Bulk density of asteroid 243 Ida from the orbit of its satellite Dactyl

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DURING its reconnaissance of the asteroid 243 Ida, the Galileo spacecraft returned images of a second object, 1993(243)1 Dactyl1 - the first confirmed satellite of an asteroid. Sufficient data were obtained on the motion of Dactyl to determine its orbit as a function of Ida's mass. Here we apply statistical and dynamical arguments to constrain the range of possible orbits, and hence the mass of Ida. Combined with the volume of Ida2, this yields a bulk density of 2.6 ?? 0.5 g cm-3. Allowing for the uncertainty in the porosity of Ida, this density range is consistent with a bulk chon-dritic composition, and argues against some (but not all) classes of meteoritic igneous rock types that have been suggested as compositionally representative of S-type asteroids like Ida. ?? 2002 Nature Publishing Group.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bulk density of asteroid 243 Ida from the orbit of its satellite Dactyl
Series title Nature
Volume 374
Issue 6525
Year Published 1995
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Nature
First page 785
Last page 788
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