2008 Annual Science Report
University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting | JUL 2007 – JUN 2008
A Spectroscopically Unique Main Belt Asteroid: 10537 (1991 RY16)
We have discovered an asteroid with an optical and infrared spectrum that is unlike any other known asteroid. The discovery of this new type of asteroid spectrum allows the investigation of previously unstudied mineralogies and/or processes in the Solar Sytem.
We present visible and near-infrared reflectance spectra and interpreted surface mineralogy for asteroid 10537 (1991 RY16). The spectrum of this object is without precedent amongst the Main Belt asteroids. A unique absorption band centered at 0.63 microns could be attributed to one of several mineralogies. Pronounced 1- and 2-micron absorption bands suggest that the composition of 10537 is a mixture of pyroxenes and olivine and that it originated from a parent body that was partially or fully differentiated. The closest available analog is the large Main Belt asteroid 349 Dembowska but 10537 may be an isolated fragment from a completely eroded parent body.