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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT
Post-braking maneuver NEAR navigation image
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Post-braking maneuver NEAR navigation image

October 22, 2009
Immediately after a critical braking maneuver today, February 3, the imager on the NEAR spacecraft snapped this image of the asteroid 433 Eros from a distance of approximately 5,590 miles (8,950 km). In images like this one, the position of Eros is being tracked against the star background to accurately locate the relative position of the spacecraft.

At this image's resolution of 0.6 miles (0.9 km) per pixel, details of the asteroid's surface are beginning to be resolved. A small impact crater is visible near the upper edge of the asteroid, and irregularities in the outline of the "saddle" near the terminator are becoming clearer. This saddle is an indentation in the asteroid that gives Eros its characteristic "peanut" shape.