V-type asteroid photometry

This study is performing photometric measurements of V-type asteroids. These measurements, called light curves, are aimed at quantifying the change in brightness of a given asteroid due to its rotation. Using this data, the rotational period of the asteroid can be calculated. V-type asteroids are a subset of asteroids, mostly in the main asteroid belt, which are thought to be collisional fragments from 4 Vesta. Vesta has perhaps been studied more than any other asteroid. It is the only intact, differentiated (e.g., has a silicate crust and mantle, and iron core) asteroid known to exist, and likely represents the kind of “planetesimals” that accreted to form the Earth and the other terrestrial planets. By studying the rotational characteristics of the V-type asteroids, we can shed light on the evolution and collisional history of Vesta, as well as how Vesta-derived meteorites (called HED meteorites) may have reached the Earth.

Researcher:

Matt Nowinski

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