News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Strange Doings on a NEAR-Struck Asteroid

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1467-1469
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5508.1467

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LAUREL, MARYLAND-- Researchers are puzzling over the last pictures returned by the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft as it descended to its final resting place on the surface of asteroid Eros. At a press conference here last week at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Research Laboratory, team members showed pictures that reveal that something--no one knows quite what--is shaping the surface of Eros into bizarre "ponds" with "beaches" marked by "footprints." Something else is populating the surface with boulders.