Space weathering induced via micro‐particle impacts–Part 1: Modeling of impact velocities and flux of micro‐meteoroids from cometary, asteroidal and interstellar origin in the Main Asteroid Belt and the Near‐Earth–environment.

1Nicolas Altobelli, 2,3Katherina Fiege, 4Benoit Carry, 3Rachel Soja, 2Massimo Guglielmino, 2Mario Trieloff, 5Thomas Michael Orlando, 2Ralf Srama
Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets (in Press) Link to Article []
1ESA, European Space Agency, Madrid, Spain
2Klaus–Tschira–Labor für Kosmochemie, Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Heidelberg, Germany
3Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
4Université Côte d’ Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, France
5Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

The processes of alteration of airless bodies exposed to the space environment are referred to be as ‘space weathering’. Multiple agents contribute generally to space weathering, to an extent that depends on the specific location of the surface within the Solar System. Typical space weathering agents encountered in the Solar System are: solar radiation, solar wind and cosmic rays, magnetospheric plasma (for example, at Jupiter or Saturn), and cosmic dust. The effect of space weathering is generally assessed by measuring the surfaces optical properties, for example by near‐infrared (IR) spectroscopy. The alteration of the surfaces is due to a cumulative effect over time of all agents. We investigate in this paper the contribution of micro‐meteoroid (dust) bombardment on different asteroids, by using the Micrometeoroid Environment Model (IMEM) for the interplanetary dust populations (IDPs), and a simplified model of Interstellar Dust (ISD) dynamics. We quantify, for different representative asteroids (Main Belt and NEOs), the particle cumulative flux, mass flux, impact velocity and the kinetic impact energy deposited. This work is primarily intended to support laboratory work investigating the effect of energy deposition onto sample surfaces, as well as astronomical observations of optical properties of asteroid surfaces.


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