JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2017

Presentation information

[EE] Poster

P (Space and Planetary Sciences) » P-PS Planetary Sciences

[P-PS02] [EE] Small Bodies: Exploration of the Asteroid Belt and the Solar System at Large

Mon. May 22, 2017 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM Poster Hall (International Exhibition Hall HALL7)

[PPS02-P17] Surficial mineralogy of dwarf planet Ceres

*eleonora ammannito1, Maria Cristina De Sanctis2, Filippo Giacomo Carrozzo2, Mauro Ciarniello2, Jean Philippe Combe3, Alessandro Frigeri2, Andrea Longobardo2, Simone Marchi4, Hap Y McSween5, Andrea Raponi2, Michael John Toplis6, Federico Tosi2, Francesca Zambon2, Julie C. Castillo-Rogez7, Fabrizio Capaccioni2, Maria Teresa Capria2, Bethany L. Ehlmann7, Sergio Fonte2, Marco Giardino2, Ralf Jaumann8, Steven P. Joy1, Gianfranco Magni2, Thomas B. McCord3, Lucy A. McFadden9, Raffaele Muguolo10, Ernesto Palomba2, Carle M Pieters11, Carol A Polanskey7, Marc D Rayman7, Carol A Raymond7, Christopher T Russell1 (1.University of California Los Angeles, 2.Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, 3.Bear Fight Institute, 4.Southwest Research Institute, 5.University of Tennessee, 6.Université de Toulouse, 7.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 8.Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 9.Goddard Space Flight Center, 10.Italian Space Agency, 11.Brown University)

Keywords:Ceres, Dawn, VIS-IR spectroscopy, small bodies, asteroids, mineralogy

The Dawn spacecraft has been acquiring data on dwarf planet Ceres since January 2015 (1). The VIR spectrometer (0.25-5.0 μm) acquired data at different altitudes providing information on the composition of the surface of Ceres at resolutions ranging from few kilometers to about one hundred meters (2).
The average spectrum of Ceres acquired by VIR is well represented by a mixture of dark minerals, Mg- phyllosilicates, ammoniated clays, and Mg- carbonates (3). This result confirms and extends previous studies based on ground based spectra. Mg- phyllosilicates have been associated with the 2.72μm absorption band precluded from telescopic measurements owing to the atmospheric absorptions. The ammoniated clays have been identified through the presence of an absorption feature centered at 3.06μm as already suggested by (4) while the 3.9 μm absorption feature is indicative of the presence of carbonates as previously concluded by (5). Maps of the surface at about 1 km/px show that the components identified in the average spectrum are present all across the surface with variations in their relative abundance (6). Some localized areas however have peculiar spectral characteristics. One example is the spectrum of the bright faculae within Occator crater that is most consistent with a large amount of Na-carbonates and possibly ammonium salts (7). In addition, water ice has been detected on the surface (8) and organic rich regions have been identified in some localized areas across the surface (9). The retrieved composition indicates a pervasive aqueous alteration and at least localized hydrothermal activity of the surface of Ceres. In addition, the co-existence of ammonia-bearing hydrated minerals, water ice, carbonates, and organic material indicates a complex chemical environment that could allow the formation of prebiotic molecules making Ceres a primary target for exobiological studies.

References: (1) Russell, C. T. et al. Dawn arrives at Ceres: Exploration of a small, volatile-rich world, 2016, Science. (2) De Sanctis M.C. et al., The VIR Spectrometer, 2011, Space Science Reviews. (3) De Sanctis M.C. et al. Ammoniated phyllosilicates on dwarf planet Ceres reveal an outer solar system origin, Nature, 2015. (4) King T. et al. Evidence for Ammonium-Bearing minerals on Ceres, 1992, Science, 255, 1551–1553. (5) Rivkin A.S. et al. The surface composition of Ceres: Discovery of carbonates and iron-rich clays, 2006, Icarus, 185, 563–567. (6) Ammannito E. et al., Spectral diversity of Ceres surface as measured by VIR, 2016, Science; (7) De Sanctis et al. Bright carbonate deposits as evidence of aqueous alteration on (1) Ceres, 2016, Nature; (8) Combe et al. Detection of local H2O exposed at the surface of Ceres, 2016 Science; (9) De Sanctis et al. 2017, Science.