What Do Asteroids Look Like?
NASA Press Release #P-40450
|In October, 1991, the first close-up
views of the asteroid Gaspra were taken by the Galileo spacecraft on
its way to Jupiter. Gaspra is an irregularly shaped body 19 by 12 by
11 kilometers (12 by 7.5 by 7 miles) whose rocky surface is covered
with impact craters.
The minor color differences in this enhanced image show subtle variations due to surface texture and possibly composition.
|Ida and Dactyl|
|The Galileo spacecraft also encountered
the asteroid Ida. Close inspection of the image data revealed a small
object - believed to be a satellite orbiting Ida. Ida's moon was named
Ida is roughly 58 by 23 kilometers (36 by 14 miles) and Dactyl is about 1.2 by 1.4 by 1.6 kilometers (.74 by .87 by .99 miles).
NASA Press Release #P-43731
Phobos and Deimos
Mars has two known moons, Phobos
and Deimos, that may be asteroids that were captured by the planet's
NASA Press Release #P-76-H-729
|Close up view of Phobos' surface. Phobos is ellipsoid in shape, 27 by 21 by 19 kilometers (17 by 13 by 12 miles).|
NASA Press Release #P-77-HC-58 / VO 428B22.
|Deimos is an ellipsoid similar to Phobos and measures 15 by 12 by 11 kilometers (9 by 7.5 by 7 miles).|
|In 2005 the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa imaged the rugged terrain of Itokawa, a small asteroid 550 meters (about 1800 feet) across. After experiencing some difficulties, Hayabusa was able to land on the asteroid, collect a small sample, and return it to Earth in 2010.||
|In July 2011, NASA's Dawn spacecraft went into orbit around Vesta, the second most massive object in the Asteroid Belt.
See more images of Vesta.
See images of asteroids Mathilde and Eros from the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft.
Discovery of The Asteroids
|| Where Are The Asteroids? || Near
What Do Asteroids Look Like? || Asteroid Exploration || Links
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