Laboratory simulations of space weathering - the role of iron nanoparticles in the reflectance spectra of asteroids

01.03.2012 - 31.12.2015
Grant agency: 
Registration number: 
Internal investigator/coinvestigator: 
Tomáš Kohout
Interní řešitel: 
is principal investigator
External investigator/coinvestigator: 
Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci; University of Central Florida, USA
Internal collaborators: 
Gunther Kletetschka
Internal collaborators: 
Roman Skála

We aim to focus on the optical effects of asteroid surface space weathering associated with micrometeorite bombardment and related occurrence of nanosized metallic iron. New methodology of quantitatively controlled artificial production of nanosized metallic iron particles in size range of ~1 nm to ~100 nm and their deposition in surface layers of silicate minerals as olivine and pyroxene is being developed. Subsequently, the changes in reflectance spectra of such modified minerals are measured and correlated to nanosized metallic iron concentration and grain size. These spectral trends related to artificially produced nanosized metallic iron are subsequently compared to the observed space weathering trends observed in reflectance spectra of silicate rich asteroids.