Unraveling The Secrets Of Asteroid Ida

  1. Introduction
  2. Physical Characteristics of Asteroid Ida
    1. Size and Shape
    2. Composition
    3. Satellite Dactyl
  3. Historical Significance of Asteroid Ida
    1. Discovery and Naming
    2. Galileo Spacecraft Encounter
  4. Latest Discoveries about Asteroid Ida
    1. Hydrogen Content
    2. Surface Geology
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Conclusion
  7. Additional Resources


Asteroids have always fascinated astronomers and space enthusiasts due to their intriguing nature and potential scientific discoveries they hold. One such asteroid that has captured our attention is Asteroid Ida. In this article, we will explore the profile of Asteroid Ida, its physical characteristics, historical significance, and the latest discoveries made about this celestial object.

Physical Characteristics of Asteroid Ida

Asteroid Ida's rugged surface comes alive in this stunning photorealistic image

Size and Shape

Asteroid Ida is classified as a minor planet and is part of the Koronis family. It was discovered by Austrian astronomer Johann Palisa on September 29, 1884. With a diameter of approximately 31.4 kilometers (19.5 miles), Ida is considered a relatively large asteroid in comparison to others in our solar system.


Spectroscopic analysis of Ida has revealed that it mainly consists of silicate rock, similar to the composition of Earth's crust. Additionally, it contains significant amounts of metal, including iron and nickel. This composition suggests that Ida might have originated from the inner regions of the asteroid belt.

Satellite Dactyl

One of the fascinating aspects of Asteroid Ida is the discovery of its natural satellite named Dactyl. In 1993, during the Galileo spacecraft's flyby of Ida, Dactyl was spotted orbiting around the asteroid. It was the first confirmed detection of a moon orbiting an asteroid, providing valuable insights into the formation and dynamics of these celestial bodies.

Historical Significance of Asteroid Ida

Dawn captures Asteroid Ida in stunning detail, revealing its unique and mysterious beauty

Discovery and Naming

Asteroid Ida was named after the nymph Ida from Greek mythology, who nursed the infant Zeus on the island of Crete. The name Ida reflects the ancient and mythological significance associated with celestial objects.

Galileo Spacecraft Encounter

The encounter between Ida and the Galileo spacecraft on August 28, 1993, marked a significant milestone in our understanding of asteroids. The close flyby provided detailed images and data, revealing the surface features and topography of Ida. This encounter also led to the discovery of Dactyl, expanding our knowledge of asteroid systems.

Latest Discoveries about Asteroid Ida

A photorealistic depiction of Asteroid Ida, with boulder-studded surface, deep craters, and jagged terrain in the sunlight, captured from a vantage point high above the asteroid

Hydrogen Content

Recent studies using ground-based telescopes and space missions like NASA's Dawn mission have revealed the presence of hydrated minerals on Asteroid Ida. These minerals contain water molecules bound within their crystal structure, suggesting the possibility of water-rich asteroids playing a role in the delivery of water to early Earth.

Surface Geology

Observations of Ida's surface have shown evidence of impact craters, grooves, and boulders. These features provide clues about the geological history of the asteroid and the processes it has undergone over millions of years. Further analysis of Ida's surface geology will contribute to our understanding of the dynamic nature of the asteroid belt.

Frequently Asked Questions

A breathtaking view of Asteroid Ida, captured from a distance, showcases its unique geological features
  • What is the size of Asteroid Ida?

    Asteroid Ida has a diameter of approximately 31.4 kilometers (19.5 miles).

  • What is the composition of Asteroid Ida?

    Asteroid Ida is mainly composed of silicate rock, including iron and nickel.

  • How was the moon Dactyl discovered?

    The moon Dactyl was discovered during the Galileo spacecraft's flyby of Asteroid Ida in 1993.

  • What is the significance of the Galileo spacecraft encounter with Asteroid Ida?

    The Galileo spacecraft encounter provided valuable data and images, leading to the discovery of Ida's moon and expanding our understanding of asteroids.

  • What have recent studies revealed about Asteroid Ida?

    Recent studies have revealed the presence of hydrated minerals on Ida and provided insights into its surface geology.


Asteroid Ida continues to intrigue scientists and space enthusiasts alike. Its physical characteristics, historical significance, and recent discoveries highlight the importance of studying these celestial objects in unraveling the secrets of our solar system. Through ongoing research and exploration, we can further enhance our understanding of asteroids and their impact on the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

We encourage you to share your thoughts and engage with www.asteroidrealm.com, whether by subscribing, sharing this article on social networks, or participating in the comments section. Thank you for taking the time to delve into the fascinating world of Asteroid Ida!

Additional Resources

NASA's Dawn spacecraft expertly orbits Asteroid Ida, revealing the asteroid's rugged terrain and deep craters

For further information on asteroids and related topics, we recommend exploring the following resources:

If you want to discover more articles similar to Unraveling The Secrets Of Asteroid Ida, you can visit the Asteroid Profiles category.

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