Today: McKeldin 02:00PM - 10:00PM

Asteriod's Moon

March 25, 1994

In 1994, a picture was released showing the first moon discovered be in orbit around an asteroid. The potato-shaped asteroid Ida and its newly-discovered moon, Dactyl was imaged by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, about 14 minutes before its closest approach to the asteroid on 28 Aug 1993. Ida appears to be about about 36 miles long and 14 miles wide. It shows numerous craters, including many degraded craters, indicating Ida's surface is older than previously thought. The tiny moon is about one mile (1.5-km) across. The names are derived from the Dactyli, a group of mythological beings who lived on Mount Ida, where the infant Zeus was hidden (and raised, in some accounts) by the nymph Ida and protected by the Dactyli.


Asteroids: A History by Curtis Peebles

Mission Jupiter: the Spectacular Journey of the Galileo Spacecraft by Daniel Fischer