The spectra of the V-type asteroids or Vestoids are similar to that of 4 Vesta, by far the largest asteroid in this class (hence the name).
A large proportion have orbital elements similar to those of 4 Vesta, either close enough to be part of the Vesta family, or having similar eccentricities and inclinations but with a semi-major axis lying between about 2.18 AU and the 3:1 Kirkwood gap at 2.50 AU. This suggests that most or all of them originated as fragments of Vesta's crust, possibly blasted out by a single very large impact at some point in its history. The enormous southern-hemisphere crater on Vesta is the prime candidate for the impact site .
The V-type asteroids are moderately bright, and rather similar to the more common S-type, which are also made up of stony irons and ordinary chondrites. This rather rare type of asteroid contains more pyroxene than the S-type.
The electromagnetic spectrum has a very strong absorption feature longward of 0.75 μm, another feature around 1 μm and is very red shortwards of 0.7 µm. The visible wavelength spectrum of the V-type asteroids (including 4 Vesta itself) is similar to the spectra of basaltic achondrite HED meteorites.
A J-type has been suggested for asteroids having a particularly strong 1 μm absorption band similar to diogenite meteorites , likely being derived from deeper parts of the crust of 4 Vesta.
The vast majority of V-type asteroids are members of the Vesta family along with Vesta itself. There are some Mars-crossers such as 9969 Braille, and some Near-Earth objects like 3908 Nyx.
There is also a scattered group of objects in the general vicinity of the Vesta family but not part of it. These include:
Full article ▸