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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


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 paper's constraints on Itokawa's shape. The 2004 images, the first of the asteroid's 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 × 320 × 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1574
Number of pages12
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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