The extra red plutino (55638) 2002 VE 95

M. A. Barucci, F. Merlin, D. Perna, A. Alvarez-Candal, T. Müller, M. Mommert, C. Kiss, S. Fornasier, P. Santos-Sanz, E. Dotto

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. In the framework of a large program, we observed (55638) 2002 VE 95 with the ESO-VLT telescope to better constrain its surface composition and to investigate the possible heterogeneity of the surface. Methods. We report new near-infrared observations performed in 2007 and 2008. Using the new constraints of the albedo obtained by Herschel Space Observatory observations, a surface model was computed using the complete set of spectra (from visible to the near-infrared) as well as those of the previous published data to investigate the surface composition properties of (55638) 2002 VE 95. Results. The surface is heterogeneous. This red object is covered by different icy compounds, such as water (4-19%) and methanol (10-12%). Different organic compounds, such as titan and triton tholins seem also to be present in the surface. The amount of the components is different depending on the observed area. That methanol ice seems to be present mainly on very red surface favors the hypothesis that surfaces of very red objects are more primordial.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA152
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2012


  • Kuiper belt objects: individual: (55638) 2002 VE95
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Barucci, M. A., Merlin, F., Perna, D., Alvarez-Candal, A., Müller, T., Mommert, M., Kiss, C., Fornasier, S., Santos-Sanz, P., & Dotto, E. (2012). The extra red plutino (55638) 2002 VE 95 Astronomy and Astrophysics, 539, [A152].