The University of Arizona

Radar observations of Itokawa in 2004 and improved shape estimation

Steven J. Ostro, Lance A. M. Benner, Christopher Magri, Jon D. Giorgini, Randy Rose, Raymond F. Jurgens, Donald K. Yeomans, Alice A. Hine, Michael C. Nolan, Daniel J. Scheeres, Stephen B. Broschart, Mikko Kaasalainen, Jean-Luc Margot


We present June 2004 radar images of asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36) that improve upon the longitude-latitude coverage of images obtained in 2001 by Ostro et al. (2004) and use the 2001-2004 data to refine that papers constraints on Itokawas shape. The 2004 images, the first of the asteroids southern side, look distinctly different from the 2001 images, revealing leading edges that are much more curved and rugged than the nearly convex leading edges seen at northern latitudes in 2001. Itokawa is shaped like a slightly asymmetrical, bent, lumpy ellipsoid with dimensions along the principal axes within 10% of 594 x 320 x 288 m. To illustrate the uncertainty space associated with shape reconstruction from images with suboptimal orientational coverage, we present two alternative three-dimensional models of the object.


Hayabusa mission;Asteroid surface;Remote sensing;Itokawa;Radar

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