NEAR Captures Eros' Heart
October 22, 2009
LAUREL, MD - (Feb. 13, 2000) - Just in time for its Valentine's Day date with 433 Eros, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft snapped this photo during its approach to the 21-mile-long space rock. Taken Feb. 11, 2000, from 1,609 miles (2590 kilometers) away, the picture reveals a heart-shaped depression about 3 miles (5 kilometers) long. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory - which manages the NASA mission -processed the image on Feb. 12. Photos taken from closer in during the next few days will help the NEAR team unravel the mystery of this shadowy feature.
Topics: Discovery program, 433 Eros, 2012, Environment, Applied Physics Laboratory, Near-Earth object, EROS, Planetary defense, NEAR Shoemaker, Asteroid