006