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Paul A. Abell

2005 Research Report

Abell continues his tenure as a National Research Council Associate at the NASA Johnson Space Center where he focuses on a research project investigating near-Earth object compositions and their physical characteristics. He has been very successful in obtaining telescope time at the NASA IRTF, getting an average of 4 to 6 nights each semester. Much of his recent focus has been researching near-Earth binary objects and comet-asteroid transition objects. His collaboration with scientists at PSI and NASA has provided great insight into the possible connections between these objects, their possible parent bodies, and their meteorite analogues.

Abell has been tasked by NASA to support the Hayabusa spacecraft mission to NEA (and PHA) (25143) Itokawa. Given that this spacecraft is operated by JAXA/ISAS, Abell has had frequent stays in Japan during the planning and operational phases of the mission. Specifically he was assigned to the NIRS (near-infrared spectrometer) team and his duties included: calibration of spacecraft data with ground-based data, interpretation of spacecraft data, and preparation of press reports. The NIRS instrument obtained over 100,000 spectra of asteroid Itokawa that need to be calibrated and interpreted. Abell will be working with Japanese colleagues on this important data set and helping with these tasks in 2006.


Abell, P.A., Y. R. Fernández, P. Pravec, L. M. French, T. L. Farnham, M. J. Gaffey, P. S. Hardersen, P. Kušnirák, L. Šarounová, S. S. Sheppard, and G. Narayan (2005). Physical characteristics of comet nucleus C/2001 OG108 (LONEOS). Icarus 179, 174-194.

Hardersen, P.S., M. J. Gaffey, and P. A. Abell (2005). Near-IR spectral evidence for the presence of iron-poor orthopyroxenes on the surfaces of six M-type asteroids. Icarus 175, 141-158.


Abell, P.A., Y. R. Fernández, M. J. Gaffey, F. Vilas, R. R. Landis, K. S. Jarvis, and P. S. Hardersen (2005). Detailed spectroscopic investigation of comet-asteroid transition object 944 Hidalgo: Comparison with comets C/2001 OG108 and 2P/Encke. ACM 2005 Brazil.

Abell, P.A., M. J. Gaffey, P. S. Hardersen, F. Vilas, K. S. Jarvis, and R. R. Landis (2005). Compositions of binary near-Earth objects: Implications for the internal structure of their parent bodies. DPS 37, Abs. 07.04.

Abell, P. A., M. J. Gaffey, and P. S. Hardersen (2005). Constraints on the detection of the Solar Nebula's oxidation state through asteroid observations. Workshop on Oxygen in Asteroids and Meteorites, Flagstaff, AZ.

Abell, P. A., M. J. Gaffey, R. R. Landis, and K. S, Jarvis (2005). Compositional investigation of binary near-Earth asteroid 66063 (1998 RO1): A potentially undifferentiated assemblage. LPSC 36, Abs. 2283.

Gaffey, M. J., P. A. Abell, P. S. Hardersen, F. Vilas, K. S. Jarvis, and R. R. Landis (2005). Compositions of binary near-Earth objects: Implications for the meteorite flux. METSOC 68, Abs. 40.5127.

Jarvis, K. S., P. A. Abell, F. Vilas, A. Cochran, and M. J. Gaffey (2005). Expanding the spectral compositional information of asteroid 349 Dembowska. DPS 37, Abs. 15.11.

Zolensky, M. E., P. A. Abell, and E. K. Tonui (2005). Metamorphosed CM and CI carbonaceous chondrites could be from the breakup of the same Earth-crossing asteroid. LPSC 36, Abs. 2084.

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