Letter to the Editor
Visible spectral properties of asteroid 21 Lutetia, target of Rosetta Mission*
Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy e-mail: [lazzarin;marchi;s.magrin;barbieri]@pd.astro.it
Accepted: 10 August 2004
Rosetta spacecraft was successfully launched on March 2nd 2004 after its launch postponement in January 2003. Owing to this delay all the original targets, comet and asteroids, have been changed. In particular, on its 10 years journey to the new comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the spacecraft will pass close to the asteroid 21 Lutetia. In this paper we present three visible spectra of 21 Lutetia covering its rotational period. We have not found big surface composition variations and the overall behavior resembles that of a C-type asteroid. However, we discovered two main features which are present on the three spectra at around 0.43 and 0.51 μm probably due to aqueous alteration and porphyrins respectively.
Key words: visible spectroscopy / Rosetta target
© ESO, 2004