Articles

First Images of Asteroid 243 Ida

Science  09 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5178, pp. 1543-1547
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5178.1543

Abstract

The first images of the asteroid 243 Ida from Galileo show an irregular object measuring 56-kilometers by 24 kilometers by 21 kilometers. Its surface is rich in geologic features, including systems of grooves, blocks, chutes, albedo features, crater chains, and a full range of crater morphologies. The largest blocks may be distributed nonuniformly across the surface; lineaments and dark-floored craters also have preferential locations. Ida is interpreted to have a substantial regolith. The high crater density and size-frequency distribution (–3 differential power-law index) indicate a surface in equilibrium with saturated cratering. A minimum model crater age for Ida—and therefore for the Koronis family to which Ida belongs—is estimated at 1 billion years, older than expected.

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