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

[71.01] Composition of the Near-Earth Object Population

M. Hammergren (U. Washington)

The results of a compositional survey of near-Earth objects are presented. This survey, comprised of low-resolution CCD reflectance spectra of 35 Earth-approaching asteroids and cometary candidates, was conducted over the past three years with the Double Imaging Spectrograph on the 3.5-m ARC telescope at the Apache Point Observatory. Gross surface mineralogical characteristics and standard Tholen taxonomies for these objects have been derived. In particular, similarities between some of the objects observed in this survey and certain meteorite types, including the ordinary chondrite meteorites, are outlined. Extensive simulations have been performed in order to quantify the significant observational biases that affect surveys of small solar system objects. In addition to debiasing the observed compositional distribution of near-Earth objects, a similar bias analysis for the main asteroid belt has been performed, resulting in a new look at the compositional variations across and within the main belt. Together, these data permit the direct comparison of the near-Earth object population with asteroids from various regions within the main belt.

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