NEAR at Eros: Imaging and Spectral Results

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Science  22 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5487, pp. 2088-2097
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2088

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Eros is a very elongated (34 kilometers by 11 kilometers by 11 kilometers) asteroid, most of the surface of which is saturated with craters smaller than 1 kilometer in diameter. The largest crater is 5.5 kilometers across, but there is a 10-kilometer saddle-like depression with attributes of a large degraded crater. Surface lineations, both grooves and ridges, are prominent on Eros; some probably exploit planes of weakness produced by collisions on Eros and/or its parent body. Ejecta blocks (30 to 100 meters across) are abundant but not uniformly distributed over the surface. Albedo variations are restricted to the inner walls of certain craters and may be related to downslope movement of regolith. On scales of 200 meters to 1 kilometer, Eros is more bland in terms of color variations than Gaspra or Ida. Spectra (800 to 2500 nanometers) are consistent with an ordinary chondrite composition for which the measured mean density of 2.67 ± 0.1 grams per cubic centimeter implies internal porosities ranging from about 10 to 30 percent.

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