Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Michael Gaffey


A major research question in asteroid science centres on how fragments from main belt asteroids, which are located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, end up in Earth crossing orbits. Advances in infrared astronomy have made it possible to test the validity of solar system dynamical models using observational data. Specifically, near-infrared (NIR) reflectance spectroscopy can be employed to search the main asteroid belt for possible mineralogical analogues of Near Earth asteroids. Two asteroids, 3628 Božněmcová and 2002 JB9, were studied using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. 3628 Božněmcová had been suggested as a possible parent body for ordinary chondrite meteorites due to its unique spectral characteristics and the fact that it orbits in the vicinity of the 3:1 Kirkwood gap. A more recent suggestion by Cloutis et al. (2006) is that 3628 Božněmcová is a type A clinopyroxene and possible parent body for the angrite meteorites.

The spectrum of 3628 Božněmcová obtained during the observing run of June 2011 shows distinct absorption features at 1.02 and 2.16 microns. It is therefore possible to effectively rule out an ordinary chrondrite or howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) mineralogy for this asteroid. While not entirely conclusive, the implied mineralogy for 3628 Božněmcová, i.e., a high calcium type B clinopyroxene with a possible fassite component, suggests it may be a possible parent body for the angrite meteorites.