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Emily LakdawallaSeptember 6, 2008

Where does Steins fit in?

One thing I couldn't resist doing before returning to bed: seeing where Steins fits in, in context with all the other asteroids and comets that have been explored to date. Here's an updated version of my asteroids-and-comets-to-scale montage, suitably sized for a desktop or Powerpoint. Enjoy!

All asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of early 2008

All asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of early 2008
The total of four comets and eight asteroid systems (including nine separate bodies) that have been examined up close by spacecraft are shown here to scale with each other (75 meters per pixel, in the fully enlarged version). Most of these were visited only briefly, in flyby missions, so we have only one point of view on each; only Eros and Itokawa were orbited and mapped completely.

This image is also available without text. There is also a larger version at 20 meters per pixel (6000x4500 pixels, 4.2 MB), with or without text (3.9 MB).

Credits: All images NASA / JPL / Ted Stryk except: Mathilde: NASA / JHUAPL / Ted Stryk; Steins: ESA / OSIRIS team; Eros: NASA / JHUAPL; Itokawa: ISAS / JAXA / Emily Lakdawalla; Halley: Russian Academy of Sciences / Ted Stryk; Tempel 1: NASA / JPL / UMD; Wild 2: NASA / JPL.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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