Special Reports

Mass and Local Topography Measurements of Itokawa by Hayabusa

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Science  02 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5778, pp. 1344-1347
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126272

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The ranging instrument aboard the Hayabusa spacecraft measured the surface topography of asteroid 25143 Itokawa and its mass. A typical rough area is similar in roughness to debris located on the interior wall of a large crater on asteroid 433 Eros, which suggests a surface structure on Itokawa similar to crater ejecta on Eros. The mass of Itokawa was estimated as (3.58 ± 0.18) × 1010 kilograms, implying a bulk density of (1.95 ± 0.14) grams per cubic centimeter for a volume of (1.84 ± 0.09) × 107 cubic meters and a bulk porosity of ∼40%, which is similar to that of angular sands, when assuming an LL (low iron chondritic) meteorite composition. Combined with surface observations, these data indicate that Itokawa is the first subkilometer-sized small asteroid showing a rubble-pile body rather than a solid monolithic asteroid.

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