Modeling of asteroid spectra – M4AST ⋆
M. Popescu1,2,3, M. Birlan1 and D. A. Nedelcu4
1 Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides (IMCCE) CNRS-UMR8028, Observatoire de Paris, 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris Cedex, France
2 Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of Physics, 040557 Bucharest, Romania
3 Astroclub Bucharest, Lascăr Catargiu Boulevard, Nr. 21, 040557 Bucharest, Romania
4 Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, 5 Cuţitul de Argint, 040557 Bucharest, Romania
Received: 11 May 2012
Accepted: 3 July 2012
Context. The interpretation of asteroid spectra provides the basis for determining the chemical composition and physical process that modified the surface of the asteroids. The increasing number of asteroid spectral measurements has lead to well-developed methods for analyzing asteroid spectra. There is however no centralized database for all the published data and a set of standard routines is also required.
Aims. We present a public software tool that combines both data archives and analyses of asteroid spectra.
Methods. Our project M4AST (Modeling for asteroids) consists of an asteroid spectral database and a set of applications for analyzing asteroid spectra. These applications cover aspects related to taxonomy, curve matching with laboratory spectra, space weathering models, and mineralogical diagnosis.
Results. M4AST project is fully available via a web interface. The database contains around 2700 spectra that can be either processed in M4AST and/or downloaded. The paper presents the algorithms we developed for spectral analyses based on existing methods. The robustness of routines is proven by the solutions found for spectra of three different asteroids: (9147) Kourakuen, (99 942) Apophis, and (175 706) 1996 FG3. The available results confirm those in the literature. M4AST applications can also be used to characterize any new asteroid spectra.
Conclusions. M4AST is a robust and reliable tool dedicated to asteroid spectra.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: general / methods: data analysis / techniques: spectroscopic
M4AST is available via the web interface: http://cardamine.imcce.fr/m4ast/
© ESO, 2012