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The Dawn exploration of (4) Vesta as the ‘ground truth’ to interpret asteroid polarimetry

Cellino, A. and Ammannito, E. and Magni, G. and Gil-Hutton, R. and Tedesco, E. F. and Belskaya, I. N. and De Sanctis, M. C. and Schröder, S.E. and Preusker, Frank and Manara, A. (2016) The Dawn exploration of (4) Vesta as the ‘ground truth’ to interpret asteroid polarimetry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 456, pp. 248-262. Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/mnras/stv2683. ISSN 0035-8711.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv2683


The results of the in situ exploration of the asteroid (4) Vesta by the Dawn spacecraft open new perspectives in the field of interpretation of remote-sensing polarimetric measurements of asteroids. (4) Vesta has long been known to be the only asteroid exhibiting a cyclic variation of the degree of linear polarization of the sunlight scattered by its surface, with a period which is synchronous with the object’s rotation. This variation must be the consequence of some heterogeneity of the asteroid’s surface, including regions characterized by different albedo, or composition, or regolith properties, or a combination of the above features. For a long time, this kind of conclusion has remained essentially qualitative. Now, after the extensive exploration of Vesta’s surface by Dawn, it is possible to interpret the data set of polarimetric measurements of Vesta, including some unpublished data presented here for the first time, in terms of a correspondence between the degree of linear polarization and the variation of local properties of the surface visible to ground-based observers during Vesta’s rotation, as seen at different epochs and under different illumination conditions. This makes it possible to refine our knowledge of the empirical relation between polarization properties and albedo, which is commonly used to derive the albedo from remote-sensing measurements of linear polarization of atmosphereless Solar system bodies.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/106476/
Document Type:Article
Title:The Dawn exploration of (4) Vesta as the ‘ground truth’ to interpret asteroid polarimetry
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Cellino, A.Osservatorio di Torino, Pino Torinese, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Magni, G.INAF/Instituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Gil-Hutton, R.Complejo Astronòmico El Leoncito (CONICET) and San Juan National UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Tedesco, E. F.Planetary Science Institute, TucsonUNSPECIFIED
Belskaya, I. N.Institute of Astronomy of Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, UkraineUNSPECIFIED
De Sanctis, M. C.INAF, IAPS, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Schröder, S.E.stefanus.schroeder (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Preusker, Frankfrank.preusker (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Manara, A.INAF, Milano, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1093/mnras/stv2683
Page Range:pp. 248-262
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Keywords:methods: data analysis–techniques: polarimetric–minor planets, asteroids: individual: (4) Vesta
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project DAWN
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Schröder, Dr. Stefan
Deposited On:10 Oct 2016 09:01
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:17

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