V-type asteroid

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A V-type asteroid or Vestoid is an asteroid whose spectral type is that of 4 Vesta. Approximately 6% of main-belt asteroids are vestoids,[citation needed] with Vesta being by far the largest of them. They are relatively bright, and rather similar to the more common S-type asteroid, which are also made up of stony irons and ordinary chondrites, with V-types containing more pyroxene than S-types.

A large proportion of vestoids have orbital elements similar to those of Vesta, either close enough to be part of the Vesta family, or having similar eccentricities and inclinations but with a semi-major axis lying between about 2.18 AU and the 3:1 Kirkwood gap at 2.50 AU. This suggests that they originated as fragments of Vesta's crust. There seem to be two populations of Vestoids, one created 2 billion years ago and the other 1 billion years ago, coming respectively from the enormous southern-hemisphere craters Veneneia and Rheasilvia.[1][2] Fragments that ended up in the 3:1 Jupiter resonance were perturbed out of the Kirkwood gap and some fragments eventually hit the earth as HED meteorites.

The electromagnetic spectrum has a very strong absorption feature longward of 0.75 μm, another feature around 1 μm and is very red shortwards of 0.7 µm. The visible wavelength spectrum of the V-type asteroids (including 4 Vesta itself) is similar to the spectra of basaltic achondrite HED meteorites.

A J-type has been suggested for asteroids having a particularly strong 1 μm absorption band similar to diogenite meteorites,[3] likely being derived from deeper parts of the crust of 4 Vesta.


The vast majority of V-type asteroids are members of the Vesta family along with Vesta itself. There are some Mars-crossers such as 9969 Braille, and some Near-Earth objects like 3908 Nyx.

There is also a scattered group of objects in the general vicinity of the Vesta family but not part of it. These include:[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Two craters that launched 1000 meteorites". New Scientist. May 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ S. J. Bus & R. P. Binzel (2002). "Phase II of the Small Main-belt Asteroid Spectroscopy Survey: A feature-based taxonomy". Icarus. 158: 146. Bibcode:2002Icar..158..146B. doi:10.1006/icar.2002.6856. 
  3. ^ R. P. Binzel & S. Xu (1993). "Chips off of asteroid 4 Vesta: Evidence for the parent body of basaltic achondrite meteorites". Science. 260 (5105): 186–91. Bibcode:1993Sci...260..186B. doi:10.1126/science.260.5105.186. PMID 17807177. 
  4. ^ V. Carruba; et al. (2005). "On the V-type asteroids outside the Vesta family". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 441 (2): 819. arXiv:astro-ph/0506656Freely accessible. Bibcode:2005A&A...441..819C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053355.