Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Rock bands seen on asteroid
Posted: May 21, 2000

Asteroid Eros. Photo: JHU/APL
Images of Eros returned by NEAR Shoemaker show that many of the asteroid's craters have striking brightness patterns on their walls. This image, taken May 16, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles), shows these brightness patterns at high spatial resolution. The whole scene is about 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) across, and shows features as small as 4 meters (13 feet). The brighter materials are several percent more reflective than their surroundings.

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
NEAR Shoemaker orbiting a groovy asteroid

Boulders seen on asteroid

Looking into asteroid Eros' saddle wall

NEAR Shoemaker puts Eros into perspective