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Asimov writing about Vesta
post Jul 26 2011, 05:01 PM
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While waiting for release of more images, I have a historical question about Vesta. I remember that back in late seventies or early eighties, I read a popular science book by Isaac Asimov, which had a chapter about Vesta. He mentioned that Vesta is visually the brightest of the asteroids, but of course, not the largest. He then states that the reason is the unusually high albedo of Vesta and that it should be covered by ice. Clearly, Vesta is rocky. Does any one of you guys (especially 'old timers') remember the historical background about this issue?
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 26 2011, 05:24 PM
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Today people do accept the idea of some ice on objects in the asteroid belt, but I don't recall anyone taking that idea seriously back in Asimov's time.


... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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post Jul 26 2011, 07:26 PM
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Tom McCord and colleagues indentified pyroxene on Vesta, and noted the similarity of its spectrum to those of eucrite meteorites, back in 1970. So Asimov either wasn't aware of that work, or wrote what he wrote prior to 1970. Heres the ADS link to the 1970 paper
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