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Session 71 - Comets & Asteroids.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Exhibit Hall,

[71.02] Slit Spectroscopy of Asteroids: The Search for Water of Hydration

A. J. Alpert (U. Pennsylvania), M. A. Leake, R. Kilgard, L. S. Watkins, K. E. Semmes (Valdosta State U.)

This report details the program of spectroscopic observations of smaller C-Class asteroids in the outer-main belt using the SARA 0.9-m telescope at Kitt Peak. Previous studies have shown that many C-class asteroids exhibit aqueous alteration. We seek to obtain spectra exhibiting absorption features characteristic of water of hydration within these asteroids. In particular, absorption features at 0.7 and 3.0 microns appear to indicate an iron-oxidation process in phyllosilicates, and absorbed or interlayer water in phyllosilicates, respectively. Low dispersion spectra in the visible to near infrared (0.4 - 1.0 micron) will be examined for these water-of-hydration features.

Preliminary observations were made in June 1997, but no usable spectra were obtained. Methods for enhancing data quality, including ways to improve instrument efficiency, signal-to-noise ratio, telescope guiding, and data reduction are described.

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