Thursday, April 25, 2013

1304.6602 (M. Formisano et al.)

Onset of Differentiation and Internal Evolution: the case of 21 Lutetia    [PDF]

M. Formisano, D. Turrini, C. Federico, F. Capaccioni, M. C. De Sanctis
Asteroid 21 Lutetia, visited by the Rosetta spacecraft, plays a crucial role in the reconstruction of primordial phases of planetary objects. Its high bulk density and its primitive chondritic crust (Weiss et al. 2011) suggest that Lutetia could be partially differentiated. We developed a numerical code, also used for studying the geophysical history of Vesta (Formisano et al., submitted), to explore several scenarios of internal evolution of Lutetia, differing in the strength of radiogenic sources and in the global post-sintering porosity. The only significant heat source for partial differentiation is represented by Al26, the other possible sources (Fe60, accretion and differentiation) being negligible. In scenarios in which Lutetia completed its accretion in less than 0.7 Ma from injection of Al26 in Solar Nebula and for post-sintering values of macroporosity not exceeding 30 vol. %, the asteroid experienced only partial differentiation. The formation of the proto-core, a structure enriched in metals and also containing pristine silicates, requires from 1 to 4 Ma: the size of the proto-core varies from 6 to 30 km.
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