Spectrophotometric Modeling and Mapping of (101955) Bennu

Li, Jian-Yang; Zou, Xiao-Duan; Golish, Dathon R.; Clark, Beth E.; Ferrone, Salvatore; Fornasier, Sonia; Hasselmann, Pedro H.; Ryan, Andrew J.; Rozitis, Benjamin; Emery, Joshua P.; Siegler, Matthew A.; Simon, Amy A.; DellaGiustina, Daniella N.; Reuter, Dennis C.; Hamilton, Victoria E. and Lauretta, Dante S. (2021). Spectrophotometric Modeling and Mapping of (101955) Bennu. The Planetary Science Journal, 2(3), article no. 117.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3847/psj/abfd2d


Using hyperspectral data collected by OVIRS, the visible and infrared spectrometer on board the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft, we modeled the global average spectrophotometric properties of the carbonaceous asteroid (101955) Bennu and mapped their variations. We restricted our analysis to 0.4–2.5 μm to avoid the wavelengths where thermal emission from the asteroid dominates (>2.5 μm). Bennu has global photometric properties typical of dark asteroids; we found a geometric albedo of 0.046 ± 0.007 and a linear phase slope of 0.024 ± 0.007 mag deg−1 at 0.55 μm. The average spectral slope of Bennu’s normal albedo is −0.0030 μm−1, and the phase-reddening parameter is 4.3 × 10−4 μm−1 deg−1, both over the spectral range of 0.5–2.0 μm. We produced normal albedo maps and phase slope maps at all spectral channels, from which we derived spectral slope and phase-reddening maps. Correlation analysis suggests that phase slope variations on Bennu are likely due to photometric roughness variation. A correlation between photometric and thermal roughness is evident, implying that the roughness of Bennu is self-similar on scales from tens of microns to meters. Our analysis reveals latitudinal trends in the spectral color slope and phase reddening on Bennu. The equatorial region appears to be redder than the global average, and the spectral slope decreases toward higher latitudes. Phase reddening on Bennu is relatively weak in the equatorial region and shows an asymmetry between the northern and southern hemispheres. We attributed the latitudinal trend to the geophysical conditions on Bennu that result in a global pattern of mass flow toward the equator.

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