Spectroscopic evidence for two achondrite parent bodies: asteroids 349 Dembowska and 4 Vesta

Michael A. Feierberg, Harold P. Larson, Uwe Fink, Howard A. Smith

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34 Scopus citations


A Fourier spectrometer was used to obtain IR spectra of asteroids 349 Dembowska and 4 Vesta (0.8-2.5μm; 25cm -1 resolution). The spectrum of Dembowska shows olivine and pyroxene (Fs24 ± 8) with an olivine/pyroxene abundance ratio greater than 2, and possibly as high as 10. This is probably an unsampled achondritic composition, similar to the unique achondrite ALHA 77005. Similar olivine-rich compositions have also been proposed for the mantles of basaltic achondrite parent bodies. Dembowska's mineralogy therefore appears related in some way to the achondrites. but a direct link cannot as yet be made. Our IR observations of Vesta have more complete spectral coverage than those first obtained by Larson and Fink (1975b). Pyroxene (Fs50 ± 5) and plagioclase feldspar are both seen, with a pyroxene/feldspar abundance ratio between 1.5 and 2.0. Vesta's mineralogy is consistent with a mixture of eucrites and howardites on its surface. Time-resolved observations over one-half of the rotation period show no spectral variations at the 2% level, indicating compositional homogeneity. Both 349 Dembowska and 4 Vesta can be considered as candidates for the parent bodies of igneous meteorites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-524
Number of pages12
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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