S-type asteroids

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S-type asteroids, also called silicate asteroids or stony asteroids, are the second most abundant type of asteroid in the solar system. 17% of all asteroids are S-type.[1][2]

Characteristics and composition

S-type asteroids have albedos varying from 0.10 to 0.22.[2] They are composed primarily of iron and nickel with iron and magnesium silicates added. They resemble stony meteorites and ordinary rocks. They typically predominate in the inner regions of the asteroid belt.[2][3]


The asteroids Gaspra[3] and Ida[3][4] are two examples of S-type asteroids.

Observation and exploration

S-type asteroids are somewhat brighter than the C-type and are thus easier to view.

The Galileo spacecraft made rendezvous with the asteroids Gaspra and Ida on its way to Jupiter.[4]


  1. Arnett, Bill. "Asteroids." The Nine 8 Planets, May 10, 2008. Accessed June 20, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Asteroid Facts." The Planetary Society, n.d. Accessed June 20, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Burns, Philip R. "Asteroids." March 1, 2000. Accessed June 21, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gordon, K. "Asteroids Close Up." Course syllabus, Astronomy 100L, California State University Long Beach, 2006-2007. Accessed June 21, 2008.