A Solar System Photo Gallery
Asteroids, main belt and others

(1) Ceres is shown in an image from the Dawn spacecraft taken 19 February 2015 from 46,000 km away. Ceres is the largest asteroid, 900 km in diameter. It is one of the three large asteroids in the main belt believed to be intact bodies as opposed to fragments of collisions, and it is the only main belt asteroid designated (since 2006) a "dwarf planet". The nature of the bright spots is as yet unknown, although cryovolcanoes (eruptions of ice) are one hypothesis. (Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, UCLA, MPS, DLR, IDA)
(2) Pallas is shown in an image from the Hubble Space Telescope taken on 8 September 2007. Pallas is the second largest asteroid, about 570 km in diameter. (Credit: NASA, Schmidt et al.)
(4) Vesta is shown in this image from the Dawn spacecraft taken on 24 July 2011 at a distance of 5,200 km. The grooves may be associated with the impact that formed the large south pole crater, visible at the lower right. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.)
(21) Lutetia is shown in this image from the Rosetta spacecraft taken on 10 July 2010 at a distance of 3,162 km. Lutetia is about 130 km long. (Credit: ESA, OSIRIS Team.)
(216) Kleopatra is shown in this radar image taken November 1999. Kleopatra is described as shaped like a dogbone based on radar observations. (Credit: Steven Ostro, JPL, NASA)
(243) Ida is shown in this color image from the Galileo probe, taken 28 August 1993. Ida is a main-belt asteroid 58 km by 23 km in size. (Credit: Galileo, JPL, NASA)
Dactyl is a satellite of Ida, imaged here by Galileo from 3,900 km away on 28 August 1993. Dactyl is 1.6 km by 1.2 km. The largest crater visible here is 300 meters across. (Credit: Galileo, JPL, NASA)
(253) Mathilde is seen here in a photomosaic from NEAR Shoemaker taken 27 June 1997 from a distance of 2,400 km. Mathilde is 59 km by 47 km and shows several large craters. (Credit: NEAR, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, NASA)
(951) Gaspra is shown here in a color image by Galileo taken 29 October 1991 from 16,000 km away. Gaspra is a main-belt asteroid about 19 km by 11 km in size. (Credit: Galileo, JPL, NASA)
(2867) Steins is shown here in an image from the Rosetta probe, taken 5 September 2008 from 800 km away. Steins is about 5 km across. (Credit: Rosetta, ESA)
(5535) Annefrank is shown here in an image from the Stardust probe, taken 2 November 2002 from 3,300 km away. Annefrank is a very dark main belt asteroid about 6 km across. (Credit: Stardust, NASA)

Text copyright © 2002-2011, 2015 by Wm. Robert Johnston. All rights reserved.
Last modified 15 March 2015.
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