Lightcurve, Color and Phase Function Photometry of the OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroid (101955) Bennu

Hergenrother, C. W.; Nolan, Michael C.; Binzel, Richard P.; Cloutis, Edward A.; Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Michel, Patrick; Scheeres, Daniel J.; d’Aubigny, Christian Drouet; Lazzaro, Daniela; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Campins, Humberto; Licandro, J.; Clark, Beth E.; Rizk, Bashar; Beshore, Edward C.; Lauretta, Dante S.
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Icarus, Volume 226, Issue 1, p. 663-670.

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The NASA OSIRIS-REx mission will retrieve a sample of the carbonaceous near-Earth Asteroid (101955) Bennu and return it to Earth in 2023. Photometry in the Eight Color Asteroid Survey (ECAS) filter system and Johnson–Cousins V and R filters were conducted during the two most recent apparitions in 2005/2006 and 2011/2012. Lightcurve observations over the nights of September 14–17, 2005 yielded a synodic rotation period of 4.2905 ± 0.0065 h, which is consistent with the results of Nolan et al. (2013). ECAS color measurements made during the same nights confirm the B-type classification of Clark et al. (Clark, B.E., Binzel, R.P., Howell, E.S., Cloutis, E.A., Ockert-Bell, M., Christensen, P., Barucci, M.A., DeMeo, F., Lauretta, D.S., Connolly, H., Soderberg, A., Hergenrother, C., Lim, L., Emery, J., Mueller, M. [2011]. Icarus 216, 462–475). A search for the 0.7 μm hydration feature using the method of Vilas (Vilas, F. [1994]. Icarus 111, 456–467) did not reveal its presence. Photometry was obtained over a range of phase angles from 15° to 96° between 2005 and 2012. The resulting phase function slope of 0.040 magnitudes per degree is consistent with the phase slopes of other low albedo near-Earth asteroids (Belskaya, I.N., Shevchenko, V.G. [2000]. Icarus 147, 94–105).
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