▪ Abstract 

Visible and near-infrared spectra of reflected sunlight from asteroid surfaces exhibit features that hold the promise for identifying surface mineralogy. However, the very surfaces that are observed by remote-sensing are also subject to impingement by micrometeoroids and solar wind particles, which are believed to play the dominant role in space weathering, which is the time-dependent modification of an asteroid's reflectance spectrum. Such space weathering has confused the interpretations of telescopic spectra of asteroids, especially concerning the possible association of common ordinary chondritic meteorites with so-called S-type asteroids. Recent spacecraft studies of asteroids (especially of Eros by NEAR-Shoemaker) have documented aspects of space weathering processes, but we still do not understand the physics of space weathering well enough to confidently assay mineralogy of diverse asteroids by remote-sensing. A review of the intellectual history of this topic reveals the complexity of interdisciplinary research on far-away astronomical bodies.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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