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951 Gaspra

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

951 Gaspra (asteroid 951) is an S-type asteroid[?] that orbits in the inner edge of the asteroid belt.

NASA image. larger version

This asteroid was visited by the Galileo probe in 1991 as it flew by on its way to Jupiter. It 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 Grigoriy N. Neujamin in 1916. Neujamin named Gaspra after a Black Sea retreat that was visited by his contemporaries such as Gorky and Tolstoy.

External links

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

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