Space Studies Thesis Defense: Takir
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Contact: Karen Ryba/Phone: 701-777-4761
May 21 2008
Space Studies Thesis Defense
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â€œThe Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Two M-Class Main Belt
Asteroids, 77 Frigga and 325 Heidelberga'
(Grand Forks, North Dakota): UND Space Studies' Master's student, Driss Takir, will defend his thesis on Monday, June 2 at 1:00 p.m. in Ryan Hall, Room 207. All are welcome.
The near-infrared spectra of two Tholen M-asteroids, 77 Frigga and 325 Heidelberga, were analyzed. This study is a part of a spectral survey of Tholen M-asteroids, which is attempting to constrain the surface mineralogies, potential meteorite analogs, and geologic histories of these asteroids. The Space Studies group has observed ~38 Tholen M-asteroids (83%) and reduced the data of ~29 asteroids. Thus far in the program, ~20 M-asteroids that have been reduced show evidence for weak pyroxene, olivine, and spinel absorption features.
The two asteroids were observed at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawai'i. The data were reduced in the Space Studies laboratory using a combination of Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) and Spectrum Processing Routines (SpecPR) software.
Based on the final analysis, 77 Frigga was found to be featureless and possibly the parent body of irons without silicate inclusions. 77 Frigga is possibly a disrupted core of a differentiated body. 325 Heidelberga, on the other hand, exhibits a weak feature (~0.9-Âµm), indicating the presence of low-Fe orthopyroxene. This asteroid is possibly the parent body of irons with silicate inclusions. 325 Heidelberga could be a partial or an intact differentiated core that has preserved a minor portion of its mantle. These results continue to reveal the spectral and mineralogical diversity in the M-class asteroids studied thus far.
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.
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