The Unusual Spectra of 15 Near-Earth Asteroids and Extinct Comet Candidates

Michael D. Hicks, Uwe Fink, William M. Grundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We present moderate resolution reflectance spectra from 0.55 to 1.0 μm for 15 near-Earth asteroids and extinct cometary nuclei candidates obtained at the Catalina Station 1.54-m telescope near Tucson, Arizona. Though our limited wavelength coverage often makes firm classification difficult, an analysis of our measurements reveals that there is an over-representation of asteroids with unusually deep 0.9- to 1-μm absorption features. Several of our objects have spectra consistent with Q-type asteroids and within the limits of our signal-to-noise ratio, are compatible with a chondritic composition. It is apparent that the near-Earth asteroids as a population have an unusual taxonomic distribution, one that is much closer to that of meteoritic falls than may have been previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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