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Post Info TOPIC: Asteroid (21) Lutetia


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A fleeting flyby of a battered world

The long and tumultuous history of asteroid Lutetia was revealed by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft as it raced past this large, ancient asteroid.
This spectacular movie shows a sequence of images snapped by Rosetta as it flew past the main-belt asteroid on 10 July 2010.

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Flyby of the asteroid Lutetia by the ESA probe Rosetta.
(July 2010)


Credit planetaryprobes



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Title: The Cratering History of Asteroid (21) Lutetia
Authors: S. Marchi (1), M. Massironi (2), J.-B. Vincent (3), A. Morbidelli (1), S. Mottola (4), F. Marzari (2), M. Kueppers (5), S. Besse (6), N. Thomas (7), C. Barbieri (2), G. Naletto (2), H. Sierks (3) ((1) OCA, (2) University of Padova, (3) MPS, (4) DLR, (5) ESAC, (6) LAM, (7) University of Bern)

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft passed by the main belt asteroid (21) Lutetia the 10th July 2010. With its ~100km size, Lutetia is one of the largest asteroids ever imaged by a spacecraft. During the flyby, the on-board OSIRIS imaging system acquired spectacular images of Lutetia's northern hemisphere revealing a complex surface scarred by numerous impact craters, reaching the maximum dimension of about 55km. In this paper, we assess the cratering history of the asteroid. For this purpose, we apply current models describing the formation and evolution of main belt asteroids, that provide the rate and velocity distributions of impactors. These models, coupled with appropriate crater scaling laws, allow us to interpret the observed crater size-frequency distribution (SFD) and constrain the cratering history. Thanks to this approach, we derive the crater retention age of several regions on Lutetia, namely the time lapsed since their formation or global surface reset. We also investigate the influence of various factors -like Lutetia's bulk structure and crater obliteration- on the observed crater SFDs and the estimated surface ages. From our analysis, it emerges that Lutetia underwent a complex collisional evolution, involving major local resurfacing events till recent times. The difference in crater density between the youngest and oldest recognized units implies a difference in age of more than a factor of 10. The youngest unit (Beatica) has an estimated age of tens to hundreds of Myr, while the oldest one (Achaia) formed during a period when the bombardment of asteroids was more intense than the current one, presumably around 3.6Gyr ago or older.

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Lutetia: a Rare Survivor from the Birth of the Earth

eso1144a.jpg

New observations indicate that the asteroid Lutetia is a leftover fragment of the same original material that formed the Earth, Venus and Mercury. Astronomers have combined data from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, ESO's New Technology Telescope, and NASA telescopes. They found that the properties of the asteroid closely match those of a rare kind of meteorites found on Earth and thought to have formed in the inner parts of the Solar System. Lutetia must, at some point, have moved out to its current location in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
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New analysis of Lutetia finds evidence for molten interior.

On July 10, 2010, the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe flew by the asteroid 21 Lutetia, which at the time was the largest asteroid ever to have been visited by a spacecraft. The fly-by occurred 282 million miles from Earth; close-up images taken by the probe revealed cracks and craters running across Lutetia's surface, evidence of the asteroid's long and battered history.
Now an international team of researchers from France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States has analysed Lutetias surface images, and found that underneath its cold and cracked exterior, the asteroid may in fact have once harboured a molten-hot, metallic core. The findings suggest that Lutetia, despite billions of years of impacts, may have retained its original structure - a preserved remnant of the very earliest days of the solar system.

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Simulation showing view of Lutetia from Rosetta during flyby on 10 July, 2010.



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Asteroid Lutetia: postcard from the past

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has revealed asteroid Lutetia to be a primitive body, left over as the planets were forming in our Solar System. Results from Rosetta's fleeting flyby also suggest that this mini-world tried to grow a metal heart.
Rosetta flew past Lutetia on 10 July 2010 at a speed of 54 000 km/hr and a closest distance of 3170 km. At the time, the 130 km-long asteroid was the largest encountered by a spacecraft. Since then, scientists have been analysing the data taken during the brief encounter.

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The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has approved the name Lauriacum for a 1.5-km-wide crater on the asteroid (21) Lutetia at central Latitude: 37, and
central Longitude: 0. The location of the crater defines zero degrees longitude on the asteroid.
The crater was named in honour of a city at the time of Lutetia (52 BC - 360 AD), now called Enns in Austria.



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Asteroid (21) Lutetia is at Opposition (9.4 Magnitude) on the 4th July, 2011.



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Ephemeris

Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase     V
2011 05 05    19 10 35.2 -22 35 23   1.5814  2.2369   117.8    23.5    11.3
2011 05 06    19 11 10.5 -22 35 51   1.5694  2.2352   118.6    23.3    11.2
2011 05 07    19 11 44.2 -22 36 22   1.5575  2.2335   119.4    23.2    11.2
2011 05 08    19 12 16.2 -22 36 57   1.5457  2.2318   120.3    23.0    11.2
2011 05 09    19 12 46.4 -22 37 36   1.5340  2.2301   121.1    22.8    11.2
2011 05 10    19 13 15.0 -22 38 19   1.5224  2.2284   122.0    22.6    11.1
2011 05 11    19 13 41.8 -22 39 06   1.5109  2.2268   122.9    22.4    11.1
2011 05 12    19 14 06.9 -22 39 57   1.4995  2.2251   123.7    22.2    11.1
2011 05 13    19 14 30.1 -22 40 53   1.4882  2.2234   124.6    22.0    11.1
2011 05 14    19 14 51.6 -22 41 53   1.4771  2.2218   125.5    21.7    11.0
2011 05 15    19 15 11.3 -22 42 57   1.4660  2.2201   126.4    21.5    11.0
2011 05 16    19 15 29.2 -22 44 05   1.4551  2.2185   127.3    21.3    11.0
2011 05 17    19 15 45.2 -22 45 18   1.4443  2.2168   128.2    21.0    11.0
2011 05 18    19 15 59.4 -22 46 36   1.4336  2.2152   129.1    20.7    10.9
2011 05 19    19 16 11.6 -22 47 58   1.4230  2.2135   130.0    20.5    10.9
2011 05 20    19 16 22.0 -22 49 25   1.4126  2.2119   131.0    20.2    10.9
2011 05 21    19 16 30.4 -22 50 57   1.4023  2.2103   131.9    19.9    10.9
2011 05 22    19 16 36.9 -22 52 34   1.3921  2.2087   132.8    19.6    10.8
2011 05 23    19 16 41.5 -22 54 16   1.3821  2.2070   133.8    19.3    10.8
2011 05 24    19 16 44.0 -22 56 02   1.3722  2.2054   134.7    19.0    10.8
2011 05 25    19 16 44.6 -22 57 54   1.3625  2.2038   135.7    18.7    10.7
2011 05 26    19 16 43.2 -22 59 50   1.3529  2.2022   136.7    18.4    10.7
2011 05 27    19 16 39.8 -23 01 51   1.3434  2.2006   137.6    18.1    10.7
2011 05 28    19 16 34.3 -23 03 57   1.3341  2.1990   138.6    17.7    10.7
2011 05 29    19 16 26.9 -23 06 08   1.3250  2.1974   139.6    17.4    10.6
2011 05 30    19 16 17.4 -23 08 24   1.3160  2.1958   140.6    17.0    10.6
2011 05 31    19 16 05.9 -23 10 45   1.3072  2.1942   141.6    16.7    10.6
2011 06 01    19 15 52.3 -23 13 10   1.2986  2.1926   142.6    16.3    10.5
2011 06 02    19 15 36.8 -23 15 40   1.2902  2.1911   143.7    15.9    10.5
2011 06 03    19 15 19.2 -23 18 14   1.2819  2.1895   144.7    15.5    10.5
2011 06 04    19 14 59.7 -23 20 53   1.2738  2.1879   145.7    15.1    10.5
2011 06 05    19 14 38.2 -23 23 36   1.2659  2.1864   146.8    14.7    10.4
2011 06 06    19 14 14.7 -23 26 23   1.2581  2.1848   147.8    14.3    10.4
2011 06 07    19 13 49.2 -23 29 14   1.2506  2.1833   148.9    13.9    10.4
2011 06 08    19 13 21.9 -23 32 09   1.2432  2.1817   149.9    13.5    10.3
2011 06 09    19 12 52.6 -23 35 08   1.2361  2.1802   151.0    13.0    10.3
2011 06 10    19 12 21.5 -23 38 10   1.2291  2.1787   152.1    12.6    10.3
2011 06 11    19 11 48.6 -23 41 15   1.2223  2.1771   153.2    12.1    10.2
2011 06 12    19 11 13.8 -23 44 23   1.2158  2.1756   154.3    11.7    10.2
2011 06 13    19 10 37.3 -23 47 34   1.2094  2.1741   155.4    11.2    10.2
2011 06 14    19 09 59.1 -23 50 48   1.2033  2.1726   156.5    10.8    10.1
2011 06 15    19 09 19.2 -23 54 04   1.1973  2.1711   157.6    10.3    10.1
2011 06 16    19 08 37.6 -23 57 23   1.1916  2.1696   158.7     9.8    10.1
2011 06 17    19 07 54.4 -24 00 43   1.1861  2.1681   159.8     9.3    10.1
2011 06 18    19 07 09.7 -24 04 06   1.1808  2.1666   160.9     8.8    10.0
2011 06 19    19 06 23.4 -24 07 29   1.1757  2.1651   162.1     8.3    10.0
2011 06 20    19 05 35.7 -24 10 55   1.1709  2.1636   163.2     7.8    10.0
2011 06 21    19 04 46.6 -24 14 21   1.1663  2.1622   164.3     7.3     9.9
2011 06 22    19 03 56.1 -24 17 47   1.1618  2.1607   165.5     6.8     9.9
2011 06 23    19 03 04.4 -24 21 15   1.1577  2.1593   166.6     6.3     9.8
2011 06 24    19 02 11.4 -24 24 42   1.1537  2.1578   167.8     5.7     9.8
2011 06 25    19 01 17.3 -24 28 10   1.1500  2.1564   168.9     5.2     9.8
2011 06 26    19 00 22.2 -24 31 37   1.1465  2.1549   170.1     4.7     9.7
2011 06 27    18 59 26.1 -24 35 04   1.1433  2.1535   171.2     4.1     9.7
2011 06 28    18 58 29.0 -24 38 29   1.1403  2.1521   172.3     3.6     9.7
2011 06 29    18 57 31.2 -24 41 54   1.1375  2.1506   173.5     3.1     9.6
2011 06 30    18 56 32.7 -24 45 17   1.1350  2.1492   174.6     2.6     9.6
2011 07 01    18 55 33.5 -24 48 38   1.1327  2.1478   175.6     2.1     9.5
2011 07 02    18 54 33.8 -24 51 57   1.1306  2.1464   176.6     1.6     9.5
2011 07 03    18 53 33.7 -24 55 14   1.1288  2.1450   177.4     1.2     9.5
2011 07 04    18 52 33.3 -24 58 28   1.1273  2.1437   177.9     1.0     9.4
2011 07 05    18 51 32.6 -25 01 40   1.1260  2.1423   177.7     1.1     9.4
2011 07 06    18 50 31.8 -25 04 49   1.1249  2.1409   177.1     1.4     9.5
2011 07 07    18 49 31.0 -25 07 54   1.1240  2.1395   176.1     1.8     9.5
2011 07 08    18 48 30.2 -25 10 57   1.1234  2.1382   175.1     2.3     9.5
2011 07 09    18 47 29.7 -25 13 55   1.1231  2.1368   174.0     2.9     9.6
2011 07 10    18 46 29.4 -25 16 50   1.1230  2.1355   172.9     3.4     9.6
2011 07 11    18 45 29.4 -25 19 41   1.1231  2.1342   171.7     3.9     9.6
2011 07 12    18 44 30.0 -25 22 28   1.1234  2.1328   170.6     4.5     9.7
2011 07 13    18 43 31.0 -25 25 11   1.1240  2.1315   169.4     5.0     9.7
2011 07 14    18 42 32.8 -25 27 50   1.1248  2.1302   168.3     5.6     9.7
2011 07 15    18 41 35.2 -25 30 25   1.1259  2.1289   167.1     6.1     9.7
2011 07 16    18 40 38.5 -25 32 55   1.1272  2.1276   166.0     6.7     9.8
2011 07 17    18 39 42.7 -25 35 21   1.1287  2.1263   164.8     7.2     9.8
2011 07 18    18 38 47.8 -25 37 43   1.1304  2.1250   163.7     7.7     9.8
2011 07 19    18 37 54.1 -25 40 00   1.1324  2.1237   162.5     8.3     9.9
2011 07 20    18 37 01.5 -25 42 12   1.1345  2.1225   161.4     8.8     9.9
2011 07 21    18 36 10.1 -25 44 21   1.1369  2.1212   160.2     9.3     9.9
2011 07 22    18 35 20.1 -25 46 24   1.1395  2.1199   159.1     9.9     9.9
2011 07 23    18 34 31.4 -25 48 23   1.1424  2.1187   158.0    10.4    10.0
2011 07 24    18 33 44.2 -25 50 18   1.1454  2.1174   156.8    10.9    10.0
2011 07 25    18 32 58.5 -25 52 08   1.1487  2.1162   155.7    11.4    10.0
2011 07 26    18 32 14.4 -25 53 53   1.1521  2.1150   154.6    11.9    10.0
2011 07 27    18 31 32.0 -25 55 34   1.1558  2.1138   153.5    12.4    10.1
2011 07 28    18 30 51.4 -25 57 11   1.1597  2.1126   152.4    12.9    10.1
2011 07 29    18 30 12.5 -25 58 43   1.1637  2.1114   151.3    13.4    10.1
2011 07 30    18 29 35.5 -26 00 11   1.1680  2.1102   150.2    13.8    10.1
2011 07 31    18 29 00.3 -26 01 35   1.1724  2.1090   149.1    14.3    10.2


Google Earth file Asteroid (21) Lutetia.kmz (9kb, kmz)



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