EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue A&A
Volume 486, Number 3, August II 2008
Page(s) 1031 - 1038
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200809441
Published online 04 June 2008



A&A 486, 1031-1038 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200809441

Compositional interpretation of the geometric albedo of asteroids

I. Solar phase effects
J. M. Carvano

Observatório Nacional (COAA), rua Gal. José Cristino 77, São Cristóvão, CEP20921-400 Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil
    e-mail: carvano@on.br

Received 23 January 2008 / Accepted 19 March 2008

Abstract
Aims. In this first paper we investigate the dependence of the geometric albedo on the phase function of the particles that cover it, and derive the expected geometric albedo of bodies for a given mineralogy, taking into account the constraints imposed by the observed phase functions of the asteroids.
Methods. A genetic fitting algorithm is used to fit Hapke integral phase functions to Lumme-Bowell integral phase functions described by values of the slope parameter G of the IAU HG system. The resulting geometric albedo of laboratory samples are then compared to the observed values of asteroids with assumed similar mineralogy.
Results. Because of the weak dependence of $\bar{\theta}$ on the integral phase functions it is not possible to find a unique set of Hapke parameters that fit the Lumme-Bowell function for a given value of G, at least for phase angles <60°. Instead, unique solutions can be found if we leave $\bar{\theta}$ as a free parameter. It is shown that the laboratory derived scattering parameters in general fail to match the geometric albedo and slope parameter of asteroids of presumed equal mineralogy. It is also shown that a given value of the single scatter albedo can lead to very different values of $p_{\rm v}$, depending on G and $\bar{\theta}$. The methodology developed is used to compare the observed $p_{\rm v}$ and G of the asteroids (4) Vesta and (21) Lutetia with laboratory measurements of materials with suposedly similar compositions. As expected, it is found that the albedo and slope parameter of Vesta are compatible with measurements of unweathered terrestrial basalts with grain sizes <= 250 $\mu$m. The albedo and slope parameter of Lutetia are found to be compatible with samples of the Allende CV3 meteorite for grain sizes <500 $\mu$m. The routines that allow the conversion between w and $p_{\rm V}$ (and vice-versa) are available at http://funk.on.br/ carvano/albedo/albedo.html


Key words: minor planets, asteroids



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Editor-in-Chief: T. Forveille
Letters Editor-in-Chief: J. Alves
Managing Editor: N. Aghanim

ISSN: 0004-6361 ; e-ISSN: 1432-0746
Frequency: 12 volumes per year
Published by: EDP Sciences

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