Which asteroid has a tiny moon of its own??
An image of the asteroid 243 Ida, being radioed piecemeal to Earth by the Galileo spacecraft, indicates that the rocky body has a tiny moon orbiting it. If confirmed when Galileo finishes transmitting the image late this month, this would be the first moon of an asteroid ever detected.
During a brief photo session with Galileo last August, Ida became the second asteroid ever to be imaged from space (SN: 11/6/93, p.300). But because the craft's main antenna never fully opened, Galileo couldn't radio the pictures immediately Instead, it stored them on a tape recorder for transmission later at a much slower rate by a less powerful antenna.
One complete image, a high-resolution portrait of the 56-kilometer-long asteroid received in September, gave no hint of a moon. But parts of a second, lower-resolution image reveal an intriguing feature.
Galileo began sending this image 3 weeks ago. The trickle of data received so far - thin, widely spaced strips of the full pict ...more
Asteroid Ida and its moon Dactyl were discovered by the Galilio probe
ASteroid Kalliope and its moon Linus was discoverd in 2001