Galileo
August 28, 1993

 

Asteroid Ida and its newly discovered moon Dactyl

Asteroid Ida and its newly discovered moon Dactyl

 

The Galileo spacecraft encounters a second asteroid on its journey to Jupiter. While observing asteroid Ida at a distance of 2400 kilometers (1500 miles), the spacecraft discovers a miniature "moon" orbiting the asteroid Ida. This is the first conclusive evidence that natural satellites of asteroids exist.

The tiny body, named Dactyl, is about 1.5 kilometers ( a litte less than one mile) in diameter and orbits about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Ida's center.

See also: Galileo home page

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