PerspectivePlanetary Science

Asteroids Come of Age

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Science  22 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5487, pp. 2065-2066
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2065

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Since the discovery of the first asteroid almost 200 years ago, these celestial bodies have advanced from nuisances hampering stellar studies to the focus of geological studies aimed at understanding the early solar system. Binzel describes the history of their study, which has now culminated in NASA's NEAR mission to the asteroid Eros. Four papers report first results from this first rendezvous mission with an asteroid.