CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Cassini Images 2685 Masursky
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A series of wide angle and narrow angle images, through a variety of spectral and polarizing filters, was taken of the asteroid between 7 and 5.5 hours before closest approach, from a distance of 1.6 million km, in the hopes of determining the body's size, reflectivity, asteroid type and possibly its rotation period. The face of Masursky seen by the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) at a Sun-asteroid-spacecraft angle of 90 degrees has been measured to be roughly 15 - 20 km in diameter, assuming a spherical shape. Preliminary determination of its reflectivity indicates that it may not, in fact, be an S-type asteroid like Gaspra, Ida and Eros, a puzzling result given its dynamical association with the Eunomia family of S-type asteroids. Examination and analysis of the remaining images may settle this matter as well as place limits on the body's rotation period. The asteroid is named for renowned planetary geologist Harold Masursky (1923-1990), a major participant in the historic Mercury and Apollo planetary programs, the Viking mission to Mars and the Voyager mission to outer solar system.





Cassini Images 2685 Masursky
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  This is the first wide angle (WA) image taken of Masursky on January 23, 2000 at 3:01 UTC. In this 32 second exposure, the cameras were continuously pointed to Masursky which was traveling roughly right to left at 0.2 WA pixels/sec (about 12 microradians/sec) across the constellation of Aquila. The stars in this 3.5 degree field of view are streaked due to this target-motion compensation. Some of the streaks and point-like sources in this frame are in fact the images left by cosmic rays which hit the CCD of the camera during the exposure.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Cassini Imaging Team
Released: February 11, 2000
Image/Caption Information



This narrow angle 1.2 second exposure was shuttered simultaneously with the wide angle image above, and is a factor of ten higher in resolution. It is from images like this that the size of Masursky was determined. Some of the streaks and point-like sources in this 0.35 degree frame are in fact the images left by cosmic rays which hit the camera's CCD.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Cassini Imaging Team
Released: February 11, 2000
Image/Caption Information
  Cassini Images 2685 Masursky
Avg Rating: 6.98/10

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Alliance Member Comments
JKoulouris (Sep 10, 2009 at 10:59 PM):
Who says it doesn't pay to be a scientist?
Harold is just a simple example.... Right next to Carl Sagan with an IAU adopted
crater on Mars, and right in the grasp of historical CASSINI as well.

Pretty good if you asked me.....

It looks like the IAU/WGPSN, and the USGS Astrogeology Branch will have a few more names to consider in the future as well.... ;)


Keep those great images and data coming CICLOPS Team !

Regards,

John A. Koulouris,(Esq.)
Planetary Cartographer / Writer
Astereion- Orion Project
Laval, Canada.
Moonsister (Mar 23, 2007 at 4:33 PM):
"Missed it by that much"--Maxwell Smart

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