Detection of water and/or hydroxyl on asteroid (16) Psyche

Astronomical Journal
By: , and 

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Abstract

In order to search for evidence of hydration on M-type asteroid (16) Psyche, we observed this object in the 3 μm spectral region using the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD: 1.9–4.2 μm) mode of the SpeX spectrograph/imager at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. Our observations show that Psyche exhibits a 3 μm absorption feature, attributed to water or hydroxyl. The 3 μm absorption feature is consistent with the hydration features found on the surfaces of water-rich asteroids, attributed to OH- and/or H2O-bearing phases (phyllosilicates). The detection of a 3 μm hydration absorption band on Psyche suggests that this asteroid may not be a metallic core, or it could be a metallic core that has been impacted by carbonaceous material over the past 4.5 Gyr. Our results also indicate rotational spectral variations, which we suggest reflect heterogeneity in the metal/silicate ratio on the surface of Psyche.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Detection of water and/or hydroxyl on asteroid (16) Psyche
Series title Astronomical Journal
DOI 10.3847/1538-3881/153/1/31
Volume 153
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description Article 31