Basaltic Asteroids in the Solar System
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Basaltic asteroids are small bodies connected to the processes of heating and melting that may have led to the mineralogical differentiation in the interiors of the largest asteroids. Therefore, a precise knowledge of the inventory of basaltic asteroids may help to estimate how many differentiated bodies actually formed in the asteroid Main Belt and this in turn may provide important constraints to the primordial conditions of the solar nebula. The identification of basaltic asteroids in the asteroid Main Belt and the description of their surface mineralogy are necessary to understand the diversity in the collection of basaltic meteorites. In this work the current work of our team is presented: (i) The mineralogical characterization of the Vesta family members; (ii) The search of new basaltic asteroids in the Main Belt. In the first case, the objective is to characterize the material excavated from the craterization event/s in the crust of Vesta. This work is related to the possible findings of DAWN mission when it arrives to Vesta in 2011. In the second case, the objective is to find the link between the diversity of basaltic material in the meteorite collection and the asteroids.
KeywordsAsteroids Basaltic Mineralogy Vesta DAWN mission
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