951 Gaspra

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951 Gaspra
NASA image of 951 Gaspra
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NASA image of 951 Gaspra
Orbital characteristics
Orbit type Main belt (Flora)
Semimajor axis 2.20997 AU
Eccentricity 0.17331
Orbital period 3.29 y
Inclination 4.10284°
Physical characteristics
Diameter 19×12×11 km
Mass 1.0×1016 kg
Density  ? g/cm³
Rotation period 7 h 5 min 30 s
Spectral class S
Albedo 0.22
History
Discoverer G. N. Neujmin, 1916

951 Gaspra is an S-type asteroid that orbits in the inner edge of the asteroid belt. Gaspra was the first asteroid ever to be closely approached when it was visited by the Galileo probe, which flew by on its way to Jupiter on October 29, 1991. Gaspra has half a dozen large concavities which resemble craters, though there is some debate whether these are the result of impacts or whether they are instead facets formed when Gaspra broke off of its parent asteroid. In the weak, lopsided gravity of Gaspra, impact craters would naturally take on such flat, lopsided shapes, making this determination difficult.

Gaspra was discovered by Russian astronomer G. N. Neujmin in 1916. Neujmin named it after Gaspra, a Black Sea retreat that was visited by his contemporaries, such as Gorky and Tolstoy.

See also: List of geological features on 951 Gaspra

External links

  • short intro (http://www.seds.org/nineplanets/nineplanets/gaspra.html): 2 photos
  • JPL images (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/images/gaspra.html)


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The minor planets
Vulcanoids | Main belt | Groups and families | Near-Earth objects | Jupiter Trojans
Centaurs | Trans-Neptunians | Damocloids | Comets | Kuiper belt | Oort cloud
(For other objects and regions, see: Binary asteroids, Asteroid moons and the Solar system)
(For a complete listing, see: List of asteroids. For pronunciation, see: Pronunciation of asteroid names.)
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