Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Boulders seen on asteroid
Posted: May 17, 2000

Asteroid Eros. Photo: JHU/APL
Low-orbit images of Eros taken by NEAR Shoemaker have shown an amazing abundance of boulders of all sizes strewn across the asteroid's surface. This image was taken on May 14, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The scene is about 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) across and includes features as small as 4 meters (13 feet). The field of boulders at the upper right is one of the rockiest parts of Eros discoveredso far. The largest of the boulders is about 60 meters (197 feet) in diameter, nearly two-thirds the length of a football field.

Built and managed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, NEAR-Shoemaker was the first spacecraft launched in NASA's Discovery Program of low-cost, small-scale planetary missions.

Earlier coverage
Looking into asteroid Eros' saddle wall

NEAR Shoemaker puts Eros into perspective

Light and shadow create strange shapes on Eros

The view of asteroid Eros from low orbit

NEAR Shoemaker settling down for a long mapping