PIA02952: The Battering and Debris
Target Name: Eros
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: NEAR Shoemaker
Spacecraft: NEAR Shoemaker
Instrument: Multi-Spectral Imager
Product Size: 472 x 372 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Addition Date: 2000-08-05
Primary Data Set: NEAR Home Page
Full-Res TIFF: PIA02952.tif (73.03 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA02952.jpg (10.22 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

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The many craters on Eros' surface attest to its battering by meteors - mostly debris ejected from other asteroids. This picture, taken July 7, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles), neatly encapsulates the effects of a long history of impact cratering. Two overlapping craters, probably formed many millions of years apart, form a composite depression nearly 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) long. Large boulders, perhaps broken off Eros during these impacts, are perched on the craters' edge. The largest boulder, on the horizon in the center of the picture, is about 40 meters (130 feet) long. The whole scene is 1.8 kilometers (1.2 miles) across.

Built and managed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, NEAR was the first spacecraft launched in NASA's Discovery Program of low-cost, small-scale planetary missions. See the NEAR web page at http://near.jhuapl.edu/ for more details.

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