Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2023 November 4
Explanation: Last Wednesday the voyaging Lucy spacecraft encountered its first asteroid, 152830 Dinkinesh, and discovered the inner-main belt asteroid has a moon. From a distance of just over 400 kilometers, Lucy's Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager captured this close-up of the binary system during a flyby at 4.5 kilometer per second or around 10,000 miles per hour. A marvelous world, Dinkinesh itself is small, less than 800 meters (about 0.5 miles) across at its widest. Its satellite is seen from the spacecraft's perspective to emerge from behind the primary asteroid. The asteroid moon is estimated to be only about 220 meters wide.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.