Status Report

Exploring Exogenic Sources for the Olivine on Asteroid (4) Vesta

By SpaceRef Editor
February 12, 2015
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Exploring Exogenic Sources for the Olivine on Asteroid (4) Vesta

Lucille Le Corre, Vishnu Reddy, Juan A. Sanchez, Tasha Dunn, Edward A. Cloutis, Matthew R.M. Izawa, Paul Mann, Andreas Nathues

(Submitted on 11 Feb 2015)

The detection of olivine on Vesta is interesting because it may provide critical insights into planetary differentiation early in our Solar System’s history. Ground-based and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of asteroid (4) Vesta have suggested the presence of olivine on the surface. These observations were reinforced by the discovery of olivine-rich HED meteorites from Vesta in recent years. However, analysis of data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has shown that this olivine-bearing unit is actually impact melt in the ejecta of Oppia crater. 

The lack of widespread mantle olivine, exposed during the formation of the 19 km deep Rheasilvia basin on Vesta’s South Pole, further complicated this picture. Ammannito et al., (2013a) reported the discovery of local scale olivine-rich units in the form of excavated material from the mantle using the Visible and InfraRed spectrometer (VIR) on Dawn. Here we explore alternative sources for the olivine in the northern hemisphere of Vesta by reanalyzing the data from the VIR instrument using laboratory spectral measurements of meteorites. We suggest that these olivine exposures could be explained by the delivery of olivine-rich exogenic material. Based on our spectral band parameters analysis, the lack of correlation between the location of these olivine-rich terrains and possible mantle-excavating events, and supported by observations of HED meteorites, we propose that a probable source for olivine seen in the northern hemisphere are remnants of impactors made of olivine-rich meteorites. Best match suggests these units are HED material mixed with either ordinary chondrites, or with some olivine-dominated meteorites such as R-chondrites.

Comments: 62 pages, 12 figures, 4 tables; Icarus, Available online 30 January 2015, ISSN 0019-1035, this http URL

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph)

DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2015.01.018

Cite as: arXiv:1502.03189 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1502.03189v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Lucille Le Corre 

[v1] Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:55:08 GMT (4411kb)

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