Spectroscopy

Planetary bodies in the Solar System are observable because they reflect sunlight. By measuring the light reflected at different wavelengths, we obtain reflectance spectra, which are used to study the compositions of asteroids. Below are visible-wavelength spectra of several MANOS targets obtained with the GMOS instrument at Gemini. These spectra, normalized and offset for clarity, show a variety of shapes that can be tied to established taxonomic systems. Compositional analysis of these data and their comparison to laboratory spectra of meteorites provides the means to understand the compositional diversity of bodies in the NEO population.

Credits: M. Hinkle, MANOS


Lowell Observatory | Flastaff, AZ