Galileo encounter with 951 Gaspra: First pictures of an asteroid

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Galileo images of Gaspra reveal it to be an irregularly shaped object (19 by 12 by 11 kilometers) that appears to have been created by a catastrophic collisional disruption of a precursor parent body. The cratering age of the surface is about 200 million years. Subtle albedo and color variations appear to correlate with morphological features: Brighter materials are associated with craters especially along the crests of ridges, have a stronger 1-micrometer absorption, and may represent freshly excavated mafic materials; darker materials exhibiting a significantly weaker 1-micrometer absorption appear concentrated in interridge areas. One explanation of these patterns is that Gaspra is covered with a thin regolith and that some of this material has migrated downslope in some areas.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Galileo encounter with 951 Gaspra: First pictures of an asteroid
Series title Science
Volume 257
Issue 5077
Year Published 1992
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Science
First page 1647
Last page 1652