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Imaging of Small-Scale Features on 433 Eros from NEAR: Evidence for a Complex Regolith

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Science  20 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5516, pp. 484-488
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058651

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Abstract

On 25 October 2000, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendevous (NEAR)–Shoemaker spacecraft executed a low-altitude flyover of asteroid 433 Eros, making it possible to image the surface at a resolution of about 1 meter per pixel. The images reveal an evolved surface distinguished by an abundance of ejecta blocks, a dearth of small craters, and smooth material infilling some topographic lows. The subdued appearance of craters of different diameters and the variety of blocks and different degrees of their burial suggest that ejecta from several impact events blanketed the region imaged at closest approach and led to the building up of a substantial and complex regolith consisting of fine materials and abundant meter-sized blocks.

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