Space Studies Thesis Defense: Reynolds
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Contact: Karen Ryba/Phone: 701-777-4761
April 14, 2008
Space Studies Thesis Defense
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â€œThe Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Two Main
Belt Asteroidsâ€¦418 Alemannia and 504 Cora'
(Grand Forks, North Dakota): UND Space Studies' Master's student, Beth Reynolds, will defend her thesis on Thursday, April 17 at 2:00 p.m. in Ryan Hall, Room 207. Reynolds' presentation, entitled, â€œThe Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Two Main Belt Asteroidsâ€¦418 Alemannia and 504 Cora', is free and open to faculty, staff and students.
The study is part of a larger effort to constrain the surface compositions and minerologies of all Tholen-defined M- and some X-class asteroids. M- and X-class are taxonomic, not a compositional, classifications simply meaning that these asteroids have a moderate albedo and a featureless, reddish visible-wavelength spectrum (Tholen and Barucci, 1989). However, previous studies of some M-class asteroids have shown that these asteroids are not spectrally featureless, but do exhibit absorption features which reveal minerals such as pyroxenes, olivine, and spinels along with NiFe metal. These minerals on M-asteroid surfaces suggest meteorite analogs such as pallasites, mesosiderites and CB/CV/CO chondrites, among other possibilities. This study examined the near-infrared (NIR) spectra of one M-asteroid, 418 Alemannia, and one X-asteroid, 504 Cora, to constrain their surface minerologies, potential meteorite analogs, and infer their geologic histories.
NIR spectra of 418 Alemannia and 504 Cora were collected over the course of three nights using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) located on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i. The data collected were reduced primarily using IRAF and SpecPR software. The two average NIR spectra of 418 Alemannia display a weak ~0.9-Î¼m absorption feature superimposed on an overall reddish slope. The average NIR spectrum of 504 Cora exhibits weak ~0.9- and ~1.9-Î¼m absorption features. The features present and the overall reddish slopes suggest the presence of low-Fe orthopyroxene and metal. This leads to the interpretation that these asteroids are potentially intact or partial core-mantle boundaries of differentiated, disrupted, and chemically-reduced parent bodies which allows the formation of low-Fe pyroxene and metal without the presence of olivine.
About Space Studies: The Department of Space Studies offers a program leading to a Master of Science degree. This interdisciplinary program studies the conditions and implications of humankind's entry into space: including the political, legal, technical, scientific, economic, and historical impacts on a national and international level. Designed to prepare the student for positions in the commercial and governmental sectors of the rapidly growing field of space exploration and development, the Space Studies M.S. is offered on campus and over the Internet. The Department of Space Studies is consistently innovative in the delivery of education services, and is now planning for the creation of a Ph.D. program offered on campus and at a distance. Students with a variety of professional backgrounds from all over the world participate in our program.
About UND Aerospace:
UND Aerospace, which includes the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying over 90,000 hours per year in over 120 aircraft. UNDAF also has facilities in Spokane, Washington, with Spokane Falls Community College; Lumberton, North Carolina, with Robeson Community College; Phoenix, Arizona, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College; and Crookston, Minnesota, with the University of Minnesota in addition to its home-base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. With more than 1,900 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy, and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.
In 2008, UND Aerospace is celebrating its 40th anniversary. A series of regional alumni gatherings will be held across the country, as well as several events during UND's Homecoming and 125th anniversary on October 13-18. For an updated listing of events, see www.undaerospace.com or www.undalumni.org. For more information on UND Aerospace, contact Karen Ryba at 701-777-4761 or go to www.aero.und.edu.
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