Report

The Shape of 433 Eros from the NEAR-Shoemaker Laser Rangefinder

Science  22 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5487, pp. 2097-2101
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2097

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Abstract

Measurements from the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)–Shoemaker Laser Rangefinder (NLR) indicate that asteroid 433 Eros is a consolidated body with a complex shape dominated by collisions. The offset between the asteroid's center of mass and center of figure indicates a small deviation from a homogeneous internal structure that is most simply explained by variations in mechanical structure. Regional-scale relief and slope distributions show evidence for control of topography by a competent substrate. Impact crater morphology is influenced by both gravity and structural control. Small-scale topography reveals ridges and grooves that may be generated by impact-related fracturing.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: zuber{at}mit.edu

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