Letter to the Editor
An R-type asteroid within near-Earth objects?*
Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy e-mail: [marchi;lazzarin;magrin]@pd.astro.it
Corresponding author: S. Marchi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 16 April 2004
We present visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of 2001 XR31, a previously unclassified small near-Earth object (NEOs). Its spectrum resembles that of basaltic body, with the distinctive 1 and 2 μm pyroxene absorption bands, similar to those found on V-type bodies. However, the spectrum of 2001 XR31 is somewhat peculiar and we discuss whether it can belong to another class of basaltic bodies, namely the rare R-class. If confirmed, this object would be the only R-type detected among NEOs so far. In the light of this possibility, we also discuss the relationships of 2001 XR31 with other main belt R-types and a possible explanation of its origin.
Key words: minor planet / asteroids / near-Earth objects
© ESO, 2004