17. Ida's Limb

Note: Click on Solar System Exploration: Galileo Legacy Site (NASA-JPL) to get this image at its highest resolution.

This high resolution view of the limb of Ida shows many small craters and some grooves on the surface, which give clues to understanding the history of this heavily impacted object.
Prominent in this view is a 2-kilometer-deep (1.2 mile deep) "valley" seen in profile on the limb.
August 28, 1993. Range, 2,480 kilometers (1,540 miles).

The Galileo imaging system captured this picture of the limb of the asteroid 243 Ida about 46 seconds after its closest approach on August 28, 1993.
It is the highest-resolution image of an asteroid's surface ever captured, and shows details as small as about 50 meters (164 feet).

This image is one frame of a mosaic of 15 frames shuttered near Galileo's closest approach to Ida.
Since the exact location of Ida in space was not well-known before the Galileo flyby, the mosaic was estimated to have only about a 50 percent chance of capturing Ida.
Fortunately, this single frame did successfully image a part of the sunlit side of Ida.

The area seen in this frame shows some of the same territory seen in a slightly lower resolution full-disc mosaic of Ida, but from a different perspective.
This limb profile and the stereoscopic effect between this image and the full-disc mosaic will permit detailed refinement of Ida's shape in this region.

Next slide: Ida and Dactyl

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Link to: Solar System Exploration: Galileo Legacy Site (NASA - JPL)

Updated: November 7 '96

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