The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft made a close flyby of asteroid (21) Lutetia on July 10, 2010. The spacecraft carries a dual-band radiometer/spectrometer instrument, named MIRO, which operates at 190 GHz (1.6 mm) and 560 GHz (0.5 mm). During the flyby, the MIRO instrument measured the temperature of Lutetia in both the northern and southern hemispheres. At the time of the flyby, the northern hemisphere was seasonally sun-lit and warmer than the southern hemisphere. Subsurface (depths from ∼2 mm to ∼2 cm) temperatures ranged from ∼200 K on the northern hemisphere to ∼60 K on the southern hemisphere. A lunar-like regolith - very low thermal inertia<20 J/(K m 2 s 0.5) in the upper 1-3 cm overlaying a layer of rapidly increasing density and thermal conductivity - is required to explain the observations. A spectroscopic search was made for H 2O, CO, CH 3OH, and NH 3 in Lutetia's exosphere but none of the molecules were detected. An upper limit to the water column density was estimated to be <5×10 11 molecules/cm 2 at the time of the flyby.
- Asteroid (21) Lutetia
- Rosetta spacecraft
- Submillimeter and millimeter radiometer/spectrometer
- Thermal emission