21 Lutetia

21 Lutetia is a main belt asteroid, about 100 kilometers in diameter and classified spectrally as M-type or metallic.

Rosetta is a space probe that will fly by 21 Lutetia in July of 2010. Rosetta was launched in 2004 and is on a mission to investigate a comet in 2014. On the way to that primary mission, it will investigate 21 Lutetia.

Lutetia Asteroid In Rosetta Spotlight – [esa.int]

Paris, France (ESA) Jan 29, 2007
Earlier this month ESA’s Rosetta had a first look at asteroid 21-Lutetia, one of the targets of its long mission. The onboard camera OSIRIS imaged the asteroid passing through its field of view during the spacecraft’s gradual approach to Mars.

The Puzzle of 21 Lutetia – [technologyreview.com]

Lutetia is an unusual object. It is classified as an M-type asteroid, which are thought to be made mainly of nickel and iron. However, Lutetia’s spectrum does not seem to show any evidence of metals. In fact, exactly what Lutetia is made of puzzles astronomers. That’s partly why it was chosen for the fly by.

SEE ALSO:
Asteroid Belt

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