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Discovery and physical properties of Dactyl, a satellite of asteroid 243 Ida

Chapman, C.R.(1) and Veverka, J.(2) and Thomas, P.C.(2) and Klaasen, K.(3) and Belton, M.J.S.(4) and Harch, A.(2) and McEwen, A.(5) and Johnson, T.V.(3) and Helfenstein, P.(2) and Davies, M.E.(6) and Merline, W.J.(1) and Denk, T. (1995) Discovery and physical properties of Dactyl, a satellite of asteroid 243 Ida. Nature, 6525, pp. 783-785. Macmillan Magazine Ltd., London, Great Britain.

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Abstract

Observations of stellar occultions by asteroids have suggested that some may have satellites. But given the absence of any confirmatory evidence, the prevailing view has been that although such satellites probably do exist, they are likely to be rare. Here we report the discovery by the Galileo spacecraft of a satellites associated with the asteroid 243 Ida. Although the satellite, Dactyl, is only 1.6 km across, it has been imaged with sufficient resolution for geological analysis. We describe the physical properties of Dactyl, with emphasis on its notably smooth shape, its crater population (which includes a crater chain) and its photometric properties. We find that, spectroscopically, Dactyl resembles both Ida and the other members of the Koronis asteroid family, implying a similar composition; small spectral differences may reflect a space weathering process that slightly alters the colours with time. We argue that Dactyl originated during the breakup of the Koronis parent body, and that satellites could be common around other asteroids (particularly members of asteroid families).

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=1996,
Title:Discovery and physical properties of Dactyl, a satellite of asteroid 243 Ida
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Chapman, C.R.(1)UNSPECIFIED
Veverka, J.(2)UNSPECIFIED
Thomas, P.C.(2)UNSPECIFIED
Klaasen, K.(3)UNSPECIFIED
Belton, M.J.S.(4)UNSPECIFIED
Harch, A.(2)UNSPECIFIED
McEwen, A.(5)UNSPECIFIED
Johnson, T.V.(3)UNSPECIFIED
Helfenstein, P.(2)UNSPECIFIED
Davies, M.E.(6)UNSPECIFIED
Merline, W.J.(1)UNSPECIFIED
Denk, T.UNSPECIFIED
Date:1995
Journal or Publication Title:Nature
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:6525
Page Range:pp. 783-785
Publisher:Macmillan Magazine Ltd., London, Great Britain
Series Name:374
Status:Published
Keywords:Asteroid; Dactyl; Galileo; Ida; Photometric properties; satellite; shape
HGF - Research field:UNSPECIFIED
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:UNSPECIFIED
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Institut für Planetenerkundung
Deposited By: elib DLR-Beauftragter
Deposited On:02 Apr 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 09:49

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