C-type or carbonaceous asteroids are the most abundant type of asteroid in the solar system. About 75% of all asteroids are C-type.
Characteristics and composition
C-type asteroids are among the darkest objects in the solar system, having albedos that vary from 0.03 to 0.09. They have a chemical composition similar to that of the Sun but lacking molecular hydrogen, helium, and other volatile elements. Some have stated that their composition is like that of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. C-type asteroids predominate in the outer reaches of the asteroid belt.
The largest known C-type asteroid is Hygiea. Ceres would still be a C-type asteroid, were it not now classified as a dwarf planet. The asteroid Mathilde is another example of a C-type asteroid.
Observation and Exploration
C-type asteroids are too dim to view without a telescope.
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission made rendezvous with and photographed the asteroid Mathilde in June of 1997 en route to its rendezvous with the asteroid Eros.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Arnett, Bill. "Asteroids." The
Nine 8 Planets, May 10, 2008. Accessed June 20, 2008.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Asteroid Facts." The Planetary Society, n.d. Accessed June 20, 2008.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Burns, Philip R. "Asteroids." March 1, 2000. Accessed June 21, 2008.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Gordon, K. "Asteroids Close Up." Course syllabus, Astronomy 100L, California State University Long Beach, 2006-2007. Accessed June 21, 2008.