Spectral properties of the largest asteroids associated with Taurid Complex⋆
Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides (IMCCE) CNRS-UMR
8028, Observatoire de Paris,
77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau,
2 Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, 5 Cuţitul de Argint, 040557 Bucharest, Romania
3 Department of Physics, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania
Received: 25 April 2014
Accepted: 1 September 2014
Context. The Taurid Complex is a massive stream of material in the inner part of the Solar System. It contains objects spanning the range of 10-6–103 m, considered by some authors to have a common cometary origin. The asteroids belonging to Taurid Complex are on Apollo type orbit, with most of them being flagged as potentially hazardous asteroids. In this context, understanding the nature and the origin of this asteroidal population is not only of scientific interest but also of practical importance.
Aims. We aim to investigate the surface mineralogy of the asteroids associated with Taurid Complex using visible and near-infrared spectral data. Compositional linking between these asteroids and meteorites can be derived based on the obtained spectra.
Methods. We obtained spectra of six of the largest asteroids (2201, 4183, 4486, 5143, 6063, and 269690) associated with Taurid complex. The observations were made with the IRTF telescope equipped with the spectro-imager SpeX. Their taxonomic classification is made using Bus-DeMeo taxonomy. The asteroid spectra are compared with the meteorite spectra from the Relab database. Mineralogical models were applied to determine their surface composition. All the spectral analysis is made in the context of the already published physical data.
Results. Five of the objects studied in this paper present spectral characteristics similar to the S taxonomic complex. The spectra of ordinary chondrites (spanning H, L, and LL subtypes) are the best matches for these asteroid spectra. The asteroid (269690) 1996 RG3 presents a flat featureless spectrum which could be associated to a primitive C-type object. The increased reflectance above 2.1 microns constrains its geometrical albedo to a value around 0.03.
Conclusions. While there is an important dynamical grouping among the Taurid Complex asteroids, the spectral data of the largest objects do not support a common cometary origin. Furthermore, there are significant variations between the spectra acquired until now.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: general / meteorites, meteors, meteoroids / techniques: spectroscopic / methods: observational
Appendices A and B are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014