Spectrophotometric properties of dwarf planet Ceres from the VIR spectrometer on board the Dawn mission
1 IAPS-INAF, via Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
2 University of California Los Angeles, Earth Planetary and Space Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3 Planetary Science Institute, Tuscon, AZ 85719, USA
4 German Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Planetary Research, 12489 Berlin, Germany
5 Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
6 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
Received: 5 August 2016
Accepted: 5 November 2016
Aims. We present a study of the spectrophotometric properties of dwarf planet Ceres in the visual-to-infrared (VIS-IR) spectral range by means of hyper-spectral images acquired by the VIR imaging spectrometer on board the NASA Dawn mission.
Methods. Disk-resolved observations with a phase angle within the 7° <α < 132° interval were used to characterize Ceres’ phase curve in the 0.465–4.05 μm spectral range. Hapke’s model was applied to perform the photometric correction of the dataset to standard observation geometry at VIS-IR wavelength, allowing us to produce albedo and color maps of the surface. The V-band magnitude phase function of Ceres has been computed from disk-resolved images and fitted with both the classical linear model and H-G formalism.
Results. The single-scattering albedo and the asymmetry parameter at 0.55 μm are w = 0.14 ± 0.02 and ξ = −0.11 ± 0.08, respectively (two-lobe Henyey-Greenstein phase function); at the same wavelength, Ceres’ geometric albedo as derived from our modeling is 0.094 ± 0.007; the roughness parameter is . Albedo maps indicate small variability on a global scale with an average reflectance at standard geometry of 0.034 ± 0.003. Nonetheless, isolated areas such as the Occator bright spots, Haulani, and Oxo show an albedo much higher than average. We measure a significant spectral phase reddening, and the average spectral slope of Ceres’ surface after photometric correction is 1.1% kÅ-1 and 0.85% kÅ-1 at VIS and IR wavelengths, respectively. Broadband color indices are V−R = 0.38 ± 0.01 and R−I = 0.33 ± 0.02. Color maps show that the brightest features typically exhibit smaller slopes. The H-G modeling of the V-band magnitude phase curve for α < 30° gives H = 3.14 ± 0.04 and G = 0.10 ± 0.04, while the classical linear model provides V(1,1,0°) = 3.48 ± 0.03 and β = 0.036 ± 0.002. The comparison of our results with spectrophotometric properties of other minor bodies indicates that Ceres has a less back-scattering phase function and a slightly higher albedo than comets and C-type objects. However, the latter represents the closest match in the usual asteroid taxonomy.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: individual: Ceres / techniques: photometric / techniques: spectroscopic / techniques: imaging spectroscopy / planets and satellites: surfaces / methods: data analysis
© ESO, 2017