J. W. Head III,
and C.B. Pilcher
The first images of the asteroid 243 Ida from Galileo show an irregular object measuring 56 kilometers by 24 kilometers by 21 kilometers. Its surface is rich in geologic features, including systems of grooves, blocks, chutes, albedo features, crater chains, and a full range of crater morphologies. The largest blocks may be distributed nonuniformly across the surface; lineaments and dark-floored craters also have preferential locations. Ida is interpreted to have a substantial regolith. The high crater density and size-frequency distribution (-3 differential power-law index) indicate a surface in equilibrium with saturated cratering. A minimum model crater age for Ida - and therefore for the Koronis family to which Ida belongs - is estimated at 1 billion years, older than expected.