Asteroids!

idamoonThis color mosaic shows the asteroid Ida and its moon Dactyl. The images use to assemble this picture were taken by the camera system on the Galileo spacecraft as it was passing through the Asteroid Belt in 1993. Ida is about 52 km in length and, as you can see, is irregularly shaped. The image shows many craters, including quite a few degraded ones, indicating Ida’s surface is older than previously thought.

Dactyl was discovered in the series of images Galileo recorded over an observation period of 5.5 hours during the 1993 flyby of Ida. Dactyl’s longest dimension is about 1.6 km.

Image Credit: NASA

Dactyl

The asteroid Ida orbits the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It takes about 4.8 years to complete an orbit. Ida has a moon named Dactyl, official designation (243) Ida I Dactyl, discovered in images taken by the Galileo spacecraft during its flyby in 1993. These images provided the first direct confirmation of an asteroid moon. Dactyl is heavily cratered, like Ida, and consists of similar materials, suggesting they are fragments of the same parent body. Ida is the dot on the right side of the image above. The image on the left is our best closeup of Dactyl to date. Dactyl is about 1.6 x 1.4 x 1.2 km across.

Image Credits: NASA

Asteroids!

idamoonThis color mosaic shows the asteroid Ida and its moon Dactyl. The images use to assemble this picture were taken by the camera system on the Galileo spacecraft as it was passing through the Asteroid Belt in 1993. Ida is about 52 km in length and, as you can see, is irregularly shaped. The image shows many craters, including quite a few degraded ones, indicating Ida’s surface is older than previously thought.

Image Credit: NASA