Highlight: Thermal properties of asteroid 21 Lutetia from Spitzer Space Telescope observations (vol. 516)

Vol. 516In section 10. Planets and planetary systems09 July 2010

Thermal properties of asteroid 21 Lutetia from Spitzer Space Telescope observations

by P. L. Lamy, O. Groussin, S. Fornasier, L. Jorda, M. Kaasalainen, and M. A. Barucci A&A 516, A74 alt

Asteroid 21 Lutetia is the second target of the Rossetta space mission, with a flyby scheduled on July 10, 2010. Lamy et al. use Spitzer observations of the asteroid to understand its thermal properties. They predict that its surface should be covered by a thick regolith layer and have a high degree of rugosity. The images below show simulated visible (B&W) and thermal (in color) images of the asteroid at different moments of the Rosetta flyby.