Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012, in color, excepting Vesta [DEPRECATED]

Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012, in color, excepting Vesta [DEPRECATED]

Click to view full image

Montage by Emily Lakdawalla. Data from NASA / JPL / JHUAPL / UMD / JAXA / ESA / OSIRIS team / Russian Academy of Sciences / China National Space Agency. Processed by Emily Lakdawalla, Daniel Machacek, Ted Stryk, Gordan Ugarkovic.

Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012, in color, excepting Vesta [DEPRECATED]
NOTE: This image is now deprecated. An updated version with comet 67P is available here.
A montage of 16 of the 17 asteroids and comets that have been photographed up close as of December 2012, when Chang'E 2 flew past Toutatis. This version is in color and shows the bodies at their correct relative (though not absolute) albedo or brightness. Not included is Vesta, which would cover an area about three times the width and height of this montage.

The "click to enlarge" version has a resolution of 100 meters per pixel. Here is a version at 20 meters per pixel.

Below is another version of the same montage, except that the albedo is linearly scaled, meaning that Borrelly (with an albedo of 0.03) really is ten dimes darker than Steins (albedo 0.34). (Also available at 20 m/pixel)

Color images were not actually available for all bodies. There have been color images of Lutetia, Ida, Dactyl, Itokawa, Steins, Toutatis, Gaspra, Eros, Mathilde, Tempel 1, and Hartley 2. The others, including Braille, Annefrank, Halley, Borrelly, and Wild 2, were given a brown color to match the others.

Albedoes used for the composite:

Itokawa: 0.53
Steins: 0.34
Braille: 0.34
Eros: 0.25
Ida: 0.23
Dactyl: 0.23
Gaspra: 0.22
Annefrank: 0.21
Lutetia: 0.19
Toutatis: 0.13
Mathilde: 0.0436
Halley: 0.04
Tempel 1: 0.04
Borrelly: 0.03
Wild 2: 0.03
Hartley 2: 0.028

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Daniel Macháček : Emily Lakdawalla : Gordan Ugarkovic : Ted Stryk

Original image data dated on or about December 13, 2012

Explore related images: Chang'E program, scale comparisons, comet Wild 2, amateur image processing, presentation slides, comet Halley, comet Hartley 2, comet Tempel 1, asteroid 433 Eros, comet Borrelly, asteroid 2867 Steins, asteroid 25143 Itokawa, asteroid 253 Mathilde, Galileo, asteroid 243 Ida and Dactyl, asteroid 21 Lutetia, asteroid 4179 Toutatis, asteroid 951 Gaspra, many worlds, near-Earth asteroids, Rosetta and Philae, Hayabusa (MUSES-C), pretty pictures, Deep Impact, comets, Stardust, asteroids, best of, NEAR, comet Halley armada, Deep Space 1

Comments & Sharing
More Images
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.