Ida and Dactyl in color Galileo took the three images for this enhanced-color view of asteroid 143 Ida and its satellite Dactyl on August 28, 1993 at about 16:30 UTC, about 20 minutes before its closest approach. Galileo was about 16,000 kilometers from the asteroid at the time. NASA / JPL / SSI / color composite by Emily Lakdawalla

Galileo approaches Ida and Dactyl (animation) This animation contains 36 images of Ida and Dactyl shot over a 5-hour period as Galileo approached from a distance of 240,000 to about 24,000 kilometers. Galileo was imaging the asteroid through different-color filters, mapping its color as it rotated. The discovery of Dactyl was accidental. Because of Ida’s small size and low gravity, Dactyl hardly appears to move in its orbit around Ida during this period. The images have been aligned on Ida but otherwise have not been processed. NASA / JPL / Emily Lakdawalla

Galileo got so many more images of Ida than I realized

Posted By Emily Lakdawalla

2013/02/22 04:14 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, asteroids, asteroid 243 Ida and Dactyl, Galileo

While writing up the cruise-phase issues of the Galileo Messenger a couple of weeks ago, I came across a fuzzy montage of images of Ida that I had not seen before (on page 10 of issue 34). In fact, there are only two images of Ida that I can ever recall seeing. So I decided to spend some time digging into the Planetary Data System to see if there were more images to be found. And I was surprised at how many there were. Galileo was a mission that was frustrated by incredibly slow data rates, resulting in its returning far fewer images than it could have — and yet here I found lots and lots pictures from it that I’d never seen before!

Read more: Galileo got so many more images of Ida than I realized | The Planetary Society.

Home           Top of page