Opposition Observations of 162173 Ryugu: Normal Albedo Map Highlights Variations in Regolith Characteristics

Yokota, Yasuhiro; Honda, Rie; Tatsumi, Eri; Domingue, Deborah; Schröder, Stefan; Matsuoka, Moe; Morota, Tomokatsu; Sakatani, Naoya; Kameda, Shingo; Kouyama, Toru et al.
Bibliographical reference

The Planetary Science Journal

Advertised on:
10
2021
Description
On 2019 January 8, the Telescopic Optical Navigation Camera (ONC-T) on board the Hayabusa2 spacecraft observed the Cb-type asteroid 162173 Ryugu under near-opposition illumination and viewing conditions from approximately 20 km in distance. Although opposition observations have never been used for mapping purposes of a planetary body, we found three advantages for mapping under these conditions: (1) images are free of topographic shadows, (2) the reflectance is nearly independent of the orientation of the surface, and (3) spurious color artifacts that may appear near shadowed terrain are avoided. We present normal albedo maps, one for each of the seven filters (0.40-0.95 μm), using an empirical photometric correction. Global coverage of Ryugu is 99.4%. The 0.55 μm band average normal albedo is 4.06% ± 0.10%. Various spectral variations are derived from these maps. Spectral features of regions and boulders are quantified by examining the normal albedo-derived spectral slope and UV index (spectral slope from visible to ultraviolet wavelength) value. In terms of space weathering, three spectral characteristics are observed over the majority of Ryugu: (1) reddening, (2) increases in reflectance at ultraviolet wavelengths compared to visible, and (3) darkening. By contrast, the bright boulders ("type 3") show a different trend, with wide variations in the 0.95 μm albedo and UV index. Finally, principal component analysis (PCA) comparisons with other asteroids strongly suggest that the main components of Ryugu belong to the B-Cb-type populations. The PCA feature of the fresh material on Ryugu is close to the Eulalia family.