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Visible–near-infrared observations of organics and carbonates on (101955) Bennu: Classification method and search for surface context

Ferrone, S. M. and Clark, B. E. and Kaplan, H. H. and Rizos, J.-L. and Zou, X.-D. and Li, J.-Y. and Barucci, M. A. and Simon, A. A. and Reuter, D. and Hasselmann, P. H. and Deshapriya, J. D. P. and Poggiali, G. and Brucato, J. R. and Cambioni, S. and Cloutis, Ed and Hamilton, V. E. and Lauretta, D. S. (2021) Visible–near-infrared observations of organics and carbonates on (101955) Bennu: Classification method and search for surface context. Icarus, 368 . Art. No. 114579. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114579.

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The OSIRIS-REx Visible and InfraRed Spectrometer (OVIRS) onboard the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft detected ~3.4-μm absorption features indicative of carbonates and organics on near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. We apply a Kolmogorov-Smirnov similarity test to OVIRS spectra of Bennu and laboratory spectra of minerals to categorize 3.4-μm features observed on Bennu as representing either carbonates or organics. Among the 15,585 spectra acquired by OVIRS during high-resolution (4 to 9 m/spectrum footprint) reconnaissance observations of select locations on Bennu's surface, we find 544 spectral matches with carbonates and 245 spectral matches with organics (total of 789 high-confidence spectral matches). We map the locations of these matches and characterize features of Bennu's surface using corresponding image data. Image data are used to quantitatively characterize the albedo within each spectrometer footprint. We find no apparent relationships between spectral classification and surface morphological expression, and we find no correlation between carbon species classification and other spectral properties such as slope or band depth. This suggests either that carbonates and organics are ubiquitous across the surface of Bennu, independent of surface features (consistent with findings from laboratory studies of carbonaceous chondrites), or that the observations do not have the spatial resolution required to resolve differences. However, we find more organic spectral matches at certain locations, including the site from which the OSIRIS-REx mission collected a sample, than at others. Higher concentrations of organics may be explained if these materials have been more recently exposed to surface alteration processes, perhaps by recent crater formation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Simon, A. A.0000-0003-4641-6186
Cambioni, S.0000-0001-6294-4523
Cloutis, Ed0000-0001-7301-0929
Hamilton, V. E.0000-0001-8675-2083
Additional Information:© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( Received 3 March 2021; Received in revised form 20 May 2021; Accepted 5 June 2021. We are grateful to the entire OSIRIS-REx Team for making the encounter with Bennu possible. This material is based upon work supported by NASA under Contract NNM10AA11C issued through the New Frontiers Program. J.R.B. and G.P. acknowledge support from Italian Space Agency grant agreement no. 2017-37-H.0. Declaration of Competing Interest: None.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)2017-37-H.0
Subject Keywords:Bennu; Organics; Spectroscopy; OSIRIS-REx; Carbonates
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210908-225042728
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Official Citation:S.M. Ferrone, B.E. Clark, H.H. Kaplan, J.-L. Rizos, X.-D. Zou, J.-Y. Li, M.A. Barucci, A.A. Simon, D. Reuter, P.H. Hasselmann, J.D.P. Deshapriya, G. Poggiali, J.R. Brucato, S. Cambioni, Ed Cloutis, V.E. Hamilton, D.S. Lauretta, Visible–near-infrared observations of organics and carbonates on (101955) Bennu: Classification method and search for surface context, Icarus, Volume 368, 2021, 114579, ISSN 0019-1035,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110789
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Sep 2021 17:20
Last Modified:09 Sep 2021 17:20

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