Asteroid Gaspra's True Colors
These two color views of the asteroid Gaspra were produced by combining three images taken through violet, green, and infrared filters by the Galileo spacecraft on October 29, 1991, from a distance of about 16,000 kilometers.
Date: 29 Oct 1991
The view on the left shows Gaspra in approximately true color; the surface is covered with rocks that are somewhat less gray than those on Earth's Moon. In the version on the right, the colors were enhanced to bring out the muted color variations on the asteroid and to increase the ability to discriminate between surface features. The subtle variations in color may be due to slight differences in rock composition or to differences in the texture of the surface layer. Gaspra is about 19 x 12 x 11 kilometers and irregular in shape. The illuminated portion seen in these views is about 16 x 12 kilometers. These color images were produced for the Galileo project by the U.S. Geological survey, Flagstaff, Arizona.
The Galileo project, whose primary mission was the exploration of the Jupiter system, was managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Image Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute